Steve Ward Engaged to Madison Pard
11/16/2013 AT 06:00 PM EST
Ward, 33, tells PEOPLE exclusively that he made arrangements ahead of time, so that once they checked into their Paris hotel, things would be perfect.
"I had a bottle of champagne on ice with chocolates and cheese waiting for us in our room," Ward says.
"She read my card that said, 'Thanks for making all my dreams come true.' Then we walked out to the balcony, and I said, 'I brought you here for a very special reason. I wanted to ask you to spend the rest of your life with me.' She was totally surprised ... and she said yes!"
Ward presented Pard, 24, with a 2.3-carat princess-cut diamond on a yellow-gold ring embedded with smaller diamonds.
"She deserves it," Ward says. "After I lost my grandfather this summer I realized how precious and short life really is. I don't want to waste any more of my time here looking for something else when I had everything I ever wanted in a partner right in front of me the whole time. Sometimes it takes loss to realize who and what is important to you in life." Be among the first to know who will be crowned PEOPLE’s Sexiest Man Alive this year! Sign up below for our daily newsletter to find out about sexy celebs and other special offers.