The first time Arte Vann and Erica Harris met in person was also the day they got married.
The New York-based Vann and California-based Harris first got acquainted on Instagram in March 2015 and had a cross-country “insta-courtship” in the months following. It was Harris who made the first move after seeing his avatar on the photo-sharing app.
“What drew me to him is a lot of men, you can tell how they are to women through their comments,” she told the Daily Mail. “I saw that Arte was very personal, and he was very attentive, and thought ‘Wow this guy seems like a nice guy’.”
She liked some of his photos, but didn’t follow him until he tagged her in a (clothed) full-body photo.
“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,” Harris added.
Comments soon turned to direct messages, which then led to voice calls. They talked “five or seven hours for the first night” they spoke, they said.
Vann and Harris stopped talking a couple of months later and both deleted their Instagram accounts, but they connected again in the fall. Harris was the first to reach out but Vann didn’t respond. What she didn’t know was that he was involved in a bad car accident. Eventually they started talking and everything restarted “right where we left off,” she said.
They started talking marriage after a follower suggested they get married. It sounded like a good idea and eventually Vann quit his job in New York and bought a one-way ticket to California. He landed at Ontario International Airport on Jan. 29 and the two were married right in the terminal.
“I didn’t realize how much I love this man,” she told the Daily Mail on Monday. “Now that we’ve spent three days together, I can’t believe how much I love him.”
CBS LA filmed the airport wedding for Vann’s mother, who lives in New York. “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,” Harris told the news station while waiting for Vann’s plane to arrive.
“Don’t listen to your thoughts. Don’t listen to your head. Follow your heart. Follow your soul,” Vann added to CBS. “For anybody that doesn’t believe in fairy tales anymore, who am I? And it can happen to you, too,” Harris added.