Meet our issue 21 cover couple: Brad and Ally

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How did you first meet? We met almost six years ago at a mutual friend’s engagement party. Brad was watching the soccer, so I sat down and watched it with him. Partly because I enjoy the soccer, but mostly because I thought that he was pretty cute…

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At what point did you both realise you were in love? I don’t really think that either of us can recall a specific moment when we both knew that we were in love. However, about five months into our relationship I was a bridesmaid at friend’s wedding, and as I was walking down the aisle I looked over at Brad and I knew the he was the only guy I ever wanted to walk down that aisle too.

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Tell us about the proposal! Oh my gosh! I honestly thought that after four years there was no way that Brad would be able to surprise me (I’m generally pretty intuitive about these things), but I was totally wrong…

It began with a phone call from my sister a few days before Christmas, saying that her boss had won a radio competition for a day out in the Hunter Valley Vineyards (yes, that’s right, my boss, my sister’s boss and various family members were in on Brad’s little surprise). My sister convinced me that her boss couldn’t go, but had passed the prize on to my sister and I. So the next day a driver came to pick us up and drove us to Charlestown Square, where we were greeted with gift cards to buy ourselves a new outfit for our day.

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My sister and I were then whisked away to the Hunter Valley for an amazing spa day and an afternoon of wine tasting. We then topped off a perfect day with dinner at the Sebel Kirkton Park. After dinner, we were the told to head out onto the deck for one final surprise. At that point my sister went MIA, and I realised that the deck was covered in candles with lanterns leading around the corner onto an open field. It was at this point that I realised what was happening! I actually felt quite overwhelmed and nervous… and completely shocked that Brad had managed to pull off the entire day without me suspecting anything!!

I followed the lanterns to a field that overlooked the vineyards and there was Brad, down on one knee… It was perfect. I was all teary and very quick to say yes! We spent the rest of the evening drinking wine in our little field with one of the best views of the Hunter Valley. I also had to text my sister’s boss and apologise for all of the ‘thank you’ messages that I had been sending her all day hah

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What did you love most about your wedding day? Getting to marry my best friend in a dreamy location and celebrating with our closest family and friends. We were so blessed by the effort and generosity of everyone who made our day so incredible. One of my beautiful bridesmaids flew out from New York, and one of Brad’s groomsmen flew from New Zealand to be a part of our day. This was so special for us, as it just wouldn’t have been the same without them.

We also loved having an afternoon tea wedding, because it meant that we could end the day with a private dinner for two, where we could just enjoy each other’s company and relax after such a wonderful day.

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What are some of your favourite things to do together? We love to travel! We enjoy taking little vacations and exploring new places. We are also big breakfast people who love great coffee, so on weekends you can usually find us hiding away in one of our favourite local espresso bars. Together we are also involved in a local church, where we help run the Kids Ministry program. It’s crazy, loud and fun, so of course we love it.

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Best trip you’ve ever been on together? We travelled around Europe together early last year. That was pretty amazing! We went to Hungary to visit the family that I have there, so that they could finally meet Brad. This was really special for the both of us, as the family weren’t able to fly out for our wedding. At that time, I was also finishing off a French major at uni, so it was it was a lot of fun spending time in France, practising my French and having Brad take such an interest in it too. He was quite good for a beginner!

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What does marriage mean to you? Marriage for us is two imperfect people coming together as one under God’s perfect love and grace. We truly believe that the best marriages are built on a solid foundation of love. Too many people promise unconditional love at their weddings, without actually living it out in their day-to-day journey. People tend to trivialise ‘love’ as a romantic feeling, but the type of love that we want to build our marriage on is a daily choice to be unconditionally kind, faithful, selfless, protecting, trusting and honouring of each other. That to us, is essentially what marriage is… it is a daily decision to love and honour one other despite the season of life that you are in. And of course, have some serious fun, crazy adventures and many laughs with your best friend along the way.

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Describe each other in three words?

Alyssa: Unique, clever and smoking hot.

Brad: A good time… He is also very authentic, intelligent and a total sanguine.

Is there anything else you would like to add? My one piece of advice to all of the brides-to-be out there is to not focus on the details of the wedding day at the expense of your relationship. With so many stunning and creative ideas out there, it is so easy for brides to get caught up in the detail and planning of the day and forget to put time aside to prepare themselves and their relationship for marriage. However, I promise that if you prepare for marriage with the same energy and enthusiasm that you plan your wedding, then your wedding day will be nothing short of spectacular.

Carly Tia
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