How we met: ‘My sister and my dad were freaked out when I said I was getting married’

Benjamin and Blanca, 41 and 40, hit it off after their first meeting, but didn’t meet up again for another year. They are now married and live in LA

Benjamin Speed was on holiday in Los Angeles when his friend suggested he meet Blanca Lista, a film producer. “I am a composer working in the film and TV industry, and he thought we’d have common interests,” Benjamin remembers. Blanca set aside some time one afternoon for the meeting. “I noticed he was handsome and radiated confidence, which was very attractive.” Benjamin instantly fell for her and asked her out via email, but she turned him down. “I thought he was just passing through town and I had my mum staying at the time,” she says. Benjamin says he returned home to Australia feeling “really sad”.

A year later, in September 2012, Blanca was offered the chance to visit Australia for work. She visited four states over the course of her month-long trip, ending in New South Wales. Once there, she visited Sydney, where Benjamin was living. “Our old mutual friend recommended getting in touch again, so I wrote to him.” He was delighted to hear from Blanca and took her to his favourite restaurant in Chinatown. Blanca had been due to leave the following day, but before their meeting she extended her trip another 24 hours. “I think I already knew I would want more time with him.”

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