EXCLUSIVE: Inside Locky Gilbert and Irena Srbinovska’s surprise wedding

"Starting a family soon is a top priority for us!”
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From the moment he first set eyes on contender Irena Srbinovska, 2020’s Bachelor Locklan Gilbert knew that he’d found his soulmate.

Now, three years on from that electric moment, the couple have finally tied the knot in a romantic – and secret – wedding ceremony held in Melbourne on March 10.

Watch Below: The Bachelor’s Locky Gilbert and Irena Srbinovska get married

“Our guests thought they were attending our engagement party,” bride Srbinovska laughs. “It was an incredibly special moment when they realised that, in fact, they were about to witness our wedding!”

The couple, who are both 33 and live in Perth, explain that they have some very special inspiration when it comes to their marriage. “My parents have been happily married for 37 years,” Srbinovska says. “We have some very big shoes to fill.”

Her new husband Gilbert adds, “I’m confident though that with this woman by my side, we’ll be able to match that incredible effort.” Here, the couple exclusively talk to WHO on the eve of the wedding – and after the joyful ceremony – to share all the special details… 

Locky Gilbert and Irena Srbinovska
Now that the couple are happily married, they both say that they are ready to start a family – sooner rather than later! “I’m still nursing and Locky’s still filming and travelling, but starting a family soon is a top priority for us,” says Srbinovska. (Credit: WHO/Bianca Virtue)

How have you managed to pull off a secret wedding, and why? 

IRENA: I’m amazed I’ve managed to keep this a secret for the six months it took to plan the wedding. I think some of our guests suspected that they were coming to a wedding rather than just an engagement party, but a lot were completely blown away when the surprise was revealed. It just felt like a special way for us to celebrate. 

So absolutely no-one knew the truth?

I: We told our parents, siblings, my maid of honour, Anna, and Locky’s best man, Clint. That was it. I had to tell my mum, because I knew she’d want to be prepared. I didn’t want to have anyone fainting at my wedding!

With a nod to Srbinovska’s ethnic roots, circle dancing featured at the reception. (Credit: WHO/Bianca Virtue)

Fill us in on the details. Where was the ceremony? 

I: It was at Luminare in South Melbourne, and we chose that venue because it shows off my beautiful home town.

LOCKY: We had a big cocktail party, rather than a formal sit-down wedding and reception. It’s a big Macedonian wedding, so there will be lots of dancing, drinks flowing and eating. We just wanted a different vibe. We had 200 guests – and that was after we had to cut down the list – and I think 20 of the guests were from friends and family! 

Locky, how did you feel when you saw Irena walk down the aisle?

L: For me, that moment was the highlight from a day full of highlights. She looked absolutely stunning, her dress was perfection and her smile got me straight away. 

Irena, how did you feel when you exchanged vows? 

I: When I met Locky at the altar, I felt instantly calm – it’s actually the exact same way he made me feel when I met him for the very first time on The Bachelor. I was on cloud nine. 

Locky Gilbert and Irena Srbinovska
The stunning floral arrangements were by Lulu Bird, and the bride wore a Mariana Hardwick gown while the groom was fitted out in MJ Bale. (Credit: WHO/Bianca Virtue)

Did either of you shed any tears? 

L: I think I had something in my eye when I saw Irena walking towards me. She was absolutely breathtaking. 

I: I got a bit teary when Locky read out his heartfelt vows. His words were so perfect, I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house. I was actually holding in tears all day, but especially also during my speech when I was talking about my family and my parents’ long marriage, in particular. It was a joyful but definitely emotional day. 

Did you have some special music on the day?

I: I walked down the aisle to a version of Taylor Swift’s ‘Wildest Dreams’ and we had our first dance to ‘Crowded Room’ by Conor Maynard. We actually did a choreographed first dance to that song. It’s special to us because the lyrics mention something like, “She stands out in a crowded room,” and that her smile captures his heart. So very appropriate for us!

Locky Gilbert and Irena Srbinovska
The couple entertained 200 guests. “It was a big Macedonian celebration,” says Srbinovska. (Credit: Instagram)

Irena, can you tell us about your beautiful dress? Where is it from? 

I: It’s a Mariana Hardwick gown. It’s from their new collection, but the designer Rebekah Hardwick customised it for me. She’s done an extraordinary job. It’s a modern twist on a classic wedding dress – plain white, beautiful Italian fabric, it’s just stunning. My shoes are by Harlo, which I chose because apparently they are the most comfortable bridal shoes around and I’m all about comfort! Then at the evening reception, I changed into a little sequinned, feathered Rachel Gilbert mini dress. 

Did you follow tradition and incorporate anything old, borrowed or blue in your bridal look, Irena? 

I: My something blue were my exquisite aquamarine and diamond earrings from Cerrone. My something old was my grandmother’s rosary beads that I had pinned to my bouquet. My flowers were mostly white, with some blue accents. 

We can’t leave you out, Locky! Where’s your suit from? 

L: I wore MJ Bale while I was on The Bachelor, so that’s who I’ve gone to for my suit.

Locky Gilbert and Irena Srbinovska
The couple recently welcomed a new addition – Australian shepherd puppy, Odin. “He’s wild,” laughs Gilbert. (Credit: Instagram)

So Irena has pretty much organised this secret wedding on her own. What’s been your contribution to the planning, Locky? 

L: I was in charge of organising the honeymoon! We’re going to Tokoriki Island resort in Fiji because I know Irena wants to chill out by the pool after organising the wedding. I plan to bring her cocktails and just dote on my new wife while we’re there. I think she thought I was going to organise some kind of hectic Himalayas trek, but I wouldn’t do that to her! 

Were there any last-minute hitches?

I: I had a mini meltdown two days out from the wedding when our celebrant fell ill and we had to find someone else at short notice, but we managed to find someone and they did an incredible job on the day. Behind the scenes, it was pretty manic. I’m sure most brides can relate. But on the day itself, everything fell into place perfectly. 

Now that you’re finally Mr and Mrs, what’s next for you? 

I: We’re renovating our house in Perth entirely by ourselves, so we want to get that finished. Then hopefully we’ll have a baby! Starting a family is a priority then? 

L: Yes, absolutely. I’m super excited to become a dad, but also scared. I can’t wait for us to do all the family stuff and from day one, our child will be strapped to a baby carrier and we’ll be out hiking and camping. That’s the plan, anyway! 

You met on a reality TV show. Would you say yes to another show together one day? 

L: Look, everyone knows I say yes to everything! I’d love to do an Australia vs US version of Survivor. But even more than that, I’d say yes in a heartbeat to doing The Block with Irena. 

How do you think life will change for you both now that you are married? 

I: I think life is going to be the same for us because we’ve known for so long that one day we would marry. We’ve already been through so many ups and downs in a our relationship over a short period of time, like meeting at the beginning of the pandemic and having to keep our relationship secret while The Bachelor was on-air. I’m looking forward to just carrying on as we are, except now I get to say, “My husband!” 

L: I always knew that one day Irena would be my wife and now I’m pinching myself that it’s actually happened. I’m a very lucky guy. 

To see more exclusive photos from Locky and Irena’s big day, pick up a copy of WHO Magazine – on sale now!

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