As far as I am concerned, there are really not many better ways to celebrate New Years Eve than with a wedding. For Johnny and Joe, it was a new years eve that was just as they’d dreamt. “Relaxed as possible, a feast with friends”. The duo marrying at a stunning urban nursery (the ever beautiful Glasshaus Inside) before guests enjoyed a wander to a local restaurant to celebrate the night away.

With the help of beautiful photography by Tony Evans Photography this one is a heartfelt story that if you’re anything like us, you’ll fall in love with!

“We met the traditional way, on Grindr” admit the grooms. “We were both working in China; Joe in Shanghai and Johnny in Beijing. With the help of geospatial matching (apparently both of us had cast quite a large search radius), we struck up a conversation on Grindr. We did not meet until about a month later when Joe was visiting friends who had just moved over from California to Beijing.

Our first date was an epic 15km run around Olympic Park. After finishing the run, John invited Joe to a night of drinks and karaoke, but it was not quite Joe’s cup of tea. The agreed to meet the next day for breakfast. We had a great discussion over breakfast about what brought us to China and how we were adjusting to living in a foreign country. We both still remember that day as our first official date.”

The grooms wore two suits each, designed by Klien Epstein & Parker.  “We both had custom suits made for us from Klien Epstein & Parker in California. Joe chose a dark blue suit and John wore plum. On our way to the reception, we had a costume change into white tuxedos. Logistically challenging. But a great way to make an entrance at the reception! Also made for great photos with our four sisters (who all wore white as well).

We both got to choose one indulgence for our wedding, Joe chose live music – Johnny chose white suits!”

There were minimal blooms, but what Johnny and Joe chose, was super special. “All of our flowers were chosen and put together by Johnny’s father (Jeremy) and aunt (Prue). They were beautifully done and mostly from his aunt’s garden, natives where possible.”

Urban nursery Glasshaus Inside was chosen for the groom’s ceremony.  “We held our ceremony at Glasshaus in Cremorne. It was a beautiful venue, with lots of greenery, natural light and no need for a stylist. Organizing a wedding in Melbourne from California, we aimed to keep things as easy as possible – both our venues were already beautiful, one less thing to worry about! ”

What better way to serenade guests on arrival than with live singing? “Johnny, a chorister for most of his life, managed to rustle a ‘Friends Chorus’ arriving at the venue with soaring voices from favourite hymns, including Morning Has Broken, which Johnny’s parents were married to, almost four decades before. Also on New Years Eve.”

Says Joe “We kept our ceremony short and simple. Joe’s friend, Nahid, served as our celebrant. In fact, Nahid was with us when Johnny proposed to Joe on New Year’s Eve two years before. We wrote most of the ceremony ourselves including vows.

Probably my most memorable, and moving experience from the day, turning to face the crowd. 100 of our closest family and friends smiling and crying, back at us – an absolute wave of happy emotions and positive energy.”

“Didn’t really have a wedding party, ” explain Johnny and Joe, “we were supported by our four sisters, who all wore white.”

After a quick suit change, it was time for more photos and the celebration to begin.

Of their photographer, there are only rave reviews from these two. “John had known Tony for some time and really liked his work. He did an awesome job and really captured everyone’s excitement and happiness throughout the day. Tony did an amazing job.”

Jardin Tan hosted the evening dinner reception. “We chose it mostly because of the food, and the venue itself but it also allowed our guests to walk from Cremorne across the river, and through the gardens. A wonderful procession on a perfect Melbourne summer day, especially nice to show off our city to our overseas guests.”

“Take it as it comes” advise Johnny and Joe. “A hundred things went wrong (including the dog eating the name tags, literally..) it’s up to you if you’re disappointed, or stressed or not at all! We stressed a lot before the day, but tried to just let it happen and enjoy as much as possible.”

Memories are made of this. “We didn’t have a first dance really, but Johnny did secretly arrange with the band to serenade Joe, just before the dancing really got started. We had no rehearsal.. wasn’t the greatest rendition but a happy point regardless. “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton.”

An enormous congratulations to you both Johnny and Joe! Thank you for sharing the stories of your wedding day with us. Thanks also to Tony Evans Photography for sharing today’s imagery!