Many people use Instagram to find inspiration. But when 21-year-old Denis Lafargue began using the photo-sharing app, he found something he wasn’t expecting: His future wife.
In the spring of 2012, as the college senior and photo lover began to explore Instagram, he browsed through the lists of people his friends were following and started clicking on photos that looked interesting. One user in particular caught his eye: Elizabeth Wisdom.
Wisdom, also 21, who is from Texas, was on vacation with her family and had posted several pictures of Crater Lake in Oregon.
By coincidence, Lafargue had gone on the same trip — driving up the West Coast from California to Washington State — the previous year.
Although Lafargue didn’t usually leave Instagram comments, something about Wisdom's picture inspired him to share.
“I miss this place!” he wrote.
“It’s seriously the most beautiful place I’ve ever been,” she replied.
“Let’s go move in on the island!” he suggested.
His outgoing attitude won Wisdom's attention. “Looking back, it seems like a weird thing to say to someone you don’t know,” Lafargue told TODAY.com of his comment. “But I’m glad I said that.”
They kept communicating, and a few months later, beneath a photo Wisdom posted of a friend, she asked Lafargue, "When are we meeting up?!" They then exchanged contact information and their Instagram friendship began to blossom into a long-distance romance.
Soon, their real-life relationship became Instagram fodder, too, as they posted pictures of each other during increasingly frequent back-and-forth visits.
On her first trip to meet Lafargue, Wisdom posted a playful picture of him balancing between two concrete posts. "Thanks for showing me around and making this an awesome weekend!" she wrote.
"It's official guys," Lafargue announced a few months later, beneath an photo of Wisdom sitting on a fallen tree trunk. "@elizabeth_wisdom is my instalady!"
And though they lived seven hours away from each other, the app helped them keep in touch. While some were skeptical that a long distance couple who met online could really make a relationship work, Lafargue says he and Wisdom were able to build a strong connection through their photos.
“One thing that I like about Elizabeth is that she posts a lot of portraits of people, and that was very true to who she is," he explains. "She loves her family and she posts a lot of pictures and talks about her family very well, and also her friends. In that aspect, I knew from stuff that she had posted and her captions that she was a Christian, and that was the most important thing to me.”
And when Lafargue proposed to Wisdom in the family barn he knew she loved, the big moment also made it to their Instagram feeds. Their love story caught the attention of the Instagram community, and was chronicled on BuzzFeed.
Two weeks ago, the couple celebrated their Insta-anniversary — where else? With an adorable photo, posted to their Instagram feeds. "Who knew I'd fall so hard for a girl that I barely knew anything about," Lafargue wrote.
It seems only fitting that a couple who met on Instagram would incorporate the app into their wedding day.
They’re currently planning an October 2014 wedding in Wisdom’s family’s barn, which was built about 100 years ago, and though the venue won't be high-tech, there will be plenty of smartphones on hand.
“All of my groomsmen have Instagram, as well as the bridesmaids. I haven’t figured out how we’ll incorporate it, but we will,” Lafargue says. “It will definitely be shared.”