It was a long road to engagement for Poughkeepsie residents Elina Flores and Chas Smith. The couple were childhood friends who lost touch for almost two decades before reconnecting online earlier this year. They plan to wed on October 25, 2014 at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel, where Flores says she can have a beautiful wedding and stay on budget.
Flores, who works at Panera Bread, met self-employed Tarrytown native Smith when she was 11-years-old and he was just nine. She always had a crush on him when they were younger, but never acted on it. Seventeen years later, Flores took the plunge and added Smith as a friend on Facebook. The pair started talking again in January and went on their first date, dinner and a movie, on Valentine’s Day. They found out they have a lot in common — he raps, she sings — and made their relationship official the next day.
Smith recently brought Flores breakfast in bed, which included a box of roses. As Smith told her he never wanted to be without her, she opened the box to find an engagement ring. “I, of course, said yes,” Flores says. “There was never a doubt in our minds that we were going to get married.”