It seems like marriage proposals are getting more and more elaborate all the time. People used to just get down on one knee and pop the question, but now friends and family get involved and proposals become extraordinary, special events in their own right.
But for one couple from Smithtown, New York, their engagement was truly unforgettable. When Danny Rios proposed to his girlfriend Nicole Carfagna, he went all out—and revealed a life-changing surprise.
Danny and Nicole recently took a trip to Disney World to celebrate Nicole’s birthday. They had fun, and when they returned home Nicole figured things were business as usual.
“I was ready to get in my pajamas,” she told ABC News.
But their return home turned out to be even more exciting than a trip to Disney. Nicole was surprised to find their driveway decorated with string lights.
“I thought Danny’s mum and step-dad had decorated our house for Christmas,” she told the BBC.
But she quickly realized there was something more going on here:
“Danny took me by the hand and I saw a big tent in our backyard, with our family lined up outside it.”
If Nicole was still wondering what everyone was gathered for, Danny made it clear:
“He said from behind me, ‘You know how much I love you, right?’” she recalled to Inside Edition.
“And then it hit me, ‘Oh my God we’re about to get engaged!'”
“When we walked into the tent I saw more family and friends were there,” she told the BBC. “He brought me into the middle of the tent and proposed, I was so happy, I couldn’t believe it.”
Nicole was stunned—she had no idea Danny was going to propose anytime soon, but was thrilled to accept.
But then, there was a twist.
After greeting their guests, Danny brought Nicole into the house. She assumed her new fiancee just wanted to take a moment and process their engagement—but instead, he dropped a bombshell:
“If you want, I have everything set up to get married.”
This wasn’t just their engagement party—it was, potentially, their wedding. Danny actually had everything prepared: He had a tuxedo, he had bought a dress for Nicole, and his dad had even gotten ordained as a minister that morning and was ready to perform the ceremony.
The guests were only told that this was an engagement party, so there was no pressure for Nicole to say yes if she wanted to wait—but she knew her answer.
“I didn’t need to think about it,” she told BBC. “Suddenly all my jitters and anxiousness went away because I knew I wanted to marry him. I just said yes.”
So they returned to the tent and tied the knot—only 90 minutes after getting engaged!
Of course, having a wedding immediately after getting engaged is pretty unusual (outside Las Vegas at least), but there was actually a very thoughtful reason behind Danny’s idea.
Nicole suffers from lupus, a painful and chronic condition that only gets worse with stress. The long and stressful ordeal of planning a wedding would’ve likely affected Nicole, and after all that work she might’ve ended up sick on her wedding day.
“Stress is not good with lupus,” Nicole explained to the BBC. “I would have been sick the majority of the time, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it.”
“This took all that stress away.”
And Danny says he had a feeling his new wife would be happy with the arrangement:
“Nicole kept on saying how she wanted to have people over for an engagement party and then surprise them with a wedding,” he told ABC News. “So I knew she was OK with a wedding in the backyard.”
And while he was happy to keep Nicole free of unhealthy stress, he found that the whole thing was harder than it looked.
“I give women so much credit for all the planning they do for weddings,” he said.
“I kind of turned into a ‘bridezilla’ during it.”
But it was worth it in the end. Nicole was thrilled with the whole thing, glad to be surrounded by friends and family and a new husband who cared enough to plan everything out. It may have been a short, whirlwind engagement, but it looks like these two are in for a long and happy marriage.
“It was exactly what I would have wanted,” Nicole said.