This American Woman Met Her Ethiopian Prince At A Club and Their Wedding Was Everything

Lauren Porter Oct, 26, 2017

On September 9th, Ariana Austin and Joel Makonnen swapped vows during a lavish Maryland wedding but their love story isn’t an ordinary one–it’s a royal one. 

Makonnen happens to be the great-grandson of H.I.M. Haile Selassie I, the last emperor of Ethiopia which means, he is indeed a prince. 

Known as Prince Yoel, the 35-year-old met his 33-year-old bride in a Washington D.C. nightclub and the rest, well it’s what happily ever after, fairytale dreams are made of. 

Austin, who is of African American and Guyanese descent, is a graduate of both Fisk and Harvard University so the new Mrs. is both beauty and brains. 

According to the couple’s wedding website, the two met on the dance floor nearly 10 years ago and sparks instantly flew. 

“Not even five minutes later I said, ‘You’re going to be my girlfriend,’” Makonnen recalled to the New York Times of knowing almost instantly that he and Austin were meant to be. 

We love an amazing wedding, especially when it involves a Prince Charming and a beautiful bride–literally in this case!

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“I think we both had this feeling that this was our destiny,” Ariana told The New York Times. “But I felt like I had things that I had to do.”

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Her bridesmaids, including her sisters, cousin and close friends, each chose their own rose gold dress and they looked amazing!

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“Choosing my dress was a lot of fun,” the bride told Vogue. “I was with my mom and god-sister. We went to three shops in a day, and on the second one, I tried on the Lazaro. We all had an immediate response, but I wanted to keep looking. I went back with one of my bridesmaids the next weekend and got it!”

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The groom looked amazing on his wedding day. 

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No one can deny how divine Ariana looked as she tied the knot!

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“I think I said, ‘Let’s take this journey together,’” the groom said about popping the question. “When I proposed she was like, ‘It’s about time.’"

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Because the bride's dress was so breathtakingly beautiful, she kept her jewelry and accessories to a minimum and we simply love it!

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The couple's wedding ceremony was very spiritual. The groom recalled to Vogue, "The ceremony was a wholly spiritual and uplifting moment. It was carried out by the totality of the clergy at Debre Genet Medhane Alem Church, officiated with great passion, and followed our long history and tradition to the highest degree of detail, with all the sacraments, vestments, and oils—and apart from a few details, it was a true-to-form Ethiopian Orthodox wedding. Everyone felt the spirit, the holiness, and the love present . . . the energy was incredible. My heart felt so full of pride. I was carried away to my home country and into the millenary tradition of my ancestors."

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Because Ariana and Prince Yoel wed in an Ethiopian Orthodox church, she had to ask permission for her dad to walk her down the aisle because it's not a customary tradition. 

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Just days before the couple tied the knot, Ariana converted religions so that the pair could marry at the Debre Genet Medhane Alem Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Temple Hills, Maryland. 

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How beautiful is the bride in her traditional garb!

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Cheers to a great love!

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We love a sweet treat!

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We're sure the groom will always hold on to his bride like this for all time.