Emma & Jo

Words by Emma.

Jo is romantic, reserved, and more private. She spent a good six months crushing on me and trying to be my girlfriend, but I wasn’t out yet. Jo had never been interested in the opposite sex and knew that from a young age.

I’m a pediatric nurse, and I work in intensive care. I’ve always thought I was very directed in my life and knew what I wanted, but I was never really completely satisfied. It took me a while to accept myself as a lesbian and figure out that I wasn’t going to live a life that I had envisioned for myself.

We’ve been together for four and a half years, and it has been magical. We are so good at communicating with each other, and we know how to rile one another up. Jo is my best friend, and I would spend every minute of my life by her side if I could. We still get excited to see each other after work every day. And Jo even becomes sad when I have to work night shifts six nights a month. Jo will do anything for me, whether it’s the middle of the night and need a drink or a heat pack. She will always impress me with adventurous and disproportionately mismatched “cook ups” of strange food and stranger flavors. We love spending rare days on the weekends together when I’m not working and taking our doggo on adventures.

I was dreaming of a holiday for my birthday in Feb 2017, and fate delivered cheap flights to Airlie Beach. So I booked them at only $29 a pop! We were never sure if we could actually go on this holiday, but the excitement prevailed, and we booked the fanciest accommodation we could find.

By this time, I knew I had to make it an extra special week. I was going to propose.

Unexpectedly, and because I had told Jo many, many times that she cant propose yet “I wasn’t ready”, I knew it would mean so much more to both of us if I was the one who got down on one knee! Little did she know I’d already booked an appointment with a recommended jeweller who will make anything you desire at a damn good price!

Queue “Monty Adams Jewellery” – ADAM is fantastic. Cool, calm, collected, and will meet you anywhere. He even met me at my house, my sister’s house and in a café. He turned up on our last appointment with his briefcase and lovely chats, but all I could think of was, “where is the damn ring? Bring it out!”. I cried, smiled, and hugged him. It was perfect, just as I had designed. I’d always envisioned us having complementing rings. It was perfect for Jo; dainty, the right amount of carbon inclusions (“salt and pepper”) in the diamond, and a white gold band with a rose gold setting that looks just like a little flower.

The planning began. I researched places to do it, photographers, and aviation companies. Suddenly, it all became costly, and I thought maybe I should just do it at our resort one morning when she first wakes up- I didn’t. I booked a helicopter to fly us to Whitehaven Beach, a picnic, and some sneaky champagne. I wrote a book full of nice things that I love about Jo, and the final page was asking the question, “will you marry me?”.

On the day, it rained, and it poured. We walked to breakfast, got drenched, and ate a somewhat average meal. I couldn’t eat. I was so nervous. Jo didn’t even bat an eyelid when she realised I’d hardly touched my food. She had NO IDEA. I told her we were going on a tour boat to the reef and Whitehaven beach because that was on our to-do list for the holiday. I got a phone call from the pilot to schedule a time for the flight to clear the weather. Jo was thinking/saying, “wow, this is a pretty good boat company. They even wait for good weather to take people out” – I agreed. I packed our bag, which I would never do, snuck in some champagne, and slipped the ring into my swimmers. Jo still had no idea.

The bus showed up to pick us up, branded with “GSL AVIATION” on the side, and Jo said, “Hey babe, I don’t think that’s our lift. It’s an aviation company”. I said, “surprise,” we’re going on a helicopter. She got excited, very excited, but still has NO IDEA at this point. The sky magically and speedily cleared up, and the sun came out. We flew to Whitehaven Beach, just the two of us and a pilot. When we were descending to land, a dozen turtles were swimming to the surface of the water. There was not a single soul around, just Jo, me, and a cute little red helicopter. It was deserted. It was magical. We set up the picnic, and I told Jo I had something for her, so I gave her the book. She cried on the first page, then the second, and so on (she still had no idea). By the second to last page, she was a mess. She thought I was the most romantic person she’d ever met. She never ever expected the words on the final page. I got down on one knee, slyly whipped out the ring from my swimmers, and opened it up. All without her even noticing. She cried, I cried. I had no words to say; it was all over my face. I don’t even think I actually asked her the words. We hugged and kissed. She said yes, eventually. We drank champagne and spent the next two hours swimming with turtles.

Then recently, we had this shoot. It rained again and was magical. Nic (Fox & Kin) is a blessing in the world of negativity and judgment. She creates positivity in the LGBTQIA+ community. Creating public validity of all relationships, and she makes good jokes. She has given us a spark in our lives that we will always cherish.

Marriage to Jo and I is something as different as it is the same for everybody else. It is a commitment, open communication, working together, uplifting one another, encouraging one another, and challenging one another. It is about being the best person you can be to your other half and using it in your relationships with other people.

We cannot wait to be married. We cannot wait to host a party for our nearest and dearest. Spend time dancing, eating, and chatting with all of our guests. We hope for a time where you aren’t assumed bride and groom when you write to a wedding vendor, not every wedding card is Mr and Mrs, and the only reason somebody stares at you holding your partner’s hand in the street is to admire the love and want to hashtag #couplegoals. We hope for a time where same-sex couples are just as frequent as hetero couples, and children can see that it is normal. They can allow themselves to explore their own identity without worrying about what anybody else thinks. A time where there is no such thing as “coming out”. Where there is no more hate, love is love.

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Photography by Fox & Kin

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