(Photo by Carissa Warfield)
One Tuesday night in November of 2014, Kerissa Hickey was excited to be invited on a whim to a dog’s first birthday party.
“It was like, ‘Why are we not in the car already? Let’s go,’” she says.
The birthday pup, Biscotti, was owned by the friend of a friend, someone she had never met at that point. But Hickey, who was living in St. Petersburg at the time, enthusiastically made the drive to North Tampa for the celebration.
It was at this party that she met her future wife – the dog’s owner – Kayleigh Inzinna.
Hickey ultimately crashed at Inzinna’s place. When she got back to St. Pete the next day, she realized she left her phone there and had to turn around to pick it up in Tampa.
They kept in touch after this and began spending time together whenever Inzinna came to the Sunshine City for events.
“I had her as a friend to go to markets and festivals, and friendship became more,” she says.
Hickey adds, “Eventually we went on a date, but we didn’t know it was a date.”
On Cinco de Mayo in 2015, they went to a hibachi restaurant.
“She goes to the bathroom. I pay the tab. I open the car door for her,” Hickey remembers.
That’s when Inzinna asked her, “Are we on a date?”
“I asked, ‘Do you want it to be a date?’” Hickey says. “It was a very goofy, weird start.”
Though they had a clear connection, the couple briefly broke up during that first year, eventually getting back together.
“We were in different points in our lives but realized that we couldn’t live without each other and worked through our differences to grow closer together,” Inzinna says.
They moved in together in 2017 and spent the next several years “getting to know each other and what it was like living together” as they chased career and personal goals, she adds. By 2020, Inzinna knew that Hickey was her “ride or die.”
Hickey says, “Originally, she wanted to propose to me in Paris. At the time, I was not ready. She was very much sick of waiting for me to be ready.”
By the end of the year, she decided to surprise Inzinna and show her that she was ready to take the next step. She planned a bonfire with a group of friends – including their mutual friend who brought Hickey to Biscotti’s birthday party years earlier and was visiting from New York City – and proposed in front of them.
Six months later, Inzinna surprised Hickey by proposing in return on a rooftop while visiting New York.
As they began thinking about what their wedding would look like, Inzinna took over much of the planning.
“She is a planning genius,” Hickey says. “This crazy lady had a 14-page Excel spreadsheet … She even had our wedding day planned down to 15-minute intervals.”
Hickey helped as well, taking on more hands-on tasks like making centerpieces and finalizing the seating chart.
Because of her wife’s detailed plans, their wedding day was “smooth sailing,” she adds. “There was a page for everything. A page for guests. A page for food.”
They booked their wedding for Feb. 13, 2022, at the Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg without realizing that it was not only Super Bowl Sunday, but it was also the day before Valentine’s Day.
“Someone pointed it out and it was like, ‘Oh, gross,’ because we’re not cheesy like that,” Hickey laughs. “So, for us, it was just a beautiful Sunday. It rained in the morning and was nice after that. It’s a good sign when it rains on your wedding day.”
Engagement Date: Dec. 22, 2020 in St. Petersburg (Hickey proposed to Inzinna); June 7, 2021 in Manhattan (Inzinna proposed to Hickey)
Wedding Date: Feb. 13, 2022
Wedding Venue: Sunken Gardens, St. Petersburg
First Dance Song: “Wanted” by Hunter Hayes
Wedding theme/colors: Rose Gold, Sage, Seaglass
Officiant: Jill Fanara
Cake Bakery: Kayleigh made the cupcakes
Cake Flavors: Cannoli cupcake, Dark chocolate merlot cupcake, Pear chardonnay cupcake
Photographer: Carissa Warfield with Still Silver