Height of love
Martin Brown and Mariko Oya
Marty and Mariko met while they were doing a graphic design portfolio preparation course. Mariko is just 153 centimetres, while Marty is 192 centimetres, making them a "weird looking couple," Marty says.
Weird looking, but perfectly matched and equally cruisy. Their tendency to "just take everything as it comes" has taken them on some interesting adventures.
"Whilst travelling through India we managed to score a role as extras on the Bollywood remake of 'Stepmom'," Marty says. "I was a hairdresser. Mariko was a makeup artist. I've seen the movie. We made the cut!"
Other memorable adventures have been their multiple trips to Japan, "to explore the country and the culture, and to get to know Mariko's family and her home town - the small village of Arita, on the southern island of Kyushu."
They also moved to London in 2010. "We just bought a flat in the South London suburb of Brockley," Marty says. "And we're expecting a child."
Marty and Mariko went to visit his mum, who had made a retirement sea-change to "a cute little town in East Gippsland, nestled between a national park, the pacific ocean and an estuary."
Marty insisted on hiring a boat to go out exploring the estuary. "When I also insisted on buying champagne, I thought she might twig that I had something else planned, but she was blissfully unaware," he says. "With the clouds rolling in I listed into the middle of a lake. I killed the motor, kneeled down, and asked the question."
Mariko, of course, said 'yes'.
A heat wave, with temperatures topping 40 degrees celsius, didn't dampen their day. But, having spent the previous two years they "were totally un-aclimatised to the Melbourne heat."
Mariko's family had all flown in from Japan for the wedding and it was the first time their two families had met. "It was like a meeting of two great oceans as the Brown's/Keating's and the Oya's got to meet each other for the first time," Marty says.
The highlights of the day were too many to list, Marty says. "But I'll try anyway. The bride was breathtakingly beautiful, the ceremony was blissfully short, the food was spectacular, the speeches left everyone a little teary, and the challenges of two families with incompatible languages was overcome in a torrent of kisses, hugs, handshakes and tender, warm smiles."
Traditional Vintage Japanese Kimono. The bride's aunt, Kashiko wore it 30 years ago at her wedding.
They didn't have a cake
"Going back to Australia from London for the wedding was our honeymoon."
Photographs were by It's Beautiful Here