Tilly + John: A Country Garden Party Wedding


There’s nothing like letting the one you have a crush on know this is the case, by writing her name in the sand on the other side of the world, and posting it online! Social media: the new ultimate wing-man. Giggles aside – John and Tilly both have had led some adventurous lifestyles, from both doing some independent travels overseas, to exploring together and living in Vietnam for a year. Their story speaks volumes of the appreciation for each other and how the level of fantastic in their lives has multiplied since being together. Have a gander through the proposal, the love story and wedding for yourself… We particularly appreciate the wedding shenanigans that successfully keep an 87-year old grandmother partying on the dance floor ’till one in the morning! Photos by Beck Rocchi Photography.



We had been living in Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City) for over a year so we took a trip home to Melbourne to see friends and family, eat delicious foods, drink wine and get some fresh air.

Living in such a hot, humid and polluted city, the latter was a really high priority! We planned a night away in Mt Macedon in a cute little stone cottage with a fireplace surrounded by trees and greenery.

As part of the trip John suggested we go up to Hanging Rock for a walk and a picnic. We picked up some cheese and wine, packed a blanket and made our way up.

Unfortunately it was school holidays so there was a group of rowdy teenagers yelling their way up the rock, and whenever I tried to suggest somewhere to sit John would say, ‘No no, its too close to those guys, lets find somewhere with some privacy’. This was definitely a little out of character but who was I to argue?

Eventually we found a flat spot in the sun overlooking the rolling green wineries and began to unpack. I started to pass things from our picnic bag over to John, who was behind me, while he set them up on the rug. When I tried to pass him the last item he didn’t take it, so I turned around to put it down myself and he was on his knee with a ring in his hand!

He asked ‘Tilly, will you marry me?’ I answered ‘Of course!’ We kissed and popped some sparkling!

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t suspect a thing – after nearly six years together we had talked about it and it was only a matter of time – but it was still a lovely surprise and we had such a great day telling our families, celebrating and putting together an hilarious Facebook engagement announcement video to the song ‘Let’s get married’ by Jagged Edge.



Tilly: There have been so many moments along the way where I’ve thought to myself ‘this is my person’. When he left a hand written letter in my letterbox on his way to the airport to travel South America for a year, saying that he was falling for me; when he wrote my name in the sand on a beach in Nicaragua and posted it online (we weren’t even together yet! And there have been many, many international ‘Tilly’s’ since); when he unreservedly told me he loved me about a month into our relationship; when my plane landed in America at the start of my five months overseas studying and I turned my phone on to the text ‘we’re going straight to the real estate agency the day you get back and finding a house so we can live together’… the examples are endless.

But ultimately one day, many years ago, I realised that not only did I love him deeply, but he was also my absolute best friend and favourite person in the world. I wanted to spend every day with him. It’s pretty hard to think anything other than ‘he’s the one’ when you couldn’t imagine your life without him!

John is incredibly smart and quit witted and as a result, truly (and wickedly) hilarious. He can make me laugh no matter the situation. It can be pretty annoying when I’m trying to make a serious point! But mostly it means our days are full of laughter and on bad days it is a precious gift. I also love that he is so generous with everyone in his life, confident in who he is and what he wants in his life, and unwavering and uncomplicated in his love. It’s very reassuring and grounding to have that kind of influence in your life.


John: I knew the first time she left to study overseas and we did the long distance thing that she was the one. I took it for granted until she was gone. I was like, “It’s only five months… I’ll kick back, go to parties. It’s going to be fun!” But it wasn’t. My bachelor paradise was lame; everything is more fun with Tilly. I realised in the first few days that I didn’t want to be apart from her like that ever again.

There are so many characteristics that Tilly has that I love. Her compassion, not only for her friends and family but all those suffering in any way around the world. She’s determined to make change in her lifetime. She’s incredibly intelligent and articulate. She’s happy at heart too, and seeks out joy. She wakes up happy each day; something has to go wrong for that to change. I really appreciate having that kind of joy in my life. It’s so nice to be around and makes me realise the positive influence it has on my day. She’s also really adventurous; all of the great experiences in my adult life have come from her pushing us/me to do it. I can’t thank her enough for it.



Our ceremony was easily the most memorable part of our wedding! Breaking away from tradition, we had our friend Shaun marry us because a) we didn’t have to have someone that didn’t know us, tell our story, and b) we are strong advocates for marriage equality and didn’t want to have those dreaded ‘legal’ words as part of such a personal and intimate moment.

(We were officially married by Shaun’s friend, who is a celebrant, the day before the wedding with our bridal party and parents present– we call it our ‘legal lunch’ and we downplay its importance as our wedding day is the one we will always remember!)

As part of the ceremony Shaun suggested we write each other’s vows, which ended up making the ceremony the most intimate, hilarious and unique part of our day.

The reception itself was also epic. After a huge and amazing feast everyone proceeded to drink and dance the night away – which is exactly what we’d hoped for… Even my 87-year-old grandma was tearing up the dance floor with friends and family until one in the morning!


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