Words by Emma.

Jo is the romantic, reserved and more private one. She spent a good 6 months crushing on me and trying to be my girlfriend, but I wasn’t out as a “gay” person. Jo had never been interested in the opposite sex and knew that from a young age.

I’m a paediatric 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.

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 manage to 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 amazing. 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 very expensive, 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 with the final page asking the question “will you marry me?”.

On the day; it rained, and it poured. We walked to breakfast, got drenched and ate somewhat average café food. 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 had 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 try and schedule a time for the flight where the weather was clear. 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 there was a dozen turtles 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, we 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. It was magical. Nic (Fox & Kin) is a blessing in the world of negativity and judgement. She creates positivity in the LGBTQI community, she creates public validity of all relationships, 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 that in all of your relationships with people. We cannot wait to be married. We cannot wait to host a party for our nearest and dearest and spend time dancing, eating and chatting to 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 what anybody else thinks. A time where there is no such thing as “coming out”. Where there is no more hate. Love is love.

Photography by Fox & Kin