Speed Reads

meant to be

Couple that met during chance encounter on plane celebrates 40th wedding anniversary

If Vickie Moretz and Graham Kidner hadn't booked standby tickets for a 1982 World Airways flight from Washington, D.C., to London — and snagged the last seats on the plane — they wouldn't have spent the last 40 years married.

"When you think back, all the things that had to line up for us to meet is incredible," Kidner told CNN Travel. "One slight change of plans, we never would have met. It was meant to be."

Moretz and her friend Sandra were heading to England for a work study program, while Kidner was returning home after traveling through the U.S. They were thrilled to get the last three seats on the plane, all in one row, and became fast friends. Kidner took the Americans on a whirlwind tour of London, and before leaving to head north to his parents' house, he took a picture with Moretz, their arms around each other. They had an instant connection, and when Kidner visited London a few weeks later, "by the end of that evening, we were holding hands," Moretz said. "That was March 6. And then we were engaged July 4, and married Dec. 28."

They live in the U.S., where they raised their two children, and for their 40th wedding anniversary in December, their neighbor snapped a picture of them recreating the photo from their first night in London. "It was amazing how we met, and how things turned out," Moretz told CNN Travel, adding, "and that we're still together, that's amazing too."