I know, I can’t believe it either. It seems like just last year I was moving to China to be with Peter for the first time. Oh wait, that was last year. Time sure flies when you’re having fun!
After 1 year of living together in Asia, 2 years of long-distance, 3 years of dating, 4 months at home and 5 countries traveled, we are getting married!
I never though I would end up with somebody from my hometown but now I can’t imagine it any other way. We’ve known each other since we were 7 years old and grew up together as classmates in the same small school. Who would have thought that the shy and studious girl would end up with the loud and popular boy in school? Life is a funny thing and I am filled with gratitude for having Peter in my life, now and forever. My heart is so full of love and happiness and I could not have picked a better man to spend my life with. Peter is my partner in crime and soon to be my husband! Right now I keep staring at my ring which is so unbelieving shiny and I can’t even believe that this is really happening.
On Friday the 13th (I know, freaky), I was at an Acoustic Christmas Concert at the Mahaffey with my mom and her two friends, Mary and Liz. The concert was long but I was excited to see Colbie Callait, The Fray and my favorite band, the Goo Goo Dolls. On Wednesday, Peter had left unexpectedly on a business trip and had just told me that he would be gone through Sunday. I was bummed because we would miss his company’s Christmas party the next day. Despite feeling sad, I really enjoyed the concert and absolutely loved seeing the Goo Goo Dolls live in concert once again. When they played their new song “Come To Me”, I leaned over to Mary and Liz and said, “I love this song! This is going to be my wedding song!” They just looked at me and smiled, knowing what was happening next!
After the concert, we were hanging out and talking in the box and I saw my mom take out her cellphone. With just a glance I could read a text conversation between her and Peter, due to the fact that my mom’s text messages come up in extra large font. Peter wrote, “Are you having fun at the concert?”, to which my mom replied, “Yes!!!” Then Peter wrote “Take your time”.
Suddenly I knew.
I knew that Peter was in town and that something was happening. I didn’t immediately think “Proposal!” but I could feel it in my gut. So much for a complete surprise! As we left the Mahaffey I tried to act cool as if I didn’t know what was going on. We walked outside into the cold and windy air and my mom said “Let’s go see the Christmas tree at the Dali!” Uhuh. Yeah mom. Let’s go see the tree. Haha!
We started walking towards the Dali Museum where Peter had been waiting anxiously with my dad and Morgan. As I walked down the sidewalk, I could see a guy in a suit standing before me. I just knew it was Peter! My mom said “Look who it is!” as he walked towards me, grabbed my hands and got down on one knee.
I just kept saying “What is going on? I’m so confused” while smiling and laughing like a weirdo. It was really cold out so I was shivering and wiggling my legs from the cold and from nerves. Peter said “You know what this is” and then launched into a very sweet speech. At the time my mind totally blanked and I forgot his words almost immediately but later I had him recite his speech several times so I would remember! I do remember that at the end he said “Kirsten Elizabeth Chmielewski, will you marry me?”
Still smiling and laughing I said “Yes!”
Then I said, “Where’s the ring??” Haha. Peter reached into his pocket and pulled out a white box which he then opened to reveal a beautiful ring. It was perfect! I then laughed and threw this piece of paper I had been clutching the entire time to the ground so he could stand up and put the ring on my finger. Thankfully it just barely slid over my knuckle! He then presented me with a beautiful bouquet of flowers which meant so much to me. When we first started dating long-distance, Peter would randomly send me dozens of roses with sweet notes so this was an especially meaningful gesture.
Surprisingly I didn’t shed one tear. Usually I am an emotional wreck and cry at everything! Well this time I was very giggly and overwhelmed with joy. I knew that Peter would propose soon, but I thought that maybe it would happen in a few months on top of a hobbit hole in New Zealand somewhere. He totally caught me by surprise! This meant a lot to me because I was there when he asked my parents permission to marry me. I also knew that he had gone ring shopping but did not know that he bought one the second day he looked! He knew how much I wanted to have surprise proposal and he executed it perfectly! (Except for the texts with mom part! haha)
I was so overwhelmed and happy to have my family there to watch it all unfold. Morgan was taking pictures and my dad was filming it on his phone literally right next to us. My mom, Mary and Liz were behind us crying. Peter had decided to propose that same week and had been communicating with my mom and sister to plan the entire thing! They were so happy and excited for us.
The next part of the proposal was a horse and carriage ride through downtown St. Petersburg! This was my mom and sister’s idea and I absolutely loved it. It allowed Peter and I to spend some alone time together and talk about what had just happened. We laughed and giggled the whole ride while staying warm under a blanket. I was impressed that he had flown home from a business trip to propose!
After a lovely ride along the water, we were dropped off at the Vinoy where our family and friends were waiting for us to celebrate!
We snacked on sliders and chocolate cake while toasting to champagne. Our good friends Tyler and Jessica showed up to say congratulations and give some advice from one engaged couple to the other!
And since it was a Friday night we decided to shake our groove thing on the dance floor while Morgan played paparazzi. Peter and I unanimously voted to start dancing lessons pronto before our wedding. We are pretty terrible! But at least we have fun.
It was a crazy night but definitely a memorable one! I am still in disbelief that we are actually engaged and actually getting married! It feels so surreal but I am so happy. Yay love!
My ring is absolutely perfect! It is small and delicate with a square cut diamond and white gold band with small diamonds. Today I am getting it resized since it is a little small. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been wearing it though!
When is the wedding?
We are talking about having it in St. Petersburg sometime between November 2015-February 2016. That is almost two years away! Hopefully by that time we will be out of China and living back in the United States. We have already started preliminary planning such as a making a guest list so we can book a venue. I also want to get engagement pictures before we leave for China. My mom already wants to try on wedding dresses! Yikes!