Love Hub: M.J. Bale Romantics - Matty Johnson

Words | Claire Debarre

For our monthly segment Love Hub, we chat with loved-up newlyweds - and friends of the brand - to ask all the most pressing questions of their romantic storyline: where did you meet, was it love at first sight… you get the picture.

This week, we chat with TV presenter, podcast host, former reality star and father of two Matty J. The 35-year old shot to fame as The Bachelor in 2017, where he inevitably met the love of his life, Laura Byrne. The two recently married in spectacular fashion and being the nosy bastards we are, wanted to hear all about the intimate do.

Of course, Matty is also a long-time friend of the brand, and we thought he looked especially dashing in one of our favourite Baler Tuxedos. Here’s our chat with Matty who shared with us his special story.

M.J. Bale: Hi Matty, Laura! Congratulations on your wedding! While we know how this story goes, can you tell us how you and Laura first met for those who might not know?

Matty Johnson: There is a little reality TV show that you may have heard of, The Bachelor. I remember the first time I saw Laura on the red carpet and thinking, oof there she is. Turns out finding true love isn’t as hard as you think.. it just takes a multi-million dollar production, reality TV series and casting over 3,000 women. PS thanks to Osh for all his work!

MJB: And was it love at first sight?

Laura Byrne: There was no doubt it was lust at first sight, but it was after our first date together that I think we were both hook line and sinker. It is a strange thing meeting on The Bachelor as you almost have to stop yourself from getting too invested but looking back we were both sold so early on in the piece. I think everyone watching the series could see it too.

MJB: Matty, what was it about Laura that made you fall for her?

MJ: I hate to sound really cliche but she was just the complete package. Before I met Laura, I had a pretty thorough checklist of what I knew I wanted. Someone who had found their passion in life, independent, warm, smart and funny. Laura literally ticked every single box!

MJB: And Laura, what did you love about Matt when you first met him?

LB: Matt is bloody hilarious. I remember I spent our first date buckled over laughing. It always felt easy and fun together and even in the high pressure cooker that is reality TV I just knew that Matt was my person.

MJB: Tell us about the proposal. Where was it? How did it happen? Was it a surprise?

LB: Ha! The proposal was the sweetest, funniest thing, I was heavily pregnant and we were on a beach in Fiji. Matt was making me lug it up the beach to a secluded spot and I was complaining that I didn't want to walk as big pregnant belly was making everything ache. We finally got far enough up the beach away from people and then Matt started to cry. I was so confused at first, but then he got down on one knee. I don't even think Matt said any words, he just pulled out the ring and then we were both crying and laughing.

MJ: It definitely wasn’t the smoothest proposal. All I can remember was bawling my eyes out as soon as I dropped to one knee. Luckily a friend had given me some great advice, which was to propose at the start of the trip. So, it was amazing to be able to enjoy the next few nights together as an engaged couple.

MJB: Beautiful guys. Matty, can you tell us a bit about your choice to don an M.J. Bale number for the wedding? Were you chuffed with the final outcome?

MJ: I’ve always worn M.J. Bale. When I worked in marketing, when I was on The Bachelor and nowadays, whenever I have an event to attend. There’s no other suit that fits me better! So, wearing M.J. Bale for my wedding was a bit of a no brainer. I dabbled with the idea of wearing beachy/linen suit but in the end, I couldn’t go past a classic tuxedo. I opted for a navy number and my groomsmen went black and I was so happy on the day. The suits, alongside the venue, Laura’s dress and the flowers, all worked together so perfectly. I wouldn’t have changed a thing

MJB: Can you both talk to us about the venue for your wedding, where it was, and what was the inspiration? It looked stunning!

LB: The wedding was at a beautiful venue down south in Mollymook called Cupitt Estate winery. It was magical. We wanted the wedding to feel relaxed and to have a venue that could cater for the chaos of five flower girls, two page boys, a dog and all our guests. We always wanted the ceremony to be an outdoor wedding and we got so lucky with the weather as we really hetched our bets and didn't have a wet weather option. For styling we kept it simple, and used lots of white flowers and foliage to really make a beautiful backdrop for our ceremony.

MJ: I can’t really take any credit here. Laura had sourced the floral company and put together the mood board. Although I did organise the 50 white fold out chairs, which I thought looked spectacular (Laura, you’re welcome).

MJB: Have you had a honeymoon yet, or any plans for one?

LB: We haven't! But we have just locked in a trip mid year to Fiji. Things are a little different when you have two little kids in tow.

MJ: Pushing back the honeymoon actually suits us perfectly - the wedding ended up going wayyyy over budget. Something to look forward to next year!

MJB: Laura, Matt, you both mentioned via Instagram that your wedding day was the happiest day of your lives: can you talk to us about the emotions felt?

LB: I think because the wedding had been postponed all through COVID and it was literally three years in the making it felt like such relief for the day to finally be there - it was one hell of a party full of love, happy tears and laughter. Seeing the girls walk down the aisle and having them play such an important part in the day was one of our favourite parts.

MJB: Lastly, does life feel any different for you guys now that you're married, or is it business as usual?

LB: I think it's business as usual. Because we have kids and have been engaged for so long we had settled into our beautiful married life long before we got married. The wedding to us was just a formality and a cracking excuse to get all the people we love under the one roof to celebrate.

MJ: It is nice though to look at my ring and have a little reminder of the day. But other than that it feels pretty much the same. Although I’m still getting used to saying ‘my wife’ instead of ‘my partner’!