“Every time I looked at her pictures, I couldn’t believe she was real. It was a nervous wait when she turned up 30 minutes late to our first date. But, when she walked in, I was gobsmacked, and it was love at first sight.”
Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…
Persia: I’m a clinical psychologist working at a university in Melbourne and in private practice. I feel really lucky to have such a rewarding and challenging career and overall love my job. Outside of work I love to spend time scheming out next holiday or restaurant outing, cooking something new, getting outside for some exercise or walking Pepe, going to shows/concerts and spending time with family and friends.
Joshua: I am a secondary school teacher at an all-boys school. I love both military history and rugby, and I love my job because I am involved in both of these things every day as the 1st XV coach and senior History teacher. To switch off at the end of the day, my favourite thing to do is walk our black Labrador, Pepe, or get on one of my bikes to go for a ride.
How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?
Persia: I knew the moment I walked into our first date at a wine bar that Josh was the man I was going to
marry. I adored everything about him – even the very thick Kiwi accent that he had lost years earlier after he moved to Melbourne. We met via Tinder and I was the first one to message however, it was actually my housemate who sent the message and to this day he doesn’t believe this!
Joshua: Pers and I matched on Tinder. There was an initial period of silence. However, one night she sent me a message and it all went from there. I was a bit nervous when she started texting me because I thought it was one of my mates catfishing me, because every time I looked at her pictures, I couldn’t believe she was real. It was a nervous wait when she turned up 30 minutes late to our first date. But, when she walked in, I was gobsmacked, and it was love at first sight.
When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with?
Persia: From the moment I met Josh on our first date I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. It’s hard to describe how I knew this but it really was just a feeling that I felt mind, body, soul. I’m not even sure I considered the idea of not seeing him again, it didn’t feel like an option. Our first date started at 8 pm and it didn’t end until he dropped me home in a taxi at 3 am, I didn’t want the date to end.
Joshua: On our first date, Pers was so bubbly and full of life. I remember that when I first arrived for the date, I was spent from a big day at work. When she arrived, finally, the rest of the night disappeared so quickly. I remember thinking the next morning that all I wanted to do was spend more time with her.
Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…
Persia: Gosh. An emotional morning for me. The night before Josh had suggested we get up nice and early to walk Pepé. I wasn’t that keen as we were in lockdown and in my mind we could just walk him during our lunch breaks or after work, it was the middle of winter and I definitely preferred to be in bed at 6 am! But I agreed anyway and I remember waking up to find Josh looking at me wide awake and smiling at me (he’s not the most alert or chatty person first thing in the morning). He was very eager to get going on the walk and I threw on some of my dog-walking clothes – not glamorous at all. We got to one of our favourite parks and Josh wanted to do the favourite ‘pawrent Tiktok‘ which I was bemused by, this wasn’t very Josh to suggest this but I went along with it anyway as I thought it was fun. We did one round and Josh said it was a practice run. Right before we did it a second it suddenly clicked and I knew what was happening. It was the best moment of my life to date and I’m so glad we have the video to watch for the rest of our lives. We came home and Josh pulled a bottle of Verve out from behind the bins on our front porch – it had been so cold overnight that it kept the champagne the perfect temperature. We drank it for breakfast.
Joshua: We were in lockdown and I’d had the ring for about 2 weeks. I was all ready to go. However, the night before my now sister-in-law convinced me that I needed to film the whole thing. So I concocted a story about a Tiktok video that I had seen where dog owners make their dog choose their favourite parent, and I thought we should go to the park and have a go. It seemed like a good cover story… but probably didn’t check out given I don’t even have TikTok on my phone!
Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding…
Persia: In 2019 we were in Tuscany and we visited a villa where I dreamed of getting married (we weren’t engaged at the time). We asked to look around the property and just by luck they told us the wedding planner was free to take us on a tour. We loved the place, it was very us. Little did I know, Josh contacted them when we returned to Australia to enquire about dates without telling me and tentatively locked in July 2022. Unfortunately, the pandemic happened not long after our trip and the idea was no longer an option after getting engaged in 2021. With the Tuscan/Italian theme still in mind, we decided on the next best thing – Redleaf. Our vision for the day was fun, celebratory, and outdoors with pops of colour.
