Kevin Jonas' relationship doesn't get a lot of play.
Between younger brother Joe Jonas' effortlessly cool marriage to Sophie Turner (how many people do you know that could turn the Billboard Awards into the opening act for their surprise Vegas vows?) and youngest sibling Nick Jonas' whirlwind romance and elaborate wedding(s) to wife Priyanka Chopra, people tend to forget that the Jonas Brothers' elder statesman locked down his forever more than a decade ago.
Though turning just 33 on Nov. 5, the boy bander-turned-contractor-turned-boy bander once more will celebrate his 11th anniversary with bride Danielle Jonas this December, the two having quietly built up their version of the American dream with two kids and a giant house in the New Jersey suburbs. The Essex County spread is their fourth custom mansion in as many years, proving both that it pays to marry a contractor and that for the pair, home is wherever they land with daughters Alena, 6, and Valentina, 4.
These days, of course, they've been spending a lot of time together as a unit, but whenever Jonas Brothers' duties drag him away, Kevin is apt to leave some love notes behind for the 34-year-old.
So, yeah, this Jonas romance may just be a touch underrated.
And to think it may not have come to pass if a certain New Jersey hairdresser didn't have a fondness for flowers.
The two crossed paths when they found themselves vacationing with their respective families at the same Bahamian resort in May 2007. Kevin, then two years into his role as eldest Jo Bro and guitarist was instantly taken with Danielle (née Deleasa).
"When I first met her, it was a quick interaction," he recalled to PR.com in 2012." When I saw her the next day, I noticed she had a flower in her hair and it was all done up and pretty, and I thought, 'Gosh, every time I see Danielle, her hair looks so pretty, it's like someone did it.' And she was the one who always did it. It just looked like she always took care of herself. She always presented herself in a good way, and that just really attracted me. It was an attraction at first sight."
Score one for hairstylists.
The pop star asked the then-19-year-old if she'd like to hang out, the start of many a fairytale. Except in this version, the protagonist had no idea who Prince Charming even was.
"At the time, it was early enough in our career that we weren't really in a place where people were coming up to us," he recalled to PR.com, the group months away from releasing the self-titled second album that would make them a household name. "That was before the Hannah Montana episode, before our TV show, and before all of it happened with Disney. Then things started to change with the Jonas Brothers, but it was not anywhere near what it was about to become."
So he needed to put in the work to charm the teenager, he continued: "When I met Danielle, I was the one that was pursuing her most of the time and I didn't want her out of my sight. She actually ran away twice."
The way she saw it, Danielle explained, was that she had limited time on her trip and she wasn't about to fritter it away with some guy who lives thousands of miles away in L.A. "I'm never going to see this kid again, so why would I spend time away from my family while we're on vacation?" she recalled thinking. "I was like, 'Why should I waste my time?'"
And so Kevin came up with the first of many plans to surprise his gal, getting her phone number from her older sister, determining which flight she was taking back to the States and calling as soon as she landed. "You know how you're supposed to meet somebody and call like two or three days later?" he shared with Glamour in 2012. "Well, I cyberstalked her after we met and cyberstalked to see what flight she was going to be on coming home, and then I called her the minute she landed. That might have been a little overboard, but I just went for it."
Obviously it worked. Within six months, Kevin's younger brothers were referring to Danielle as his wife, in a sweet moment captured for posterity in their 2019 doc Chasing Happiness. And not too long after that, he was pulling together an even more elaborate ruse, flying directly from a July 2009 concert in Vancouver to appear on bended knee at her New Jersey doorstep, three-carat cushion-cut Jacob & Co diamond ring in hand.
"It was tough performing last night, knowing that I was going to ask the biggest question in my life to the most amazing girl in the world," he admitted to People. But the element of surprise worked, Danielle saying, "I didn't see the ring for a while because I couldn't believe what he just asked me." Her answer, though, was never in doubt. Joked Kevin, "She said 'yes, yes, yes,' like 500 times super fast in a row."
Eager to get on with the start of their happily ever after, the duo pulled together their vows—held, appropriately at a castle on New York's Long Island—in just five months. Some 400 guests turned out (in a blizzard) to see Danielle brave the chill in a strapless tulle and Chantilly lace Vera Wang ball gown, a silk-and-crystal flower in her updo, a nod to their first meeting.
"So many people have said that to us, like, 'You're so young, why the rush to get married?'" he told PR.com, "but honestly, from the minute we met to the minute we got married, we wanted to do things our way."
Their wedding coinciding with an extended Jonas Brothers break, they decided their way would involve living that reality TV life, the pair agreeing to feature their early years of marriage on E!'s Married to Jonas.
