Florida preschool sweethearts who were separated aged five tie the knot 19 years later

Two preschool sweethearts who lost touch when they were five have got married 19 years later after reconnecting through Facebook as teenagers.

Natalie and Austin Tatman, both 24, grew up together in Florida and were said to be devoted to each other even at a prekindergarten class in Ocala.

The couple lost contact after Natalie had to move to Connecticut but reconnected 12 years later and finally tied the knot this year.   

The pair were so close they would hold each other's hand when they went trick or treating or sailing on Natalie's father's boat. Pictured: They stand in a red Jeep which they reenacted at their wedding

The pair were so close they would hold each other's hand when they went trick or treating or sailing on Natalie's father's boat. Pictured: They stand in a red Jeep which they reenacted at their wedding

Natalie and Austin Tatman, both 24, grew up together in Florida but lost touch after Natalie's parents divorced and she moved to Connecticut. Pictured: On their wedding day they recreated a childhood photo of them in a Jeep

Natalie and Austin Tatman, both 24, grew up together in Florida but lost touch after Natalie's parents divorced and she moved to Connecticut. Pictured: On their wedding day they recreated a childhood photo of them in a Jeep

Natalie and Austin Tatman, both 24, grew up together in Florida but lost touch after Natalie’s parents divorced and she moved to Connecticut. On their wedding day (left) they recreated a childhood photo of them in a Jeep (right)

In 2012, Natalie found her mother’s old address book and flicked through to see if Austin was in it. He was and she sent him a message on Facebook

They realized Austin lived near Natalie’s father in Florida and they started seeing each other after swapping phone numbers 

They would hold each other’s hand when they went trick or treating or sailing on Natalie’s father’s boat as children.

But Natalie’s parents got divorced and she had to leave for Connecticut with her mother.

Natalie said she used to ask her mother if Austin remembered her, to which she would reply: ‘If you remember him, then he remembers you.’   

 They both went to university in Florida and continued to date

In summer 2012, she came across her mother’s address book and looked to see if Austin was in it.

She told Today: ‘For whatever reason, the first person to come to my mind was Austin.’

She added: ‘Still to this day, I have no idea why I went to it.’ 

Despite having not seen each other for 12 years, Natalie searched for him on Facebook.

They swapped phone numbers and realized Natalie’s father lived 10 minutes away from Austin in Florida.

They started seeing each other and Austin went to the University of Florida while Natalie studied business administration at the University of Central Florida.   

Austin said: ‘It was just like being back with your best friend that you haven’t seen, which was the craziest experience for me.

‘You can never replicate that … being away from someone and reconnecting.’  

In a twist of fate, My Old Friend by Tim McGraw came on the radio on their second date.

Austin said: ‘It was just like being back with your best friend that you haven’t seen, which was the craziest experience for me’

Natalie said: ‘The song was really key to our relationship. It was so spot on to our journey.’

Austin proposed on a beach in Fort Lauderdale in 2017 and the couple got married in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, on April 13.

At the ceremony, they remade a photo of them in a Jeep from when they were preschool sweethearts.

Natalie said: ‘Our parents pretty much told us that it was a very, very special bond that we shared’

And Austin decided to make the guest book at their wedding look like an address book – to remind them of how Natalie found him.  

Natalie said: ‘From the second that we met in pre-K we were best friends.

‘Our parents pretty much told us that it was a very, very special bond that we shared.

Austin proposed on a beach in Fort Lauderdale in 2017 and the couple got married in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, on April 13

‘They were both over the moon about us getting together.’ 

Austin added: ‘Both sets of our parents were so supportive when we first reconnected.

‘They were just as excited, if not more excited, than we were.’

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