Rachel + Nathan by James Simmons

We are photographers and authors, and communication consultants. Nath is a story coach. Rach is a public speaker and artist, and we work together every waking hour, and we love it.

Rachel– We met at the Australian Professional Photography Awards in Melbourne five years ago. Nathan– I saw a stranger drop his credit card, because he had run off to meet a friend. When I caught up to him, he introduced me to the friend — Rachel Callander, just arrived from New Zealand. We sparked and shone at each other and then didn’t see each other until the awards night.

Rachel– Oh gosh. The awards night that ran hours overtime. So, at midnight at the Pullman hotel in Melbourne, the bar was overflowing… Nathan– …and Rach offered to share her gin and tonic with me. So we sat on the floor and just started talking. It was like the process of falling in love, but in reverse: the subtext under every word was “I love you already… So, who are you?” Rachel– Friends told us later that we were in our own bubble. No one could break into our conversation, no one could break our eye contact. For four hours. I remember feeling homesick when we parted. Nathan– I flew back to Perth. Rachel– And I flew back to New Zealand. Nathan– And we skyped every day. Three months later, Rach flew to Perth for a month.

We worked together, and played together, and lived together, and made plans for forever. Rachel– And then Nath visited me in New Zealand to meet my loved ones and my loved places. Nathan– And then Rach packed everything she owned into a shipping crate and purchased a one-way ticket to Perth, and we started our new life in a tiny apartment in the middle of the city. Five months after we first met.

Rachel– We went to a little silversmithing class and created our own rings together. Nathan– Then we found a little corner in our favourite spot in our favourite hotel, ordered a bottle of bubbles, and wrote letters to each other.

Rachel– We both proposed to each other in tears and laughter, reading our letters and putting the rings we had made on each other’s fingers. We wanted a wedding that was simple, elegant, understated, relaxed and reverent.

The photography and videography were important to us. The day goes by so fast, and James, Liv and Melle allowed us the beautiful privilege of being able to slow the moments down, to replay and enjoy and share them.

Nath’s youngest son Shasta (aged 10) was the ring bearer, so when it was time for him to produce the rings, he put on a spectacular magic act, where he removed his steampunk top hat, and inside was a toy rabbit, who was also wearing a steampunk top hat, and under the rabbit’s hat, were the rings! I’ve worn something yellow every day for the last ten years, in memory of my late daughter Evie.

Earlier in the year, Nath and I were waiting for an Uber on a street corner in San Diego, when I spotted a little shop sign. Nathan– It said, “Today is a good day for a new dress!” Rachel– So we went in. We weren’t even looking for wedding dresses yet, but I saw this magical yellow floaty, dancey dress and absolutely loved it. Nathan– And then, as Rach was trying on the dress, she recognises the dressmaker’s name, and asks if she has a sister, because Rach might have met her sister. Rachel– And all of a sudden the French dressmaker, who lives in San Diego is saying “Oh! You’re Rachel! Evie’s mum!!” Nathan– And there were hugs and laughs, because somehow a girl from New Zealand and a girl from Paris meet in San Diego and know each other. Rachel– And we came home with a dress!

Photographer: James Simmons | Videographer: Till Death | Bride’s dress: Christina Sfez | Groom’s suit: Politix | Groom’s shoes: Aquila | Bride’s shoes: Aldo Shoes | Flora: Terra and Luna Creative | Hair: Maurice Meade | Makeup: Mecca Cosmetica | Jewellery & hairpiece: Kitte | Fragrance: Labdanum by Le Labo | Entertainment: Josh Klenner | Stationery: Handmade by bride and groom | Rings: Silversmithed by bride and groom | Venue & catering: Lamont’s- Bishops House | Celebrant: Nicholas Gwynn | Hire: Hire Society | Marquee: Lamont’s Bishops House