"We've both had good weddings [before]," Vitale, 48, told PEOPLE Monday at the New York premiere of Bertinelli's TV Land show, Hot in Cleveland, which costars Betty White and airs Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET. "Now we want a good marriage."
So will it be a big over-the-top wedding or a more intimate affair? "It's not about the party," Vitale says. "It's about life and the relationship. It may be small. We haven't determined the size. We're going to [get married] in the States in the Fall, and it will mean the world to us."
After six years of dating, the couple got engaged while on vacation in Florence, Italy. "The champagne had been flowing most of the evening. We had eaten out, had one of those famous Florentine steaks," Vitale said, describing the night he proposed.
Romance and giddiness aside, the best part of love in mid-life is that "it's real, it's true," adds Vitale. "It works."
Bertinelli, 50, agrees that their life experiences will help make this marriage work. "We've both been around quite a bit, both had marriages that failed, but there were some really good parts to those marriages," she tells PEOPLE. "Hopefully we're not bringing the bad [parts] with us."
As for the actual wedding, Bertinelli's leaving the planning to her fiancé. "I have nothing to do with it. I'm just going to find the dress," she says.
But what truly makes their relationship special is the adoration they have for each other. "She is really a sweetheart," Vitale gushes about his bride-to-be. "She's a beautiful woman, intelligent, kind."
Bertinelli also praises Vitale: When asked what initially attracted her to him, she says, "Uh, look at him. He's gorgeous. But he really got me first with his sense of humor. He made me laugh a lot … He's really special."