It took moving to a city of more than two million people for Prince George natives Melissa Companion and Sean Cranston to connect.
For all intents and purposes, the pair - who began dating in 2005 - should have crossed paths years ago, having lived mere minutes from each other in high school in the southern reaches of town. In fact, Cranston moved in to the the home of Companion's childhood best friend when his father married her friend's mother.
Unfortunately, Companion, 28, and her friend had fallen out of touch a couple of years prior, leaving her old friend's new step-brother a total stranger.
But in 2005, when both Companion and Cranston were going to school in the Lower Mainland, they were introduced by Companion's sister.
Seven-and-a-half years later, the two are among the Top 10 finalists in Global BC's Win a Dream Wedding contest, vying for votes for a $20,000 trip for themselves and 10 guests to marry in Mexico.
Living paycheque to paycheque in the Lower Mainland rat race with lots of student debt and a new baby, Cranston, 29, still managed to make his girlfriend's dream come true with a surprise early-morning proposal last January.
Last week, the small family moved back to Prince George in time for Cranston to start a new job with the city. Living with Companion's parents until they can get a place of their own, the couple said winning the dream wedding prize would be a great way to give back to their families who have supported them over the years.
"It would be an amazing thing to give a gift like that to your family," Cranston said.
To vote for Companion and Cranston, visit www.globalnews.ca/contests/dreamwedding. Voting is open until Jan. 27 and the pair will be interviewed on Global TV on Jan. 18.