The journey to marriage isn’t always a straight line. After an instant connection, Alexe and Courtney put their relationship on pause, rekindled their romance, went to therapy and now they’re married.
Tell us more about the time that you met one another for the first time.
Courtney and I officially met eight years ago on the 3rd of March, 2013. During the very early hours of the morning at Hungry Jacks on Chapel Street in Prahran, Melbourne. Both Courtney and I had attended a weekly queer nightclub around the corner with separate friendship groups and had committed to being the designated drivers that night.
Courtney admitted years into our relationship that I had actually caught her eye much earlier in the night dancing on a podium while in the nightclub. In her own words, “I was the most beautiful girl she had ever seen.” She had felt instantly drawn to my demeanor. It must have been fate, as later that night, we would meet. Courtney eventually built up the courage to ask a mutual friend to suss out if I was single and if I would like Courtney’s digits. I immediately said yes. Not really knowing that she would be my forever at that moment. But rather the girl who very convincingly executed a lizard impression with a chip to a whole group of people in Hungry Jacks at 4 AM and had made everybody laugh hysterically.
As Courtney and her friends were about to leave for the night, I remember Courtney finding any reason to walk back and forth the big glass windows out the front so that we could have more time looking at one and other. That night arriving back to our home’s Courtney and I texted each other goodnight and that we had made it home safe. The following morning we began texting back and forth. And something special grew very rapidly, leading us to our first date three days later at the pancake parlor. Courtney had a true heart of gold and drove for two and a half hours to pick me up that day so that she could take me out for a date.
I remember pulling into my driveway at the time and saying to Courtney, “Aint we going to go on a date?” and she replied, “Oh yes, we can. I just wanted to make sure you got home safe.” This was the moment I knew I could let my guard down as this girl was completely different from any previous form of love I had experienced, and I was nervous and excited to see where it would take me.
I quickly was introduced to Courtney’s family and vice versa. She was introduced to mine, and our opposite worlds collided as mine was a suburban lifestyle and Courtney’s a country lifestyle. We were inseparable and entirely in love three weeks later, and I asked Courtney if we could be exclusive.
You broke up, but wound up together again after therapy. Talk to us more about that.
Courtney and I broke up for about six months in the middle of our eight-year relationship. We are incredibly open about this because it has helped our relationship blossom into something much stronger. I think there can be too many unrealistic views and expectations that a relationship is perfect 100% of the time and should be ‘easy’ If it’s really meant to be when that’s just not the case. Our breakup caused each other a lot of hurt and pain in a lot of ways. Past trauma, insecurities, our six-year age gap, and an old flame coming back into the picture were some of the contributing factors that landed on us break mode.
In the end, the new relationship I had entered into had broken down rapidly. I admittedly reached out to Courtney with all of my heartbreak and disappointment for the only girl I knew understood me. She supported me and would not judge me despite the pain I had caused her. It took time to work through our own individual ‘baggage’ and time to build trust back into the relationship. However, we put in the hard work with our own separate healing journeys. Gave couples therapy a try, and eventually acknowledged that neither of us was perfect and forgave each other. We both agreed to move forward, and over time we started to heal and strengthen our relationship.
Tell us your favorite thing about one another.
I love that Courtney is entirely opposite to me. However, our values are so well aligned. I love that Courtney can be ‘straight up’ but still maintain her caring and compassionate side. Courtney is humorous and makes everyone around her laugh which is the best medicine. I love Courtney’s ‘big brown eyeballs’- lol. She is truly hard-working, and I really admire her ability to better herself every day and work through past struggles.
I love Alexe’s heart and how Alexe can always find beautiful things in the worst of situations. Alexe is one of the only people who can calm me down when I feel angry or upset. Alexe is entirely and wholeheartedly what I call home.
Tell us about your proposal, and the handmade wooden ring.
I am such a lucky girl to have a partner who wanted to make this occasion truly magical for me. Courtney surprised me in March 2019 and took me to Hawaii for a vacation that she had been working tediously to save for behind my back. It was just before closing on the purchase of our first home. I remember Courtney having a mini freak out and myself not understanding why as we were prepared for this and discussed and saved to purchase our first home for about two years! Little did I know!
Early days of our relationship Courtney asked me about my bucket list. I mentioned to her that my dream would be to swim with the dolphins one day. As I thought, they were the most majestic and free animals. This is exactly why Courtney took me to Hawaii, and it was the most beautiful experience. It meant so much to me that she had remembered this conversation in passing and wanted to make a dream come true.
On day three of our vacation, we were out for dinner at our favorite place on the rooftop of our accommodation in Waikiki called ‘The Tikki Bar. The beach was directly behind us, and the sunset and live acoustic music was paradise. After a couple of cocktails later, we headed back up to our room. Low and behold, Courtney drops down on one knee. Pulling out a tiny piece of paper she has prepared with some notes, a beautiful rose gold spray-painted box, and a ring she made herself out of wood and asked me to be her wife.
