04/10/2006 at 01:00 AM EDT
She thought they were there for a fitness segment, but when boy-friend Matt Hoover bent down on one knee outside the Today show studio (with Campbell Brown and Al Roker, among others, looking on), Suzy Preston knew this was no ordinary lunge. "I never like surprises normally," says Preston, who met Hoover in March 2005 on NBC's The Biggest Loser. Needless to say, she liked this one. "I want to rewind and watch what he said!" If she does, she'll see her fiancé fumbling—not over his words, but trying to find the ring he got her from Kraiko Diamonds. "I had to stuff it inside my underwear because if I put the box in my pocket, she would've seen it," says Hoover, who took home the $250,000 prize for winning Loser in November and is now a motivational speaker. No regrets about the public proposal though. "I wanted it to be unique, and I wanted everybody to know," says Hoover, who went from 339 lbs. to 182 on the show and is now about 230. (Preston has kept off about 85 of the 95 lbs. she lost.) "Besides, our whole relationship has been on TV."
But millions of people may not get to witness their nuptials. The couple, both 30, who plan to settle down in Seattle, where Preston is a hairdresser, want to say their vows in a more intimate setting. "My dream wedding would be small and private," says Preston. "I don't want a mic under my wedding gown."