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From Friend to Fiancé: All About Chanela + Christina’s Love Story

Love can come when it is least expected, and in Chanela Perez and Christina Flory’s case, that is exactly what happened. They started off as co-workers. Chanela caught Christina’s eye first, and from there it became a mission for Christina to get out of the friend zone and get the girl. Keep on reading to learn more about how they met locally, their proposal story, and their future wedding plans.

HG: What do you both do for a living?

C.F.: I work as an Account Services specialist and provide health and wellness content for my company’s clients.
C.P.: I am an educator and currently provide in-home services for children with Autism. We truly enjoy helping people become the best they can be.

Read More: Matt + Alex: A Jersey City-Born Love Story

HG: What cities are you from?

C.F.: I have lived in Bayonne for 4 years but I was born and raised in Jersey City.
C.P.: I have lived in Bayonne for 5 years & grew up in Union City.

HG: When/where did you and your partner meet?

C.F.: We met in August 2016 at a preschool in Downtown Jersey City where we were both working at the time. In 2017, I wanted to pursue Chanela on a more intimate level. She was the first woman to EVER intimidate me which intrigued me, so I wanted to understand why and get to know her more. She “claimed” she wasn’t interested in more than a friendship. I didn’t give up though! Within two weeks we were exchanging “ I love you’s”, and in a little over two months we started living together.

C.P.: Yeah that’s kind of how it went! Christina claimed I was intimidating but I was living my life, and they never showed any interest in me until the holiday party of course! Ugh, that night was both embarrassing for me (think, having too many L.I.T’s) but also the start of our love story. Christina is right about me only wanting to be friends but she was persistent and got the girl in the end!

HG: How long have you been together?

C.F.: We’ve been together for a little over 4 years now.
C.P.: But I’m always getting ahead of myself and add a year so for me, it is 5, lol.

HG: Tell us about your proposal.

C.P.: I was adamant about beating Christina to proposing! We had been talking about wanting to get engaged this year so we both knew it was coming at some point. The element of surprise was necessary for the actual proposal since it was kind of expected! All I knew was that I wanted it to be super beautiful and special: Christina deserves that. So, in comes the idea of a luxury picnic in Liberty State Park, with NYC views of course!

I had to think about how in the heck was I going to get her down there with minimum questions. I lied. Literally, the hardest thing to do because I tell them everything! I lied and told her that one of my good friends was having a photoshoot and wanted us to be a part of it. Christina bought it and was excited!

Now I thought, how am I going to create this beautiful, boho picnic. I reached out to my amazing cousin Nellie Willmore who is an amazing creative visionary and event coordinator, and she was so happy and honored to be a part of this special day. The next step for me was pictures! I reached out to one of Christina’s good friends Deliana Acosta who is a photographer and again, she was more than happy to take our pictures! Everything was set and ready to go and Christina still believed we were going to be a part of a photoshoot.

When Christina arrived at Liberty State Park I was hiding behind a tree and when she got closer to the setup, and I popped out! Christina was confused and shocked to see me pop out from the tree and as I got closer to her I held her hands and said, “you know how much I love you right” and cue in the tears! Christina started crying and then I started crying. I had to signal to Del that I’m about to get down on one knee so she can capture the moment and she rolls out (literally) from behind the tree and Christina starts crying even more when sees her. In the end, all I can get out is “I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?” They said thank you repeatedly and then yes! After a few pictures, we sat down and enjoyed our picnic, and watched the sun go down. It was the best and exactly how I imagined it.

christina chanela

HG: Where are you planning to get married?

C.P.: So because Christina is quite literally the best, they are all on board with me leading with my vision for the wedding, but they’ve got dibs on the honeymoon. I love boho, rustic, feels and we’re hoping to have/keep the same theme for our wedding. So we’re thinking, a winery perhaps or rustic modern farmhouse.

HG: How many people do you plan to have at your wedding?

C.P. + C.F.: Anywhere from a small to medium size wedding with 75 to 100 people max. This is also a celebration for us to celebrate those who have consistently shown us love and support.

HG: What local vendors do you plan on having, if any?

C.P. + C.F.: You know, we’re not 100% sure yet. But, we love BANG cookies and thought it would be nice to have their cookies at the reception.

See More: Boozy Bouqs: A Bouquet + Cocktail Making Party Experience in NJ

HG: Where is your favorite date-night spot in Hoboken or Jersey City?

C.F.: We love Orale Mexican Kitchen in downtown Jersey City.  The food is delicious – it’s so good you will dance in your seat. The atmosphere is vibrant and fun because of its funky and beautiful décor.

C.P.: When we first started dating our go-to spot was The Bistro and Bubby’s Burritos, they each hold special places in our hearts!

HG: What are you looking forward to most as a married couple?

C.F.: Chanela and I are nowhere near the people we were when we met. For some that might be scary, but for us, it’s exciting. We have grown so much as individuals which continuously strengthens our partnership. I learn so much from Chanela’s personal growth and vice versa. We never want that to stop. I’m excited to see who we will both be at the altar and where our relationship will be in two years.

CP.: Same as Christina, I’m eager to see where we are in terms of our personal growth and development. But I’m most excited to continue building and growing together and have our own family.


Written by:

Katherine is a recent Montclair State grad who has a passion to explore the world. Apart from her family and dogs, she loves traveling the most. She has fallen head over heels with experiencing the world, trying new foods, learning about new cultures, and getting out of her comfort zone. She's been to 16 countries and counting. In her spare time you'll find her listening to music or daydreaming about a new adventure.