Instead, they were friends first, having met on Bailon’s 2013 movie, I’m in Love with a Church Girl, a film that Houghton produced. She even helped set him up on dates with her own friends before realizing, perhaps, she was more into him than they were. Plus, there was the musical connection. “He started singing these songs that I grew up singing in my church, literally like songs that I swear, nobody knows,” she recalled to E! News. “He’s like, ‘I’ve grown up singing these songs since I was a kid.’ And in that moment, I was like, Oh my gosh, this is somebody that actually gets me and understands me and will know me…I was like, oh, this is my soulmate. I get it. We’ve known each other for a lifetime—we just didn’t even know it.”

Houghton was all in as well. Despite previously swearing off marriage, he got down on one knee mid-boat ride as they cruised in front of the Eiffel Tower in August 2016. “I’ve taken a giant leap of faith in asking her to share life with me forever and to give me a shot at getting it right this time,” he announced to fans in an Instagram post. “She has graciously granted my request… She said yes.” Exactly three months later, on Nov. 11, 2016, they were once again in the City of Light, only this time to become husband and wife. The festivities were picturesque with the couple tying the knot and celebrating inside the famed Hôtel Plaza Athénée. “My favorite moment was just marrying my best friend, sitting in the back of this vintage Rolls Royce, eating french fries with him on the way to the Eiffel Tower to take our official pictures,” she recalled to E! News. “And we have pictures of literally stuffing our face with French fries in this super classy moment. I’m in my gown with my train, and I’m just sitting with my bestie eating french fries and I loved that.”

On Wednesday, the couple ushered in their fourth wedding anniversary with public declarations of their love. “You are my soulmate, my purpose partner, my lover & my BESTEST friend,” she wrote to Houghton on Instagram. “These last 4 years have the been the happiest of my life. Being loved by you gives me wings. Cheers to FOREVER & EVER… I love you with all of me.”

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