As he posed for a holiday snap on the beach, six-year-old Nick Wheeler paid no attention to the little girl making sandcastles a few yards away.
It was only when he showed his fiancee Aimee Maiden the photograph 20 years later that she pointed at the five-year-old in a swimsuit and shrieked in astonishment: ‘That’s me!’
The pair lived hundreds of miles apart when the picture was taken in 1994, yet fate determined that they would meet and fall in love at sixth form college, 11 years later.
Teacher Miss Maiden grew up in the seaside village of Mousehole in Cornwall, while Mr Wheeler lived in Kent but was on a family holiday there.
The pair spent the day building sandcastles just a few yards apart but their two families were strangers and never spoke.
Mr Wheeler, a soldier, moved to Cornwall a year later but it wasn’t until they were to the same sixth form college in Truro that they finally met.
It was only when they got engaged last year that they decided to leaf through old holiday photographs at Mr Wheeler’s grandparent’s house.