Daniela and Matthew

Image 1 of Daniela and Matthew

How We Met

The number one question we always get asked- How did you two meet? And I always respond, how long do you have. I am originally from Recife, Brazil, having relocated to Fort Lauderdale, Florida at the age of 8. Matthew born and raised in the United Kingdom. We met in Jerusalem, Israel. Most people scratch their heads at this point, even we find it amazing that we found each other across different continents and time zones. I had been doing an internship at one of the hospitals in Jerusalem, and Matt was completing his Gap year- doing an archeological dig in the City of David. Matthew ended up living in the same apartment as the other people in my program. One day, I got home from work, and all the girls were gushing about the cutest British chap, with the most amazing accent.

Image 2 of Daniela and Matthew

Of course, I had to check things out myself. We met, the second week he was there, and from the minute we met- I knew we were bound to be in each other’s lives forever. For the next 3 weeks, we were inseparable. However, neither of us were in a place for a relationship, and thus our friendship blossomed and grew. Over the next 7 years, we would write handwritten letters to each other, send gifts from vacations we took, and keep in touch over facebook messenger. I even managed to spend Christmas and New Years with his family in 2012. If you ask Matthew, he had loved me from that first meeting in Israel. For me, I was blind to his true feelings. It didn’t help that he was extremely shy and soft-spoken when we first met. We both, continued with our lives, dating other people, and living separate lives.

Image 3 of Daniela and Matthew

In April 2018, I was planning a vacation to the UK for that November. I immediately called Matt and asked if he would like to join me, and he immediately jumped at the chance. It had been 6 years since we had seen each other, but the moment we laid eyes on each other in Edinburgh, Scotland- I knew I was in trouble. We spent the most magical 6 days together, and by the final day, I knew I had to share with him how I felt. On our last night, after the help of some “Dutch Courage”, I just kissed him and told him I loved him, and the rest is history.

Image 4 of Daniela and Matthew

how they asked

Being in a long distance relationship means we spend more time on airplanes or facetime than together in one place. We hadn’t seen each other in about 2 months, though we have spoken every single day, since Scotland in November. We had talked about getting engaged, and I knew he had purchased a ring- which he designed by himself, but I didn’t know anything about his plans. Every day I was in England, I woke up to a handwritten letter telling me why he loved me and the itinerary for that day. First few days, he had to work, but he booked a manicure and pedicure at this amazing spa for me. On March 26, I woke up to the sweetest letter, which told me to pack up for the day- we were going on an adventure. We drove one hour, to Pendle Hill- a place we had visited together in 2012 when I visited with his family.

Image 5 of Daniela and Matthew

He told me we were going for a walk, and I just got involved in the beauty of the day (A rare occurrence in England) and forgot all about it. Needless to say, the “walk” turned into a >500 ft climb up to the top of Pendle Hill. By the time I reached the top, both of us were out of breath and tired. The view, however, was outstanding. The day was sunny and clear- and we could see a 360 view of the area- filled with rolling hills, farms, and animals. I kept asking him to take pictures, completely unaware, Matt was trying to get on one knee. After a few minutes, I turned around to find Matt on one knee.

Image 6 of Daniela and Matthew

I immediately ran to his side, thinking he wasn’t feeling well or out of breath or something. It took me a few seconds to realize what was going on. I don’t quite remember what happened, but all I heard was- Will you marry me? I said “Yes” and he showed me the most beautiful ring I have ever seen. Matthew told me that the pearl was something he had acquired when he was 8 years old. Even at that age, he determined that he would only give this pearl to the woman he would marry. The most amazing moment was sharing this special day with his entire family at a special dinner they had planned for us. We are so excited for this new phase and journey- And that I get to spend the rest of my life with the man of my dreams.

Image 7 of Daniela and Matthew

Special Thanks

Thaise Hygino
 | Photographer