When Erin Napier was 19 and Ben Napier was 21, the now-famous couple met in the yearbook office at Jones Community College in Ellisville, Mississippi, where they both went to school. Six days later, they knew they’d be together forever. Now married with two kids, the HGTV superstars had a full-circle moment when they spent time imparting wisdom and advice to a high school yearbook staff last week, as a favor to someone very special in their lives. Here’s the scoop on their sweet visit…
Yearbook Advisor Says Ben & Erin Napier Were ‘Great’ With Students
When Ben and Erin Napier’s niece asked them to visit with the high school yearbook staff she’s part of, HGTV’s “Home Town” stars were happy to make it happen.
On November 4, 2022, the proud aunt and uncle, who actually met on a yearbook staff in college, drove nearly two hours from their hometown of Laurel to Ocean Springs High School in southern Mississippi, ready to offer some advice and encouragement to the group of 12 female students.
Ocean Springs history teacher and yearbook advisor Jacie Meyers told Heavy, “We talked about page design, how to work as a team, and time management. They stayed for about an hour talking to my staff of twelve. They were great!”
The visit was so exciting and helpful, she said, that they forgot to take photos — except for a group shot at the end of their time together. The Napiers’ four-year-old daughter Helen squeezed into the pic, too; she turned to face her parents while wearing a rainbow tulle skirt and holding a unicorn stuffed animal. The photo, Meyers said, will definitely make it into the 2022-23 yearbook.
Meyers said the advice Ben and Erin gave was truly helpful for her student staffers.
“As an advisor, I really liked their advice on time management and how to work together,” she told Heavy, adding that the school’s 400-page book requires everyone on the staff to stick to a schedule and maintain good time management.
Erin, who studied graphic design in school and started her own stationery company, also worked with the girls on specific design elements.
“We were able to flip through the book as a group and Erin gave the girls some advice on pictures and use of space,” Meyers shared. “She made some great points on the importance of using negative space in our favor. When you have pages full of pictures, a border of negative space would be eye-catching to the audience.”
“Ben and Erin spent the time fully answering all their questions and inspiring them to produce a successful yearbook,” Meyers added. “I am very appreciative that they took them from their busy schedule to stop by the high school and talk to my staff.”
Erin & Ben Napier Also Visited Their Old Yearbook Office Recently
Advising the Ocean Springs yearbook staff likely reminded the Napiers of their own meeting when Erin worked on the yearbook staff at Jones County Community College and invited Ben to be featured in it. It is, after all, how they met and fell in love.
On August 1, the couple visited their alma mater and visited the room where they first connected.
“Had lunch at our alma mater today,” she wrote in an Instagram post about their visit, “and took a picture in the spot where we met in the yearbook office. We were 19 and 21 and had no idea this is what our future would be like. Still my biggest crush.”
In another post from 2019, Erin recalled, “I was the design editor and for two years had noticed him, always the center of attention, everyone’s best friend, my biggest crush.”
But it turns out Ben had already noticed Erin on campus and that she was the reason he said yes to being featured in the yearbook.
“When I discovered that they wanted to feature me, I jumped at the opportunity, knowing that she was in yearbook,” Ben admitted to Qolture in 2018. He told the blog that he still remembers the first time he gave Erin a hug — Dec. 7, 2004.
“Six days later,” he said, “I knew I was in love with her and would marry her one day—so I told her. Luckily, she felt the same way. We felt at home with each other from the day we met.”