“I hate his dad-jokes,” Sian Cassidy exclaims!

“They will grow on her,” Daniel Hodge laughs loudly; and Sian can’t seem to help but laugh as well.

I’d describe Daniel as exuberant and wild looking, while Sian is more reserved and elegant. Despite their surface differences, they quickly fell in love when circumstances led them to discover each other’s underlying layers. Now engaged; they began dating, moved in together and started a family – all in fewer than two years since becoming a couple.

I have admired their relationship from afar, so on a sunny noon, I met the couple for an interview over a decadent cup of coffee. I was curious to know how their story had started, why they worked so well together and what their wedding plans were.

 

How did you guys first meet?

Sian: We actually have known each other for close to 12 years. I met him at the house of my then-boyfriend. He was a friend of his brother.

Daniel: I don't think she liked me too much! She never talked to me back then.

Sian: Why would I talk to you? You were a friend of a friend and you had a girlfriend!

Daniel: Although she obviously didn’t pay me any mind, one of my first vivid memories of her is during that time. She was painting a mural with Nour, an old mutual friend of ours, and I thought to myself, “Wow! This girl is quite talented.”

 

When did Daniel make an impression?

Sian: During the Regatta about two years ago, in 2015. We were working for the same company at the time and ended up spending a lot of time together.

Daniel: We had known each other for so long, but it was then that we became good friends. She showed me sides to her I had never seen before; she was sensitive, caring and we had both gone through some rough relationships in the past.

Sian: Unexpectedly, my father passed away and I left for England.

Daniel: I realized I was thinking about her all the time, wondering if she was okay and wishing that I was with her.

Sian: I was having a really hard time. Daniel would check up on me every day, which helped me a lot.

Daniel: When she came back, I knew I cared for her as more than a friend, but did not know if she felt the same.

 

So how did your first kiss happen?

Sian: It was tequila-fuelled at a party at 3 Amigos.

Daniel: I was nervous and hesitant to compromise our friendship; but in a moment of bravery, I just went for it!

Sian: I did not expect it at all!

Daniel: BUT she kissed back!

 

How did that kiss evolve into a relationship?

Sian: A few days later, we went on a boat trip with friends and someone asked Daniel if I was his girlfriend.

Daniel: And I basically blurted out “YES!” Quickly afterward, I thought, “Maybe I should have consulted her about this first.” But she went along with it and it turned out to be a great day.

 

What happened from then?

Sian: Everything moved very quickly but comfortably.

Daniel: It’s strange. You go through these steps in most relationships: Meeting, butterflies, dating, falling in love, coexisting, etc. Yes, if you are counting the days, our relationship seemed to have evolved quickly; but with Sian, the whole progression felt so natural.

Sian: Even getting pregnant – although unexpected and soon – somehow freaked us out less than it was supposed to.

 

Tell us about your baby.

Sian: On February 16, 2016, our beautiful baby boy Jaxon was born. He’s a very busy, smart and mischievous little man.

Daniel: He’s definitely a little too smart for his own good sometimes.

Sian: He’s also very stubborn! Every single diaper change is still a battle.

Daniel: But he’s so much fun; he’s developing his own little character and taking little bits and pieces of the both of us, and it makes for a pretty awesome kid!

 

When did you start talking about marriage?

Sian: When we first found out I was pregnant, we talked about it. We wanted to formulate a plan.

Daniel: I already knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.

Sian: Although I loved Daniel very much already, I did not want to rush into things. I did not want to get married just because I was pregnant. I wanted to get married for “us.”

Daniel: When she told me that, it took a weight off my shoulders. I am a guy who likes to do things the right way the first time; and to do that, you need the time, and she gave me that.

Sian: Besides, I wanted to drink on our big day; so either way, any wedding plans would just have had to wait!

 

Sounds like you guys communicate well. Is that one of the secrets to a successful relationship?

Daniel: It’s a learning process, and as you grow together, you figure out how to deal with each other’s differences.

Sian: No relationship is perfect, but when we do disagree, it is on something that’s often insignificant. You have to choose your battles. When we do disagree, we could argue for hours as we are both hard-headed. So you have to just be able to lay your egos aside and decide, “Is this important?”

Daniel l: I think we’re lucky that our core morals and values coincide with each other’s. We’re working towards something together. What is important is that I still want to sit next to Sian on the couch after work together, make dinner together and wake up together.

Sian: One thing we will never agree on are his dad-jokes… they are horrible! I hate them!

Daniel: But they are so good, though! They’ll grow on her.

 

What is something that you appreciate about each other?

Daniel: She always has a plan. I have never been a planner, but Sian is, and that is a much more productive way to go through life!

Sian: I think I am more of an open person when I am around Daniel. He is my home, so wherever I am with him, I feel more comfortable.

 

Tell me more about the engagement!

Daniel: It was months of planning. I wanted it to be a surprise, and for her not to suspect anything so I never brought up marriage in those months.

Sian: I did not suspect a thing!

Daniel: Somehow, I managed to get away for short moments of the day to plan and, most difficult of all, to buy the engagement ring. I don’t think there’s a man in all human history that enjoys picking out the engagement ring for his girlfriend. It had to be perfect. I had a bit of help from close friends and finally found the perfect ring.

Sian: Looking back now, I should’ve suspected something!

 

And how did the plans pan out?

Daniel: The surprise engagement took place on Mullet Bay beach. Invited friends and I tried our best to make it seem like any regular beach-day.

Sian: I should’ve known when I got to the beach. Usually, everyone shows up late, but everyone was already at the beach this time; there was food and a lot of champagne in the coolers.

Daniel: The original plan was that we would go for a walk, and my mom would send Sian four pictures of our son Jaxon, who she was babysitting. The last picture would be of Jaxon in a shirt saying, “Will you marry daddy?”

Sian: It didn’t exactly go as planned.

Daniel: We forgot the phone on our walk, our friends were acting super awkward and when my mom finally did send the pictures, Sian was snacking on some chips. I knocked over her wine glass as I went down on one knee, and almost ruined the entire moment.

Sian: It was messy, chaotic and perfectly “us”!

 

Are you already planning the wedding?

Sian: Yes! Although we will probably wait till summer 2018

Daniel: We talk about it most nights actually.

Sian: We’re pretty sure we’ve found the colour scheme and I know what type of dress I want – Pinterest is really helpful with adding inspiration to our ideas.

Daniel: A beach wedding sounds perfect to us – a fun, low-key event with all of the people we love.

 

Any last works on having a great relationship?

Sian & Daniel: Be patient with each other. Learn as much as you can about each other. Become best friends and then marry one another!

 

Contributed by Laura Bijnsdorp