- December 6, 2017
Big brothers are usually the ones vetting their sisters’ significant others, but in the Koepsel family, they’re the ones setting them up.
Kelly Koepsel originally met her husband, Matthew Milazzo, when they were students at Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School. She says they were friendly but, despite going to a small school, they didn’t have very many classes together and weren’t close.
However, her twin brothers Jamie and Brian were baseball buddies with Matthew, and that close friendship carried over when Matthew was finishing law school at University of Florida and Jamie was just beginning. During their semester of overlap they started working out together and it wasn’t long until Kelly came up in conversation.
It all began when Jamie told Matthew he should “probably take her out to dinner.”
Matthew decided to take the advice, despite the fact that Kelly was living in Phoenix. So in December 2014 when she was home for the holidays and he was home after graduating from law school, the two went to dinner at Chart House on Longboat Key. Kelly says they knew right away that they would get married.
The couple started dating long distance for the next eight months until Kelly’s job allowed her to move to Tampa in August 2014. She was able to work from home fairly often, so she spent much of her time working from Sarasota to spend time with Matthew.
On Jan. 14, 2016, Kelly could tell that something was off.
The two got takeout and headed to Longboat Key for a beach picnic — one of their favorite things to do — but Matthew rushed through dinner and when they went on a walk, he kept pointing out dolphins that she couldn’t see.
Kelly, who was blaming it on her terrible eyesight, turned to Matthew for help when she found him down on one knee.
The couple then FaceTimed their families, got ice cream on St. Armands then headed to Kelly’s parents house where there was champagne waiting — Kelly’s mother, Betsy Koepsel, always has it on hand “just in case.”
The big day was Dec. 17, 2016, and because the wedding was so close to Christmas, they were pleasantly surprised at the turnout of 150.
Matthew’s favorite moments were seeing Kelly in her dress for the first time and leaving the chapel as husband and wife.
Kelly says there are many memorable moments from the night, such as when they snuck out of the reception for a quiet moment alone on a friend’s family boat, but she particularly loved seeing the reaction of their loved ones upon leaving the church.
“It is the most amazing feeling to not only be married to your best friend, but also to have all of your family and friends right there cheering for you,” she says.