The Right Swipe for Love: We go BTS at the Big Tinder Wedding!

5 Apr 2024

Calling all lovebirds - if you thought swiping right only led to casual coffee dates or shy encounters, think again! Welcome to our behind-the-scenes look at the Big Tinder Wedding - a beautiful celebration where two queer couples not only found love on the app, but also won the wedding of their dreams, courtesy of Tinder.

Picture this: a sunny day in early February, a light breeze in Sydney's beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens and a gathering of friends and family celebrating love. That was the scene at the Big Tinder Wedding, where two queer couples who met on the dating app came together to say "I do" in a ceremony of their own making.

It all started with a swipe. In a world where traditional meeting spots like coffee shops and bars can feel daunting, Tinder offers a digital haven for LGBTQ+ people to connect, chat and potentially find their happily ever after.

As a leading dating app in the diversity space, Tinder's LGBTQ+ members are now the fastest growing on the app* and more young people signing up on Tinder are identifying as LGBTQ+*. These insights aren't surprising when you consider Tinder's warm welcome for queer users, offering a More Gender feature and up to 9 Sexual Orientations.

But, back to the Big Tinder Wedding - with an invitation for queer couples who met on the app and found love to share their story for the chance to win a dream wedding, Tinder selected two winning couples from hundreds of entries, Kelly and Tara and Will and Monte.

The lucky couples walked down the aisle in the ultimate celebration of their love stories with a very 'extra' wedding and reception aboard the luxurious yacht, The Jackson - all hosted by Tinder.

Brooke Blurton

Bringing it all together with the couples was a team of fabulous Big Tinder Wedding Planners, led by Brooke Blurton as Chief Maid of Honour, with Jamie Azzopardi as personal stylist, Stacy Brewer as cake maker extraordinaire, Brendan de la Hay as event stylist and Conor Curran bringing the best in food and cocktails - absolute dream team!

We sat down for a chat with Brooke and one of the winning couples, Kelly and Tara, to find out more about the very special day, how it all happened on Tinder - and also where they love to travel.

Q: Brooke, tell us all about the Big Tinder Wedding day, the experience and its impact on you.

B: You couldn't picture a better day, with perfect weather. I had goosebumps and so many emotions I couldn't imagine what the couples were going through on the day.

I was bouncing between the two weddings and was crying before they had even started walking down the aisle! A lot of guests spoke about how beautiful the couples' love was and that was really special to hear.

The Chief Maid of Honour title felt very official and I didn't take it lightly. I tried to do my best to make their day as special as I could, catching up and touching base to see how they were going.

I think the most rewarding part was getting to know both couples in a deeper and more authentic way, where we just talked and they told me how they met and their story.

For both couples there was so much cultural diversity and inclusion, Will and Monte both being First Nations and Tara with a Malaysian Indian background and Kelly with her Vietnamese background. So you wanted to know more about what their wedding would look like. I think that's where we are moving to - weddings are becoming less traditional and more an integration of what couples want.

Will and Monte

I've always loved weddings, but I've also loved ceremony and that exchange - like with Will and Monte, in First Nations culture, we don't have weddings per se, we have ceremony and it's an exchange, where you're gifted something and then gift something back, a reciprocal relationship. I've always felt like that exchange doesn't have a gender or a binary to it - it can be an exchange with any person.

Q: Kelly and Tara, as 'newly-wives' (a great term!), tell us about the planning and how it felt to create your own dream wedding.

K: Oh, it was very interesting because we're two women of colour - I have my Vietnamese background and Tara has her Malaysian Indian background. I wanted to wear a suit because I'd never seen a Vietnamese lesbian wear a suit on screen before - my family did question why I didn't wear the traditional Vietnamese Ao Dai. Within our culture, there is a very clear distinction between men and women and what we wear, and I just didn't want to head in that direction.

T: I think for me, what I liked about it the most is I've always really marched to the beat of my own drum. And I always thought, when I have my own wedding, how will I be able to carry out everything I want? And so it was really amazing winning this competition because we just had to tell someone what we wanted and it just got done!

Q: So how was that, being able to craft your very own version of what a wedding feels like for you?

K: I think the colours we chose were a big talking point because we both love blue. And it's traditional to wear either black or white, or red for our culture.

T: Everything was very intentional and well thought out, it wasn't to just rebel against the norm, it was just for us to be ourselves.

Kelly and Tara wedding

Q: You had an extended wedding team - a stylist, mixologist, a cake maker and celebrant. Tell us about that.

K: There were quite a lot of different opinions towards what we should wear and what kind of cake we should have. But at the end of the day, we knew what we wanted and everyone wanted the best for us. We're very particular about what we want - because we're two Virgos as well, so we're perfectionists! And a big shout-out to Zoe (celebrant), she was our rock from day one.

Another unexpected thing was our first dance.

T: Yeah, our choreographer just knew that we wouldn't want a traditional lead/follow type dance. So while she was helping us craft our dance she let each of us take the lead at separate times. And everything felt so equal. I was really touched to have so much queer talent around us. That felt really special. I came out three years ago, so I'm still in the process of trying to find my community and I really felt backed up and embraced by community.

BTW Reception

Q: The Big Tinder Wedding isn't just about tying the knot, it's about celebrating love in all its forms and showcasing diverse relationships in the LGBTQ+ community. What did this all mean for you as a proud showcase of queer love?

B: I mean love is love - I guess for me it was really about a celebration and I feel like that was really (achieved) on the wedding day and through the whole experience.

I care about people in a way that I feel everyone should be celebrated regardless of sex and gender. I think with my experience being on shows and presenting I've always been so open-minded about who I'm in front of.

