For Valentine’s Day, local couples share stories of how they met

Today is Valentine’s Day.

Couples first meet in a variety of ways, and we asked local people to submit stories of how they met.

Jeffrey and Martha Culp

Do you believe in love at first sight? You should because that’s how it happened for me. Meeting my wife was different for me than how I envisioned it. I was attending college and 22 years old. Myself along with some friends were invited to a revival at a small local church to hear a friend preach. As the service began, I saw this beautiful, stunning young lady get up and start toward the piano. For some reason, and that had to be a God moment, I punched a friend and told him I was going to marry that girl. He laughed and said I was dreaming and you don’t even know her name. This was true, but long story short, and even though she was only 16, I made it my mission to meet her, which I did. Her parents, for some reason, gave me their permission to date her, and we began dating. Then two years later, we were married in that very same church where we first met. It had to be a God thing for this to happen. We have been together now for 46 wonderful years and are blessed with three amazing children. But we’ve gone through some tough times, like many marriages, including losing our daughter to cancer at age 21, but God has preserved our marriage. My wife is my best friend, the love of my life, my everything, my sunshine and I thank God every day for blessing our lives together. Happy Valentine’s Day, Martha. I love you. (Submitted by Jeffrey Culp)

Paul and Sandee Ramsey

We started dating in January 1990. I had gone into American Rental to find a movie the youth pastor, Sam Davenport, had suggested for my youth group. I couldn’t find it, and Paul, the manager, helped me look. We never found it, so I asked Sam the title again. He had given me the wrong title, so I returned to American Rental and Paul once again helped me. I found the movie, we decided to grab lunch sometime and the rest is history. We got married May 29 the same year with Sam officiating. (Submitted by Sandee Ramsey)

Dave and Kendra Zumhingst

Dave and I met in high school but started going together (that’s what we called it back then) in May 1996 and were married in 2000. We just celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary. We have two teenagers of our own and have had six foreign exchange students to date. Life is never boring here. (Submitted by Kendra Zumhingst)

Aaryck and Kamy Royalty

My husband and I met in 2015 as a freshman and junior at Seymour High School in math class. A couple of weeks after having classes together, I started my first job at Walmart and ended up working alongside my now husband as a cashier. After months of talking back and forth, I finally let Aaryck take me out on a date. It was after that first date I knew I could spend forever loving him. He has always been so patient and caring toward me, a place that felt safe. I admire my husband most for the level of patience he has for me. We balance each other out so well. I couldn’t imagine my life without him. We graduated high school in 2017, had our first baby in 2018 and got married in 2021. We have been together seven years this past January and will celebrate our second wedding anniversary this August. Our story has been far from perfect with lots of challenges within the past seven years. I am happy to say I am still loving my high school sweetheart and excited for what this life has for us. (Submitted by Kamy Royalty)

Matt and Kristi Bledsoe

Matt and I were introduced by a friend, and our first date was on Dec. 2, 2002. We were married July 17, 2004. We lived in Seymour our entire life until 2019 when we moved west of Bloomington and now on to new adventures moving to New Mexico. We will be together 21 years and in July married for 19. The man still gives me butterflies. (Submitted by Kristi Bledsoe)

Anthony Miller and Tonya Crouch

My husband and I met in 2019 through a mutual friend. It was love at first sight. We started dating and instantly moved in together. We’ve been together going on four years now. He is the love of my life. We have a family of three kids together. He is the most amazing man I have ever met. We are truly what love means. (Submitted by Tonya Crouch)

Ronnie and Laura Wright

We met in high school. Of course, I just thought she was the prettiest little lady I had ever seen in my life. I carried her books to class, which back then, that was the thing. Boys carried their girl’s books to class because they couldn’t possibly do that on their own, you know. She was just 15 at the time. I was two years older, 17. But over time, we started going out, and the house that she lived in on Second Street in Austin, my dad bought that as just a very small house and built onto it, and so we lived there. In 1949, I was born in that same house that she was living in. Over time when we got going together, one day, we were visiting and talking to my mother about that I was born in that house. We asked her what room, and she told me. Well, that room was Laura’s bedroom, so I born in my wife’s bedroom, believe it or not. It’s one thing to live in the same house, but to actually be born in that house and be born in her bedroom, that was crazy. I like telling it, and it’s something very unusual. We’ve been together 53 years Feb. 7. (Submitted by Ronnie Wright)