'I Fell in Love at First Sight—4 Days Into Dating, I Proposed'

In 1996, I began flying for an Icelandic airline as a co-pilot, and in 1997, a woman named Sigga Nanna began to work there as a flight attendant.

Her father was a pilot, and I had flown with him before, he was a very friendly guy, but he had never spoken of his daughter, Sigga, to me. He was very interested in Iceland's nature, so he'd always tell me about the country and the names of the mountains.

The first time that I saw Sigga, something clicked in my heart. I just knew that she was the one. I felt it in my gut, but I didn't say anything at first. I think the fact that I personally knew her father drew me to her even more.

A few months later, towards the end of 1997, we were flying with the domestic part of the airline, within Iceland, and since we were a small group of people, I decided to throw a little party with fifty of our colleagues at my apartment. Of course, I invited Sigga, and after the party, we all visited the local pub. As we were walking through the town together, I felt that people were turning their heads, not to look at me, but at Sigga. I thought that it was not only me who believed that she was very beautiful, it was everybody else, too.

The following day, I asked her out for the first time and she said no. I felt like it was a big miss for me, but I kept trying. I later found out that she did not want a relationship at the time.

Three months later in January 1998, I decided to throw another party and invited Sigga. I didn't want to give up because I was in love with her. Again, we all went to a bar after and I asked Sigga to come back to my place with me, and, to my surprise, she agreed. We chatted and got to know each other more that night. The following Monday, I asked her on our first date, and she said yes.

Ingvar Jonsson and Sigga Nanna Wedding
Ingvar Jonsson and Sigga Nanna on their wedding day in 1998. Ingvar Jonsson

That whole week was very memorable for us. On the Tuesday, I picked her up at noon and we went to the same bar and had a few drinks. At the time, I liked the women's perfume Classique by Jean-Paul Gaultier, it was very popular then. I asked her if she owned a bottle, and she said no. So, we went into a store and I bought her one. She thought that was very sweet. We then went to a bookstore, and I bought her a magazine with memories of Princess Diana, who had passed away a few months before. We finished off our evening by going to a swimming pool. There are many natural pools in Iceland because we have thermal water coming from the ground.

We spoke a lot that week, and that following Saturday, January 31, four days after our first date, I took Sigga out for dinner and we went back to my apartment. As we were chatting in my sitting room, I felt in that moment that I should propose to her. It wasn't premeditated or prepared, but I asked her if she would like to marry me on July 18 that year, because that was my mother's birthday, a time of celebration.

That moment was very special to me, in fact, everything about meeting Sigga was special. And she said yes, which was very exciting. I considered myself very lucky. Then, two days after the proposal, we got officially engaged in Dublin where I had flown an airplane for its paint job. Sigga was one of only two passengers on board, along with the captain's wife.

She knew that we both had five months to reconsider this decision, which didn't make us feel too pressured. Her parents were getting a divorce during that time after being together for 30 years, so we thought that divorce could happen to anyone at any time, whether you have been married a short time or 30 years. There's no guarantee that anything will truly last, but we both felt that everything was right.

However, we did both have moments where we thought logically and realized that we didn't truly know each other. Looking back, we didn't know each other as well as we'd have liked to. But we bought an apartment together in April 1998, two months before the wedding. I went away for two weeks for work a month before our wedding, so Sigga was sending out all the invitations. Of course, we were scared, but we never once thought of calling it off. I was always certain that this was meant to be.

On our wedding day, I thought that she was the most beautiful bride ever. I was standing with my father, and we were both smiling because the whole day was beautiful and everybody was very happy. Sigga's mother Ingibjorg, who is an opera singer, even sang a song in the church. Once we were pronounced husband and wife, we kissed and I began laughing because I was so nervous. That evening, when we got home, I remember crying because I was so very happy to have married her.

Sigga and I have now been married for over 24 years. Life naturally has its bumpy roads and sometimes things don't always go to plan, but I have continued, over the years, to see Sigga's brilliant qualities. She's an amazing mother. When we met, she already had one child, who was five years old, and in total we have four children now. Three of our daughters are also flight attendants with the same airline as Sigga and I.

I've watched Sigga teach our children how to be responsible, how to take care of themselves, and most importantly, how to be loving human beings. That's what draws me to her even more. The marriage is healthy because she's my best friend. I admire her because she is a hard worker and inspires those around her to put effort into everything that they do.

Ingvar Jonsson and His Family in Iceland
Ingvar Jonsson and his family/ Ingvar Jonsson

I spend a lot of time at home with my wife and the children. I love being a family man. Quality time is important and family always comes first for me. Sigga and I share similar values, and that's why we work so well. We apply those in our marriage and with our kids.

Sigga has been a rock for me because she has always been consistent and patient. We are very open with each other and we talk about everything. I witnessed that from her mother's side. It's very comforting because you know exactly what the person is thinking because they express it, so I always know where she stands, and she stands by me.

Ingvar Jonsson is a pilot at IcelandAir, and his wife, Sigga Nanna, is a flight attendant. Their whole family now work as part of the cabin crew together on many flights. You can find him and Sigga on Instagram at @ingvarjonsson41 and @siggananna.

All views expressed in this article are the author's own.

As told to Carine Harb.