So Kieren is English. He arrived in Los Angeles in early November 2007 as part of his job, a little uncertain why he had crossed half the world to do the same job he had been doing in Oxford in the UK, but nonetheless excited with the change and the weather.
Sapna is Indian-American and grew up outside of New York and San Francisco. Sapna arrived in Los Angeles a few years earlier than Kieren and didn’t realise her job with a British company was unwittingly preparing her for the joys of life with her future fiancee’s culture.
Kieren lived in Santa Monica, Sapna in Long Beach – 30 miles apart and up to an hour driving with Los Angeles traffic. They would likely never have met except for the Internet and more specifically Chemistry.com. For all those who remain skeptical about online dating sites, Kieren and Sapna are proof that it doesn’t matter how you meet so long as you connect.
As it turns out, Sapna’s response to a pre-set online question was what started the ball rolling. Asked: “What would you be if you weren’t doing your current job?”, Sapna responded: “An endocrinologist.” That was the oddest response Kieren had received during his brief and mostly-pointless online dating career, and he told her so.
As it happens Kieren was going to be in Long Beach that weekend sightseeing so they met up for a drink which extended to dinner, during which two things happened. One, Kieren discovered that his friends had driven back to Santa Monica without warning him; and two, a huge rain storm landed – which is about as common as courtesy on the freeway in Los Angeles.
Stranded an hour away, with no public transport and facing a cab fare of $200, Sapna insisted on driving Kieren home and then driving back again to Long Beach. Touched, Kieren invited her on another date. And then another. And then another.
Eighteen months later, standing at the very top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, dressed ridiculously and with a torch strapped to his forehead, Kieren asked Sapna to marry him and she accepted. And very shortly afterwards one of the worst-ever engagement photos was taken.
A few days later, they picked out a ring from a little jewellers shop on Main St in Venice, California, chatting to the ring’s designer as they did so.
Then came excited phonecalls, venue visits, ceremony discussions, clothes picking, invitation designing, caterers, photographers and all the 1,001 other things surrounding a wedding until Saturday 3 April 2010, when Kieren and Sapna will tie the knot and ponder how random and exciting life can be.