For Cherie Rochelle King and Ilka Tiedemann, it proved true that the third time’s a charm. They first saw each other. Second, they got to know each other. They agreed to go on a date.
The two first crossed paths on Nov. 19, 2016 at a women’s dance after the Perth Pride Parade in Australia. “We only saw each other momentarily without actually talking to each other,” Ms. King said.
They met the next day at the monthly Lesbian Walking Group’s November walk. Ms. King met Ms. Tiedemann at the December walk. She said yes.
They had dinner at Istanbul Turkish Restaurant Fremantle in December 2016. “We chatted heaps,” Ms. King said.
After dinner, Ms. King said, “I insisted on driving her to her car.” They made a stop to walk along the ocean in Rockingham. “We held hands for the first time, and we talked about a lot of stuff, some quite personal,” Ms. King said. Ms. King was born to a Holocaust survivor. Ms. Tiedemann lost her father when she was 7. Both had suffered difficult splits from long-term partners.
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Three days later they had a drink together and Ms. King helped Ms. Tiedemann to open her furniture shop. After shopping, “We went out for fish and chips, then we went back to my place and had our first kiss,” Ms. King said. “After that, we considered ourselves a couple.”
Ms. King is 55 years old and a customer service representative for Medicare. She was born in Australia. She has an online bachelor’s degree in nursing from Charles Darwin University in Central Australia. She was previously married for 4 1/2 years, and she divorced in 1995.
Ms. Tiedemann, 51, does administrative work for the corrugated cardboard company Visy and has a bachelor’s in computer science from University of Applied Sciences in Bremen, Germany. She is dual Australian and German citizen.
They now reside in Coolbellup, Perth.
They quickly realized that they were their match. “When I know I know,” Ms. King said. Ms. Tiedemann said, “I liked her straightforwardness and openness. And she really wanted to know the person I am.”
They moved in together February 2018.
On Dec. 6, 2019, Ms. Tiedemann’s birthday, Ms. King proposed at Hamptons City Beach, a beachside restaurant. “I told her there was a present in my pocket, and I made her get it out,” Ms. King said. It was a rose gold and diamond ring.
They were married Nov. 22 at the property of Marie Broadhurst in Baldivis, where they had 86 guests. Hand soap was available, and guests were allowed to bring and wear masks as they wished. Halimah Halse officiated. She holds a Certificate IV In Celebrancy (an Australian requirement for performing weddings) and is registered with Australian attorney general.
The brides were escorted by their sisters from opposite sides of a circle formed by guests to a shamanic drummer, Michelle Sear, and a didgeridoo player of Aboriginal heritage, Johnn Maksimovic, who goes by the nickname Kookaburramann.
The live-streamed ceremony featured a ring warm, a handfasting, and a tribute for the aboriginal people. “I acknowledge that this wedding is being held on Whadjuck Noongar land,” Ms. Halse read. Mr. Maksimovic stayed for the reception and painted people’s faces with aboriginal designs.
“Cherie told me she believes they are a reward for each other,” Ms. Halse said at the ceremony, “for what they’ve been through in the past.”
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