Like plenty of HGTV couples before them, Ben and Erin Napier have captivated viewers with their real-life partnership — both professionally and romantically. The stars of Home Town work with local craftspeople and trade working in order to restore historical homes in Laurel, Miss., which is their home town IRL. Naturally, fans of the couple are curious: How did Ben and Erin Napier meet?
How did Ben and Erin Napier meet?
For those who don't already know, the week that Ben and Erin met is a bigger deal to them than their actual wedding anniversary — yes, really! The couple first met when they were students at Jones County Junior College. Just six days after meeting, both of them knew they had met their future spouse.
"@scotsman.co and I met in our college yearbook room about the feature story we were writing about him. I was the design editor and for two years had noticed him, always the center of attention, everyone’s best friend, my biggest crush," Erin shared on Instagram in 2019.
She continued, "December 8, we took the photos for the yearbook. December 9, we went on our first date and he met my mama. December 10, we looked at the Christmas lights in Mason Park. December 13, we decided we would get married someday. It sounds crazy to you, maybe. But it makes perfect sense to me."
Erin and Ben Napier share more about how they first met in their book.
On the 16th anniversary of her first meeting Ben, Erin took to Instagram to offer more insight about that fateful day. She did so by sharing an excerpt from the couples' book Make Something Good Today.
“Ben Napier and I circled each other before we ever really met," she wrote in a Dec. 7, 2020 Instagram post. "Actually, it’s more accurate to say I circled him, like a moon in his orbit. I admired him from afar, thinking I’d never be the kind of girl he’d notice. I was quiet and didn’t seek out the spotlight; that seemed to belong to him. He was tall and broad, bearded, and shaggy-haired in those days, and magnetic, without ever letting it get to his head. Or so I imagined."
The thing was, Erin hadn't actually met her secret crush before drawing all of these conclusions; they were simply from observing his kind-hearted nature.
"I saw him lead the rowdy Fall Freeze midnight breakfast parties, raise money for student government, usually with a beauty queen or cheerleader waiting nearby," she continued. "I watched him find the one person eating alone in the student union and pull up a chair beside him or her."
Erin added, "He was kind to anyone who would allow it and open in a way that few people were. Ben was popular, but not exclusive, and I think that’s why I loved him before I even knew him. Even from far away I could feel his joy and generosity.”
And the rest is history. Ben and Erin were married on Nov. 22, 2008, and they welcomed a daughter named Helen in January 2018. Oh, right — and they star in a super successful home improvement show.
Catch Season 5 of Home Town, which premieres at 8 p.m. EST on Sunday, Jan. 3 on HGTV.