Wedding cakes are displayed on a stand during the National Wedding Show at London's Olympia on February 22, 2013 in London, England. The great-grandson of Ethiopia's last emperor Haile Selassie I, Joel Makonnen, was married last month to a woman he met in a nightclub 12 years ago. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

In a royal fairytale that conjures the 1988 romantic comedy film "Coming to America," an American woman became a princess in September when she married an Ethiopian prince whom she met at a Washington, D.C.. nightclub nearly 12 years ago.

Ariana Austin, 33, and Joel Makonnen, 35, were married in an Ethiopian Orthodox ceremony in Maryland on Sept. 9. The two had met at Pearl nightclub in December 2005 when Makonnen, who didn't reveal his royal heritage, approached Austin and one of her friends.

“I said, ‘You guys look like an ad for Bombay Sapphire,’ or whatever the gin was,” Makonnen told the New York Times. “Not even five minutes later I said, ‘You’re going to be my girlfriend.’”

When Makonnen and Austin began seriously dating, he revealed he was Prince Joel, the great-grandson of Ethiopia’s last emperor Haile Selassie I.

Makonnen was born in Rome where his parents, Prince David Makonnen and Princess Adey Imru Makonnen, fled after a coup in Ethiopia. The prince grew up in Switzerland.

“He talked about weighty things as a young man,” Austin said of Makonnen. “He mentioned the revolution. Things that sound heavy for someone who was 23.”

Makonnen’s family can trace its lineage back to the Biblical King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. The last emperor of Ethiopia, Emperor Haile Selassie, last sat on the throne in 1974. The 225th and final emperor of Ethiopia ruled the country for 40 years until a civil war broke out. Austin expressed admiration of her new family’s history.

“It’s unbeatable heritage and history. It combines sheer black power and ancient Christian tradition,” Austin said.

The couple’s wedding website provides a short biography on both of them, and their joint biography reads, “Old world aristocracy met New world charm.” The website also reads that the couple and those around them believe their love “was written.”

Makonnen works as a lawyer for Otsuka America Pharmaceutical and Austin is a philanthropist at the Executives’ Alliance for Boys and Men of Color. They live in Washington, D.C.