Joshua + Anthony by Rick Liston

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…

We both live pretty chaotic lifestyles – along the lines of Grey’s Anatomy!  We are both doctors working at a big city hospital – Anthony works in Infectious Diseases so COVID has kept him occupied in the last years. Josh works in Cardiology – so when Anthony is having a break from the frontline and is finally ready to relax – Josh is most likely working on the next heart attack. Time off together though rare, is special and always cherished.

When we do have time off, we like to spend it with the people that mean the most to us – our families. We are both home-grown certified Mumma’s boys which is probably why our weekends are best spent going from one family home to another. We come from very different cultural backgrounds, but in both Italian and Chinese culture – food is the universal love language. Our usual routine is to indulge in a lunch time yum-cha then finish the day off with a pasta/pizza combo – the best of both worlds!

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?

The story of how we met changes depending on who is asking. If Anthony’s Nonna poses the question then the go-to story is that we met on the wards of the busy hospital during a Code-BLUE with a deteriorating patient. Josh came along to save the day, and as we both performed CPR our hands touched…and the rest is history!

However, for everyone else – we met on Tinder! When we first met, Anthony was a final-year medical student and Josh was a first-year doctor. Some might call it stalking (or fate), but during the first week of their meeting, Anthony found out he matched to work at the same hospital as Josh was working at. Anthony would then proceed to find any excuse, including pretending to need tutorials for his medical studies, in order to hang-out with Josh. The persistence paid off. 

Josh: My first impression of Anthony was an Italian Mumma’s boy with a cheeky grin and a heart of gold.

Anthony: My first impression of Josh was a pocket-sized knight in shining armor with a never-ending smile

When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with?

Anthony: Being a massive Marvel nerd, I think I realised we were meant to be when Josh would begrudgingly drag himself out of bed to accompany me to the midnight sessions on the opening night of the latest Marvel movie…and buy me a large popcorn.

Josh: For me, once I realised I had met the most kind-hearted, gentle and caring man who was also (surprisingly) madly in love with me, I knew I had to lock it down before someone else took him! Also the day that he started offering to share some of his favourite Nonna recipes with me – I knew this was a man who would take good care of me for the rest of my life.

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…

Our proposal was a long-time coming – we had been dating for 6 years – some people would say in the gay-world this is equivalent to a lifetime of dating. The question always emerged as to who would be the one to pop the question – in a relationship like ours the conventional standards go out the window and this only invites more questions!

There had been so many beautiful opportunities for either of us to gain the courage to propose – we had been on hot air balloon rides in Cappadocia, Turkey; we had slept under the Northern Lights in Norway; we watched the romantic sunsets of Santorini in Greece – but neither of us ever popped the big question.

In between lockdowns in 2021 we snuck out of Melbourne and traveled to New Zealand. Josh had always been obsessed with a magical place called Earnslaw Burn – a ginormous hanging glacier only accessible via helicopter in Glenorchy, Queenstown. Unsurprisingly, Anthony has always been terrified of helicopters or small planes and swore to never ride one.

Anthony planned the entire proposal completely unbeknownst to Josh. He tricked Josh into thinking he was going for a day at the spa. The taxi driver however drove us directly to a helicopter pad. Josh had no idea what was about to happen – even when a last minute passenger suspiciously carrying far too many cameras jumped in our helicopter.

When the helicopter arrived at the sensational glacier it landed underneath a breathtaking waterfall made from the melting glacier. Anthony got down on one-knee and delivered a fairytale proposal. The secret passenger was our own private photographer who unfortunately fell into the freezing river trying to get the perfect shot. A beautiful moment forever captured in our hearts.

Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding…

The vision we had for our wedding was an explosion of love, love, love. We knew that it had taken an army to get us to this moment where we would have the opportunity to say I do. This day was more than the two of us, it was an expression of love to every person who helped us love ourselves – enough so that we could learn to love another. We were very aware the day was a humbling privilege built on the shoulders of those who had gone before us (many without such an opportunity in life). So we wanted to celebrate that little bit extra for every person who fought to let love be love.

Practically, Josh lives his life like it’s a musical – so everything has to be dramatic, extravagant and impactful. This manifested itself in the form of a surprise gospel choir, dance flash mob and fireworks. Anthony is more carefree so was happy as long as his belly is full. The day ended up completely over-satisfying us both.

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?

We really wanted our friends and family to have a tangible experience on the day. We were happy to splurge on things that added to the depth of feeling of the day. More than just photographing nicely, we wanted the wedding to represent the things we enjoy – music, dancing and of course a bit of drama.

We organised a Gospel Choir (United Voices Melbourne) to surprise the guests by appearing on the balcony of the chapel during the ceremony. They sang our favourite gospel and Motown love songs and when combined with Josh’s Dad performing the ceremony – it moved us to absolute crying wrecks.

Josh also splurged on his best kept surprise to everyone at the wedding (including Anthony) – a firework send off! One of the best parts of the night was Anthony’s Mum initially unsure if the fireworks were part of the ‘sparkler send off’, then asking Anthony’s Dad – “did we pay for this?”

Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)?

After planning every minute detail down to the second, the ceremony went off like perfection. Then when we sat down to sign the official Wedding Certificates we realised we had forgot them. We were so overwhelmed with love that we laughed so hard and just smiled for the cameras and signed a scrap piece of paper instead.

Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?

Anthony: My mum bought mine online without me knowing. Fortunately she has the most exquisite taste and this black jacquard pattern Dolce and Gabbana Tuxedo was the dream suit I wanted. What we didn’t take into account was me losing 15kg before the big day! So we had to alter the entire suit to make it fit my new wedding day bod.

Josh: After having every designer shop in Melbourne say “we don’t have your size”, I took a risk and went for a tailored suit – 6 weeks before the wedding day…in the middle of a global pandemic…and state-wide hard lockdown. Michael – the tailor from Germanicos was so incredibly kind, calm and was working down to the last few days to get the suit perfect for the big day.

Ceremony + Reception location: Stones of The Valley Videographer: Rich Films | Photographer: Rick Liston | Entertainment: United Voices Melbourne + Maya Vice Music + Rutherford Entertainment | Flora: Flowers by VaruCake: Cake Ink | Anthony’s Attire: Far Fetch | Josh’s Attire: Germanicos Tailors | Ring/s: Cartier | Shoes: Christian Louboutin