Not that any proof was needed to endorse the mundane “times have changed” statement but this one begs for it. Consider this: a same-sex couple meet on a dating app, find each other in a crowded London event by what3words, is separated by the pandemic and are finally united in holy matrimony!
That’s the story of Lee and Aerjay.
Aerjay (27), from Calgary in Canada, was visiting London during Christmas 2020. In search of company, he looked up Tinder. His profile matched with Oxfordshire-based Lee Kingham-Italia (33). Then, in a crowded Trafalgar Square on New Year’s Parade, the two finally met up using what3words. This system encodes geographic coordinates into three permanently fixed dictionary words.
The three words were sage.trick.solved. “I knew it would be busy in Central London with hundreds of people crowding round to see the New Year’s Day parade. Luckily, the app made it easy,” shares Lee.
The bonding grew over the course of the week and dinner dates happened regularly.
Lee, a customer support manager, who is currently job hunting in Canada, shared: “As luck would have it, I was flying to Montreal just a month later for work, so I added on a two-week holiday to the trip to visit Aerjay in Calgary. Then, just two months after that, I was in Arizona, so I made a detour to Canada to meet Aerjay again.”
However, life changed when the first lockdown hit in March 2020. Determined to avail of any relaxation of norms, it was Aerjay who managed four visits even in 2020. “The British SOPs were more accommodating that entry into Canada,” they explain in an online interview.
Regular video calls and absence only made their hearts grow fonder. With the world returning to normal, it was time to say “I Do.” In September 2021, Lee decided to move to Calgary permanently to be with Aerjay. He said: “Just before I left England, I paid one last visit to my local tattooist to get something done.”
The what3words address was sentimental for the couple and Lee spent £80 having the words sage.trick.solved inked on to the back of his right leg at Empire Tattoos in Banbury.
The couple tied the knot in a small ceremony in Calgary in November 2021. Later, in April 2022, on Aerjay’s birthday, Lee gifted him with the same tattoo. It was inked along the side of his left forearm in Canada at £96.Plans are afoot for a big wedding in the UK to take place on the second anniversary of their legal wedding.
“We have family from different parts of the world coming to our wedding in the UK,” they add in unison. Not taking any chances of wedding guests getting lost in the Northamptonshire countryside on their way to the venue, they have turned to their location app again.
A what3words address has been tagged in the wedding invites because the venue is in the middle of nowhere!
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