Woman From America Weds An Ethiopian Prince After Meeting 12 Years In A Nightclub.

Ariana Austin, 33 married 35-year-old Joel Makonnen, a great-grandson of the last emperor of Ethiopia, on September 9~ Photos By Dotun Ayodeji

Ariana Austin, 33, married 35-year-old lawyer Joel Makonnen, a great-grandson of Haile Selassie I, the last emperor of Ethiopia, on September 9th in Maryland. 

The couple married 12 years after they first met on the dance floor of Washington, DC nightclub Pearl. 

Makonnen told the New York Times that he hit on his future bride and her friend using a cheesy pick-up line. 

Makonnen's great grandfather, Emperor Haile Selassie I, ruled the African nation from 1930 until 1974, when he was overthrown.

Makonnen was born in Italy, where his family was living in exile, and grew up in Switzerland. 
When the couple met, Makonnen was studying at American University. He went on to get his law degree from Howard. Austin got her master's from Harvard in arts education. 

Makonnen says he immediately knew he wanted to date Austin. 
'Not even five minutes later I said, 'You're going to be my girlfriend,'' he said. 

While Makonnen didn't immediately tell Austin about his family, the truth about his heritage came out as they started to seriously date and it's something that fascinates Austin. 

'It's unbeatable heritage and history,' Austin said. 'It combines sheer black power and ancient Christian tradition.'

The two married last month in an elaborate Ethiopian Orthodox Christian wedding involving 13 priests in Temple Hills, Maryland. 

The bride and groom both wore crowns and capes in the ceremony, making them look like the true royals they are. 

Austin come from an Black/Guyanese family with rich histories abroad. Her maternal grandfather was lord mayor of Georgetown, the capital of Guyana. 

By Valentine's Day 2014, when Makonnen popped the question with an aptly shaped princess-cut diamond ring.

Makonnen went over to his girlfriend's house to propose, but he knocked on the door so forcefully that Austin thought someone was trying to break in and called her parents for help. 
'He was aggressively knocking so I didn't answer. He came back, and then I opened the door,' she said.  

The two moved in together after the wedding, and are living in the Washington, DC area. 

Makonnen works in the legal department at Otsuka America Pharmaceutical. 

His new wife works in philanthropy at the Executives Alliance for Boys and Men of Color. 

Congratulations To The Happy Couple.