I remember feeling so happy as I had wanted to be Courtney’s wife for some time. Always finding little ways to drop hints around the house like wedding magazines and commenting on engagement ring styles like, “Oh, I really like the emerald cut.” Immediately after Courtney asked me to marry her and I said HELL YES. I remember saying something like, “I love that we are in Hawaii, but yet you proposed to me in the hotel room.”
After I said this, I realised my mouth had been too direct, and this would probably come across the wrong way to Courtney. She then replied, “I know I wanted to do it on the beach. But I didnt want everybody staring at me with this ring I have made because I knew you would want to pick your own.” It was funny, and we laughed about it afterward because she was right. That wouldn’t have been Courtney at all to have an audience. This way was so much more intimate, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Tell us about your wedding day – leave no detail spare.
Our wedding day was magical. It had been a very average summer that season, but I remember looking out the window as I was having my hair done and just expressing some gratitude as the sun was shining and the clouds were perfectly blue. I got ready at our home with my bridesmaids and my mother. Courtney got ready at her family home, close by with her bridesmaids, groomsman, mother, and father.
Our wedding was held at ‘The Farm’ in Warrandyte, Melbourne. It was a truly spectacular venue from the staff to the property grounds, and the general vibe and energy of the venue were elegant and lux. Yet, it still had a comfortable and warm feeling, which was very important to us that our venue of choice was not over the top or pretentious. Our ceremony was held in front of beautiful barn doors that used to be the brewery back in the day. Our flowers were superb and matched all the other elements selected so perfectly. The signage was stunning, and I remember just feeling like it had all come together for us as a celebration of our love and was pleasantly overwhelmed and filled with nothing but joy.
When Courtney and I saw each other for the first time as I walked down the aisle, I instantly felt safe and was no longer feeling anxious like I had been feeling in the forty-five-minute car ride down, despite my father’s best efforts at talking my ear off. Courtney had subtle tears coming down her face, and she gave me the biggest smile. Our ceremony was so far from stiff. It was engaging, fun, and hilarious and really highlighted our love story in the most beautiful way. Our celebrant Leah was exactly what we had envisioned and provided special attention to our bridal party and guests to welcome them and make their attendance feel valued.
Once the ceremony was complete, we were greeted with Mojito’s, which were delicious. We explored the property with our photographer Jackson who made the whole process simple, effortless, and unposed. Jackson provided us with many laughs, and he was a group favorite within our crew. Canapes were served during this time to our guests on the front terrace of the venue. With our guest telling us so much fun was had with the lawn games we had hired.
Our reception then commenced, and we were introduced along with our bride tribe, who were all separately introduced, giving them their own personal moment to shine! Our cake was cut with our personalised ‘her and her’ cake topper, which had made Courtney emotional a couple of days prior. Then we shared our first dance, which we had been attending dance lessons for three weeks earlier, so we didn’t make a complete fool of ourselves! We ended up making many mistakes, but it was an extraordinary thing to have experienced together, and our guests loved it.
We offered a sit-down three-course meal, wedding cake, custard Italian doughnuts, and many expresso martini’s to finish. Speeches were conducted on the lawn out the front of the venue. It was truly touching to experience such kind words that demonstrated our relationship’s love, resilience, and honor from our loved ones. The night finished with everybody on the dance floor. Where the drinks were flowing, and the music was pumping! There was a real sense of connectedness, community, and acceptance in the room. My uncle, who lives in Sydney, Australia, requested he does a shout-out for the Mardi Gras parade that was taking place that weekend. This made Courtney and I feel so supported, loved, and proud to be a part of our LGBTQI+ community and was the most incredible way to finish off a truly remarkable day.
Courtney and I are best friends first and wives second because, in our experience, our relationship could only exist with the strong foundations that blossomed within a friendship first. Courtney and I would only be able to be strong within our romantic relationship if everything else was in balance. I have met my partner in crime in Courtney, and I will cherish our wedding day until the last page turns in the book.
Photography by Jackson Grant Weddings
Acoustic & DJ Main Entertainment
Catering & Venue The Farm Yarra Valley
Celebrant Love Leah Celebrant
Earrings Ruby and Sage
Florist Forget Me Not Floret
Gown Boutique Luv Bridal
Gown Designer Madi Lane
Hair Rae Hairstylist, Styled By Andi
Hair Piece Sitting Pretty Halo Hair
Lace Cape Kim Alpha Bridal
Linen Simmons Linen Hire
Makeup Makeup By Alex Haines
Rings Sh Jewellery, Enso Rings, The Gentleman’s Smith
Shoes Novo Shoes, Wild Rhino
Suit Designer YD
Veil Bluebell Bridal
Wedding Party Outfits YD, Seed Heritage