Finding love can be difficult, right? That’s why they invented Tinder. But just like everything, it is what you make of it. For loved-up local couple Roy and Claudia (who just returned from a blissful, honeymoon-cruise to New Zealand) the dating app connected them, Walt & Burley hosted them, and they finally got their happy ever after. Take note boys – good morning messages do make all the difference.
We chatted to the couple about finding love in Canberra.
Tell us, how did you two meet?
Well, Roy and I met how most people meet these days – online dating – on Tinder! I could tell from his very thoughtful profile description that he was a keeper. He drew me in when he commented that I had a nice earring collection. I didn’t realise it at the time, but I had a different set on in each of my five pics. A week later, 26 October 2014, we had our first face-to-face meeting at Walt & Burley on a Tuesday afternoon.
I had only been on Tinder a short while and had asked one of my more experienced mates to be my Tinder Coach. He checked out my profile: “too wordy”; critiqued my pictures: “apparently lacking tiger’s and mountains”, and offered to rewrite my profile. It was then I knew my profile was good to go. His advice for the date was “coffee by day after exchanging numbers to ensure you meet at the right place, and then next date progress to a drink after hours. Be available afterwards just in case the night progresses”.
Tinder dates can be a hit or miss (so I’m told), what direction did your first date head in?
I remember racing to Walt & Burley after work, I think I may have just made it on time. And Roy was sitting in an armchair by the window on the lake-side of the bar. I thought to myself that he looked very cute with his blue eyes, curly blonde hair and black snug-fitting shirt and jeans. It really was an instant attraction.
It was a beautiful sunny October afternoon. I didn’t want to leave. I remember Roy walking with me to my car. We both kind of lingered and I just could feel that he didn’t want to say goodbye either. It was a really nice feeling. And when Roy finally did say goodbye I remember thinking how much I wanted him to kiss me.
Claudia was looking super-hot and was really nice to me. Despite my Tinder coach’s advice, we went straight to Walt & Burley, I immediately thought I should book in another date before I headed to Germany at the end of that week – so we headed out for a lunch date at Pialligo and a walk around Jerrabomberra Wetlands before I flew out that evening.
After Claudia sent me a pic of her dressed in her Halloween costume, I deleted the Tinder app, as I was happy to see how we progressed. Though I do joke that I was looking forward to updating my Tinder profile in Germany: “lost Aussie tourist needs local tour guide”…
How did you know you had found “the one”?
I knew Roy was the one because of how I felt at that first meeting at Walt & Burley. Honestly, I know it’s a cliché but to me it was love at first sight. Roy was such a romantic – he really did sweep me off my feet. I would wake up to a message every morning and go to sleep each night with a goodnight text. I knew he was the one.
Claudia moved in with me after a year of long-distance dating (who knew the north side was only 30 minutes away). Claudia was and still is a wonderful second mother to my children and a great addition to my life. I think she knows some of my friends better than me. So, I decided I should propose at a memorable place.
After scenic dates around Canberra, the end of a Tinder era, and a ‘long-distance’ relationship, how did the proposal come about?
Roy proposed to me in Singapore on my birthday last year, 3 May. The trip was my b’day present (very lucky I know), and I had been saying that I wanted to go and have a Singapore Sling at the Raffles Hotel. So, we got dressed up and off we went. We were sitting in Long Bar, sipping our cocktails (well I was guzzling the drink it was so nice, but Roy was sipping) when he asked me if I wanted my Birthday present. I said “what?” because the trip was my present. Then he said, “promise not to scream” and instantly I knew what he was about to do.
“Three years ago, I asked you to be my girlfriend, now I would like to ask you, will you be my wife?” It left me speechless until he had to prompt an emphatic “YES!”
A year prior on 29 Feb, Claudia asked if we should get married, and had made me a small heart shaped, pink, fluffy wire ring. I had kept that, and brought it across with me, and returned her ring back to her.
Tell us about your beautiful wedding?
Our wedding was on Friday 9 March, at the Canberra Southern Cross Yacht Club in Yarralumla. It is such a beautiful spot on the water that we both loved instantly when we saw it during our wedding venue research stage. I wore a beautiful strapless lace dress made by Ashleigh from La Belle Bridal Boutique in Gungahlin. After our ceremony which involved our three children, surrounded by close family and friends, we surprised our guests with a one-hour sight-seeing cruise on the MV Southern Cross while we went off to Walt & Burley for photos. The boat travelled to Kingston to pick us up after our photoshoot – and it then took us all back to the Yacht Club where we had a reception in the lakeside marquee. We kicked up our heels and danced the night away. Our cake was amazing, made by a friend Claire Armit.
What was the significance of visiting the place you met on the day you tied the knot?
Walt & Burley has a special place in my heart because of our first date. At the time, the venue had recently opened and I had not been before and was keen to check it out. It was in a good, mutual location for both of us and it was just a great place to go with the warmer weather starting. It has the beautiful views of the lake and just an all-round great atmosphere. I wanted to recreate our first meeting there with having a photo-shoot at W&B on our wedding day so we could have photos to cherish and always remind us of day one and our wedding.
Photography by Claudia’s brother Mark Zorzi and his wife Callie Zorzi