Preschool sweethearts Amy Giberson and Justin Pounders have tied the knot!
The couple first met as toddlers at Sunshine Pre-K in St. Petersburg, Florida, where they shared a “shy” schoolyard romance playing tag and building blocks together. But like many first loves, they drifted apart when they attended different elementary, middle and high schools. Eventually, forgetting about each other altogether.
That is until 30 years later when Pounders, 34, ran across, Giberson, 34, on an online dating website. It was only after a year of dating that the couple realized they had been childhood loves at Sunshine Pre-K so many years ago.
And after spending “two wonderful years” dating, the forever loves exchanged vows on Saturday in their hometown of St. Petersburg in front of 200 friends and family.
“It’s a dream come true,” Giberson tells PEOPLE. “I’m so excited to start this next chapter of our lives together.”
After PEOPLE magazine shared their incredible love story last November, Pounders surprised Giberson with a marriage proposal on a live taping of ABC’s The View, recruiting toddlers from their former preschool to hold up a sign that read: “Amy, will you marry me?”
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“I truly feel it was fate!” says Giberson. “Our hearts met at the age of 3 and we had our own journeys to go through for 30 years, but ultimately our hearts were meant to love each other.”
“Everyone wants a dream love story, and somehow it happened to us!”
Their “dream wedding” took place on November 18 — on the one-year anniversary of their engagement. Giberson wore a beautiful, sweetheart gown from Kleinfeld and former co-host of The View, Michelle Collins, officiated the ceremony that took place at Mahaffey Theater in downtown St. Petersburg.
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“We chose Mahaffey because that’s where I put on all of my dance performances as a little girl,” explains Giberson. “But this time I was doing the most important two dances of my life — our first dance as husband and wife and my first dance with my dad.”
The bride’s favorite part of the wedding? Custom-made glasses with palm tree prints in honor of Sunshine Pre-K, where the newlyweds first met.
“He is my world and I love him more than I could ever describe,” says Giberson of her new husband. “Marrying Justin is my dream come true, it was nothing short of perfection.”
The couple hopes that by sharing their love story, they will encourage others looking for love to never give up.
“Every minute of every day, I thank my lucky stars,” says Giberson. “The amount of coincidences and connections we’ve uncovered through our years together is unbelievable.
“Always keep your heart open to love, because you never know when you’ll find it.”
Giberson and Pounders, who are headed off on a two-week honeymoon to the Caribbean, say they are blown away by the way their story has touched so many people.
“We are so extremely grateful for the outpouring of love, well wishes and support from total strangers from around the world,” says Giberson. “While we don’t know them, there’s definitely a connection we share as we are all looking for that one great love. I read comments, messages and reply as often as I can. Everyone will find love, so keep your heart open for it.”
The preschool sweethearts also hope to start a family soon.
“Stay tuned!” says Giberson with a laugh.