One of the lessons of the pandemic has been what while life may take a slight pause during a crisis it does, inevitably, keep going. Local Alexandrians (though not for long!) Kirkland and Peter’s beautiful engagement story shows just this, and we’re happy to share their milestone story with you here…
Meaghan: Kirkland, Tim and I have so enjoyed working with you over the last few weeks. You and Peter are both such warm and genuine people, you are lucky to have found each other. How did you two meet?
Kirkland: We originally met while we were attending Syracuse University – we fell into the same social scene because Peter was on the football team and I was on the lacrosse team. He was two grade years older than me, but all the athletes tend to hang out together so we would run into each other all the time. We never dated in college and for a while Peter thought my first name was Locey (that’s my last name)! Peter graduated in 2012, and we didn’t keep in touch. I then graduated in 2014.
Fast forward a couple years, Peter had spent some time working in Boston/NYC and had just joined the Marine Corps. I was living in the Baltimore area and had started working right after graduation. In September 2015 Peter graduated from Infantry Officers Course. On the same day/night that he and a large group of his friends were celebrating that accomplishment (bar hopping in D.C.), my friends and I were having a blast at a beer festival in the Georgetown area, which – through a really random series of events and unbeknownst to me, took us to end our night at the same bar where Peter and his friends were. (The bar was Sign of the Whale – not the classiest establishment we’ve ever been to which is probably why it has since shut down.)
Meaghan: Some people believe the less classy the circumstances of meeting, the stronger the relationship will be…😀
Kirkland: Despite having consumed quite a few drinks that day I still remember heading towards the bar and quite literally, running into Peter. He is so tall and handsome; how could I not remember him! We hung out together the rest of the night and little did I know, I was meeting a few of his friends who are now some of our very best friends. Oddly enough, Peter’s sister was there celebrating with them, too.
The short story ending is that we continued to keep in touch then began dating/made it official/whatever people call it these days, much of which was happening over long distance and lots of cross-country flights because Peter had moved to California, got deployed, etc. Then in the spring of 2018 we moved in together in Old Town.
Meaghan: Peter, what drew you to Kirkland initially?
Peter: Obviously, Kirkland is tall and beautiful but she’s also so positive, outgoing, and smart. She can engage in conversation with anyone and put everyone at ease in every situation. One of our first “dates,” was a weekend trip to NYC to visit all my old friends from when I lived there. I had not planned on inviting her as it was more of a reunion weekend but a few texts and days later she was riding shotgun up to NYC. We went sake bombing and ate late night tenders at a Lower East Side diner. She’s so personable and welcoming that my friends quickly became her friends.
Meaghan: And Kirkland, what do you remember liking about Peter in the beginning?
Kirkland: Peter is hard to miss – and being tall myself, I was definitely drawn to him at first because of the fact that he wasn’t below my eye level (haha!) I quickly appreciated his laid-back personality and learned that he was extremely humble yet very driven towards goals he had set for himself, which I really respected. During that car ride to NYC, I discovered he owned his own Taylor Swift CD and may or may not have known lyrics to a few songs… and there was no looking back! I also quickly came to realize that Peter was one of the most positive people I had ever met – he is always finding the positive angle – and loved being goofy as much as I did, and it was so easy to be honest and real, myself, around him.
Meaghan: What made you decide you wanted to get married?
Kirkland: For us, it’s really about making the commitment to each other – neither of us are super religious (even though I went to catholic school for 12 years haha)… there’s something so special about having such confidence in the other person’s love for you to the point that you want to make the formal commitment to spend your lives together. We’ve always been on the same page about what we value, what’s most important to us, what makes us laugh – we’re each other’s “person!”
Meaghan: Kirkland, before getting engaged, did you know what you wanted for a ring?
Kirkland: At first, not really! There were a few qualities/features that were important to me but didn’t know what design that would turn into – I really wanted something timeless and classic, that would never go out style and that I would always love. I also hoped for something that was truly unique…which is definitely accomplished through the nature of a custom design!
Meaghan: Peter, did you have an idea of what you wanted to create, or did you have help?
Peter: Kirkland gave me an idea of what she envisioned and showed me a number of pictures – Tim was super helpful in laying out options based on the design ideas I had shared with him.
Meaghan: Tell us about the design process.
Peter: I had a pretty specific idea of what Kirkland wanted but I had no idea how to bring that into existence. However, from my standpoint, the design process was pretty simple – I called Tim, showed him what Kirkland wanted, and then he brought it to life.
Kirkland: On a side note, we have a deep appreciation for local businesses/entrepreneurs/artists, so it wasn’t long after moving to Old Town that I was immediately drawn to Alx&Co. and was excited to share your studio with Peter. It almost seemed too good to be true that such a trusted, quality, and beautiful workshop was within walking distance of us!
Meaghan: And we’re so glad you found us! Peter, Kirkland’s ring was one of the first we finished after completely closing for the COVID shutdown. We were anxious to get it to you because we knew you had plans. How did you propose? Was it a surprise?
Peter: Originally, I had planned to propose after a week of skiing in Utah. We were due to arrive back in Alexandria on a Saturday at the end of March and I was going to do it in Old Town before heading to a romantic brunch and a private vineyard trip for the day. None of that happened, including the ski trip, because of COVID. I thought about putting off the proposal and trying to wait out the pandemic but I decided that we really can’t plan the future beyond what we can control and I wanted Kirkland in my future no matter what so there was no need to delay it. On the afternoon of March 21st, we went on our usual route down by the Potomac. On the top of the stairs that head down to the path and the Potomac, I asked Kirkland to marry me.
Meaghan: I love your perspective on that. To us, what makes an engagement story special isn’t big plans or ornate celebrations, it’s the meaning and personal story behind it and yours shows a real resilience to the challenges that life is sure to bring. Any tips for those who are thinking about getting engaged?
Peter: We got engaged after being together for over four and a half years. I think we knew very early on that we were going to be together for a long time, but we saw no need to rush anything. We were both very open and honest about what we wanted and when we wanted it. It helped us brush off any of the pressure to get engaged and helped us enjoy every stage of our relationship. Take your time, enjoy your time, and when you’re ready, you’re ready.
Meaghan: Can you describe your design process in one word?
Peter: The design process with Tim — seamless.
Thank you, Kirkland and Peter! We wish you all the luck in your move out West – we’ll miss having you in town!
Alexandria & Company is an Old Town-based workshop and design studio specializing in creating and restoring fine jewelry and silver hollowware. They are the in-the-know jewelers of Alexandria and have been serving clients out of their small workshop for decades. Tucked in their historic building on South Royal Street, the team at Alx&Co. brings a personalized, modern approach to their craft – this is not your average stodgy jeweler or antique shop. Visit them during their walk-in hours or online to view their collection of handmade fine jewelry or to drop off a repair project; or, if you’re feeling creative, make an appointment to talk about that custom design project you’ve been imagining.
121-B South Royal Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Design Studio Walk-In Hours (all jewelry services): Wednesday – Saturday 12-6pm
Silver Workshop Walk-In Hours (all silver repair and restoration services): Wednesday or Friday 12-6pm, or by appointment
Appointments encouraged for custom design.