Arizona Cardinals defensive back Matt Ware met his lady luck Dana when they were just high school seniors and the athletic couple began going steady at the beginning of their freshman year at UCLA. Dana dishes about her fairy tale wedding to her college sweetheart. View photos from Matt and Dana's magical day.
Home State: California
Wedding Date: April 7, 2007
Wedding Location: Biltmore Millennium Hotel, Los Angeles
On the Right Track:Dana and Matt met during their Senior year in high school at a state championship track meet in Sacramento, California. The two ran into each other again in their first week at UCLA. They’ve been together ever since.
Get To Know Ya: “[For our first date] he took me to a Maxwell concert. One of the players on the football team was dating a girl on the track team and we all went together. That was the first concert I’ve ever been to. We played that Maxwell CD out for that whole year,” Dana remembers.
Permission Slip: Matt asked Dana’s mother’s permission before proposing to Dana. Dana’s father passed away in 2002, when Dana was a freshman at UCLA. It was important to her to maintain the tradition of asking for her hand in marriage.
Memory Lane: “He took me to the bluff in Santa Monica. That’s where he took me when we first got together. It looks over the pier and the beach. I kind of suspected that he was going to propose, but I still cried my eyes out. He walked me to a little bench and got down on one knee and told me the whole shpeel about how much he loved me. Of course I couldn’t hear any of it because I was bawling.”
Wedding Day Jitters: When time came for her wedding day, Dana says she stayed calm and collected. She wasn’t nervous because she knew that Matt was the one. The elegant bride’s father loved Matt and that meant a lot to Dana.
Sentimental Moments: “I cried when my aunt read a letter that I wrote in remembrance of my father, my grandmother and my grandfather. For me the hardest thing is that [my dad] wasn’t there to walk my sister or me down the aisle or to see my 14-month-old baby girl. There’s so much that I wish he could see and I cried for that. It was hard, but I new he was there. I also cried when my sister read a poem about sisters that she found and printed out. I carry it in my wallet.”
Here comes the Bride: Dana’s brother walked her through a beautiful iron rod gate and down the aisle and her mother surprised her with a trumpet player and a dover wrangler.
Fairy Tale Ending: “I knew I always wanted to be married and I knew I wanted to be a mom, but I never thought I’d meet my soulmate and the man I was going to marry in my first week of college. A lot of people doubted that it would work. We’ve been together for eight years and we’ve been married a little over two years.”