Melanie and James met on Tinder about three years ago. The Sydney couple are one of the dating platform’s success stories.
Melanie, 33, says she thought James could be ‘the one’ around six weeks after they started dating.
“A friend was going back to America and James offered to take us to the airport and do anything we needed,” she tells 9Honey.
“Then my grandmother passed away. He was super-understanding and was always there to help. You don’t get too many guys on Tinder who are like that.”
James, 35, says he can’t point to a specific moment when he fell in love with Melanie. About a month after they started dating he travelled to Spain to see family and he remembers speaking with her via text and video call several times a day.
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“Even though we had only been dating for a short period of time, as soon as I got back I knew I wanted to be with her forever,” he says.
The couple moved in together and even added a ‘fur baby’ to their family, Ricky.
It was Ricky who helped Melanie pop the question to James. She’d been joking that she was going to ask him and then decided to go for it.
Now that they were officially engaged the couple set about planning their wedding.
“James has a really big family and we knew a big celebration was the plan,” she says. “I’ve got family in the UK so thought it would be nice if they came to Sydney to celebrate with us.”
They were looking for tie the knot in October 2020.
Then COVID-19 hit and “that went out the window” according to Melanie.
“I think it was as soon as we had lockdown and we were both working from home we realised it wasn’t going to happen,” she says.
They realised the following Saturday, June 22, would mark six years since they began dating and decided it would be a perfect date to get married, however they could manage to do it with coronavirus restrictions in place.
“We didn’t know what was happening with the pandemic and how serious it was, we just wanted to be married,” Melanie says.
Melanie and James, his mother and two of their closest friends gathered at Pier One in Sydney and the couple were married in a small and intimate ceremony.
Ricky was also there and the ceremony was live-streamed so their families and friends could tune in for the nuptials.
“It was very laid back with none of the pressure you would expect before a wedding,” she says. “It was such a wonderful moment. It was special, just in a different way.”
New research by Choosi shows that significant events in the first half of 2020, mainly COVID-19, are impacting the decisions of Australians, with close to four in five (78.4%) agreeing that uncertainty about the future makes committing to decisions harder — and it’s impacting their happiness.
Melanie and James didn’t want their wedding impacted by negative energy and by deciding to go ahead, feel very happy. They are planning a big bash with all their family and friends once restrictions are lifted.
They still don’t know when they’ll be able to do this but may opt for a couple of smaller events, one here and one in the UK with Melanie’s family once overseas travel is allowed.
“It’s just a party now so there is no pressure,” James says.
Melanie says it was just important for them to be married. “It didn’t have to be in a special place even, as long as we were together and happy and the puppy was there, that was all that mattered.”
She tells other brides worried about when they will be able to marry to “just go for it”.
“It was easy for us,” James says. “Both of us just realised we wanted to be married and our family and friends totally supported us. Nobody made us feel guilty or anything.”
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