From landing your dream venue to scouring Pinterest for that table centerpiece in the perfect shade of peony-pink to match the bridesmaid dresses–wedding planning can be downright STRESSFUL.
While marrying the love of your life may be a dream come true, the act of throwing the $30,000+ production to seal the deal can often be nothing short of a nightmare. I mean, the show ‘Bridezilla’ wasn’t popularized because orchestrating the big day is piece of cake.
Well, one New York man was all too familiar with the anxiety associated with such an ordeal, and he didn’t want that to exacerbate the health condition of his beautiful bride-to-be.
Nicole Rios, his then-girlfriend, suffers from lupus, a disease that can be easily aggravated by stress.
“I know it’s a battle with her illness already and when anything comes up she gets stressed out about it,” Danny told ABC News.
So this sweet man decided he would take the pressure off her hands by single-handedly planning a surprise engagement-and-wedding extravaganza in a matter of five months… Oh, and did I mention that he pulled them off back-to-back within TWO HOURS??
Yeah, this groom’s already in the running for ‘Husband of the Year’ for sure.
“I give women so much credit for all the planning they do for weddings,” said Danny, admitting “I kind of turned into a ‘bridezilla’ during it.”
He came up with the brilliant idea in August after returning from a trip to their hometown of Smithtown, New York.
He sent out all the invites to family and friends, booked the caterer, picked out engagement rings and wedding bands, and even recruited Nicole’s mother to help pick out the perfect wedding dress. Danny bought the dress in two different sizes and had them tailored to fit her mom, since they are the same height. I mean, needless to say, this guy was knee-deep in the DETAILS.
“I wrote down what had to be done and I said, ‘I don’t care what anyone says, what’s on this paper is what has to be done. It’s gold,’” said the wedding-planning wizard of a groom.
Danny decided to hold the event in their backyard, which he knew Nicole would love per their previous conversations about it.
“Nicole kept on saying how she wanted to have people over for an engagement party and then surprise them with a wedding, so I knew she was OK with a wedding in the backyard,” he said.
And boy, did he pull it OFF.
On December 8th, Nicole thought she was coming home from the airport to a surprise birthday party when she saw her backyard strewn with lights and fancy decorations.
“I didn’t think we’d even be getting engaged for at least a year,” she remarked. “I was ready to get in my pajamas … I didn’t think this was going to happen.”
But just a moment later, Danny bent down on one knee and proposed to the love of his life in front of their closest family and friends who jetted in from across the nation for the special day.
The look on Nicole’s face says it all…
But of course, that wasn’t the end of this once-in-a-lifetime surprise.
Danny took his fiancée inside for a quiet moment alone, where he revealed the next trick up his sleeve.
“Danny said, ‘You know how much I love you and if you want we can do this tonight. All of our closest friends and family are here,’” recalled Nicole. “He told me to turn around and a dress and tux were hanging there.”
Without a moment’s hesitation, she agreed–and just two hours after getting engaged, Danny and Nicole became husband and wife in a ceremony officiated by Danny’s father.
“It was exactly what I would have wanted,” said the beaming bride. “I really couldn’t have imagined a more perfect way to marry him.”
After their swoon-worthy story gained viral attention, the Rios say they hope it will generate lupus awareness as well.
“We want anyone who has it to know that if you have lupus, it’s a crummy disease but you can still find happiness,” said Danny. “It’s out there. Don’t stop looking.”
Wishing this beautiful couple a healthy, happy marriage, and a ‘forever’ full of the same joy that their magical wedding brought to so many.