Vanessa and Daniel
How We Met
Daniel and I are both originally from Los Angeles, CA. My family moved to Texas in 1998 to provide better opportunities for my siblings and I. Daniel and his family moved to Texas in 2001 for the same opportunities. Our paths crossed when we both set off to college at the University of Texas at San Antonio. During my time in college, I joined a latina based sorority by the name of Sigma Lambda Alpha Sorority, Inc in the Spring of 2010. In the Fall of 2011, Daniel joined a latino based fraternity by the name of Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity. It was then with our involvement in the greek community at UTSA that we met. Immediately, I felt a connection to Daniel. After experiencing a very difficult past relationship, Daniel gave me hope, a hope I feared I would never find when it came to love. He did not know it at the time but he helped me heal, because of him, I could feel myself slowly becoming the me I have always dreamed of being. We remained friends for about two years and helped one another through the struggles and accomplishments that college brings. We were both first-generation college graduates in our family, the very reason that brought both of our families to Texas. On May 31st, 2014, Daniel and I became official and my life has been nothing but love and happiness since.
How He Asked
Daniel and I travel often back to Los Angeles as we still consider it our home. This year we planned a trip in August to Los Angeles with my family. It was supposed to be just an ordinary family vacation which we have taken time and time again. The first stop on our vacation was, of course, my favorite, Disneyland. Little did I know that after spending an entire day at the happiest place on earth the next day I would be experiencing the happiest moment of my life. The next day, Friday, August 4th, 2017, I woke up and got ready for what was supposed to be a relaxing day in the city. My family had convinced me that we would be going to dinner with a family friend of my parents later that evening. I had absolutely no idea what they all had up their sleeves, sure enough, as the evening approached I began to get ready for our dinner.
My best friend who had secretly convinced me a month ahead of time that she was going to be in town with her boyfriend for a concert, decided to stop by as I was getting ready for our dinner. (I know what you’re thinking, how did I not suspect anything? I have no idea- I was on vacation mode and absolutely oblivious lol) As my best friend and I were catching up, my father walked in and said: “they’re running a bit late for dinner, why don’t you and Mayra go catch up and I will pick you up on the way.” Immediately, my best friend replied with, “I saw this really nice museum on the way here and it’s just down the street we can go there.” I instinctively agreed, and off we went.
We arrived at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where they have the beautiful light posts outside. We took pictures, walked around, and caught up as I forgot to mention that my best friend now lives in New Mexico and is why we don’t see one another as often anymore. Suddenly, my best friend asked me, “do you trust me?” I replied with, “Yes, of course” (very nervously might I add) she then said, “I’m going to blindfold you”. At this moment, I agreed and my heart began to race. I kept telling myself “could this be it?’, “is this really happening?”, “there are so many people out here, there is no way this is happening here?”, “Maybe it’s something else?”.
My best friend proceeded to walk me a couple steps ahead until we stopped at a certain spot. She held my hands and I held onto her’s for dear life, I could feel the emotions moving up my body and into my chest. The next thing she said was, “when I tell you, I need you to take off the blindfold and turn around.” I nodded. That’s when I heard it. The violinist began to play “La Vie en Rose”, which is Daniel and I’s song. I turn around and there he is the man of my dreams, in my favorite black suit, getting down on one knee. I immediately begin to cry and in my mind, I begin to replay the past three years of our relationship in my head as I look down and see the most beautiful ring in his hand. I’m absolutely taken back with so many emotions as he looks me in my eyes as his eyes fill with tears and says: “I’ve been waiting a long time to do this, you are my best friend and the love of my life, what better place to ask you this question than in the city we call our home, Vanessa Ustariz, will you marry me?”. I looked into his eyes and replied with, “YES!”.
He took me into his arms and I could hear the crowd cheering as people had stopped to witness this very moment with us. I turned around and saw my family, my mother with tears in her eyes. I was over the moon. Daniel thought of every detail from hiring the violinist to play our song, to hiring his fraternity brother who lives in Los Angeles to capture the moment for us, to the exact time the sun went down, and having my family there to witness it all! It was more than I could’ve ever imagined, it was the perfect proposal. I love you, Daniel Enciso-Rios with every bit of me; you are my best friend and my biggest blessing.