HGTV fans are falling in love with a new home renovation couple. Ben and Erin Napier, hosts of Home Town, spend their days restoring houses in their hometown of Laurel, Mississippi, welcoming new people to their community and, of course, being adorably into each other. But how did Ben and Erin Napier meet? The husband and wife were college sweethearts, and apparently they realized very quickly that they were meant to be.
Erin has written at length about the start of their relationship on her online journal, where she documents the good things that happen in her life each day. She and Ben were both students at Jones County Junior College. They'd noticed each other from afar, and had a few brief interactions in which they developed crushes, but things really kicked into high gear thanks to the good old college yearbook. Erin was on the staff, and the yearbook committee decided to do profiles of the ten most interesting people on campus. Naturally, gregarious, gigantic Ben was one of the selections, and he came by the office to talk about his article. About their first significant encounter, Erin wrote,
I walked by and he reached out for my arm—for a hug (!!!!), and I, ever coolly, gave him a one-arm side hug. We were only acquaintances who had spoken 4 times total, but he said “two arms, please!” He wrapped me in a hug.
After that, things moved quickly. Erin was casually dating someone else at the time, but she and Ben fell so hard for each other during what they now call "Love Week" that they realized they were going to marry one another within six days of that yearbook encounter.
As Erin explained,
We were sitting in my car. Damien Rice’s Cheers Darling was playing. He said,“I want to tell you something. I think I’ve fallen in love with you.” It shook me to my core to hear him say that. After only 6 days, and knowing he’d never said that to anyone before me—I was overjoyed. I didn’t doubt his sincerity, and nothing about it seemed unreasonable. I was more certain of it than many things in my life.“I think I’ve fallen in love with you too,” I told him.“One day, I’m going to marry you. I’m sure about that. I love you,” he said.
Ben has written guest blog posts about "Love Week" from his point of view, and yes, they are just as swoon-worthy as you'd imagine.
The couple married on Nov. 22, 2008, when Erin was 23 and Ben was 25, and they've been going strong ever since. The only difference is that now, they've got a much bigger audience for their love story.