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Couple Who Have Never Met in Person Before Marry at Ontario Airport

Mere minutes after meeting in person for the first time, a California woman and a New York man got hitched at the Ontario International Airport on Friday. They’re now calling their meeting an ‘insta-engagement’ and ‘insta-wedding’, paying tribute to the fact that they first got in touch on Instagram in March last year.

After three days of wedded bliss, Erica Harris and Arte Vann claim they are still madly in love. “I didn’t realise how much I love this man,” Erica, a mother-of-three. “Now we’ve they’ve spent three days together, I can’t believe how much I love him.”

The decision to marry was premeditated; reporters from CBS News were waiting at the airport to film Erica Harris and Arte Vann tie the knot. In fact, Erica was the one who informed CBS about her wedding plans and invited them to record it, so that her new mother-in-law could watch it on TV. “I believe this man deserves a lot of love, and I want to give him the love he gives me,” she said. “[Calling CBS] was a present to his mom, because she wouldn’t be at the wedding since we were eloping.”

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Photo: CBS video caption

A spokesperson for the airport told reporters that the local media had alerted them about the wedding in advance. “It was set up by them,” the spokesperson said. “All we did was crowd control. Our PR told us they never met and the first time they met they got married in the terminal.”

Erica revealed that she had noticed Vann’s profile last year because of his cute avatar. She then started observing the way he interacted with other women online. “What drew me to him is a lot of men, you can tell how they are to women through their comments,” she explained. “I saw that Arte was very personal, and he was very attentive, and thought, ‘Wow this guy seems like a nice guy.’”

blind-wedding4

Photo: CBS video caption

So she started liking his pictures, which is how Vann became aware of her profile. He checked out her page and soon tagged her in a full-body mirror selfie, which came as a pleasant surprise to Erica. “I’m like, a tag? I’ve never gotten this, and I said, ‘Oh my gosh, this man is good-looking,’ so I followed him right off the bat and he followed me right back.”

They left comments on each other’s pictures, messaged each other, and eventually started talking on the phone. According to Erica, they spoke for “five or seven hours for the first night.” They were in touch for several months, but things slowed down a bit in May last year, when Erica, fearing that they were getting too close too soon, stopped talking to Vann. They both deleted their Instagram page and started fresh accounts, but didn’t contact each other for months.

blind-wedding3

Photo: CBS video caption

But Erica found the separation difficult, and eventually reached out to Vann, the man who had always been there for her. “I messaged him, ‘Arte, I need you’ and a week later, nothing,” she said. “Unbeknownst to me, he got into a car accident and wrapped himself around a tree. Fast forward to November, he goes back on Instagram, we reconnect and we’re right where we left off.”

The couple got pretty serious about their relationship after that – they would speak for hours on the phone with Erica’s sons telling Vann ‘goodnight’ and ‘I love you’ every night. They also interacted in a tight-knit writing community on Instagram, where they posted poems and commented on the works of other users. In December, another member of that group told the couple they “need to get hitched,” to which Erica replied “Yeah, well, okay, why don’t we get hitched?”

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Photo: CBS video caption

Vann apparently loved the idea too, so he quit his job in New York and bought a one-way ticket to California. He told Erica, “I can’t come out there and go back to New York. I can’t leave you.” So they met at the airport for the first time, fully intending to marry each other, letting God be their officiator.

“We know God brought us together, so we let God be our pastor,” Erica said, adding that both she and Vann have been victims of abuse in the past. “I used to hate the idea of marriage, but he’s Prince Charming.”

 

“You don’t drag your feet with real love. You leap into that like there’s no tomorrow, and that’s what we’re doing,” she added. “I’m going to enjoy life more than ever. We’re just going to laugh and get to know each other.”

Who said fairy-tale romance doesn’t happen in real life?

Sources: CBS Local, Daily Mail

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