SIMONE & MATT
Ours is a story that started with three little words. “Tried online dating?” an expression I’d begun to hear more often than not and one that I wasn’t quite ready to come to terms with. I didn’t trust the process and I had nothing positive to entice me to want to join the online dating world! Until... I’d spent a wondrous afternoon enjoying a number of bottles of French Champagne in a Verve versus Moet champagne party with my Maid of Honour, Lauren and friend Laura. As the bubbles went down, so did the nervousness and fear in joining the online dating scene, namely Tinder! An exciting afternoon of swiping left and swiping right ensued and lo and behold Matt and I matched.
What stood out was not only that he was super cute, but he also had refreshingly warm and non-pretentious pictures and a profile. No shirt off, gym selfies anywhere in sight, thank goodness! What attracted me initially was how easy going and genuinely friendly and humorous Matt was! Well, we met on Tinder, so I will admit I am somewhat superficial and was attracted to him because he had some cute photos! Matt had some incredibly witty banter and had me laughing out loud on a number of occasions, from the comfort of my couch, in my oldest pyjamas. I thought he was cute from the moment I swiped right!
We messaged each other for quite some time before actually meeting. First dates are awkward all by themselves, so with the added element of meeting for the first time, it's nearly unbearable. Our first date was at Lipari in Geelong, and I remember I was petrified of walking into a packed restaurant, possibly tripping up the one and only step leading into the restaurant, and falling flat on my face as Matt would watch, nonchalantly sipping a beer as he waited for me. I was over the moon when a couple of days before we were due to meet he asked if I wanted to be picked up beforehand. After weighing up the possible trip, fall, die of embarrassment, versus, possibly about to have an equally awkward first meeting at my own front door, I took the second option and jumped at the chance of meeting at my own home.
It wasn't until we met up for dinner in the coming weeks that those little fireworks started going off in my brain. He had dark hair, eyes to match, and was the perfect gentleman. Less than five minutes after we sat down at our first meal together, he had me cracking up. I remember thinking, ‘Oh, wow, I like this person’ followed by ‘Oh wow, we share the same birthday, it’s totally meant to be!’ I admired his honesty, sincerity and the easiness of conversation, the way I could feel immediately like myself. I felt extremely comfortable around him instantly.
When you first start dating, everyone’s first question is, ‘How did you two meet?’ which immediately blushes your cheeks with embarrassment. But with Matt and I, it wasn’t like that at all. Matt says there wasn’t a single moment of unease, only two people completely comfortable with each other, and he says that the connection he felt then and there was one of soul mates. It wasn’t forced, it wasn’t awkward, and was as if we had always known each other.
Within that week of our first date followed two more dates, the third being one of takeout in our trackies and ugg boots – things were going well, and the rest as they say is history.
Sharing a birthday with Matt is one of my favorite things about our relationship. We get to celebrate together, rather than the day being only about one or the other. Putting two birthdays into one celebration is always fun. We celebrate with our families and friends, and know that we’ll never forget one another’s which is a bonus! The morning of our birthday in 2017, was when the beautiful proposal took place. Our daughter Piper and I had piled a number of presents on top of the bed and asked Matt to come into our room to open them. Piper and I sat on the bed and watched as he unwrapped his gifts, eagerly awaiting my own birthday present. It doesn’t matter how old you get, you always find yourself excited to receive gifts, particularly well thought our ones from the man you love, who is indeed an excellent present buyer!
Matt told me that my birthday present was hiding in Pipers cot, and whilst I thought that was a little odd, I popped into her room to grab it. As I lifted a small parcel from underneath her blankets, I thought ‘Hmm, just the one?’ and kept searching. But alas, it was just the one. Slightly disappointed, I thought ‘Hmm, oh, it feels like frames’ admittedly a little disheartened. Don’t get me wrong, I love photo frames, but after watching Matt open up several well thought our presents, I felt like Matt was a little off his present buying game with a frame or two. ‘Perhaps there’s a day spa voucher inside?’ I eagerly anticipated ‘Yes, that’s it, I’m sure there is!’. Imagine my surprise and utter delight upon opening up my gift, which was indeed two photo frames, joined together by my handy partner! That read ‘Mummy will you marry my Daddy’ printed on one side, with a very handsomely dressed Matt in a suit and Piper looking her absolute best, photographed with a beautiful ring on the other side. I looked up, tears in my eyes, to see Matt on one knee, a stunning diamond ring in one hand, and Piper in the other. ‘Will you marry me in a ceremony?’ he asked! ‘Yes, yes, yes, yes!’. Delighted and overjoyed, it wasn’t until five minutes later I realised I was still in my pyjamas! And it absolutely did not matter!
What we loved most about our Wedding Day
Both Matt and I wholeheartedly agree that the Ceremony was one of our favourite parts of our wedding celebrations. We were incredibly lucky to find a celebrant who was able to create a ceremony that truly reflected our relationship! The love story that Niki created for us is still talked about to this day. We were so excited to be surrounded by 81 of our closet family and friends, sharing in and embracing every emotion we felt throughout our ceremony, which was filled with tears and times of emotion. It was one of the few times in our lives that we could have all of our favourite people together in the one place. While the Ceremony was obviously about the two of us, it’s was as much about all of those in attendance and the role they played to support us in our relationship.
The marriage ceremony for us was the ultimate commitment; to always be there for each other and love each other unconditionally. It meant always waking up next to someone who could make us laugh, that one person we could explicitly trust and depend on, and share thoughts and ideas with. It was raw and it was heartfelt. To hear the words spoken by one other, in wedding vows we created ourselves, which expressed both an intent and a promise on how we could relate to each other, how we intended to navigate life together, and what meaning we intended to give to our marriage, was incredibly emotional. It was so exciting to finally be able to share the last name of the man I love and the daughter I adore too!
Advice to future couples planning their big day
Decide what is important to you. For me, it was all about setting a theme first, colour and floral wise, envisioning what I wanted things to look like and using this to create invitations, which started our wedding design journey. Whether it’s a few colours or an actual theme, I’d encourage couples to choose something to design their wedding around. It will allow things to occur more easily, design decisions will flow and will make things look more cohesive.
It’s important to be prepared to prioritise. It is possible to have your ideal wedding on almost any budget if you decide what is the most important to you and focus on these things. Matt and I sat down and figured out the three most important aspects of our wedding, which were the Ceremony, Venue and Food and Beverages. We were then willing to compromise on the rest.
It takes quite a bit of organisation to keep everything on track when you’re faced with such a large number of lists, decisions and your everyday life. Take it one step at a time and record, record, record, in the one spot. We used an Excel spreadsheet, which worked best for us and stuck with it. We were able to forecast costs and actual costs as well as when payments were due.
Wedding Details and Suppliers
Ceremony: Oakdene Vineyards Front Gardens
Reception: Oakdene Vineyards - Marty @ Oakdene
Photography: Kari Teagan Photography
Videographer: Up Weddings
Celebrant: Niki Currie
Stationery: Danger and Moon
Entertainment: Geelong Entertainment Services
Transport: Range Rovers
Honeymoon Destination: Noosa
Gown: Stella York (Bridal House Geelong)
Shoes: Betts and Betts
Hair: Hair by Geraldine (Blush Bar)
Makeup: Emma McFarlane (Blush Bar)
Cake: Sweet Designs by Claire
Flowers: The Jungle Room and Friend Lynne Willmott
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Aje, Chi Chi London and Bridal House
Suits: Roger David
Rings: Thomas Jewellers and Duffs