Wheelie wedding

December 01, 2017

Mario and Natalie Montalto were the first couple to get married at Shepparton's Spring Nats. They are pictured with Mario's competition car 'Jaffa'. Picture: Tamara Jane Photography.

Mr and Mrs Montalto feel right at home on the skid pan where they said their vows.

Broadford’s Mario and Natalie Montalto made history at the recently held Spring Car Nationals event in Shepparton.

The pair was the first to get married at the annual car event, where the bride and groom said their vows on the skid pan in front of a huge crowd of onlookers.

‘‘They’re like family to me,’’ Mr Montalto said of those who attend and work at the event each year.

‘‘I’ve been dealing with SpringNats since day dot.’’

Inducted into its Hall Of Fame last year, Mr Montalto is a well-known SpringNats character and said it was a fitting place for he and Mrs Montalto to wed.

‘‘We planned it together,’’ he said.

Mr and Mrs Montalto, who have known each other for nine years, said they only officially got together 12 months ago when unforeseen circumstances brought Mrs Montalto to Mr Montalto’s house.

‘‘We’d always crossed paths but never aligned,’’ Mrs Montalto said.

‘‘It was finally just a case of being in the right place at the right time.’’

Mrs Montalto said she was shocked in October last year when Mr Montalto proposed in front of family and friends at his 50th birthday party.

Before long, he had contacted event organisers Les and Dianne Adams who he endearingly calls ‘Ma and Pa SpringNats’.

‘‘I asked Ma if we could do it and she said yes,’’ he said.

‘‘So after the mayor spoke they cleared the track and we did it in front of everyone.’’

Mr Montalto said it was a special moment surrounded by guests as well as friends and family who had travelled from as far as Perth to be at the wedding.

‘‘We’ve started a trend,’’ he added.

‘‘There was a proposal on the Sunday at the event.’’

But Mr and Mrs Montalto are proud of their title as the first couple to marry at the event.

They have planned a honeymoon for early next year.

Mr and Mrs Montalto thanked the event organisers and Tamara Jane Photography for their assistance with their wedding plans.

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