Sophie + Matt by Ela Tatiana

When we shifted our lives back to England and set up from scratch, I felt bulletproof alongside Sophie and knew we’d be in it for the long haul.

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

Matt is a Head of Partnerships in the tech sector, and Sophie is a People Partner in Financial Services. Whilst we work in very different industries, we both work closely with people and find this energising. Working in the City of London, we love the buzz of the place since it’s bounced back post-COVID, and we enjoy exploring its many culinary offerings once the working day is done.

We love to travel to beautiful places and chase the sun. Being back in London for the past four years has made Europe much more accessible to us. We’re somewhat obsessed with Italy, having travelled to various places within the country eight times in the last couple of years! Puglia has a special place in our hearts, having gotten engaged there. The combination of beautiful beaches and landscape vistas, friendly locals, and simple yet incredible food had us hooked from day one.

We love our fitness and health. Sophie is into spin and Pilates. She also makes a mean range of smoothies. Matt boxes (badly) a couple of times a week and enjoys functional strength training, running and trying out new fitness classes.

Sophie also has a keen interest in fashion, which, coupled with regular shopping trips, allows her to use her creative flair to showcase her style.
In her downtime and to help her relax, Sophie likes to practice yoga, meditate, and cook. Matt, on the other hand, enjoys going to or watching football and sourcing something new for the wardrobe (under Sophie’s supervision, of course!).

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

We met by chance in a busy pub on a Saturday night just off Bondi Beach. Sophie had moved to Sydney from London a year prior, and Matt, also English but having lived in Melbourne for the previous 10 years, had only recently moved for work. We later found out we’d been in the same Double Bay venue the night before but never crossed paths—something was clearly drawing us together.

Matt: To me, Sophie immediately stood out from the crowd. While I knew I had to speak to her, I didn’t quite know how to initiate a conversation. She had a serious look on her face, so I asked her to smile. I was surprised to hear a London accent as we spoke for the first time and excited as this commonality flung us straight into deep conversation.

Sophie: My first impression of Matt was that he had good energy but bad shoes. Once I’d seen past that, the conversation flowed, and since that moment, we’ve become inseparable.

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

Matt: I thought from the moment I met Sophie that we had a strong connection and that she was special. I’d fallen for her immediately, and in the days after we’d met, I desperately wanted to see her again without coming on too strong. I wanted to play it cool, but I was secretly taking breaks from work to check her pictures on social media. When we shifted our lives back to England and set up from scratch, I felt bulletproof alongside Sophie and knew we’d be in it for the long haul.

Sophie: It’s hard to pinpoint a moment, but there were many changes that we made together that set out our intentions for each other. Matt wanted to move back to Melbourne soon after we met. I had two choices: stay in Sydney with my friends or move to Melbourne, where I know no one apart from the guy I’ve known for 6 months, and see where it takes me, so I chose the latter. We’re a team and each other’s biggest supporters, something we realised quite early on in our relationship, so whilst it’s not an exact moment, it’s key to us recognising that we want to do life together forever! (so cheesy but true).

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

We got engaged at the Grotta Palazzese Hotel in Polignano a Mare, Italy. The restaurant here is unforgettable, as it sits within a natural cave with uninterrupted views of the ocean. It’s perfect for sunsets, which we’ve grown to love sharing together around the world.

The venue was bucket list material for Sophie, who had shown Matt the location countless times over the years on Instagram.

After two weeks of travelling around Southern Puglia, Matt told Sophie he’d booked some special accommodation for their final night.
Arriving at this pretty grand hotel in the dusty Fiat Panda that had served them well over the previous few weeks, they were slightly embarrassed when the suited-up Porter asked for the keys to park their rental car.

Sophie’s suspicions were slightly triggered upon checking into the hotel and being led to a suite for the evening. It had its own private terrace with a jacuzzi and views of the ocean as far as you could see.

As we watched the sunset on the final night of our holiday, moments before our dinner reservation downstairs, Matt took a knee to ask the most important question of his life, ending the best holiday in the most memorable of ways.

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?

Given that our intimate legal ceremony in London will be followed by a symbolic ceremony for further guests in Puglia in the coming months, you might say we’re happy splurging on venues!

But for Sophie, having two separate ceremonies has allowed her to create an entire wedding wardrobe, which has been a lot of fun. Working with amazing Lyndsey Gibbons, who owns the incredible bridal shop Amare, to create different looks for vastly different ceremonies has been an absolute dream. I always knew I wanted to wear a pantsuit with something cool on my head and a pair of Manolos, so bringing this vision to life was special for me. I can’t share too much on the outfits for the Italian wedding just yet!

We’ve not splurged on any individual component more than another. However, we believe that if you have a destination ceremony, you have the duty to throw a bloody good party. We believe the critical components needed for this are incredible food and drink, a memorable setting, and great music. With this in mind, we’ve hired an A* wedding planner alongside a restored 18th-century vineyard masseria for a week surrounded by olive groves for the ceremony and recovery pool party the next day.

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

Hard to answer this one. Ask me post the July wedding!

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

Sophie: I absolutely adore my Prea James pantsuit and love that it’s designed by a Sydney-based designer. Sydney has a special place in my heart, and as silly as it sounds, this felt significant when choosing my wedding wardrobe. The veil will be packed for Puglia and repurposed for a different look!

The history of the ceremony dress…

LOCATION Marylebone Town Hall PHOTOGRAPHER Ela Tatiana, FLORIST Ett Hem, @ett___hem RINGS Rachel Boston, @rachelbostonjewellery SUIT, SHIRT & TIE Suit Supply, @suitsupply GROOM’S SHOE Loake, @loakeshoemakers PANT SUIT Prea James, @preajames_bridal BRIDAL SHOP Amare, @amare_bride BRIDE’S SHOE Manolo Blahnik, @manoloblahnik VEIL A LA ROBE, @alarobe; Purchased from Amare, @amare_bride NECKLACE Natasha Schweitzer, @natashaschweitzer HAIR & MAKEUP By the Bride