Tell us a bit about yourselves and what you both do.

Lydia is a Kiwi - born and bred in Tauranga, Aotearoa. Raised in the outdoors, Lydia loves to exercise and immerse herself in nature. Lydia is a long-distance runner, competing for New Zealand across multiple distances, and has now made her career out of the sport. Working for Nike and founded her own tech startup, Femmi, an app that empowers women in movement. 

James is an Aussie tradie, who also has a love for adventures. James grew up in Ararat, Victoria and moved to the beautiful Noosa, Queensland in his teenage years. James found his love for building early in his life, following in his dad's footsteps, and now runs his own construction company, LDG Constructions, which takes him all across the country for work. 

How did you and James first meet? We'd love to hear about the start of your love story together.

We initially met through a mutual friend, which later led to finding love in the most modern way possible, on a dating app. Our first date was in a cocktail bar in Fitzroy, Melbourne, during the Christmas holidays. I (Lydia) had planned to head away for a few days on a solo break from the city, but after a few drinks offered the spare seat in the car to James, which he quickly jumped on and agreed to run the 14km trail I had planned on doing (James had no idea what he had got himself into). 

This three day trip instigated a three week long adventure across Victoria. From the mountains in Bright, to the beautiful Bells Beach in Torquay, we spent this time connecting through runs, wines and long drives. It wasn’t long before that we realized our love for adventure was mutual and our desire to find a partner who had the same interest in taking risks to build a life story worth telling was on par. 

How have you grown as a couple since you first got together?

One of the most incredible parts of falling in love is the feeling of appreciation for being your true self. Not only have we both grown even more into who we know we are destined to be, we have also learnt the importance of that external support to get there. We have both grown up as independent individuals, mostly relying only on ourselves for our success. But since meeting one another, we have been able to grow even further because of the unconditional love and support we have for one another. 

What we have both learnt from one another is that you can only get so far alone. A relationship, and even more so a marriage, is a partnership. And to allow the partnership to survive, we have learnt that you need to be an open book, with transparent communication and complete trust in one another. By coming together as a couple, we have both been able to break these walls down and this has not only helped us grow as husband and wife but also has the individuals we still stand as today. 

Can you share one of your favourite moments together?

The day we got engaged was one moment that we will never forget. We had spent two weeks in Bali, adventuring across the island and had landed in Canggu for the last few days. Little to my knowledge, James had been carrying the ring with him from place to place and even hiked up Mt Batur with it (only to find us on the summit in torrential wind and rain). We had one final day on holiday, and without much planning, became the best day of the trip. We spent the morning in a day spa, and the afternoon drinking margaritas and eating tapas, to return to our beautiful villa, where James got down on one knee. 

It didn’t truly hit me that he was proposing until I saw the beautiful ring of my dreams. My ring. I saved the ring on my phone from Zoë & Morgan a year earlier. Before even saying yes I replied ‘That’s my ring!’. 

That was the moment I realised the universe had worked its magic - bringing me the most incredible human to be my husband forever. 

Your wedding day was such a beautiful adventure to follow. Can you share any special details from your special day.

 We got married on 11.11.2023. And it was everything we had dreamed of. 

 The most incredible part of the day was having everyone we loved from across Australia and New Zealand, in one place. And (we may be biased) the most beautiful place on earth, Noosa. We said ‘I do’ at Palm Creek Estate, in Yandina, in the Hinterland of the Sunshine Coast. We were amongst the trees and under the fairy lights. 

After the ceremony, Anna and Ozi (the owners of Palm Creek estate) took us, in their landrover, up into a secluded part of the property for photos. It was so special to be away from the chaos and to have a moment to soak it all up. We were able to appreciate the moment, appreciate the love and appreciate each other. We returned to the party for beautiful locally grown food from Immune House, and speeches from our loved ones, to then party the night away. 

It was a day we will never forget but the adventure is only just beginning. 

Photography - Matty Harrington @harringtonstudios 
Film - Graeme Passmore @graemepassmore  
Makeup - Ellen Barron @ellenbarron_mua 
Hair - Nicola @hairbynicola1
Venue - Palm Creek Estate @palmcreekestate 
Flowers - White Willow Co @white_willowco
Food - Immune House
Dress - Rue de seine @ruedeseinebridal
Celebrant - Hayley Hart @hayleyhartcelebrant