Nicole Kidman married Keith Urban after just one month! Would you risk a short courtship for a long marriage?
Long walks on the beach? Couples vacations? Meeting each other's parents? Plenty of couples mark many milestones together before deciding whether to take the leap from dating to mating. But with one bad marriage already behind her, Nicole Kidman wasn't having any of that wait-and-see nonsense. When she met singer Keith Urban in 2006, she grabbed the opportunity (and her man) and the couple was married less than a month after their first date.
“I’m spontaneous. I jump in," Kidman recently told Elle magazine of her lightning-fast wedding. "I kind of like getting married and then getting to know each other; I know that it sounds incredibly strange, but to me, it’s a more natural process.”
She's not the only woman who thinks love is a dish best served piping hot. Here are eight more real-life stories of love at first sight... and how they ended up. (Then, happily married celebrities share their romantic words of wisdom in 7 Secrets That Keep Celeb Couples Together.)
How we met: Proving that a little act of kindness goes a long way, Spencer Hall first caught Megan's attention when he offered to clear her breakfast dishes at their dorm in college and then walked her to class. His smooth moves (and good hygiene—who doesn't love a man who does the dishes?) won him a first date. He proposed the very next weekend and within a few months they were married.
How I knew: "I knew he was it because of how easy we talked about important things like money management, our faith, how similar/different our families of origin were, that kind of thing."
My advice: "Focus on the important stuff. Everyone has a checklist of things you'd like in a partner, but decide which ones are the really important ones. Things like height or eye color don't matter in the long run but don't compromise on the big stuff or you will live with regret or be unhappy trying to change someone."
How we met: Amy was barely out of high school when her sister introduced her to Thomas Hilton. The pair quickly hit it off, going on double dates with her sister and Thomas' best friend.
How I knew: While Amy says she adored him, she wasn't sure if she wanted to be married that young. Yet the more they saw each other, she says she also wasn't sure that she didn't want to be married either. They decided to just jump and see what happened. Now Amy says the shortness of their courtship—just four months from first date to 'I do'—has been a blessing. "We've have had the opportunity to grow and learn together rather than marrying later when we were more set in our ways."
My advice: "Being happily married is something you have to work at. It doesn't just happen."
How we met: Overcoming all the dating site stereotypes of awkward innuendos and embarrassing typos, Amanda met Travis Sarbin online. Their first conversation lasted eight hours, most of which she says was spent quoting Napolean Dynaminte (heck, yes!). But since they lived in different states, they had to fly to see each other. After the third time in two months, the couple decided it would be easier to just make it official. So Amanda moved to Colorado and they hosted a backyard barbecue where a few surprised friends witnessed their nuptials.
How I knew: "We knew there wasn't anyone else out there who would put up with either of us," Sarbin jokes.
My advice: Sarbin says it's all about overlooking small faults and keeping the playfulness in the relationship. "Lovingly make fun of each other!" (Before you tie the knot, make sure you and your S.O. have these 3 Conversations You Must Have Before 'I Do.')
How we met: When Target manager Barbara met K-Mart stocker Jim, their retail rivalry didn't get in the way of love. Their first date was a July 4th party—by September 4 they were husband and wife.
How I knew: "Labor Day was the only weekend we both had off for the rest of the year!" So they marched down to the Justice of the Peace and made it official.
My advice: "Treat each other with respect and always be honest," Jacobs says, adding, "Okay, sometimes I would go shopping and leave purchases in the trunk to avoid discussion, but if asked I would have confessed!"
How we met: Push-ups and rucksack runs don't typically inspire visions of romance, but when Jen met a handsome fellow recruit in bootcamp it was love at first sight. The two dated for a month then eloped. But not all of love-at-first-sight stories end happily ever—the two divorced after four years. Still, Jen says she learned a lot about herself and love from the experience.
How I knew: "We were 18 and thought we were responsible adults in love."
My advice: "If you can, wait. Marriage isn't going anywhere and while there are numerous lovely stories about runaway romance, most relationships don't end that way. More than half of all marriages end in divorce, and it's so much harder if you don't really know each other first." (Learn how to your bond happy and healthy with these 5 Relationship Tips from Divorce Experts.)
How we met: Jane's and Chris's friends knew the two were a perfect match and had been trying to set them for months. When they finally met at a party, they realized their friends had been right all along. (Must have been some party!) They were engaged within two weeks.
How I knew: "We decided to get married because we couldn't find a reason not to. Neither of us were really looking for a life partner when we met, but we were both a little freaked out by how right it felt."
My advice: "If you feel it in your bones that he's the one, go for it. When you know, you know."
How we met: Valerie and Nate first met singing in a choir for their LDS (Mormon) church, but they didn't have time to get to know each other—Nate was leaving to serve a two-year religious mission. But the spark was still there when he returned, and they were wed three months after they officially got together. Four kids and 11 years later, they're still singing together.
How I knew: "I wanted to marry Nate the moment I saw him, before I ever even spoke to him."
My advice: "Be more concerned for the happiness of your spouse above your own. If you are both striving to fulfill that, you will both be happy."
How we met: Mandy and Lee had grown up in the same South African town and even gone to the same school for three years, but had never actually met—until they found each other on an online dating site. She was living in Canada and he was in New Zealand at the time, so things stayed long-distance. But after just five (intermittent) weeks together, Mandy took a leap and moved to New Zealand, where they were married.
How I knew: "I knew he was 'it' within a week of meeting him. There was no question. As he says, we kissed a lot of frogs to know that we had found the one."
My advice: "Why waste time waffling if you know what you want?" (Learn the 6 Things You Should Always Ask for in a Relationship.)