“Joel and I have had a lot of prayerful and meaningful conversations over the holidays, and we decided that we are better as friends and parents than we are as an engaged couple, so we decided we are going to start this new year on our new path as loving parents to our adorably delightful children and as friends,” Hoda told viewers. “It’s not like something happened. They say sometimes relationships are meant to be there for a reason, a season or a lifetime, this was for a season.”
The pair first went public with their relationship in 2015. In 2017, Joel and Hoda became parents for the first time when they adopted their eldest daughter, Haley Joy. The couple adopted their second daughter, Hope Catherine, in April 2019. The television personality made it clear that despite their split, their daughters are their top priority.
“He’s a great guy. He’s a very kind and loving person, and I feel privileged to have spent eight years with him,” Hoda continued about the breakup. “We are both good and we are both kind of going on our way and our path. We’ll be good parents to those two lovely kids.”
Just a few months after adopting their second child together, the New York Times bestselling author announced her engagement to the financier on Today in November 2019.
“We ended up having a little dinner on the beach,” she said after Joel popped the question. “And he was like, ‘I have something else I would like to say,’ and he said some beautiful things, and then he got down on one knee. Then he said, ‘Would you be my wife?”’
Hoda shared that the pair initially planned to get married during a destination wedding in November 2020, one year after their engagement. Their nuptials were postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“I don’t know if a destination will be in the cards anymore,” the Oklahoma native told People in October 2020. “It’s been postponed and I always wanted kind of a beach wedding.”
The Today with Hoda & Jenna host revealed that she did not have a second wedding date picked out during an episode of Today in April 2021. She did share that her sister, Hala, was going to be her maid of honor.
“You know what’s weird is you plan something and you had it all in stone and then everything got uprooted and now we’re planning it again and there’s something weird,” she said. “We’re like ‘We’re doing it. Should we just do it this summer? Should we wait?’ We don’t know.”
Ahead of their shocking split, Hoda posted photos in December 2021 celebrating Christmas at home with Joel and the kids. The family posed for photos in matching pajamas and opened gifts.