Couple who have never met and live 3,500 miles apart marry on Zoom

A transatlantic couple tied the knot via Zoom – although they never met in real life.

Ayse, 26, and Darrin, 24, met online during the coronavirus pandemic after Ayse joined a Facebook group designed to bring pen pals from around the world together.

She started talking to Kenda, 56, who said her son Darrin was a similar age and would love to chat with someone from the UK – despite being based in Detroit, Michigan, USA.

The two started chatting as friends in July 2020, but were soon inseparable, talking on the phone every night, even with the five-hour time difference.

After becoming an official item, Ayse planned a trip to the US in July to meet her boyfriend for the first time – but travel restrictions to the US made this impossible.

The 26-year-old student Ayse calls the 24-year-old American husband Darrin, whom she married through Zoom, via video

The couple continued to share weekly date nights on video calls – surprisingly ordering takeaway food and treats each week, and on May 21, 2021, Darrin Ayse surprised Ayse even further with a suggestion.

Knowing that it would be a long time before they first met, the couple made the brave decision to get married through Zoom in a legal ceremony in Utah, United States.

On August 19 of that year, Ayse and Darrin officially became husband and wife, supported by a small number of friends and family via video call.

They don’t have to meet in person yet, but they speak several times a day and eagerly wait for Ayse’s visa application to be accepted so that they can enjoy life together as a married couple to the fullest.

Ayse, a cleaner from Lancaster, Lancs, said, “I never thought this would happen to me in a million years.

“I don’t think anyone expected this when we started talking last year.

“But we’re married and it’s all completely legal and official – I still can’t believe it.

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Ayse on her wedding day

“It was really hard not to meet properly, but in the long run it will make us stronger because we had to go through all of this to be together.

“We just really love each other.”

When the UK was banned, Ayse joined a Facebook group to find a pen pal she could talk to elsewhere in the world to ease her boredom.

She started talking to a woman named Kenda, a nurse, who mentioned that she had a son of similar age who was also looking to talk to.

“It’s funny that I met my mother-in-law before I met my husband,” said Ayse.

“We got along so well, and when she suggested we talk to her son, I thought it was a great idea – although I was a little nervous at first because I had seen photos of him and he was handsome.”

Kenda gave Ayse the number of her son Darrin and she sent a message to introduce herself.

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Darrin on his wedding day

“I told him about my hobbies, how old I was, where I come from, that sort of thing,” said Ayse.

“I knew he was from the US, so I wasn’t expecting any of it, but I thought it would still be interesting to chat with someone from elsewhere.”

Darrin replied and the couple began chatting frequently before suggesting calling each other.

Ayse downloaded a mobile app that allowed her to call the US for free before calling her pen pal for the first time.

“I was worried that it might be uncomfortable, but we talked for hours,” said Ayse.

“We have so much in common that we’re both scared of thunder and lightning and both have owl tattoos with blue eyes.

“I’m not a flirt, but when I chatted with Darrin it was so natural – we hit it off so well straight away.”

The couple started chatting every day – by phone, video call, and text message – and each night they fell asleep while talking on the phone to make them feel closer.

Because of the five-hour time difference, this meant Ayse fell asleep at 2am – a sacrifice she believed was “totally worth it”.

“It was during the pandemic so I wasn’t working as I was on leave and just changed my sleep pattern, so I was sleeping at the same time as Darrin,” she said.

Couple who have never met and live 3,500 miles apart marry on Zoom 3

The 26-year-old student Ayse calls the 24-year-old American husband Darrin, whom she married through Zoom, via video

“We had video calls and only chatted when we fell asleep – then he usually still sleeps when I wake up.

“It’s the closest we can do and it may sound strange, but it’s a great comfort.”

Darrin asked Ayse to become his girlfriend after a few months of daily chat in November 2020, and the couple planned to visit Ayse in the US to meet for the first time.

In the hope that the travel restrictions due to Covid19 will be lifted by the summer, Ayse booked flights to Detroit for herself and mother Elaine (67) and father Nigel (74), both retired, for July 23, 2021.

Unfortunately, the US was still restricting travel from the UK, which meant Ayse and her family could not fly directly.

Hoping to circumvent the UK travel ban but determined to meet her boyfriend in person for the first time, Ayse flew to Mexico for 15 days before taking an onward flight to Detroit.

In another heartbreaking twist, Ayse was then dismissed by the US Immigration Service because the Immigration Service claimed she “did not have enough money in her bank to support herself during her stay” and “had no strong ties”. to Great Britain”.

“I think they thought if they let me go to the US I would never leave because of Darrin,” Ayse said.

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Zoom wedding

“His address was listed as my address on my tourist visa and they asked about my relationship with him. Try to survive my visa.

“I would never have done that, and it was so heartbreaking to be so close to him in the same city but not allowed to cross the border.

“I was put on the next flight home and cried all the way back.”

Just days after returning to her Lancaster home, Darrin suggested a “special date night” where the two of them dressed up for virtual time together.

“When he took the call, he seemed so nervous, which was different from him – but I quickly understood why when he dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him,” Ayse said.

“I could not believe it. He said he was planning on proposing when I got to Detroit but couldn’t wait any longer to ask.

“Although I never met, I had no doubt that I wanted to marry Darrin.”

The couple’s engagement was wholeheartedly supported by their two families.

“I didn’t tell my parents when we started talking, but they noticed that something was going on when I was on the phone all the time,” said Ayse.

“They had reservations at first – but I suggested they chat with Darrin on Skype and they immediately saw how crazy the two of us are on each other.

“When Darrin suggested, he spoke to my father beforehand to ask his permission, which I found very cute and knew my father appreciated it very much.

“It’s all we need in our heads as long as our family and friends support us.”

The couple originally planned to tie the knot when they finally got to meet for the first time, but after reading about a new law legalizing international virtual wedding ceremonies in the state of Utah, they decided to head straight on one way .

Ayse and Darrin tied the knot in an online Utah ceremony on August 19 and are now officially husband and wife.

Although it was not a conventional wedding, Ayse wore white and was accompanied by her proud parents, and Darrin was accompanied by his mother and wore an elegant burgundy suit to take his vows.

“We’ll make sure we celebrate together when we can – but at the moment it was perfect,” said Ayse.

“I still can’t believe it – I wasn’t expecting any of this, but you have to take what life throws at you.

“I miss Darrin every day, but I know that one day we will be together and it will be worth it.”

Although travel restrictions from the UK to the US were lifted this week, Ayse will have to wait for another visa to be accepted before she can book her flights.

“We don’t know when I can get there, but we try to be as positive as possible while we wait,” said Ayse.

“In retrospect, it seems like a long time since we started out as pen pals and now we fight the world together,” said Darrin.

“Since we haven’t met personally, we haven’t been able to enter into a physical relationship, which means our marriage is based on more.

“This has not affected our relationship as much as others because we don’t see this as the most important aspect and we value other things like communication more.

“It doesn’t happen every day that you find your best friend and the love of your life in one, so I wouldn’t let her get away with it just because we live in different countries.


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