What was one element you were happy to splurge on?
Persia: Food was the most important aspect to me – I wanted everyone to leave with full, satisfied bellies. Upon reflection, every single vendor was beyond incredible and if we were doing it all again I’d be splurging on them all just to have them there.
Joshua: The dog. I wanted him there no matter the cost, and I am so glad that he was.
Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful
at the time)?
Persia: If there’s something worth its weight in gold, it’s a really good wedding coordinator or planner. If there was anything that did happen or had any chance of making me remotely stressed, Chloe smoothed it out and I didn’t know about it. One thing that does make me laugh a little is right before myself and the bridesmaids needed to leave the villa to walk over to the ceremony, I became really nervous, totally unexpected. Chloe picked up on it and asked if I needed a moment to go and dance it out. The girls and I went back into the villa and sang and danced to the Spice Girls. It was one of my favourite moments of the day and exactly what I needed to calm my nerves.
Joshua: The morning of, me and my groomsmen went out for breakfast with my dad and brother-in-law. My dad in a rush to get to breakfast picked up one of the boys’ sunglasses as we left the venue. We then all spent the better part of the day looking for the sunglasses, baffled as to how they went missing. Then, when we were at a winery doing a wine tasting, Dad took off what he thought to be his sunglasses, and Paul saw them and said, “Aye, Gaz, I reckon they might be my sunnies”.
Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?
Persia: I wore a Mariana Hardwick dress with a pearl veil and Dior heels. Funnily enough, the dress was the exact style I said I’d never wear! I always knew I wanted pearls as I think they are so classic and timeless, they also remind me of my Mum who always looks so beautiful in them to this day. In the lead-up to the wedding, my wonderful Mother-in-law gifted me her pearl wedding earrings that were also passed down to her for her wedding. This was a very special finishing touch on my outfit and something I’ll always treasure.
Joshua: A friend of mine loves his suits, and swore by Godwin Charli. I went in with Pers and we were really impressed. Initially, I was bit apprehensive about not wearing a belt, but after the final fitting, I had no qualms whatsoever – in fact, my trousers didn’t even have adjusting straps on the side, which speaks to how good the tailoring was. My jacket is embroidered with my initials on the inside, and I love the shoes which were black patented leather imported from Italy. I didn’t have a pocket square, but on the day of the wedding, my dad found me and gave me one of my late grandfather’s handkerchiefs, which I carried with me all day, and got some pretty good use too!
Ceremony + Reception Location: Redleaf Wollombi @redleafwollombi / Photographer Hungry Hearts Co @hungryhearts_co / Videographer Timbrel Films @timbrelfilms / Celebrant Hungry Hearts Co @hungryhearts_co / Ceremony Entertainment Howard Shearman via Midtown Management @_midtown / Reception Entertainment Gareth on Sax from Midtown Management @_midtown, Silent Shout @silentshoutent / Wedding Coordinator Your Day by Chloe @yourdaybychloe / Hire & Styling Jade McIntosh Flowers and Styling @whiterosesstyling / Marquee Hire Katalane Event Hire @katalanetents / Floral The Naked Florist @thenakedfloristau / Catering Fennel and Co Catering @fennelandco.catering / Gelato Mr Goaty Gelato @mrgoatygelato / Stationery @peggyandpolly_ / Pup-Sitting/Ring Bearer Chaperone Kare Kanine @kare.kanine / Bride’s Gown Mariana Hardwick @marianahardwick / Bride’s Second Dress By Johnny @by_johnny / Groom’s Tux Godwin Charli @godwincharli / Brides Rings Peter at Melbourne Diamond Importers / Groom’s Wedding Band late grandfather’s wedding band / Bride’s Shoes Dior @dior / Bride’s Dancing Shoes Reebok @reebokau_nz / Groom’s Shoes Godwin Charli @godwincharli / Bride’s Pearl Earrings Gift from mother-in-law / Brides Bracelet wore bridesmaids pearl bracelet / Groom’s Handkerchief late grandfather’s handkerchief / Makeup and Hair Makeup by Bonnie Lee @mblbride/