Danielle and Matthew


How We Met

The story about how Matt and I met is nothing crazy, besides that we have lived in the same town in South Jersey for all of our lives and have almost all of the same friends, but had somehow never crossed paths (or even heard of each other) up until 4 years ago. I was a junior in college at Philadelphia University, and made a last minute decision to come home for the weekend to go out with my friends from home. We went to a local bar (while underaged), where my best friend Nicole happened to run into a group of people that she knew, Matt being one of them. We wound up sharing a table with them all night, and Matt and I talked for a while, realizing that we have so many friends in common. We separated from our friends and talked until the bar closed. We exchanged numbers at the end of the night, and haven’t gone a day without talking to each other since.

We went on a few dates, he commuted to my college almost every other day in his beaten down pick-up truck to come see me, and we started officially dating about a month after we met. Since then, I have graduated (twice), we’ve moved in together, started our careers, traveled a lot, and now we’re engaged!

how they asked

So Matt and I were traveling around Italy on a vacation with my whole family, that had been planned for about a year in advance. It was a 2 week vacation traveling through Venice, Florence, Rome and Sorrento with my parents, brother, sister, and grandparents. I had just graduated with my master’s degree in occupational therapy, found out that I had passed my national boards, AND it was my birthday, so we already had a lot to celebrate.


We were on our third stop in Rome, and had just gone to dinner with the whole family at a cute little restaurant near our hotel to celebrate my birthday. The Trevi Fountain was one of the places in Rome that I was most excited to see, and I had been asking if we could go at night to see the fountain all lit up because I heard it was a must-see…plus I was obsessed with the tradition of throwing a coin into the fountain over your left shoulder “for good luck and to ensure a trip back to Rome in your lifetime”. So Matt, my brother, sister, and myself all go to the Trevi Fountain that night after dinner. It was beyond crowded, and Matt isn’t too fond of crowds.

So I dragged him to the ledge of the fountain, and had my brother and sister take some pictures of us while we threw our coins into the fountain and posed for a couple of pictures. Once I thought we were done taking a picture, I began to walk away towards my brother and sister, when Matt pulled my hand and said “wait, one more picture” (which is so not like him to want more pictures). I was confused, and came back for another picture when he got down on one knee in front of everyone, pulled a ring out of his pocket, and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him.


Everyone at the fountain, of all nationalities, was cheering.

propsal 4

I was in shock, and honestly can’t even remember anything else that he said, but of course my answer was YES!

proposal 2

My whole family was in on it, and knew it was happening while we were in Italy. We went back to our hotel room, and my parents had sent up a congratulatory bottle of champagne on ice and a cake…which said “happy birthday” on it, just incase Matt chickened out that night, lol.

ring w: champagne

Needless to say, the rest of our trip was a celebration and one that I will never forget. Italy, especially Rome & The Trevi Fountain, forever holds a special place in my heart.

ring w. champagne 2





Our Video

The proposal... Still crying 😍

Posted by Danielle Evans Catalano on Thursday, June 9, 2016

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