Vinny Loccisano and Ashleigh Tinney met during their freshman year of high school. After three years of Loccisano trying to win over Tinney, the two finally became a couple, and after another four and a half years of dating, Loccisano decided that there was no better time to pop the question than in the middle of Hurricane Elsa on the beach at Longboat Key.
Although the couple is from Acworth, Georgia, they travel to the area often to visit Loccisano's grandparents, who have a house on Longboat, and to enjoy the beach. Loccisano knew he was going to propose on their visit this year, and had considered riding in on a horse, scuba diving with the manatees at Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium or pulling up to shore on a Jet Ski.
Then Elsa swept in with other plans, forcing Loccisano to improvise.
"I grabbed my best friends who we invited on this trip and asked them if they had any hidden talents. Unfortunately, none of them could sing, but I thought that might be even better," says Loccisano.
Tinney was getting ready to go out with friends when Loccisano called her to come out to the beach to take photos.
"The whole time we were getting ready I was complaining about having to go to the beach in a hurricane. It made no sense, but I didn't even think it could be for a proposal," says Tinney.
When Tinney walked out on the beach, fighting the rain and wind with a broken umbrella, she was met by their friends dressed as a barbershop quartet. They sang to her in the pouring rain as waves stirred up by Elsa battered the shore. Dressed in a suit dripping with water, Loccisano got down on one knee. As the storm rushed in around them, Tinney said yes.