Matt and Dani’s Wedding Haven

The Master of Ceremonies, Peter Merry, told Matt and Danielle’s love story perfectly, just the way they describe it to people they meet. So here is his version of the story of how they came to be. 

Matt and Danielle’s paths first crossed in September of 2010, Danielle was in Del Rio visiting Ryan & Roberta (her brother and sister-in-law) when they invited her along to a friends “drop night” and that friend turned out to be Matt. Then, one year later in August of 2011, she went back to Texas to see Roberta’s “Drop night” and later on, Matt joined them for a fun day trip to a local water park, Schlitterbahn. 

They were having a good time but then noticed that Ryan and Roberta had ditched them… and that’s when they realized they were being set up. Matt had grown up with the idea that dating your friend’s sister was kind of taboo, so he wasn’t giving this cute girl, Danielle much thought… until they started talking about their love of rock climbing, swimming, hiking, biking, and traveling… and then, sure enough, Danielle had his attention. 

As they said their goodbyes that day, Matt sent Ryan a text joking that said “Who knows, maybe we’ll be related someday?”

Their first date was later that year when they met up in San Diego for dinner at a Moroccan Restaurant and then they walked around La Jolla together. Then it happened, Matt left his sunglasses in Danielle’s car, so he rented a car to drive up to Temecula to see her again… or get his sunglasses back. They met up at Ponte Winery and then went back to her house to watch a few episodes of Firefly!

They were certainly bonding but didn’t officially start dating until December 2012. Then, on Christmas Day, while visiting family on their first Christmas together, at exactly 10:54pm, right after Matt told Danielle that what he really wanted for Christmas was to kiss her… he leaned in, and did just that!

Fast forward to April 3, 2015. Danielle was preparing to move to South Dakota to be with Matt and he was itching to come and visit for Easter. But with all the packing and moving stress, danielle tried to talk him out of coming. 

But Matt had another reason for coming to visit. While they were walking on the beach, Matt suddenly got down one knee and found himself feeling more nervous than when his single engine plane lost power. 

That’s when he took Danielle’s hand as he took out a beautiful diamond engagement ring and he looked into her eyes and said “Danielle, I love you, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. While you Marry Me?”


Coordination: Weddings by Cortney Helaine

Venue: Quail Haven Farms

Photographer & Videographer: Studio 19 Photography

Entertainment/ DJ: Peter Merry Weddings

Desserts: The Crimson Cake

Cocktail and Bar Service: Cocktail Concierge

Florals: BLOOMS by Breesa Lee




Cortney Helaine is the creator of five star event experiences in Orange County and surrounding areas. We are fluent in cultural celebrations and specialize in working with a global clientele that seeks to weave their life stories and imagination into cohesive, multi-cultural events.

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