His listeners know him as the never-at-a-loss-for-words Michael “Wippa” Wipfli. But when the jovial radio star first met his future wife Lisa at the Nova studios in Sydney, he was rendered speechless. Momentarily, of course!
“It was six years ago and Lisa was the new girl in the office,” recalls Wippa.
“I was ordering a chicken wrap downstairs and she was getting a sandwich and our eyes connected. I looked at the sandwich, looked back at her, she looked back at the sandwich, then at me and it was like ‘Oh my God, do we just love food or do we love each other?’
“Then we both got in the lift and made our way up to Level 5 and there was this awkward moment of ‘Hi! Nice to meet you – and enjoy your sandwich!’”
Adds Lisa: “I’d been living in London for five years and it was my first day in the office, so I had no clue who Michael was. But I instantly thought ‘He’s very handsome!’”
In the ensuing days, Wippa, now 39, found himself taking every opportunity he could to see Lisa.
“I’d walk the long way from the studio past her desk and there were a couple of comments made that I was wearing out the carpet in front of her desk,” he laughs. “But I think she was just as keen on me as I was on her. It kind of grew from there.”
As for their first official date, Wippa remembers it well.
“We went out for dinner and Chris Lilley’s TV show Summer Heights High was on,” he says.
“The conversation kind of wrapped up and we’d had a couple of glasses of wine, and I said, ‘I know this sounds rude, because I’m really enjoying your company, but I’m also really keen to watch the new Chris Lilley show. Do you want to come back to my place and watch it and have another glass of wine?’ So, the next thing you know, we were both laughing away at the show – and then maybe we had a kiss that night.”
For Wippa, there was no doubt that he had met his perfect woman.
“We got on like a house on fire and we still do,” he says.
“We’re good at having that sense of the ridiculous.”
Lisa, 36, now a co-owner and marketing manager of Nourishing Bubs, knew early, too, that she had found The One.
“Michael’s just a very genuine and kind guy,” she says. “There really is no ego – what you see is what you get.
“We have similar upbringings and morals, which I think is very important. I instantly fell in love with his mum and dad and his whole family.”
On Sept. 14, 2013, in front of 150 guests, the couple wed on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula.
“The biggest regret was probably having Fitzy as the MC,” quips Wippa.
“He’d sworn before he introduced the bridal couple and my grandmother was not impressed! Aside from that, he did a good job. Lisa looked beautiful – she nailed it. But there were also a couple of eyes on the groomsmen because I had 12. We were on a platform, so it almost looked like a gospel choir to my left!”
Now busy raising their gorgeous boys Ted, 3, and Jack, 2, Lisa and Wippa are clearly doting parents. And, as you’d expect, the sound of laughter can always be heard in the household.
“Humour has to be crucial in a relationship,” says Wippa. “If you can be with the person who makes you laugh and who loves you, you’re ready to go.”
For the full story see this weeks issue of New Idea, on sale now.