Married At First Sight Australia expert Melanie Schilling is a first time bride at 47

If you've waited this long, might as well do it in style!

Melanie Schilling Bali Wedding

For Married At First Sight Australia relationship coach Melanie Schilling, you can't hurry love. It took her six-and-a-half years to walk down the aisle.

There was a huge laugh 
as Mel and her new hubby Gareth 
hit the floor for their first dance to At Last at their stunning Balinese jungle wedding.

"It was the most apt song given I'm getting married for the first time at 46 after a six-and-a-half-year engagement," laughs Mel.

It was six years before Mel and Gareth took the plunge, and their darling daughter Maddie had a starring role in their big day.
It was six years before Mel and Gareth took the plunge, and their darling daughter Maddie had a starring role in their big day.

Mel met her now-husband through eHarmony after spending the majority of her 
30s single and happy.

Unlike the MAFS couples she mentors, Mel and Gareth took their time to marry and, despite the delay, their day was perfect.

Mel couldn't have looked more beautiful or relaxed as 
she pledged her love to Gareth in front of 60 close friends and family, and the couple's three-year-old daughter Maddie.

Their daughter Maddie was thrilled to play a part in the ceremony.
Their daughter Maddie was thrilled to play a part in the ceremony.

Bali's Saratoga jungle palace provided a romantic backdrop.

"The setting was really tranquil and as soon as I saw Gareth 
I felt really calm," says Mel, who moved to Indonesia 
a few years ago.

"We just held hands facing each other for the entire ceremony and looked into each other's eyes – it was so beautiful. To be able to say my vows in front of everyone – my heart was absolutely bursting."

The couple celebrated with 60 friends and family.
The couple celebrated with 60 friends and family.

The couple wrote their own vows and had Maddie walk down the aisle before Mel. 


They even had a ring made 
for her so she felt especially involved.

"She thought that 
was pretty great, and so did we, until she lost it!" laughs Mel.

The hardest part of the day though, was trying not to cry during the ceremony.

"I was just choking back the tears... first there was Maddie, then Mel and then my sister did a beautiful reading," tells Gareth. "It was just magical looking around the room and seeing people who hadn't met before bonding. There was so much joy."

After a five-course feast of seafood, steak and a delicious chocolate cake, all that remained was to dance the night away surrounded by the people they love most.

"I took my shoes off and put on my bridal thongs," 
says Mel.

"We didn't want it 
to end because everyone was having such a good time."

As Oh What A Night played, sparklers were lit and there 
were yet more hugs and tears 
as the magical night finally drew to a close, before the happy couple escaped to the bridal suite to revel in their happiness.

"We sat in a big warm bath and fell asleep – after we consummated the wedding, 
of course," adds Gareth with 
a cheeky laugh.

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