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Woman Given Surprise Wedding Only Minutes After Being Proposed To

Stephanie Scapellati

A woman from New York was surprised with her dream wedding only minutes after she was proposed to.

Following a trip to Disneyland, Nicole Cafagna noticed a string of lights draped across the backyard. When she asked her then-boyfriend Danny Rios about the new decorations, he just said "there was going to be much more to see."

"I had no idea what was going on, I was trying to get our bags out of the car and he told me to leave them all," Carfagna told PEOPLE. "He opened the door for me, took my hand and led me into the backyard."

Carfagna entered the backyard and saw her entire family and friends standing in front of a tent. Originally believing she was stepping into a surprise birthday party, Carfagna quickly realized the festivities were for a marriage proposal when she saw her father dressed in a suit and her mother in tears. Then her favorite song, "Fix You," by Coldplay came on.

"I was shocked, it was the biggest surprise and the most shocked I have ever been in my life!" Carfagna said. "I started to well up and cry, and luckily my dad told me to take a breath, and take it all in. If he didn’t, I probably would have been sobbing the entire time."

But that wasn't the only surprise of the night. Following their engagement, Rios took his fiancée aside and told her he had another surprise up his sleeve.

On Dec. 8, Rios announced he planned a surprise wedding ceremony for the same night.

"I was shocked, and I was so happy. All of the shakiness went away," Nicole said. "I felt like that calmed me down - I knew I was going to be marrying him."

For the past six years, Carfagna has been suffering from lupus, a chronic inflammatory disease that causes the immune system to attack its own healthy tissues. Rios knew his beloved's condition would make it difficult for her to plan the wedding, so he took the reins for her.

"I’ve missed holidays and a ton of things because I’ve been sick," Carfagna explained. "I was so happy, and I was ready to marry him. I was just happy and not nervous anymore. He gave me this incredible option, to just take all of the stress away from me and he took all the stress on himself."

With Rios's father acting as an ordained minister, having picked out a wedding dress with his mother-in-law, and having Carfagna's brother act as "man of honor," everything had fallen perfectly into place.

"It was the most amazing night of my life," Carfagna said. "It was so low key, and we were just intimately surrounded by the people who care about us the most. It was perfect. It was perfect, and I wouldn’t have changed a thing for the world."

Carfagna hopes those who also live with lupus will find inspiration in her story and never give up on finding someone special.

"It's scary being sick, especially being single and thinking that you might not find someone who understands it. If you have lupus or any other illness, or even if you’re single, you can have a fairy tale, and it can work out," she said. "Just because you’re sick, doesn’t mean you can’t be happy."

What was your wedding like? Tell us in the comments!

Maya has been working at Shared for a year. She just begrudgingly spent $200 on a gym membership. Contact her at maya@shared.com