Inspiration

Ina Garten's Husband Jeffrey Wooed Her When She Was 15 By Sending Her a Picture of Himself

"He’s just the best friend anybody could ever have."
IMAGE GETTY IMAGES / SONIA MOSKOWITZ
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  • Barefoot Contessa's Ina Garten met her future husband Jeffrey when she was just 15.

  • She was visiting her brother at Dartmouth College, where Jeffrey was also a student.

  • Jeffrey later sent her a letter and photograph of himself.


Ina and Jeffrey Garten are one of TV's most beloved couples, and watching the couple interact on Barefoot Contessa is one of the highlights of the show. The couple will mark their 50th wedding anniversary on December 22, and the Gartens recently opened up to People about their marriage and the surprising way they met.

The couple first met when 15-year-old Ina visited her brother at Dartmouth College, where Jeffrey also happened to be a student.

"He saw me on the street and then sent me a letter with a photograph of himself in it," Ina told the magazine. "I just remember running through the house and going, ‘Mom, Mom, you’ve got to see this picture of this guy. He’s so cute!'"

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First day back in Paris! #happyhubby

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They kept in touch by writing letters to each other, especially when Jeffrey was deployed to Thailand for a year. He went abroad after they got married in 1968, when Ina was 20 and Jeffrey was 22..

"I wrote to Ina every single day," Jeffrey said. "During the whole year, I was only able to call her once."

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48 years ago today and still dancing. #loveofmylife

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The couple currently lives in East Hampton, New York. Jeffrey works as a professor at the Yale School of Management, and commutes to Yale a few days a week, but he doesn't like to be away too much from his wife.

"When we’re not together, I’ll send her five or six texts per day," he said. "I love looking at her schedule. I can envision where she is and what she’s doing, and it doesn’t feel like we’re apart. If I could be with her seven days a week, 24 hours a day, that would be my ideal."

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Still having fun 48 years later! #cookingforjeffrey #tbt

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Many people say marriage is hard work, but the Gartens disagree. "Our relationship is just so stress-free, and we have a wonderful time together," Ina said.

*This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com

*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors

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