Monday, January 14, 2013
Allie and Seth Butler weren’t the only couple kissing at the stroke of midnight New Year’s Eve, but they might have been the most watched.
The Butlers were the winners of Nivea’s Kiss of the Year contest, thanks to the pair’s story of sacrifice and long-distance love: She lives in Summerville while studying for a pharmacy degree, while he is in Oklahoma for Air Force training and expects to be stationed next in Mississippi.
The couple, who met in ROTC at The Ohio State University, have actually lived near each other for only the five months when they first started dating.
The Air Force kept both of them on the move and at different bases. Despite the distance, they married in 2008.
Allie left the service in 2011 and started school; she expects to finish her classroom studies in May 2014 and hopes to join Seth then.
The long-distance relationship is “the reality that we’ve known,” Allie said.
“It’s helped us build really good communication skills. … It definitely has made our relationship much stronger,” she said.
Allie wrote about their relationship when she was taking a Facebook break from studying and saw the Nivea contest.
She forgot about it, but a month later they found out they were finalists and got to appear on The Wendy Williams Show.
At that point they started seeking Facebook votes and after talking to family and friends, “most of them just ran with it for us,” Seth said.
The end result was a whirlwind trip to New York City where the couple received VIP treatment and found themselves on stage looking over a sea of hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Times Square for the famous ball drop.
“It was unbelievable,” Allie said.
It was a little cold, Allie admitted – she was dressed up wearing a dress and heels – but neither she nor Seth were nervous with all those eyes, and cameras, on them.
They actually had cameras on them for the entire trip. It was a little funny to have photographers documenting their every move, no matter how mundane, Seth said. But the up-close attention came with special treatment and a few surprises, including the chance to get an in-person look at the ball itself.
The couple said Nivea’s royal treatment made the trip something they’ll never forget.
“We’re not used to that kind of thing at all. …It was an amazing trip,” Allie said.
“They were wonderful the whole time,” Seth said.