Ai + Justin: Magic blooms in garden wedding


Justin planned to propose to Ai on January 1st during their road trip in Tasmania. He thought Cradle Mountain would be a suitable picturesque spot, especially considering they both enjoy the outdoors and hiking together. His plan was to set up a camera on timer to take a nice scenic photo together, and as the camera counted down, he would get down on his knees to pop the question.

As they set off to Cradle Mountain, Ai made him change their plans for the day as the there was possible thunder and rain forecasted. Justin reluctantly agreed and they set off to the Tarkine forest instead, hoping it would be equally beautiful. To his disappointment, the forest was dry, full of insects and backpackers… So they set off to Tasmania’s west coast – the “End of the Earth”. It turned out that it was one of the windiest places on earth and they were almost blown away.

“With the sun getting lower and lower, he was fast losing his window of opportunity, so he suggested we have a picnic dinner on the scenic Sister’s Beach as we had done and loved the night before,” Ai shares. “It was a beautiful pink sunset, the weather was calm and the beach almost exclusively ours. We had just finished eating and he thought it was a good time to pop the question when… ‘Ooh more dip!’. I spotted more dip that needed immediate consumption – foiled again!”

Finally, under the guise of going down to the waterline to wash all the picnic off their hands, Justin remained down on one knee and grabbed Ai’s hand to propose.


Justin: “For me it happened gradually, there was a real natural evolution through dating, becoming official, and moving in together. But it was the quality time spent on holidays where I really found out that we could be in each other’s company 24/7 and love it. This seemed to really come together when we tripped down the eastern coast of Australia in a hire camper van called Joss.”
Ai: “I think it must have been around seven months after we met – on our camper van trip living as nomads travelling down the eastern coast from Bundaberg to Sydney, feeling free like hippies/gypsies experiencing life in different parts of the land, from the beach towns, to the mountains. Being away from the big egotistical city, society and work peels a lot of onion layers off people and it reveals their true raw self; I feel like this is when we connect best. We went through cute country towns with organic health food cafes which we both liked, and it felt like this is the sort of ‘happily ever after’ future we both could have together.”


Justin: “Ai is amazingly creative and sensitive, and her compassion towards animals is unmatched. We once turned a 20 minute walk into a two hour one, when we had to save every stranded earthworm on the footpath after an intense Melbourne downpour!”

Ai: “What really stood out to me from day one is his uniqueness! He is such an interesting person with such great philosophies. I love our frequent walks together where we can talk creatively about our thoughts, beliefs and ideas – whether we agree with each other or not, it’s always a great conversation that really opens up my mind. We have so much in common, it’s crazy. And of course, anyone who knows Justin would say that they love his gentle, caring and sensitive nature, he’s my absolute rock!”

Justin: “I really enjoyed having fun around Lilydale Airport where we’d just gone through the whole ceremony and now had some special time together out behind one of the aircraft hangars. Our first almost alone-time moments as husband and wife!”
Ai: “I was in absolute awe and bliss walking down the aisle with my dad, seeing my loving husband-to-be waiting for me smiling, surrounded by my favourite people, to amazing music by Josh Romig and oh, the blooming wisteria above! It was like a dream or a scene from a movie, I couldn’t stop beaming from ear to ear.”


Ai: “We love going for drives out to the country side to be amongst nature and indulge in good food on our weekends, so we wanted our guests to experience that on our wedding day. We wanted the day to have a warm and merry vibe rather than anything pretentious, with a rustic and ‘art deco’ feel. Alowyn Gardens, with their amazing wisteria arch and quirky little nooks and crannies, was the perfect ‘secret garden’ for our ceremony. We knew straight away this was the place for us! We enjoyed our every visit we made, visiting in all seasons leading up to the wedding and seeing how the gardens transformed every time!

“Food is also something very important to us, we wanted to make sure we had great food and a really friendly feeling at the reception. That’s why we chose The Independent as we’d been there many times before and just loved everything we ate there, plus it had such a warm and friendly vibe. We also liked the fact that they had only previously done three weddings; we always like to do something a little bit different from other people.

“In general, we feel we chose suppliers who we had such warm connections with and it all felt very personal which was a wonderful feeling.”

Justin: “I really loved our vows to each other, even though I forgot them on the day and struggled with a horrid internet connection to get them printed off before the bride arrived!”
Ai: “I loved walking into the reception and seeing everything come together beautifully! All the little decorations and signage we designed and made, combined with the foliage and flower arrangements, the lovely live music and the golden glow of around 100 tea light candles we had all over the venue. The guests were merry, it just had such a beautifully warm feeling.”

Justin: “Getting used to saying ‘my wife!’ Committing to a life shared together. And guaranteed hugs!”
Ai: “Adventurous, harmonious, warm, supportive and loving. Working together on everything rather than as two individuals, and helping each other to continuously grow.”


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