Rod Schiller thought his chance of love, marriage and children had well and truly passed him by.

At 62, he had resigned himself to the quiet life of a retiree after decades of watching his schoolmates make the commitment and raise families.

But along came Leonie Scriven (nee Oster), a widow and self-described “go-getter” who has been a foster carer in the years since retiring as a midwife.

She was the complete opposite to Mr Schiller, who admits he takes forever to make a decision and even longer to act.

“Leonie is a person who decides to do something and just does it. I tend to think about things too much, and then I wait and think a bit more,” Mr Schiller said.

The Adelaide pair had been acquaintances for years and — in their words — an “item” for the past three years.

And while Rod assures his now-wife that a wedding proposal was “imminent”, it took a rather dramatic turn of events to get him onto bended knee.

The Mamma Mia! scene that sparked the proposal: Sam proposes to Donna 20 years after they fell in love.(Supplied: Riverland Musical Society)

Mamma Mia musical provides ‘perfect moment’

The catalyst was the final performance of the Riverland Musical Society’s December production of Mamma Mia!, which weaves ABBA’s music into a story of long-lost love and missed opportunities.

“I think I had missed a couple occasions when it would have been perfect to ask the question,” Mr Schiller said.

“We came to the Riverland to watch this production of Mamma Mia! and towards the end Sam proposes to Donna and of course she says yes and it’s immediately followed by the I Do, I Do, I Do song of ABBA.

“The show left such an impression, we were on a bit of a high, and looking back now I think it was just the perfect moment.”

The moment may never have happened if Mr Schiller had not connected with the story of Mamma Mia! character Sam Carmichael and his 20-year wait to be with the woman he loved.

“That night I thought, ‘Let’s do it’, and of course now the ABBA song I Do, I Do, I Do has become our signature tune.”

Just a few short weeks after Rod got down on one knee, he and Leonie tied the knot.(Supplied: Leonie Schiller)

Proposal leads to wedding in just five weeks

The proposal itself was under the stars on the balcony of the Renmark Hotel.

“It was the most romantic proposal. When he asked me to come and sit outside, I thought he was going to show me planets or something,” Mrs Schiller said.

The wedding was arranged in just five weeks from the proposal, thanks to the help of family and friends.

Mrs Schiller’s niece took care of the planning and a friend from church made her dress. Rod’s primary school friend and Riverland photographer Italo Vardaro took the photos.

“The wedding was just beautiful, stress free and seamless. People came out of the woodwork to organise that wedding for us in super-quick time,” Mrs Schiller said.

Jumping in the deep end of married life

Life as a married couple has been a complete change from single life for Rod.

He now helps wife Leonie, 67, with three babies, and their days revolve around feeding, sleeping and play times.

And he gets the big tick of approval from his wife for helping out.

The newlyweds are kept busy feeding and caring for the three babies.(Supplied: Leonie Schiller)

“He’s brilliant, actually. He’s at the point now where we pick the [children] up and we do the smell test before a meal and he says, ‘Nup, this one’s gone, I’ll do it,'” Mrs Schiller said.

Foster care a passion for retired midwife

Mrs Schiller has been a foster carer for 12 years.

“When my husband Ron died, I either had to give up work or give up the babies … and I wasn’t prepared to give up the two children in my care, so I gave up work,” she said.

Some of these children, who have now moved to permanent families, attended the wedding.

“I got so excited at seeing one particular boy that I had had for two and a half years that I started waving and hightailed it down the aisle much too quickly just because I was so excited!” Mrs Schiller said.

It’s that energy that first drew Mr Schiller to his future wife.

While they had known each other for many years, they connected at a church fellowship group at Mrs Schiller’s home.

She was having some issues with her computer and and as a retired Telstra technician, Mr Schiller thought he might be able to help, so he stayed behind.

The rest is history. The long-time bachelor is well and truly taken and he would not have it any other way.

“I discovered there could be so much more to life than just being a bachelor,” Mr Schiller said.