For Kimberly Dial and Romulus Petrina, love at first sight led to the perfect proposal. This entrepreneur, who wasn’t looking for Mr. Right, and this European, who wanted an old-fashioned girl, found romance sneaks up when least expected.
A chance meeting at Atlanta’s Intercontinental Hotel, orchestrated by a cousin, culminated with a gala wedding at Auburn’s Moore’s Mill Club in March 2009.
Romulus “Romy” first saw Kim, clad in jeans, cowboy boots, black shirt and leather jacket, seated on a chair when he stepped off an elevator. She looked up dumbstruck and, after a pause, said, “Hi, I’m Kim. You must be Romy.” As they say, the rest is history.
Romy’s a minister’s son and following his traditional Romanian Pentecostal upbringing, he trailed after his older brother to Lee County by way of North Carolina and California, working with the Romanian-American Foundation.
Since permanently relocating to the United States, Romy had dated other American women, but quickly learned in the South, offering to buy a girl dinner is an unspoken promise to go steady.
Having gotten to know Kim, a self-employed businesswoman, Romy admits independence is an attractive quality that American girls have and Romanian girls don’t. For Kim, she was elated to give up a little of her independent spirit when she married Romy in an elegant springtime ceremony, attended by her daughter, Heather Edmondson Ayers.
Both the groom’s parents, Mr. And Mrs. Vasile Petrina of Targu Mures, Romania, and the bride’s, Mr. And Mrs. Don McSpadden, looked on proudly as the Rev. Jon Russell of Cross Connection Church pronounced the couple man and wife.
Kim is blissful whether she is gardening at the couple’s lake home, canning her own pepper sauce or preparing Romy’s Romanian dishes, and relishes Romy’s ongoing romancing, whether it’s accompanying her to the grocery store or picking up the tab at dinner.
A conviction the man should pay is part of Romy’s Old World charm. “If you don’t have the money,” he says, “don’t take the girl out.”
As for the proposal, Kim recalls she was lying down resting while Romy talked in circles before uttering the big question. As Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) said in the film The Proposal, “I knew he’d been itching to ask me to marry him and was scared.”
“I knew Romy worshipped me,” Kim explains. “I’d never have married again if he’d not put me first. I’ve never doubted I was number one with him.”
Romy says he did all the legwork before popping the question. “She didn’t marry me,” he adds, “because of a proposal. I’d wooed her in the year since that first date and shown her with my actions I wanted to marry.”
Kim nods her argument. “It’s what he does before,” Kim concludes, “that leads up to the big moment.” She believes timing’s everything as it was on that afternoon when she looked up to see Romy struggling to find the proper words. Indeed, when the moment is right, then the proposal is always perfect.