Exclusive: 'The Valley' Stars Danny Booko and Nia Sanchez Share the Secret to Their Marriage

Including how being on Bravo has only made them stronger.
Danny Booko and Nia Sanchez from The Valley
Photo: Getty Images,Design: Falak Khoja
sarah hanlon entertainment and celebrity editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
sarah hanlon entertainment and celebrity editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
Entertainment & Celebrity Editor
  • Sarah is the Entertainment & Celebrity Editor for The Knot, with special focuses on pop culture and celebrity wedding news.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Sarah was a contributing writer for Bravo at NBC Universal.
  • Sarah has a degree in journalism and resides in New York City.
Updated Jun 03, 2024

If you, like so many of us, have fallen in love with The Valley on Bravo, you'll probably agree that Nia Sanchez and Danny Booko are one of Los Angeles' most endearing couples. The former Miss USA and actor (who you might recognize from some of your favorite childhood shows, like The O.C, Hannah Montana, and The Suite Life of Zack & Cody) star in Bravo's latest hit franchise alongside iconic personalities like Jax Taylor, Brittany Cartwright, and Kristen Doute, plus newcomers Jason and Janet Caperna.

A spinoff of Vanderpump Rules, the reality series documents couples as they navigate marriage, parenthood and friendship—and while the drama certainly doesn't disappoint, Bravo fans are unanimous in their opinion that Danny and Nia are one of The Valley's strongest duos. So, what's the secret to their marriage? And how has their family life evolved since being on reality TV? Ahead of The Valley's season one finale, we caught up with the Bookos to chat about their charming love story...including what you don't get to see on TV.

In this article:

How Danny Booko and Nia Sanchez Met

If you're wondering how Danny Booko and Nia Sanchez met, even they have conflicting answers. "There are two versions to this story," Booko tells The Knot. According to him, they met at an engagement party for mutual friends. "I remember seeing Nia from across the room, and I turned to my friend and said, 'Oh my gosh, that's one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen in my life.'"

Later in the evening, Booko recalls introducing himself to her…but Sanchez doesn't share the memory. Luckily, fate intervened a few weeks later when they crossed paths at a church where Booko was volunteering. "I was a greeter at the door. I saw her walk in, and I said 'That's Nia Sanchez,' because I had been stalking her on Facebook for the last three months," he laughs.

After re-introducing himself, Sanchez was sure to say goodbye before she left. During the exchange, Sanchez mentioned a book club she and her friend were organizing. "I remember Daniel asking, 'Is your book club co-ed or is it just girls?'" she smiles, insinuating it was mostly for women. "But I was like, 'The more the merrier!'"

Inside Danny Booko and Nia Sanchez's Engagement

Ultimately, the couple had their first date before the book club meeting. Booko invited Sanchez on a hike to Runyon Canyon in LA, which he says is more like an Instagram haven than a demanding hiking trail. "I wanted to seal the deal right away and make sure she knew what she was dealing with," he jokes, "So I took my shirt off, she got on one knee and proposed and the rest is history."

In actuality, it didn't take long for the couple to get serious. "After a few months, we were pretty inseparable and knew that things were moving very quickly," Booko recalls. Although they agreed that an engagement and marriage were definitely in the cards, Sanchez wanted to focus on her next pageant before taking a major step in her relationship. She was crowned Miss Nevada in January 2014 and went on to win Miss USA in June—and she never expected Booko to propose during her reign.

The moment happened on October 4, 2014, during a girls' trip to New York City. Booko schemed with her friends to convince Sanchez she had to stop by an "industry event" at the NoMad hotel—but when she walked into the terrace suite, she discovered a candle-lit room covered in rose petals with Booko waiting on one knee. "It was a total surprise," Sanchez says. "It was so special to have some of my closest friends there."

Danny Booko and Nia Sanchez's Wedding Details

With the Miss Universe competition coming up, Sanchez wanted to enjoy being engaged throughout her pageant prep. Since Miss USA titleholders reside in New York during their reign, Sanchez dedicated her trips home to the West Coast to accomplish wedding planning tasks. (At the time, she even opened up to The Knot about her wedding vision!)

One of their first tasks was securing their venue. After touring a handful of properties, the to-be-weds fell in love with the Temecula Creek Inn, a 300-acre farm property in Southern California wine country. The only problem? Availability was limited, and one of the only dates that worked was Booko's birthday: October 17, 2015. "I'll never forget my anniversary," he laughs.

With enchanting details like chandeliers suspended from trees and lush rolling greenery, the couple allowed the venue's natural, rustic charm to inspire the aesthetic of their event. "I wanted it to be a romantic, whimsical fairytale," Sanchez says.

How The Valley Has Strengthened Danny and Nia's Marriage

After nearly 10 years of marriage, Booko and Sanchez have since welcomed three children together: son Asher and twin daughters Isabelle and Zariah. "It's been incredible watching Daniel become a dad," Sanchez says. "When we were engaged and wedding planning, he was always talking about how he wanted kids right away. From the day that Asher was born, he's been the best dad ever."

While the couple never imagined they'd find themselves on reality TV, a little persuasion from their friend Jax Taylor encouraged them to sign on to The Valley. "Jax absolutely bamboozled me, saying that it was going to be fun with no drama," Booko quips.

Bravo's The Valley cast
Photo: Felix Kunze/Gizelle Hernandez/Bravo / Getty Images

Considering their twins were only five weeks old when filming began, the couple took a leap of faith by allowing cameras into their home to capture their journey as parents of three under the age of two. "Up until the day we began filming, we were like, 'Should we do this?'" Booko remembers. "Nia just gave birth and we were completely sleep-deprived. But we knew our marriage. Our foundations are strong, communication being one of them. [The show] really strengthened us."

Sanchez agrees, saying that being on The Valley has further improved their communication skills. "Reality television speeds up and condenses experiences," she explains. "We checked in [with each other] even more than we normally do, and we're already pretty good at that."

The series also chronicled Sanchez's experience with postpartum depression, which she says she didn't experience with her firstborn. "I wasn't expecting that to be a part of our story," she says. "But we had already decided that we were going to share whatever our life experience was for the season, so I couldn't hide it. But I sure did try sometimes, because nobody wants to cry on TV."

Instead, she says, she's grateful that her raw honesty allowed her to connect with thousands of mothers going through similar experiences. "I'm grateful because I've had so many experiences with people on social media who've said that me sharing my story helped them identify and communicate what they're going through," she continues.

With season two of The Valley officially confirmed, the couple is excited for fans to continue following their journey—which *may* include an appearance from the fated ranch bottle costume (IYKYK) and a potential move to Santa Clarita. ("We haven't found a new place!" Sanchez says. "We're still looking.")

One thing that's certain, though, is that the two haven't lost sight of the key to their romance. "We have a lot of fun together, and I think that's something that keeps our marriage happy and interesting," Sanchez says. Adds her husband: "It's all about being a team. We say 'Team Booko' every day."

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