Danielle and Nikko

Image 1 of Danielle and Nikko

How We Met

Nikko and I first met in high school in 2002. We went to different high schools- I was a sophomore and he was a freshman. I actually knew Nikko’s older brother first. My best friend’s mom also knew Nikko and insisted I meet him. So I did. He came over to my house and saw me eating McDonald’s with my braces in my school uniform on the couch. He will never let me forget this.

Nikko and I went on a few “group” dates to the Galleria and the Marketplace- no where beyond the borders of Glendale, California. He asked me to his Homecoming Dance and that night he asked me to be his girlfriend. Unfortunately, we broke up my senior year. However, he kept coming around. He even attended my high school graduation with my family. That’s how I knew this guy wasn’t going away easily.

I moved to San Francisco for my first year of college while Nikko remained in Glendale. We would keep in touch here and there but nothing crazy. After my freshman year of college, I returned home. I spent a year at home and then moved away again to Tucson, Arizona to finish up college. Meanwhile, Nikko still remained in California…

10 years passed, and somehow Nikko managed to pop back into my life while I was still in Arizona in 2012. There were plenty of discussions and a lot of speculation before we decided to truly commit and give it another try. One thing remained clear, however- we were still very much in love. We dated long distance for a little over a year and survived on FaceTime conversations while racking up airline mileage… All of this came to an end when he eventually helped me move back to California in 2014. We’ve been inseparable since!

how they asked

Danielle: I still can’t believe he pulled it off.
So we share a love for Justin Bieber, and for Christmas last year Nikko got us tickets to his concert in Glendale, Arizona. I was so excited because, first, Justin Bieber and secondly, we finally get to go back to Arizona. Back where it all (re)began. This so happened to fall during my spring break so we decided we would make a vacation out of it.

Fast forward to March 29. It was finally here! Our long-awaited road trip to Arizona (and Bieber concert). We drove out to Arizona after Nikko got off of work. Everything was normal- he wasn’t acting funny, he wasn’t being weird, he was still singing and dancing with me as he normally would on any drive. We finally arrived at our hotel, got settled, and started getting ready for dinner. He said he made reservations for us at a restaurant by our favorite place in Scottsdale- the Watergate. I didn’t think anything of it. I figured it was the first night of our long-awaited Arizona trip and he wanted to enjoy a nice dinner together.

Nikko: Well, I always knew I was going to marry Danielle. As I was thinking of how to go about asking her to marry me, I knew Arizona was the place to do it. It was where we (re)started everything. Scottsdale was our getaway city. The Watergate was our favorite spot to go to in the still of the night. It was always so nicely decorated and lit up- there was no other better place.

Back in November, I asked our friend if he was willing to capture this special moment. Without hesitation, he and his girlfriend excitedly accepted. The planning was on…

Fast forward to March 29. Four of our friends flew to Arizona the morning of March 29. They scoped out the canals and gave me the green light. On our drive to Scottsdale, I was nervous and excited but trying not to show it. We arrived, got ready, and headed to dinner. Again, really nervous.

Danielle: Dinner was normal… except for the fact that Nikko chugged his Patron quite fast.

Nikko: I was so nervous that I had no appetite, but I had to pretend or else Danielle was going to know something was up.

Danielle: After dinner, our plans were to go to the bars. As we exited the restaurant, Nikko asked if we can take a walk around the canals first. Excitedly, I agreed. This was our ultimate favorite spot in Scottsdale- we couldn’t NOT walk around. We started to walk up the bridge- one side of the canal wasn’t lit so we walked to the other side. This side of the canal was beautifully decorated and illuminated by water lights.

We see a corner of the bridge that was decorated with tealights and rose petals. I couldn’t stop commenting on how pretty it looked. Nikko, on the other hand, said, “Look! It looks like someone died here.” (If you know us, this was typical Nikko making an inappropriate joke which he claims was an attempt to “throw me off”.) While I hesitantly walked to the beautifully decorated section, he says, “You know you’re my best friend, right?” This was amidst the nonstop laughter between the both of us. And then it happened, he asked me to marry him.

Nikko: I was excited and nervous and a little tipsy. I couldn’t stop laughing. I finally dropped to my knee and asked her to marry me.

Danielle: Our friends popped out from around the corner, and I couldn’t believe it! They were present for this special moment to share in our celebration and to capture this special time in our lives. On a Tuesday?! Now, that’s love.

Image 2 of Danielle and Nikko

Image 3 of Danielle and Nikko

Image 4 of Danielle and Nikko

Special Thanks

Nate Vidal
 | Photographer
Erica Castillo
 | Creative Director