At their five-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bath domicile (complete with wine cellar and 3-D home theater) Danielle was privy to the occasional spontaneous serenade. "Especially when he's not watching his TV show, [but] I'm watching mine," she joked to PR.com. But the couple were more likely to be found hanging out with the TV on. (She was partial to Say Yes to the Dress; he preferred Suits and Duck Dynasty.)
"We live in a pretty interesting world, and have a lot of great things going on, but we always find time to take care of our family and be with each other," Kevin said of their motivation to invite cameras in. For Danielle, "I'd like people to know who I really am, because people read things and think they know my personality or what I'm about, or why I married Kevin. I just hope people see who I really am and really love him for who he is as Kevin, and not Kevin from the Jonas Brothers."
Still, she was happy to play the supportive role publicly, fans apt to gush about how lucky she was to lock down a Jo Bro, because she knew her husband appreciated what she brought to the table as well. "We work so well," she explained. "I don't need for everyone to know me, or to know me as much as they know him. I feel like, I just want to see his goals come out and his career be huge. It doesn't bother me, because I want it to be about him."
Also, for the record, as Kevin said, "I know I'm very lucky."
For two straight seasons, they put that on display, inviting viewers in as they shared vacations to Italy, took family camping trips, ate home-cooked fare courtesy of Chef Kevin and, yes, made a few missteps.
"The other night, there was an episode where me and Dani got into a little bit of an argument and I watched it back and I'm like, 'Yeah, I'm a jerk in this moment!'" Kevin admitted to E! News in 2013. "In those moments you kind of realize, 'You know what? It's okay, though', because you have those moments. Everybody does. Maybe you're a little selfish that day; maybe you want something and it can't happen but you don't want to take no for an answer. Everybody has those moments and you just have to be okay with being open and showing it."
When the show wrapped in mid-2013, right around the time the Jonas Brothers were canceling tour dates, citing a "deep rift within the band," the couple seemed content to put their years of living publicly behind them to go about starting a family.
As Nick was trying his hand at acting—landing the role of closeted MMA fighter Nate Kulina in DirecTV's Kingdom—and life as a solo act and Joe was having "Cake By the Ocean" with DNCE, Kevin quietly built up his own construction business, Jonas Werner Fine Custom Homes, most fans not even realizing what he was up to until he turned up on The Real Housewives of New Jersey as Kathy Wakile's real life contractor.
He and Danielle—now designing "dainty and timeless" pieces for her eponymous jewelry collection—occasionally traded on their fame, like the time they secured their daughters a spot to ride with the PAW Patrol blimp at the 2018 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. "The minute I got the phone call to be part of this with PAW Patrol, it was a no-brainer," he told Access Hollywood. "My daughters are huge fans and the parade is a huge tradition for us in our family. Being able to enjoy that with my daughters is so exciting and very cool."
But mostly their life was made up of the standard fare you might find in any home with two young kids: Danielle dropping her eldest off for her first day of kindergarten, Dad taking charge on weekend mornings to give Mom a break. "It's just us," he told USA Today's All the Moms of their Saturday tradition. "And we get to chill."
On some level, his kids understood that their breakfast bagels were coming courtesy of a one-time pop star. "They've seen images, they've seen videos, but I don't think they actually get it," he told E! News in 2018. "And that's OK with me. I have a dream of them one day being able to get it all."
That wish came true some four months later, when the Jonas Brothers announced that they'd found their way back to each other in the six years since they announced their breakup and were ready to take their act back on the road.
Soon Danielle found herself alongside actual actresses Chopra and Turner, filming the band's "Sucker" music video. "I was honored," she told Page Six, explaining how her J Sisters tribe helped her through it. "It was nerve-wracking because I'm just shy; I don't do that stuff. Pri and Sophie are out in the public and they do movies. I was so nervous about standing next to them but everyone was so sweet to me and encouraging."
And when the boys announced they'd be touring from August through the end of the year, Danielle found herself on the road once more—this time with company. "Having them on tour was so nice," she told E! News of bonding with Chopra and Turner. "To have other girls there to talk to, it was nice."
Nearly as fun as it's been to see her little girls look up to their dad as a real live rock star. "Oh my gosh, they're so proud of them," she said. "They'll be by the stage and they'll be waving to them and if they don't get a wave, they'll look at me and say, 'Why are they not waving?' I'll say, they're looking at a lot of people right now, but they love you." (Though, Kevin did find the time to show his wife some appreciation mid-Grammys performance.)
Watching her husband return to his musical roots—on The Voice, at the Grammys and in newly released tracks—has simply been a thrill, she continued. "Seeing Kevin on stage again and seeing that smile he always had...he had this smile at home but there's another smile and a, like, attitude when he's up there," she told E! News. "And he's truly having the best time of his life. It feels very good to see that."
(Originally published November 5, 2019, at 10 a.m. PT)