Love is in the air… or it’s grounded at baggage claim. One couple’s meet-cute started at baggage claim inside the Cleveland Hopkins Airport in 2007, lending to a rather sentimental journey that culminated with a wedding at the very same spot where their love story started.
Michelle Belleau and Ron Peterson, the giddy bride and groom, first met 12 years ago at baggage claim 6 in the Southwest Airlines terminal. At the time, Belleau was instructed by her boss to pick up a client who turned out to be Peterson.
“He said he really wanted to get married at the place we first met,” Belleau told Cleveland.com. “I couldn’t think of anything more perfect.” (At the time, Belleau was working in the concert promotions business, and Peterson was the president of Rotten Records.)
The pair started dating shortly after that, with their relationship enduring a years-long period of long-distance correspondence, with Belleau in Cleveland and Peterson in Los Angeles. As a result, however, they ended up spending a lot of time in airports for visits to one another, hence their shared appreciation for both planes and airports.
“It was both the happiest place and the saddest place,” Belleau told Cleveland.com, noting that the difference was seen in whether they were reuniting or departing with each trip to the airport. Belleau credited Southwest Airlines, in particular, for helping to keep the couple together throughout their long-distance relationship.
Their save-the-date cards were designed to look like Southwest luggage tags, while the couple’s invitations resembled Southwest boarding passes in a fun tribute to the airline. Southwest even accommodated their unusual request: to get married at baggage claim. According to Cleveland.com, the airline agreed to shift arriving bags to a different belt during the ceremony held Saturday, April 20, and even decorated the space for Belleau and Peterson’s 100 or so guests.
The pair exchanged vows while standing on the baggage claim belt, closing the loop on their initial meeting from 12 years prior.
The ceremony also marked a first for the airline and airport, with a Cleveland Hopkins International Airport spokesperson telling CBS News, “To our knowledge, we have never had a wedding at the airport.”
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