Apprentice's Bill Rancic, E!'s Giuliana DePandi To Wed
"I thought I was dreaming," DePandi tells PEOPLE. "It was the most amazing moment of my entire life. Not only is Bill the love of my life, but he's also my best friend. I couldn't believe my dream guy was asking me to marry him!"
In a scene more worthy of a final episode of The Bachelor, Rancic sent a limo to pick DePandi up at the airport when she arrived in Chicago from L.A. Friday night. Instead of taking her to his apartment, the limo dropped her off at a nearby helipad.
"He met her there with deep-dish pizza, which is her favorite, and champagne," says the couple's rep, Jim Dowd.
Rancic then whisked her off on a helicopter ride over downtown Chicago, including a fly-by of the holiday lights on Michigan Avenue. "He proposed to her mid-air while they were getting a tour of Chicago," Dowd added.
When they got back to his apartment, DePandi was welcomed with rose petals scattered everywhere and chocolate cake.
DePandi, 31, and Rancic, 35, first met when DePandi interviewed Rancic, the winner of the first season of Donald Trump's reality series, more than two years ago. While the pair continued to see each other at other events, it was during an interview at a Boys & Girls Club in Santa Monica 10 months ago that DePandi asked Rancic (on-camera) if he was dating anyone. He wasn't. After the cameras stopped rolling, Rancic asked her out.
Rancic, an entrepreneur who still consults with The Trump Organization, will appear once again as one of The Donald's advisers on the next season of The Apprentice. DePandi, who started as a correspondent on E!, has been serving as E! News anchor and Managing Editor since 2005.
The couple plans to wed in late 2007 in the south of Italy, where DePandi grew up.