03/16/2013 AT 6:00 PM ET
It’s not every day that a man proposes to the love of his life on national television, so one can perhaps forgive Sean Lowe for getting a little ahead of himself when he popped the question to Catherine Giudici.
“I wanted to tell her why I fell in love with her and why I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her, but I got so excited that I rushed it,” the Bachelor star recalls.
“I probably should have spent more time on it, but honestly, I couldn’t wait to get down on one knee and ask her to marry me!”
As the more than 9 million people who viewed the romantic proposal in Thailand now know, she said yes. But for all that rushing to “will you?,” the wait until “I do” might seem particularly torturous. Lowe, 29, a Dallas-based entrepreneur, and his bride-to-be, 26, a graphic designer from Seattle, have vowed to wait until their wedding day to consummate their relationship.
For Lowe, a conservative Christian and “born-again” virgin who has abstained from sex since college, the decision reflects long-held religious beliefs.
Still, he’s hopeful that the wait won’t be too long. “I’m a guy,” he says with a laugh. “If it were up to me, I’d go to the courthouse tomorrow and it would be a done deal!”
The pair sat down with PEOPLE to talk about their unconventional path to the altar.
Congratulations! Does it feel real yet?
Sean: I don’t think it’s hit me yet – not until we can go out to dinner as a couple and just be normal.
Catherine: I just want to hold his hand in public!
When did you each know you had found The One?
Sean: The turning point for us was our first kiss. I knew she fit the friend mold, and once I found there was romance, I thought, “All right, this could work.”
Catherine: For me, it was our date on the glacier in Canada.
Sean: My eyelashes froze. I looked like Frosty the Snowman!
Catherine: I could see what he would look like as an old man!