You know Chip and Joanna Gaines as the married contractor-interior designer duo who are the driving forces behind the hit HGTV show Fixer Upper, using their talents to morph dilapidated homes into other couples' dream abodes. It's a pretty romantic concept — one that can inevitably makes fans think about how the team got their start not only as TV personalities, but as a family. So, how did Chip and Joanna Gaines meet? Unsurprisingly, they have the picture-perfect meet-cute story to match their show's tone and aesthetic.
Long before these two were working on Season 5 of the wildly popular television show, they were both students at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. That's not where they met, though, as Country Living reported. Instead, Chip first encountered Joanna not in the flesh but in a photograph at her father's Firestone Tire store, where she worked the front desk. "Her dad made the mistake of putting a pic of the family behind the counter at his shop," Chip later told PopSugar. "I knew I'd marry her one day just by the picture on the wall."
And he was determined to make this happen — but he had to meet her first. So, he starting visiting the automotive shop pretty frequently.
And then, one day in 2001, Chip finally stopped by when she was working the front desk. And he had his line ready, having seen a commercial for the shop in which she had starred. "Hey, you're the girl from the commercials," he said to her, according to Country Living. They were married in 2003, and are now the parents of four children: Emmie, 6, Duke, 8, Ella, 9, and Drake, 11.
Their love story is just as polished and pleasing as all those houses they fix up, but things didn't always go without a glitch for them. In 2016, the couple shared with Us Weekly that Chip, ever the softie, had been the first one to say "I love you" when they were dating. Joanna's response of "Thank you" was pretty disappointing. "Yeah, that's the way cyborgs respond to 'I love you,'" Chip said of the memory, the magazine reported. "She said 'thank you' and I was like, 'I am so freaking sick of this,' and I grabbed my basketball and I walked home like a 4-year-old."
Obviously, he got over it and didn't stay away for long — and fans of Fixer Upper are pretty grateful for that. And it's safe to say from watching the show and knowing what fans do about their life together that Joanna loves him back now, too.