Gabriella Landolfi, 29, wasn’t exactly expecting to find love when she was planning a party to celebrate the end of her marriage.
She said: ‘I never expected to get into a relationship with the topless waiter I hired for my divorce party – let alone marry him.
‘But when I got to know him, I could see what an amazing guy he was.
‘It was quite the whirlwind, and I’m so glad I hired him.
‘At first, I thought he was too into his looks, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Now I have the most beautiful family.’
Humanities teacher Gabriella wanted to mark the end of that turbulent 10-year relationship when her divorce was finalised in February 2019.
The night it all started (Picture: Gabriella Landolfi / SWNS)
‘My friends suggested getting topless waiters and I just thought: “Why not?”’ she said.
‘It felt like I was finally free, and I wanted to celebrate.’
Little did she know that celebration would change her life forever when one of the waiters, John Landolfi, 28, took a shine to Gabriella.
She said: ‘I don’t remember being able to speak to John that much, but I remember he said he would text me the next day when he left.
‘I just laughed it off, so I was shocked when he did.’
‘I’m so glad I hired him.’ (Picture: Gabriella Landolfi / SWNS)
John, an insurance assessor, said: ‘When I saw Gabbie I thought she was cool, and I wanted to get to know her.
‘I was just looking for a friendship and I never expected to find my wife.
‘I was doing my job and I never thought this would happen.’
The pair hit it off, but Gabriella needed a little encouragement from her friends before diving into the relationship.
Gabriella, from Melbourne, Australia, said: ‘He text to check in with me and the cleanup and we carried on texting from there.
‘He ended up coming over that night, but I chucked him out at midnight.
‘He seemed like a nice guy, but he was very into his physique, so I thought it would be more of a friendship than anything else.
‘I never expected to find my wife.’ (Picture: Gabriella Landolfi / SWNS)
‘We ended up seeing each other every night and I got to know him and his soft side.’
After meeting at the party in March, John moved in with Gabriella in April and the rest is history.
‘Being with Gabbie just felt right,’ said John.
‘I never saw it as a whirlwind, it felt like we knew each other forever.’
‘He had a daughter from a previous relationship and knowing he was a dad really made me grow to like him and see that sweet side of him,’ said Gabriella.
When John proposed on the top of the Rialto tower, Melbourne, Australia, and Gabriella instantly said yes.
‘I’d always been warned that it would be unlikely I’d have a baby’ (Picture: Gabriella Landolfi / SWNS)
‘I was shocked as we’d joked about getting engaged, but I didn’t think it would happen so soon,’ she said.
‘I’d jokingly pointed out the ring I liked and there he was holding it out to me across the table.’
But their love story hasn’t all been easy.
Gabriella, who was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), – a condition that affects the ovaries – was surprised when she fell pregnant in August 2020, but sadly the baby was lost just two weeks before their wedding in November that year.
‘It was really hard,’ Gabriella said.
‘I can’t believe I’m a mum as I didn’t think it would be possible.’ (Picture: Gabriella Landolfi / SWNS)
‘I thought that would be it. I’d always been warned that it would be unlikely I’d have a baby, and that if I fell pregnant I would miscarry.’
Parenthood was on the cards for them however, as to their shock, Gabriella fell pregnant again in December 2020.
‘It was a tough pregnancy, but we made it,’ Gabriella said.
‘I was in and out of hospital haemorrhaging it was terrifying.’
Even with those difficulties, baby Matteo was born safely five weeks early via an emergency c-section in July 2021.
‘He’s amazing,’ Gabriella said.
‘I can’t believe I’m a mum as I didn’t think it would be possible.
‘I’ve been through a lot, and I never thought I’d meet my husband at my divorce party, but I wouldn’t change it.
‘I have the most amazing family.’
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