Two women who met and became friends nine years ago have just celebrated their love with a stunning beachside wedding.
Jo Richards, 40, and Helen Bond, 50, of Rockhampton, Queensland, revealed their relationship wasn’t something either of them had planned and was in fact quite ‘accidental’.
Speaking to FEMAIL, the pair said they started off as friends after meeting at a gym in 2009 where Ms Richards was working as a personal trainer.
‘We started chatting and discovered we shared some common interests,’ Ms Richards said
Jo Richards (pictured left) and Helen Bond (pictured right) got to know each first as friends – they met at a gym where Ms Richards was working as a personal trainer
At the time of their meeting, Ms Bond and Ms Richards were both looking for the ‘right man’ and were active on dating sites trying to find someone new.
Ms Bond said the realisation she had developed ‘different feelings’ for her friend was quite unexpected.
‘We were spending a lot of time together and then one day it struck me that I really loved her which was a bit scary,’ she said.
‘We were spending a lot of time together and then one day I realised I really loved her which was a bit scary,’ said Ms Bond (pictured right)
‘I kept it to myself because I wasn’t sure what to do about it. I thought I was straight and as it turned out, I wasn’t.’
Ms Richards also revealed she hadn’t had a relationship with a woman before meeting Ms Bond and that she had been married previously and had kids.
A few years into her friendship, the idea she could be with a woman started to dawn on her.
Ms Richards (pictured left) revealed she hadn’t had a relationship with a woman before meeting Ms Bond and that she had been married previously and had kids
‘I realised I could actually imagine myself with a woman,’ she said.
Once the pair were able to admit they both felt the same way about each other, their relationship as a couple blossomed.
While Ms Richards said her family had no problem with the two being together, she did reveal Ms Bond was a little more nervous about breaking the news to her family.
‘We were very nervous about telling Helen’s parents. It was very scary for Helen to tell them,’ Ms Richards said.
‘But both sets of parents were actually really wonderful about it.’
They’ve been together seven years now and were engaged after five but plans for the wedding were put on hold until Australia passed the same-sex marriage bill
Ms Richards said while her daughter Tiana, 14, has never had a problem with the pair being a couple, she said her son, Ryan, 18, may have found the news a little challenging at first.
While the pair couldn’t be happier, they shared they’ve also had to weather their share of trials, with Ms Bond diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2017.
But the 50-year-old said this has since been removed and she now has a clean bill of health.
‘It’s all about finding someone who makes you feel special and loved and finding someone who you share so many core values with,’ said Ms Richards
They’ve been together seven years and were engaged after five but plans for the wedding were put on hold until Australia passed the same-sex marriage bill.
This bill was passed through parliament in December, 2017.
The pair tied the knot on Tuesday and were married at a beach side location in Rockhampton in front of 70 guests.
The newlyweds said being open to meeting the right person was the key to finding love at any age.
The Rockhampton couple were married on Tuesday at a beach-side ceremony in front of 70 guests
‘Because we were friends first we knew so much about each other and were able to love each other exactly the way we are,’ Ms Richards said.
‘It’s all about finding someone who makes you feel special and loved and finding someone who you share so many core values with.
‘Without knowing it, we were open to meeting the right person, Ms Bond said.
‘And the right person came along – finally.’