Elke Thompson and Sam Quinn got engaged the old-fashioned way: their parents arranged it.

Quinn, 23, a quiet engineering student from Springfield, Mo., wanted to settle down, and asked his parents to play matchmaker. Through church friends, they found Thompson, an apple-cheeked 17-year-old from Manhattan, Kan.

“We spent one day together, and then his dad said, ‘Yes or no? We’re leaving tonight with an answer,'” Thompson recalled with a giggle.

Most of the courtship occurred among the parents.

“I was very sure that I was going to take whoever they thought was right for me,” Thompson said. “I didn’t want to worry about what I want in a guy.”

Fifteen months later, Thompson wore a wedding dress and Quinn donned a dark suit as they sat in a hotel ballroom in New York City, quietly fidgeting around a table adorned with white flowers, waiting with 42 other couples for the Rev. Sun Myung Moon to bless their union via a satellite video beamed from Korea.

Thompson’s high-school friends think she’s nuts, she said. But in the Unification Church, arranged marriages are the norm. Moon teaches that romantic love leads to sexual promiscuity, mismatched couples and dysfunctional societies.

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