The whole experience was quite reflective of how far we have come, but also how far we need to go. I have a tattoo on my ankle that I got when the (marriage equality) bill was passed in 2017 and that's always a reminder for me - that's when same sex couples could legally get married.

Q: We see a lot of brands that want to connect with LGBTQ+ people and some do it really well, building a genuine relationship with the community. Tinder is a company that has been developing inclusivity for a long time and in a range of ways.

B: I feel like Tinder has led the charge, they haven't just done something and ticked a box. They're always wanting to be inclusive. The Big Tinder Wedding is far greater than just a campaign, it was actually much more than that - Tinder wanted to really give back and celebrate how far we've come.

Q: Kelly and Tara, tell us about your experience of finding each other on Tinder.

T: I really didn't set out with a specific goal when I got on Tinder. I just thought, all right, it's the middle of (Covid) lockdown and I want to meet some people who I can have really good conversations with. And then I matched with Kelly and, oh my God, I was completely blown away. My experience with Tinder was really wholesome, and she (Kelly) was just the cherry on top!

Kelly and Tara wedding

K: Yeah, for me, you know, it's actually very hard to find other queer people in the wild (laughs). So a lot of people go online to meet other queer people, even just to be friends. And that's what happened during lockdown when we met. And it's thanks to Tinder that we met.

We actually had opportunities before Tinder to meet but we didn't. The first one was when we attended the same college in 2013 from Monday to Friday, nine to five. But we never met!

What I really, really love about Tinder was that Tara put down that she's a demisexual because you can choose that on your profile, to identify yourself.

And that was the conversation starter for me because I'm a demisexual. It was really, really hard for me to match with people on apps because, for me, it's not physical attraction, it's not appearances - it's having that connection first. So it was really hard. Also, when people ask me why I matched with Tara - it was because of her smile. Her smile was radiating warmth and comfort.

Q: And meeting during Covid, was it a hard experience getting to know each other because of lockdown or did it actually make it easier?

T: It kind of made it easier because we had so much time for each other. I was a frontline worker during Covid, but everything else I was doing was taken away from me - no more social life, no more gym.

I was also on a uni break - before that I was doing 50 hours of uni and 30 hours of work - so that meant more free time during lockdown. So it was kind of nice because it helped us form this little cocoon with each other, first just virtually and then eventually in person.

So that's the one good thing that came out of lockdown.

We were just encapsulated in a little bubble without any noise from the outside world. And that was very precious. I think that's why we got so close so quickly.

Q: So, of course we'd love to know about your favourite places around Australia to holiday, where do you travel and what's on your list?

B: I never thought that I would travel far from home, where I live in Melbourne. I'm such a homebody you know, something about being home makes me feel at ease.

But it's so funny because I have a tattoo of a plane on my finger, I got it originally to kind of step out of my comfort zone and travel, and now I spend half my life on planes! I've travelled thankfully through work and it's been so amazing.

My top three travel destinations in Australia would be:

1. The heart of Australia - I've been to the Northern Territory a couple of times and you just fall in love with it.


2. I think everyone affiliates me with being from Western Australia (laughs), which is good - it's a beautiful state! So the second place would be Shark Bay. It's beautiful, where the blue ocean meets the red desert.

3. Then my third would be Exmouth because of the blue reef - it's just stunning.

Q: And do you have a trip coming up anywhere?

B: I'm travelling out of Australia, to Europe, but I would really like to go to Tasmania.

Q: Kelly and Tara, you have a girlfriend agreement, outlining 'common ground' things like lifestyle and finances, but what's your common ground with travel, where and how you like to holiday?

T: Something for me that I never had to think too much about was safety. Obviously being a woman you have to think about how you'll keep yourself safe in certain countries. But I never had to factor in looking super different, so for Kelly, because she presents a certain way, I think she can sometimes attract different kinds of attention. So now when I look at organising trips for us, I do a lot of research into how LGBTQ+ friendly places are.

Our travel styles are pretty similar. I really love adventures, I love hiking, adrenaline sports. Kelly likes that as well. But she also gets me to slow down and rest, and take some time out, have some chill moments. That's been pretty nice because usually I'm always go, go, go. So, I think we balance each other out.

In terms of what we want to spend our money on, before this I would backpack around places, like hostels and just roughing it. But now that I'm with Kelly, I'm like, no, I need privacy, a bit of luxury and extra pampering.

K: Insurance is very important for me. So, hiring a car I would have to get full insurance. That's something that Tara's aligned with me now. Safety is key.

We're yet to travel overseas - once I get a passport!

T: Yeah, we have to get her passport done because I want to go to Belize. The Whitsundays was our mini-moon but I want Belize to be the proper honeymoon because I'm obsessed with Central America.

Q: Let's chat about your mini-moon and why you chose the Whitsundays?

T: We chose the Whitsundays because, well, it's really beautiful, and we love the heat and it's tropical. And I had gone with my friends a couple years back when I was single and I just remember it being really peaceful. And I remember while I was there, I had a tinge of sadness because I thought, I can't wait to come back here with my person. So it was really special, a full circle trip for me.

Whitsunday Jetski Tours

And I really wanted to take Kelly to see the Great Barrier Reef. The sea was too choppy that day so we didn't get to do that. We went jet skiing which was amazing. We went snorkelling, that was hilarious. Kelly was having the time of her life watching these ginormous fish swim around.

K: Before I met Tara, I didn't really travel, as you can tell - safety, you know (laughs). I had a fear of travelling. But Tara loves travelling, she's been all over the world and she's really, really taken me out of my comfort zone.

So, here's to love in all its forms and many more happy ever afters! We hope the Big Tinder Wedding continues to bring together queer couples from all walks of life because sometimes, the best love stories start with a single swipe.

*Tinder Future of Dating Report: Internal Tinder data from the More Genders and Orientations feature 2020-2023.

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