Thanks to the "Share a Coke" campaign, one couple will soon share a last name – and a life together.
Just over three years ago, Christy Porta stood in line at a crowded New York City restaurant, trying to place her order. She had just moved from Baton Rouge, La. and was new to fast-paced city life, especially during the lunch rush.
The man behind her on that hot August day, Matt Farley, saw that she needed help.
“She kind of stood out... she was wearing a yellow dress and was just glowing,” Farley recalled during a recent phone interview. “I did want to strike up a conversation, but I’m not that smooth, so I thought I’d be a Good Samaritan and leave it at that.”
After helping Porta order and grabbing his own meal, Farley realized there were no empty tables. He surveyed the restaurant in search of a spot when he found the only one directly across from Porta.
“Share a Coke with Matt," the label read.
“If there weren’t enough signs towards us dating, that kind of sealed it,” Farley said.
The two enjoyed their first official date just days later.
“Our conversation was really easy,” Porta, 27, recalled. “We seemed to have a lot of the same interests. It just kind of flowed.”
After more conversations, months of dating and a trip to Louisiana to meet Porta’s family, Farley knew he’d found the person he wanted to marry.
“I truly did know there was something different about her,” said Farley, 28. "I’m more of a realist and try not to get swept up in anything. You talk about values and aligned beliefs, and there was a quality that separated her for me.”
That quality? Porta’s “capacity for compassion,” Farley says. “It’s just her ability to be empathetic to a cause that has nothing to do with her.”
So he began planning his proposal: a weekend at Disney World, one of Porta’s favorite destinations, over her birthday. On a fall night in 2016, the two had dinner on a hotel rooftop. Just as the fireworks started, Farley dropped to one knee.
The pair will marry on Feb. 17.
As for that Diet Coke bottle from their serendipitous lunch encounter? Porta still has it.
“I wasn’t finished drinking it, and when he asked me on a date, I thought it’d be cool if I kept it,” Porta says. “That’s our story, how we met through a Coke bottle. As crazy as it is, it’s unique to us.”