"The proposal was perfect," Vicki Gunvalson previously told PEOPLE

By Dave Quinn
November 26, 2019 10:01 PM
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Vicki Gunvalson had a lot of reasons to whoop it up on Tuesday’s Real Housewives of Orange County.

The insurance company owner and mother of two, 57, finally shared the news with her reality show costars that she and her boyfriend of three years, Steve Lodge, were engaged — surprising them with the news by not-so-casually flashing her engagement ring their way during a small gathering at her home.

“This happened!” Gunvalson said, to the cheers of fellow Orange County Housewives Tamra Judge, Gina Kirschenheiter, Emily Simpson and later, Shannon Beador.

Lodge had popped the question to Gunvalson two days earlier, with the pair going public with their news back on April 26.

“We’re so happy,” Gunvalson told PEOPLE at the time. “He’s an amazing guy and the proposal was perfect. I can’t wait.”

Vicki Gunvalson and Steve Lodge
Astrid Stawiarz/Bravo

Aside from the fact that Gunvalson had said “yes,” not much was known about how Lodge proposed until Tuesday’s RHOC.

In the episode, Gunvalson recounted the sweet and romantic evening Lodge planned, and the touching words he said.

The two were home alone when Lodge asked Gunvalson to be his wife. The retired police officer planned a low-key night, eating dinner with Gunvalson in their pajamas after a long day of work.

“He said, ‘You know what? I just want to be with you and I want to ask you from the bottom of my heart if you’ll marry me,'” Gunvalson recalled. “And then I started crying and he started crying!”

She added: ‘He said, ‘Well, it’s been three years almost to the day. And my family loves you, and I love you, everybody blessed us and I want you to be my wife.’ And I said, ‘Absolutely, yes yes yes!'”

Emily Simpson, Gina Kirschenheiter, and Vicki Gunvalson
Casey Durkin/Bravo
Tamra Judge, Emily Simpson, Gina Kirschenheiter and Emily Simpson
Casey Durkin/Bravo
Vicki Gunvalson
Tommy Garcia/Bravo

This will be both Lodge and Gunvalson’s third marriage (the pair both have two adult children each from their first marriages).

Having walked down the aisle twice before, the couple are well aware of the challenges of planning a wedding — which could be why neither were ready to set a date just yet.

Asked on Tuesday’s RHOCwhen the wedding will be, both Gunvalson and Lodge kept things vague, simply saying it would be well over a year.

“We have a lot to plan,” Gunvalson said.

Still, that hesitation shouldn’t be confused with lack of interest. When her daughter Briana Culberson, 32, wondered if Gunvalson would be taking Lodge’s last name, Gunvalson quickly answered, “Absolutely!”

“She’s supper happy,” Culberson later told Judge, giving her seal of approval.

Steve Lodge and Vicki Gunvalson
Vicki Gunvalson/Instagram

Gunvalson has long gushed about Lodge, telling PEOPLE Now in the summer of 2018 that he’s “just an incredible, calming force to my crazy-a— life.”

“I love him so much,” she said. “We live together now. Our families are good and we’re good, we’re taking everything slow in regards to the engagement and marriage because we’d never want to be divorced again. We’ve both got some divorces under our belt and we don’t have to rush. We want to be on our time. I want to be his wife, he knows that, and he wants to be my husband. So we’ll see what happens!”

That said, she admitted she’s already envisioning a wedding with Lodge.

“Small. Our circle is getting super small,” she said. “Maybe on a ranch or in the country, just something really easy. I don’t want the big ballgown.”

And she’s not opposed to getting married on TV, either.

“Maybe. We’ll see,” she said. “We might go to Vegas one day! Who knows?”

The Real Housewives of Orange County airs Tuesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo