Melanie and Matthew

Image 1 of Melanie and Matthew

How We Met

Matt and I met 7 years ago on Brunswick Street in Melbourne, Australia – April 16th, 2010 to be exact. I was spending a semester in Australia as an exchange student studying health science at La Trobe University, while Matt was studying osteopathy at Victoria University. On that fateful night, I was celebrating my birthday with a group of girlfriends on Brunswick Street, while Matt was out with his best mate in search of a good pub. Being that Matt had just broken his ankle, he was walking along Brunswick at a slower than normal pace, which is an abnormal characteristic for a normal fast paced guy. I remember seeing him pass by on the opposite side of the street. The way he recalls it is “I saw her, thought she was cute, and told Rob we had to turn around to go say hi.” And that’s exactly what he did. Matt and Rob approached my friends and I, and Matt asked if we knew of any good local bars to go to. Being that we were all American, and they were Australian, we thought they would probably be the experts. However, that didn’t stop us from chatting on the corner for a while, right outside of a bar called Bimbos (we never even ended up going inside). Matt and I both shared our love for teaching boxing classes and this mutual interest, led to us exchanging numbers (with the intention of attending one of his classes) and eventually meeting up for date after date during my time in Australia.

When the semester abroad ended, Matt and I continued to remain in touch on a consistent basis. Because of the distance however, we decided not to do a long distance relationship, and that we could see other people. Despite this agreement, Matt was still constantly on my mind. I spoke about him constantly without even knowing (as my friends will tell me) and always wondered if we would ever cross paths again. He became the person I shared everything with, and despite the thousands of miles between us, I really cherished what we had and viewed him as my best friend. After 6 years of not seeing one another, Matt had planned a trip to the USA for a series of conferences he had in Michigan. Being that he would be in the US, he decided to come visit me in Washington, D.C. The night he arrived all feels like a blur – I opened the door to my house to let it in and everything I had felt back in 2010 suddenly rushed back. And the beautiful thing, was Matt felt exactly the same. Over the course of this weekend, Matt and I both realized that we were in love with one another, and that this feeling had been evident for many years. We decided at that moment that we would do whatever we had to do to be with one another. And now, here we are!

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how they asked

Matt and I returned to Australia for the first time together since we had met, for his best friend’s wedding. After a beautiful few days celebrating the newlyweds, Matt & I decided to meet them for a portion of their honeymoon in Hobart, Tasmania. I had already fallen in love with Tasmania immediately upon my arrival and did not even know what was in store. On the morning of February 2nd, Matt & I drove with Cailin & Teresa to a ferry that would take us to a magical place called Bruny Island. Because we didn’t have WiFi, we spent the car ride over playing all of “our songs” that were already downloaded on our phone, so that we could share pieces of our love story with our friends.

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When we got to Bruny Island, we spent the entire morning on a speed boat cruise around the surrounding parts of Bruny Island, exploring the beautiful nature, the amazing wildlife and just simply taking in the beauty of the day. The moment we got off the boat, I told all of them that this had been the best day of my life. Boy, was I certainly right about that. After the boat cruise, we had lunch at a winery and reminisced on how amazing the trip had been. We were debating upon leaving whether to go to the beach or to go follow a four wheel drive path we had been recommended, however did not know where it lead to – we chose to take the four wheel drive path. When we got to the top of the drive path, there was a small hilly walkway that led to this unbelievable outlook of all of Bruny Island.

From this outlook you could see what is called “the neck,” which is an isthmus of land connecting North and South Bruny Island and separating two different colored bodies of water. It was truly breathtaking. As I tried to negotiate the hills to walk down and take a photo, Matt took my hand and helped me down so that we could walk over to the outlook together. As we stood there taking in the beauty of Bruny Island, Matt said some beautiful words and I could feel myself getting emotional at how amazing all of this was. When I looked over at him to give him a kiss, he was down on oe knee, asking me to marry him.

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I was shocked, blown away, and absolutely, ecstatically overjoyed. I of course, said yes, and cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with him.

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And can now officially say, that this was the best day of my life.

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