Claire and Peter

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How We Met

Looking dapper in Charleston

Peter and I met nearly 5 years ago. I was completely smitten the moment we met. I knew he was someone very special. We laid eyes on each other at an evening mass during the sign of peace, and proceeded to chat afterward during the “Pub Night” at St Paul Inside the Walls in early September of 2011. I was the Hospitality chairperson for the Young Adults group, after all, so it made sense for me to talk to any newcomers, right? I had no qualms about plunging into conversation with this guy!

As we chatted, I found out that Pete’s first event at St Paul’s was the final barbecue of the summer the week before. I had vaguely recalled seeing a new face in the crowd that night, but I was to put work setting up the food stations, and handing out the celebratory cake in honor of Father Geno’s ordination anniversary.

We continued our conversation casually by social media and by seeing each other at St Paul’s. Our friendship began to grow, and we began to meet for coffee and group outings. Our relationship continued to grow through our faith and our love became even stronger as the years passed.

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How He Asked

I had planned to propose in 2014! That WAS the plan and the ring was in hand in October of that year, however the details didn’t fall together until Spring of the following year. Since Claire and I met as a result of our faith, and we both share a love for music which has a special place in our lives as well as our relationship history, I knew I wanted the proposal to be two things: Faith and music oriented.

In a conversation with my brother Fred early in 2015 the topic of music had come up and that’s the first time I heard the name Marie Miller. She was a Catholic music artist from the South who Claire had mentioned to Fred during conversation in the last several months. In particular she loved one song Marie wrote called “6’2,” about a woman who’s faithfully waiting for her future spouse. Looking up the song and the music video, the lyrics rang oddly true to our relationship-except for the fact I’m 6’4″! A quick Facebook search later I was surprised to see that 3 friends of mine were MUTUAL friends with Marie. Since my attempts at getting the music artist who was our first date back in 2011 had stalled, I figured hey what a gift to be dropped into my lap. I shot out messages to two of the mutual friends and had responses back from them within minutes. Another hour and I was on the phone with Marie herself who was incredibly stoked and flattered to be part of such a special and memorable moment.

After speaking with St. Paul Inside the Walls director priest, who has also become a good friend, the date and time was set. Marie was to come to St. Pauls under the guise of a faith based concert on a Sunday after 11am mass. For 2 days prior it had been pouring rain! When the morning of had come I had to make a quick decision after mass whether the proposal was going to happen out in the prayer garden as planned or if I would switch the Church chapel instead. I decided it was lightly drizzling enough that I could risk it, (and figured in the moment she wouldn’t even care), so I set up with my brother and made the excuse to take her to the car with me to grab our picnic lunch.

With a quick detour to the prayer garden for a quick prayer which doubled as a way to incorporate “the speech.” When I held my hand out to feel for the rain…that was the signal! Marie was let out into the prayer garden by a side door and played her song, after which I got up and proposed to Claire. When we walked back inside we were greeted by the cheers and hugs of family and friends.

You were in on it??!

Marie Miller

Moment we'll never forget

She said "Absolutely"

She said “Absolutely” Enjoying the moment

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Our Video

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Special Thanks

Peter Palumbo
Ferdinand Sisto
Ferdinand Sisto Photography