Dan Ryckert heard the news while waiting in line for the King Kong ride at Universal Studios Orlando.
Amid pouring rain and stalled lines, Ryckert received an email letting him know that Taco Bell had chosen him and his fiancee, Bianca Monda, to be the first couple married in the Taco Bell Chapel in Las Vegas.
They had won the Love and Tacos Contest.
The two look forward to their dream wedding in the restaurant they’ve gone to since they first began dating. For Ryckert’s birthday one year, Monda even took him to a Taco Bell at the beach in Pacifica.
“I'm really looking forward to having this story for the rest of my life,” Ryckert said. “We'll be 60 years old and telling people about the time we won a contest to get married in a Taco Bell.”
Bound by their love for tacos, Ryckert and Monda will be married in the Taco Bell Chapel and will receive an all-expenses-paid trip, complete with Taco Bell catering, wedding photographer, matching Taco Bell wedding t-shirts, a room at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, two tickets for the High Roller Ferris wheel at the LINQ, a private pool cabana at the hotel, a VIP table at Drai’s Nightclub at The Cromwell and time at the Qua Baths and Spa at Caesars Palace.
The two-story Taco Bell Cantina on Las Vegas Boulevard will feature a VIP lounge and a DJ booth, and it will also serve tacos, burritos, and quesadillas.
Ryckert and his fiancee were voted in by friends, family and fans into the top ten contestants.
“My dad yelled ‘holy shit’ a bunch of times and had to pull over his car,” Ryckert said. “My mom kind of laughed and told me that she knew I was going to win. Most of my friends thought it was awesome, but also had that ‘Well, of course you won’ reaction.”
University graduate Dan Ryckert is known for his outlandish stunts — like playing Mario for 50 hours to win a Guinness World Record — and now he's trying to win Taco Bell's "Love and Tacos" contest to get hitched in Las Vegas.
Ryckert, a writer for gaming website Giant Bomb and a Guinness World Record holder, is notorious among his fans for crazy stunts. Monda said most don’t find the win surprising in the least.
“Since I've been with Dan, my life has been so strange and exciting,” Monda said. “My family definitely recognizes that. They probably didn't expect us to win, but they're not very surprised that it happened.”
The two plan to have the wedding in late June, giving themselves ample time to prepare. The two even had backup plans to get married in New Orleans next April right before Wrestlemania, a favorite WWE event of Ryckert’s.
Now, in preparation, Ryckert has been on several conference calls with Taco Bell to settle some of the prep work and get flights for the family. Monda still is deciding on a dress, the invites, and the music, though Taco Bell is handling much of the preparation, Ryckert said.
The two also plan on a honeymoon sometime after the wedding in Las Vegas, which is still being planned.
“The honeymoon will come for sure,” Monda said. “But this entire thing has been such a whirlwind, I'm sure we're just going to chill out for a while before going on another trip.”
Monda is excited about the wedding, and to indulge in her favorite Taco Bell menu item.
“[I’m looking forward to] the marrying Dan,” Monda said. “And the Fiery Doritos Locos Tacos.”
— Edited by Casey Brown