SARASOTA--In April 2012, Hayley Wielgus walked around the ABC 7 newsroom by herself. She had just finished her job interview with the news director, and was waiting to leave for the airport to catch a flight back to Tyler, Texas. It was at that time, reporter Max Winitz noticed Hayley and struck up a conversation.
The two kept in touch through Facebook, while Hayley pondered the job offer and several others. To Max's delight, she ended up taking the job in Sarasota.
"It was only about two weeks later and he asked me to go to dinner," said Hayley.
To this day, Max doesn't call their fist dinner together at Sarasota's Mediterraneo, a "date." He says he wanted to get to know her. Hayley disagrees.
"I definitely think we were attracted to each other and saw each other more than friends, even on that first date," said Hayley.
The rest is history. Max and Hayley began seriously dating just about a month later. Now, the two are engaged to me married, after Max popped the question a few weeks ago.
Max asked Hayley to come to his apartment to watch a movie. Thinking she was going to have a low key evening, she was wearing a t-shirt, jean shorts and no makeup, not to mention the laundry basket she was carrying when she arrived at his apartment.
"She still bothers me about this everyday," said Max.
Max sat Hayley down on his couch and popped in a DVD. Cliff Roles, a professional photographer captured the entire thing on camera. Once the DVD started, Max appeared on screen from the ABC 7 newsroom, mentioning this is where the couple first met. The video then goes into a slideshow, showcasing the great moments the two have shared together. After the slideshow, Hayley followed Max into the other room where he proposed.
"Thank goodness she said yes," said Max.
The happy couple will likely have a wedding sometime in 2015, and will be getting married on the Suncoast.
"I often use the line from the movie, As Good as it Gets, but Hayley does make me want to be a better man," said Max.
"He always makes me laugh. He can get fired up about things, but he is usually very light hearted. We laugh a lot. We see the world in the same way," said Hayley.
On November 18th, ABC 7 will air a report on Hayley and Max going shopping for wedding venues, and what all brides should know.