How We Met
It all started our freshman year at Concordia College. We were both in different First-Year Seminar classes and everyone had to pick a class trip location. We both signed up late and the only trip left available was to the Metropolitan Museum. When we first got there, I saw Vinny standing all alone, thought he was cute, and asked him, “Do you have any friends here?” He didn’t, so I told him to join my friend and me as we walked around. I actually tried setting the two of them up, but he wasn’t going for it! Shortly after walking around a little, we got bored, and he asked us, “Do you want to just get out of here?” To that, I asked, “What do you mean? Like going to get something to eat?” He said yes so, we all went to a diner close by. When we finished eating, we walked back to the Museum, snapped a quick picture together, and then went our separate ways.
A couple of weeks later, I walked past him after my softball practice. He was on the baseball team. (We found out after we started dating that we were both #3 on our teams. I have always chosen number three for everything!) When I passed, I said hi to one of the players Vinny was standing with. Later I found out Vinny had said to him, “Wow, you know that girl?” and his friend told him that I was friends with his girlfriend. After that, his friend told me that Vinny thought I was cute. For months, we didn’t really see each other. Even though our campus was small, he was a commuter, and we didn’t have many classes in the same buildings.
Two years later, our mutual friend Giorgio kept insisting Vinny and I should hang out. He said we would be perfect for each other. It was almost the end of the semester, so I finally agreed to it. I had gone home for the weekend but on my way back to school, I got a text from a random number. It read, “Hey this is Vinny”. I immediately texted a couple of friends to ask who had given him my number. Then I texted him back saying “Sorry can’t talk right now, I’m driving on the Taconic”. He replied, “okay lol”. A couple of days later, he texted me again saying we should hang out. We got together with a couple of friends in one of their dorm rooms, but the awkwardness between us and everyone trying to get us to talk made me feel so uncomfortable. I ended up leaving and going to another friend’s dorm for a couple of hours. He texted asking where I was, so I walked back up and we hung out a little longer. Then I called it a night after a kiss!! I remember saying to myself “Never again! That was way too awkward!” We didn’t talk all summer.
On the second day back after the summer break, there was a ceremony I had to go to, to accept an honor roll award. I was dressed up and went into the Commons where we ate and was sitting at a table when Vinny walked in and sat down at the same table with a couple of his friends. He didn’t say hi and I definitely wasn’t going to say hi first! (LOL) About an hour later, he texted me saying “hey shady” and the rest is history. We hung out every single day after that. He officially asked me to be his girlfriend while in the Hamptons on October 19th, 2014. From getting coffee and bagels delivered to me every morning through my dorm room window to Yankee games, to Hawaii and Sanibel trips, to chasing beautiful sunrises and sunsets, to helicopter rides around New York City, to spending quality time with our friends and families, we fell in love fast and I fall more in love with him every day. Now almost six years later, we are finally engaged!
How They Asked
Every year since Vinny and I started dating, we have vacationed with his family at their timeshare on Sanibel Island in Florida. It is one of our favorite places! We deeply cherish the time spent and the memories we have made here together. Last year, when Vinny’s parents were unable to make it for the first week of the trip, they were gracious enough to let my parents take their place. We had a great time taking them to some of our favorite spots, basking in the warm Gulf water, and finding new treasures of our own.
When Vinny asked my Dad for his blessing months ago, he also asked if he could try and get the whole family to come to Sanibel for the proposal. He understood it would be hard to coordinate everyone’s busy schedules, but he also knew how special it would be for me to have as much of my family here as possible. My dad rented a big condo for a week and three of my four siblings, along with their spouses and children made plans to join in. When I heard of their plans to join us in Sanibel this year, I did not think anything of it because we have always enjoyed vacationing together. I was excited that they wanted to experience Sanibel too.
They stayed not far from where we were staying with Vinny’s parents at the timeshare. Every day we were meeting up to enjoy family time on the beach, in the pool, and going out for nice dinners in the evening. The week was flying by. On Thursday, July 2, I wanted to go for an earlier dinner so we would not miss catching the sunset at Captiva. That is Vinny and I’s favorite place to watch the sunset and I wanted my family to experience it before everyone started leaving for home. (I had no idea that was Vinny’s plan all along. He just knows me so well!)
We headed off to eat at one of our favorite restaurants on the Island, Mucky Duck. Vinny’s family planned to meet us after dinner for a stroll on the beach to watch the sunset with everyone. His sister Victoria, and her fiancé, John, had just flown in that day.
We all met up at around 8:15 pm and to my great pleasure, it was honestly one of the most gorgeous sunsets I have ever seen! So of course, I NEEDED pictures to document the beautiful sky, and both of our families being here together for it. First, I took a group picture of all the guys, and then we took a girls’ group picture.
(That was when John passed off the ring to Vinny without me noticing.) We were ALL there except for my one sister and her family. Right after that picture was taken, I heard my sister-in-law Amanda say she wanted a family picture with my brother and their two children so I said I would take it. The sun was setting quickly. At the same time, Vinny said “Let’s take a picture”, and I said no because I wanted to take the picture for Amanda first. But Vinny insisted so I agreed, thinking “okay fine, let’s take a picture fast.” The next thing I know, Vinny was down on one knee in front of both of our families and said, “Kelsey, you are the love of my life, will you marry me?” I screamed at first “noooooo!” meaning no way is this happening.
Then still in disbelief, I asked, “Are you serious?” and immediately started laughing and crying with excitement. My whole body was shaking! Of course, I said yes! Our families ran up to hug and congratulate us and I heard a familiar voice screaming my name. It was my older sister, Kylie, who I thought was home in New York. She made it here with her family too! I could not believe it! Vinny knew how much it would mean to me to have our ENTIRE two families there with us to share in this special moment and celebrate with us and they were ALL here!
It was everything I had ever dreamed of and it could not have been more perfect. I could not stop crying. I felt so overwhelmed with joy knowing I would spend the rest of my life with this man I love so much. I can’t believe I had no idea this was going to happen on this trip and I am amazed that my big family was able to keep this a secret for so long. ( Vinny knows we aren’t the best at keeping secrets.) We are both over the moon with happiness and are so excited for what lies ahead of us as an engaged couple!