The 2-hour Engagement That Will Have You Crying

File this one under #sweetAF or #relationshipGoals. A New York man did what too many people in Vegas have regretted the next morning – he got engaged and married in the same night. What makes this story inspirational rather than cautionary are the reasons why Danny Rios wanted to keep his engagement so short.

It turns out that his girlfriend, Nicole, suffers from lupus, an autoimmune disease that can cause fatigue, pain, and a number of other unpleasant symptoms. The condition is aggravated by stress, and if you’ve ever been part of planning a wedding, you know that brides are some of the most stressed-out people on the planet.

So Danny spent more than five months planning the perfect proposal, wedding, and reception for Nicole so that she wouldn’t have to worry about any of it.

The bride couldn’t have been more surprised. The couple had discussed marriage, but Nicole thought it was at least a year away.

In fact, until Danny went down on one knee, she thought she was being thrown a surprise birthday party.

After Nicole accepted his proposal, Danny took her aside and told her what else he had prepared, making sure she was okay with doing it all in one night.

Still somewhat stunned by the proposal, Nicole simply nodded her head in agreement. “I kept saying yes while Danny kept saying ‘are you SURE because if not we can plan our wedding together.’” Once he was 100% sure Nicole wanted the wedding to happen that night, he finally said “Ok, let’s do this.”

And Nicole wasn’t the only one surprised that this engagement party was about to turn into a wedding. Here’s Danny’s father announcing what was in store for those gathered:

So two hours after the proposal, Danny and Nicole were married by Danny’s father, who had become ordained just for the occasion; Nicole’s brother stood by as her man of honor.

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So how did he pull it off? Let’s break down all the many ways Danny Rios wins #FianceOfTheYear.

The Ring

As you can imagine, we at Ritani are obsessed with engagement rings – especially the thought that goes behind them. We asked Nicole for some details on the ring and here’s what she said:

“My husband actually told me he designed it. I had no idea he’d go that far! He first picked out the diamond. And it took him a while to find a setting (the only thing he knew was that I wanted it to be simple), and when he finally found it, he said, ‘that’s the one!’.”

Nicole actually hadn’t even thought about the type of ring she wanted. “Danny told me he wanted to be old-fashioned and pick it out himself. It came from his heart. I never thought I could love a piece of jewelry this much!”

As for sizing, Nicole had tried on rings from a couple of friends this year and he and her mother had overheard the size. Danny was nervous about the ring size, but it turned out to be a perfect fit.

He also picked out the wedding rings which Nicole saw for the first time during their ceremony.

Here’s a pic of the beautiful ring and matching band:


Hats off to Danny for choosing a gorgeous diamond and pairing it with a setting he knew Nicole would love.

Use Ritani’s ring advisor tool to find the perfect ring for your bride-to-be.

The Dress


Photo by Stephanie Scapellati

Danny recruited Nicole’s mom to help pick out the wedding dress. Knowing her style, they bought the same dress in two sizes, hemming them to fit Nicole’s mom who is the same height. Such forethought proved to be invaluable: the dress fit Nicole perfectly.

The Venue

They had discussed having a backyard wedding before, so Danny knew Nicole would be okay with it. He left detailed instructions for her friends and family to set everything up so he could take her on a birthday vacation and propose when they returned home.

He told ABC News, “I give women so much credit for all the planning they do for weddings. I kind of turned into a ‘bridezilla’ during it.”

Lupus Awareness

Both Danny and Nicole Rios hope that the attention their wedding receives drives much-needed attention to lupus.

“We want anyone anyone who has it to know that if you have lupus, it’s a crummy disease, but you can still find happiness,” Danny Rios said. “It’s out there. Don’t stop looking.”

Their simple backyard wedding may not have had engraved invitations, over-the-top floral arrangements, or multiple bridesmaids and groomsmen – but it had the most important things: friends, family, and love.

We wish them all the best.

Ready to write your own love story? Shop engagement rings now.