Surprise Engagement & Surprise WEDDING
surprise Surprise SURPRISE!
I knew we were going away for my birthday…that’s how much Danny had told me. He had made jokes about the cold so I was pretty positive we were going upstate or to Vermont or some ski town. We’ve done that in the past and really enjoy it so I figured that would be it.
Boy was I wrong.
The day before my birthday (Sunday 12/3), I woke up to Danny asking to play 20 questions. Number 18….”we’re not going to Disney World, are we?!” DING DING DING! Ohhhh my goodness! I haven’t been there since I was about five years old so this was the best surprise ever! Our flight was at 7am the next day and I don’t think I had ever been more excited! I sang Disney songs all the way to the airport and wasn’t even (that) scared on the plane because the excitement took over.
We stayed at The Animal Kingdom Lodge (which was amazing), so while waiting for our room to be ready we hung out with some giraffes…totally normal.
I’m in the middle of writing another blog about how great Disney really was and particularly how it worked for me being sick. People have been asking how I felt and how much I was able to do. I never would’ve been able to do or see as much as I did without a wheelchair, a midday nap, and Danny’s help. But it all worked perfectly for us. So that post will be next… 🙂
Fast forward to that Friday (12/8). Danny was being super crazy about making sure we got to bed early the night before and to the airport on time…aka THREE hours early 🙄. I’d way rather sit at the hotel with the animals than in an airport but I just went with it. We were supposed to have dinner plans with my family that night but when we landed at 3:30 I had a text from my mom saying she had a stomach bug and we’d have to reschedule. For a second I hesitated and asked Danny if they were surprising me for dinner and he said no and asked if I wanted Chick Fil A. I never say no to that, so we got some on the way home and ate in the parking lot. Well, if I had any thoughts of a surprise dinner that went out the window then. I couldn’t wait to get home, into comfy clothes and snuggle with my dog.
We pulled into the driveway and I saw a string of lights in the backyard. I automatically asked Danny what was happening and thought his mom and step-dad (who were staying with us watching our dog) decorated for us because I love Christmas. Danny simply replied “it’s not over yet” and opened the door for me and took my hand. We walked down the driveway and when I turned the corner to the backyard I saw a few family members and a huge tent. Insert screaming Nicole. I then thought he threw me a surprise birthday party! What?! I just turned 32! WHY is this guy throwing me a surprise party after a surprise trip to Disney?!
Then it all happened. I saw that our families were lined up next to the tent entrance. I saw my mom put her hands up to her face and start to cry. I saw my dad in a suit. I heard “Fix You” by Coldplay (a song Danny and I love) playing, and Danny whispered from behind me, “you know how much I love you, right?”
Then it hit me.
I’m about to get engaged.
Let’s back up for a second…I didn’t think this was happening for a WHILE. We just got new windows for the whole house and before ordering them, Danny and I had a serious conversation about how this would be delaying any wedding plans. He also flat-out said probably sometime next year we’d get engaged. And I was completely okay with that. So honestly, I did NOT expect this.
Then the waterworks started. I started walking down a path surrounded by family and hugging everyone. Luckily my dad told me to breathe and take it all in which calmed me down, because if he didn’t, I probably would’ve just sobbed the whole time. After seeing all of our immediate family, Danny led me into the tent where all of our closest family and friends were.
He took me into the middle of the tent and after saying some amazing things, got down on one knee and PROPOSED! I was overwhelmed with happiness and couldn’t let go of him 🙂 .
After that surprise, I greeted everyone and was so shocked to see so many people there, even from other states as far as Florida, California and way upstate New York. Everyone came from near and far for my engagement and I felt so so loved. I had to hold my ring hand with my other hand to show people because I was shaking so much!
After saying hi to everyone, Danny asked me to go inside with him for a minute. I figured he wanted a second alone to process what just happened. Little did I know, my night was about to get even crazier.
We sat down on our bed and talked for a bit, and then Danny said if we wanted to, we could get married that night and go to bed with me as his wife. My jaw dropped. He kept saying that we didn’t have to and this could be an engagement party because most people didn’t know about the possibility of a wedding, and he wanted me to be 100% sure. He told me to turn around and I saw a dress and tux hanging up. I just kept saying yes! How could I ever say no to that?! I’m NOT good at planning, nor do I enjoy it. Big events sometimes cause me stress because I’m not sure if lupus or any of my other illnesses will get in the way and prevent me from going. The fact that this incredible man planned EVERYTHING for me so I didn’t have to go through wedding planning stress is indescribable. I kept saying yes and while Danny kept saying “are you SURE because if not we can plan our wedding together”, he finally said ok, let’s do this 🙂 .
A family friend who is a deacon was supposed to marry us but unfortunately he was in the hospital 🙁 , so Danny’s Dad got ordained as a minister and was ready to go! He came in and had a few words with us quickly and then went out to announce to the guests that this would shortly become a WEDDING! With the exception of a few family members who made this possible by helping plan and set everything up while we were in Disney, it was a huge surprise for the guests too!
This has been the question that most people have been asking…how did you get a dress that actually fit you?
My mom had been shopping and eventually went with Danny. They agreed on one they both loved and thought I’d love as well and got it in two sizes. My mom had them hemmed to her height because we are about the same height and that was that! I tried on one dress first and although I probably could’ve made it work, it was a little loose. I tried on the smaller size and the rest is history. It fit perfectly. Someone was definitely watching over us that day making sure everything went flawlessly.
I had my mom, Danny’s mom, our step-moms, photographers (who are great friends) my cousin, and a few lifelong girlfriends allllll in my room helping me get ready. My mom had jewelry and shoes, and my cousin and friends helped with my hair and makeup. Before I knew it (and in a VERY short amount of time), I was a BRIDE!
MAN OF HONOR
My now mother-in-law came up to me while getting ready and said that Danny’s best friend was going to be his best man, and asked if I had a maid of honor. At that point I didn’t even know my own name let alone who my maid of honor would be. She quickly said I didn’t need one and that the best man would just be holding the rings, but I kept thinking about it.
A few minutes later, my brother walked in and asked if he could be my Man of Honor. I was ECSTATIC! I had always talked to him about that in the past because he’s my best friend. We’ve gone through all of the highs and lows in life together and he’s my confidant. So choosing for me and surprising me like that made me the happiest bride to be.
The next thing I knew, my Dad was inside ready to walk me down the aisle and my cousin came in to tell me everyone was ready…so there we went.
We were so intimately surrounded by our family and friends…it was perfect.
One of my favorite parts during the ceremony was that rather than asking if anyone objects, Danny’s dad asked everyone who approves to applaud. Everyone went wild! I have never felt so loved as I did right then. Our closest family and friends were there and the love and support was palpable.
The next thing I knew, we were pronounced husband and wife and we started to celebrate with our loved ones!
Can you say shortest engagement ever? My cousin sent me these amazing time stamped photos…and I realized I never even called Danny my fiance!
Danny danced with his mom and my mom, and I danced with my mom, my dad, and my HUSBAND! Afterwards, our men of honor gave speeches that they had about five seconds to prepare…but they were so absolutely perfect (and hysterical).
I found myself at one point sitting in my living room with my godson, his sister and my little brother…in my wedding gown. All I could think was ‘this is freakin amazing. I’m in my wedding dress hanging out with everyone who I love in my HOME. This could not be any more perfect.’
Around midnight I started to crash. The adrenaline of the night started to wind down and Danny carried me into the house. A group of friends were still over so they played games out in the tent until about two AM until Danny realized what time it was and that we should probably call it a night.
And just like he said, we went to bed as husband and wife that night.
And everything was absolutely perfect.