The couple from Massachusetts had just finished off a bottle of champagne to celebrate their engagement on a Tampa Bay area beach in August 2001 and got a crazy idea.
They wrote a message on paper, put it in the bottle, shoved the cork back on and then tossed it into the waves.
The message read: "To whoever finds this bottle: may you be blessed as the two of us. May you find someone to love with as much compassion. May you find and keep someone who completes you. This is our message in a bottle."
They included their first names and a post office box in their hometown of Attleboro, Mass.
Karl and Michele Kimmell, now the parents of two children and about to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary, say they occasionally wondered if anyone had found the bottle.
"It was just a regular cork in the bottle so I figured the cork would start leaking eventually," Karl, 36, told WLNE-TV.
Turns out someone had found it, on the opposite coast of Florida.
Michael Souvigny found the bottle in February while out hunting along the St. John's River in Green Cove Springs.
"It was very much a surprise," Michele, 35, told The (Attleboro) Sun Chronicle newspaper.
He responded to the message, but his letter was returned because the post office box account was closed and Karl and Michele had moved to neighboring Rehoboth.
At the urging of a friend, Souvigny turned to The Sun Chronicle, which published a story about the bottle.
Michele's sister saw the story and recognized the handwriting on the letter, a copy of which was printed with the article.
She contacted the Kimmells, who plan on contacting Souvigny.
"It's neat that someone actually ended up finding it," Michele said.