By People Staff
October 10, 2005 12:00 PM

He was a rugged Aussie outdoors-man. She was a Kentucky hair-dresser looking for an electrical outlet in the Australian bush. So imagine the surprise when Vadim Dale chose Natalie Franzman as the winner on last year’s reality dating show Outback Jack. “I really hadn’t tried to win his heart so much as just survive,” says Franzman. Dale admits he almost eliminated her early on, but “thank God I had the good sense to choose her. Neither Nat or I went looking for love. But it found us.”

And unlike most made-by-TV romances, love led them to the altar. After they finished taping the show in May 2004, Dale, 29, and Franzman, 23, spent time together in L.A. and Australia before settling down in her hometown, Louisville, Ky. (She still works at a salon, and he has appeared on reality shows in Australia.) For their Sept. 22 nuptials at Louisville’s historic Olmsted manor, the bride respected tradition (“My gloves are old, my dress is new, my undies are blue, and my eyelashes are borrowed—from my mom”), and the groom snuck in a nod to his roots with a kangaroo-paw flower boutonniere. So how is Dale adjusting to his new life in the Derby City? “Horses, bourbon and the girl of my dreams,” says Dale. “You could say I’m happy.”