“I remember the very last day that I saw him, not knowing that I wouldn’t see him for over a decade. My last memory of him is [when] we made Rice Krispy treats in his parents’ kitchen… and then we were separated,” she said. Little did she know they were destined to spend their life together!
You know how they what's meant to be yours will always find its way back to you? That's exactly what happened with Natalie Crowe Tatman and Austin Tatman. The two of them were best friends in pre-school, and rather inseparable from each other reports People. When Natalie was five-years-old, she moved to Florida, where she lost contact with her childhood buddy. Years later, Natalie decided to use the power of social media to help her find her best friend. She succeeded, and they soon realized they were meant to be much more than just friends. Two dates later, Natalie and Austin were sure they were soulmates. The two of them were meant to be when they were toddlers! “We just automatically became best friends and our parents realized it,” Natalie said. “It’s strange when you’re that age — you don’t usually hang out with the opposite sex. But from when we were 2 until we were 5, we were constantly together.” Natalie also shared that she and Austin were both due on Valentine’s Day, but Austin arrived two weeks earlier, while she came two weeks late.
As a child, your memories would be fuzzy, but Natalie remembers Austin very well, thanks to all the photos they have together. “I have very faint memories, but our parents have told us many stories. Like on Halloween in 1999, Austin held my hand in the car on the way to trick-or-treating. Those are little things that our parents tell us, where they knew, ‘This is insane that they’re interacting like this," she said. “Every picture that we have — even in a group — we were together and then everyone else was on the side,” Natalie recalls. “I just basically have memories of always being with him, regardless of whether I remember the detail of the memory or not, I knew we were always together.” Natalie's parents got divorced when she was five, and she moved to Connecticut with her brother, sister, and mother, Little did she know she wouldn't be seeing her best buddy for more than 12 years.
“I remember the very last day that I saw him, not knowing that I wouldn’t see him for over a decade. My last memory of him is [when] we made Rice Krispy treats in his parents’ kitchen… and then we were separated,” she said. Even when she moved, she said she would think of him from time to time, wondering how he was. “I briefly remember when I was 8 and 10, I would ask my mom about Austin and she would say, ‘I’m sure if you remember him, he remembers you,'” Natalie recalls. “But I had no way of getting in touch with him at the time.”
She then came across a telephone directory with everyone's numbers and the then 17-year-old finally discovered Austin's name listed in the T section. “I knew his last name started with a T, but I don’t know why — I still have no idea to this day why — I went to his name out of all the names that were in there. This thing was full,” she explains. “As soon as I saw [his name and old address], I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I remember him.’ There was this overwhelming feeling of ‘I better go find him on Facebook before I miss out on this opportunity,'” Natalie revealed. Natalie instantly recognized Austin when she saw his profile picture even though she hadn't seen him for so long. Austin, too, was glad to be able to reconnect with his old friend.
They caught up and realized Austin lived just 10 minutes away from Natalie's dad, and she was about to visit him soon, so they made plans to meet up. They had a fun time. It was their second date, however, where sparks began to fly. “Ever since that time, we’ve been together. It was like the second I saw him, it was a friendship that had come back to life instantly,” Natalie said. “We both knew we were in love with each other after being on our second date,” Natalie adds. “We rekindled the friendship on the first day of reuniting and then being alone, it was like, ‘Okay, whatever time that may be, I’m gonna marry you.'”
They were in a long distance relationship for a year and then went to different colleges in the same city. In August 2017, after almost a year of graduating from college, Austin popped the question to Natalie in front of their friends and family. On April 13, 2019, Austin and Natalie finally tied the knot at The Mulberry in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. It was a fairytale romance for them! “After we had picked the place we were gonna get married, that’s when it was like ‘I’m literally marrying my preschool sweetheart.’ This is insanity,” she said.
So, when it came to their wedding, they knew they had to pay homage to their preschool days that bought them together. In an adorable gesture, they decided to recreate one of their photos from 1999 that featured Natalie and Austin standing side-by-side in a red Jeep Wrangler! It was just too cute to handle. “We were trying to throw in little details [of our relationship] and when I saw the Jeep in the photos, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, we need to do this,'” Natalie says, adding that she was able to rent one from car sharing marketplace.“The Jeep was our favorite thing about the wedding,” she adds of her idea. “It was a perfect recreation of it.” Though it was very special to them, they were careful to not overdo it.
“We had a storyline and a display of our pictures in order,” she notes. “As amazing as our story is, I didn’t want it to be the focal point of us being together… we have this amazing story but the story isn’t what kept us together for 7 years since we’ve reconnected.” They now live in Fort Lauderdale, where Natalie works as an event planner and blogger, and Austin in sales. They have known each other for 22 years and Natalie says she's learned how everything happens for a reason. “There’s a reason I went through my mom’s archives and found an address book. And there’s a reason that we went to separate colleges,” she adds. “It was kinda crazy how everything came together so perfectly, and it still doesn’t make sense to me to this day.”