Apps and digital technology have revolutionized how couples find each other, that’s for sure, and, as cool as it is, the pragmatism of online romance comes at the price of sucking the serendipity out of a great meeting story.
Or, so we thought.
Turns out, total chance—and sometimes bizarre—IRL encounters still happen. In honor of Valentine’s Day, here are five of those local meet-cutes (ish).
OK, so the first one out of the gate is sort of an Internet love story. But it doesn’t involve Tinder. Lori Byrd-McDevitt, co-owner of digital marketing agency 1909 Digital, met her future husband Dominic on … wait for it … Wikipedia.
“There are only so many Wiki couples in the world,” Byrd-McDevitt said. “We are especially unique because we met in a niche community ‘GLAM-Wiki’ (galleries libraries archives and museums) who help the cultural sector get content into Wikipedia. I was the first Wikipedian in residence in a museum in the US and he was the second. We were both nerd famous and basically fell in love as we traveled the world together on the Wiki conference circuit sharing about our work. We now have a Wiki baby and that’s even more rare. He’s pretty cute.”
At their wedding, the two exchanged Wikipedia-themed vows.
Rachel Morrow Ferguson, vice president for Teagan Development, was rebelling against her non-religious parents by joining a “super hardcore evangelical” cult she heard about from a friend. But she wasn’t expecting to meet her future husband, Brandon, in that walled compound in east Texas.
Although the two are no longer together, Morrow Ferguson has no regrets about how they met.
“Given that I was from Maine and he was from Indiana, there’s probably no other way we would have met,” she said. “Glad we did, though, since he’s still like family to me and the reason I’m in Indy now. I got a pretty awesome husband and partner and now lifelong friend out of it, though, so I guess it’s not the worst decision I ever made.”
When realtor Martine Locke moved to Indy, she hoped to preemptively make friends online beforehand, so she’d have a community waiting for her after the move.
“She had seen a comment of mine on a mutual friend’s status … and thought that I seemed ‘arty’ (aka, good tribe material! Lol) and sent me a note right away basically telling me that she was moving here from California and was wanting to connect with like minded people,” said Jamie Locke, a mandala artist. “The next line then read, ‘Will you be my friend?’ I of course said ‘yes!’ and the rest is history.”
Jamie and Martine were both in relationships when they finally met in person and actually spent the better part of a year as friends.
“Once [same sex] marriage became legal in Iowa, we drove to Iowa to spend the weekend with friends who had helped us by getting us into the judge that performed the first wedding,” Locke said. “A year later on the same date—August 2—we had a friends ceremony out at Marion County Fair Grounds where everyone camped, cooked food together and we had a hand tying ceremony where all our friends tied ribbons with all their wishes for us written on them, around our hands.”
Lauren Guidotti met her husband Jereme Morris through work. You might be saying, “That’s pretty typical,” except this was a particularly unique professional situation. Guidotti was working for NUVO magazine, managing an event on Georgia Street downtown while Morris, an IMPD patrolman, was working security for the event.
“To this day we celebrate our anniversary as the day we met and take a photo in the exact location,” said Guidotti, now the community outreach at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “I love telling people we met when he was working for me.”
The two married in August.
Esther and Mark Boston married in 2011, but their meeting story at Herron School of Art and Design in 2007 is, well, kinda disgusting.
They were both in drawing class during their first week of school when their teacher said they’d be sketching a nude model.
“This made me slightly squeamish but being in art school you have to be open to these things,” Esther Boston said. “The model came in and struck a pose on the podium and we started sketching. As we were sketching, the sunlight hit a drip of something that glinted off the end of the model’s penis. At first I didn’t know what I was looking at. But then the sunlight caught another gleam of wetness. I shuddered and turned to my left only to see a beautiful young man also shuddering and turning to his right. Our eyes locked and from that moment on we became connected. Nothing can bond you faster than drawing a nude model with syphilis. The rest is history.”
Amy Bartner is an Indy Maven contributor and met her future husband on Tinder, but is probably going to make up a more interesting story soon. It likely won’t involve syphilis.