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Childhood sweethearts separated as kids reunite years later and get married

Austin Tatman and Natalie Crowe lost touch for 12 years after being childhood best friends. Then, one day, Natalie found her mom's old address book.
/ Source: TODAY

Natalie Crowe was a bored teenager during the summer of 2012 when she stumbled across her mother's old address book in a storage bin and decided to search for a specific name.

The first person to pop into her head was Austin Tatman, who was her best friend when they were 5 years old. The two had lost touch after she moved from Florida to Connecticut with her mother and siblings.

pre-school friends get married
Austin Tatman and his wife, Natalie Crowe-Tatman, re-created a sweet photo from their childhood friendship at their wedding in April. Courtesy of Natalie Crowe-Tatman/Courtesy of Shannon Miller

"For whatever reason, the first person to come to my mind was Austin," she told TODAY. "Still to this day, I have no idea why I went to it."

They hadn't seen each other in 12 years, but finding his name in her mother's address book prompted her to look up Tatman on Facebook and send him a message. Of course he remembered her.

"It was just like being back with your best friend that you haven't seen, which was the craziest experience for me," Tatman told TODAY. "You can never replicate that ... being away from someone and reconnecting."

That random reunion led to a budding romance, which progressed to the once-prekindergarten sweethearts becoming husband and wife. They got married on April 13 in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

"From the second that we met in pre-K we were best friends," Crowe said. "Our parents pretty much told us that it was a very, very special bond that we shared."

pre-school friends get married
The two were great friends until they were five and Natalie moved away with her family. Courtesy of Natalie Crowe-Tatman

The couple, who are both 24, first met in 1999 in the same prekindergarten class in Ocala, Florida. They can still remember holding hands when they went trick-or-treating and going out on Crowe's father's boat together.

"We would always hang out on the side kind of by ourselves," she said.

Even after Crowe and her family moved, she would often ask her mother if Tatman still remembered her.

"She would say, 'If you remember him, then he remembers you,''' Crowe said.

pre-school friends get married
They reconnected when Natalie looked up Austin on Facebook in high school. Courtesy of Natalie Crowe-Tatman

After they reconnected on Facebook, they eventually traded cellphone numbers. They also determined that Crowe's father lived only 10 minutes away from Tatman in Florida, which led to them reuniting in person when she went to visit.

"Both sets of our parents were so supportive when we first reconnected," Tatman said. "They were just as excited, if not more excited, than we were."

"They were both over the moon about us getting together," Crowe said.

pre-school friends get married
The couple got married in April and now live together in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Courtesy of Shannon Miller

On their second date, the song "My Old Friend" by Tim McGraw played on the radio.

"The song was really key to our relationship,'' Crowe said. "It was so spot on to our journey."

They had a long-distance relationship as seniors in high school, with Crowe in Connecticut and Tatman in Florida. Tatman then attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, while Crowe went to the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

Tatman proposed in 2017 on the beach in Fort Lauderdale while surrounded by their friends and family.

At their wedding, they re-created a childhood photo of them in a red toy jeep with a sweet picture of them together in front of a real Jeep.

Their guest book was also in the style of an address book in a nod to Crowe finding Tatman's name in her mother's black book on that fateful day.