Today is Michelle’s and my one-year wedding anniversary. In celebration of this special day, please allow me to share with you the Tampa Bay Times‘ profile of our engagement and wedding…
One night last July, at a “not-so-political happy hour,” a special quorum of power brokers was called at Cassis, the French restaurant on downtown St. Petersburg’s posh Beach Drive.
Peter, executive editor of city watchdog SaintPetersblog.com, and Michelle, former special assistant to former Gov. Charlie Crist, had gathered a gaggle of politicos and journos before, but this shindig felt different.
“Senator, what are you doing here?” Michelle asked Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, who had just endured a total hip replacement the week before. “I wouldn’t miss this one for the world,” he replied, propped up on crutches.
Weird, she thought.
Peter and Michelle met in 2010 at Judge Thomas Minkoff’s investiture. “In a room full of politicians, I found Michelle to be the most fascinating person,” Peter recalled. Before long, he charmed her into a date.
During Crist’s senate campaign, they worked late into the night. But the couple ended one night a week at Cassis with a few bubbly flutes of Champagne. They fell fast over their shared passion for politics and fervor for their city, St. Petersburg.
Back at that July happy hour, Rep. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, introduced Peter, who told the crowd how his late father always wished his son would meet and marry a special woman. He had found that woman in Michelle. And he proposed.
When Michelle and Peter booked their wedding, they wanted swank and sentiment. Beach Drive, Vinoy Park, the waterfront were all special places where they spent great chunks of time: “That section of the world is the center of our universe,” Peter said. The Museum of Fine Arts was a perfect pick. Underneath the banyan trees, Peter and Michelle said their vows.