Simple, timeless and elegant – those are the three words we’d use to describe Marissa and Michael’s engagement session with Photographer Aly Marie. Melbourne’s Parliament House provided the perfect backdrop to their classic shoot and allowed the focus to be entirely on them.
The classic style of architecture and facades in this district of Melbourne created a beautiful setting for their timeless engagement shoot. Marissa described their vision as “Something elegant and classy, but also just something simple. Something we would always love and stripped back to just show our love – wanted to remember this moment in our lives.”
This couple couldn’t have been happier with their photographer choice, and we can see why! “ALY IS INCREDIBLE! She’s so kind, truly a beautiful soul. She made us feel so comfortable; she made it fun and made sure it was a special moment for us,” they described. “She had previously done a friend’s wedding, and we knew from then we needed her to capture something for us! To this day, she keeps in touch, and we continually see her beautiful work with other couples – we feel so lucky to have crossed paths with her.”
Like two ships in the night, Marissa and Michael had been sailing past each other in their separate lives for years before finally colliding. The modern magic of Tinder finally brought them together, and the pair quickly realised they had a lot of mutual friends. “Technically, we matched on Tinder (& then Michael added me on Facebook on the same day)! I was working in retail at the time, and a friend of mine in the back room said, “omg look at this guy.” (Yes, that was Michael; yes, she was using my account), but we had SO many mutual friends,” Marissa explained. “I was scared & told her maybe not a good idea. It turns out we had been to 18ths at the same time and 21sts at the same time – was crazy. Everyone found out about the fact we had been talking very quickly, but in hindsight, that didn’t matter because here we are!”
In order to execute the proposal perfectly, Michael enlisted the help of Marissa’s friends to keep her busy while they set up the surprise. “This is my favourite question! After buying our house in 2020, we had it rented out for two years till we were ready to renovate – which was in August last year! The day the renter moved out, and we got possession again, Michael was changing the locks on all the doors – and we had organised to stay in Phillip Island with friends that same night. The plan was to change the locks and then head up to meet them; however, one of my best friends couldn’t make it that weekend, so a couple of the girls organised to get brunch whilst Michael was changing the locks (I was reluctant to ditch him, but my other friend’s husband was keeping him company),” she recalled. “I didn’t think much of it, but when we got back to the house, all the doors were shut – as I walked through the house, there were balloons with pictures of us hanging from them, and I walked back into the garden where Michael was waiting for me, with an aisle of rose petals & a “Will you marry me” sign behind him. Truly the best day, and then we celebrated with our best friends that night in Phillip Island (& the friend who couldn’t make it, actually could make it – it was all a lie!).”
That house from their engagement is now fully under renovation as they prepare to move into their dream home together. Unfortunately, the journey hasn’t all been sunshine and rainbows. “Right now, we’re in the middle of our house renovation – and what haven’t we gone through (we can laugh now, haha),” Marissa joked. “From a concussion (A level dropped onto my head from above, we won’t name names…), to both of us falling off ladders at different stages, to burning ourselves and beyond. It has been the most fun, but also the hardest year!”
What does Marissa love about Michael? “I love Michael’s humour, his worth ethic, his values – he has so much kindness in not just his words, but his eyes, he makes me feel safe, loved & valued.”
And what about what Michael adores about Marissa? “Everything, I can’t really put it into words. I love her attitude, she wears her heart on her sleeve, and I love that in ways we’re similar – we have similar interests and similar ways of thinking and similar values.”
Congratulations, Marissa and Michael, on your gorgeous timeless engagement shoot – may your wedding be equally as beautiful! Thanks to Aly Marie for capturing this beautiful couple.