Sometimes you just know. And the first second I saw my beautiful cousin Rachel with her brand new boyfriend Josh, I knew.
They are a couple that exude old school romance. There is such class, elegance and respect between these two and their love story has seen them travel across the world and to live in far corners of the country together – with one special little spot in the Top End being the backdrop to one of the world’s most breathtaking proposals. (Hats off to you, Joshy boy.)
Rachel and Josh opted make their wedding the perfect excuse for a family holiday – bringing the Stows and the Troys together on the oh-so picturesque Hamilton Island. The island made for the perfect backdrop to potentially the world’s most photogenic couple, so be sure to scroll through the stunning shots captured on their big day.
Now over to the bride herself, Rachel, to walk through her wedding day exclusively for One Fine Day.
Venue // All Saint’s Church and The Bommie Deck, Hamilton Island
Wedding Date // 7th September 2019
Photographer // Simon Hutchen
Guests // 55
Style // Minimal & Classic (Celebrating the beauty of the island)
The Love Story
“We thought we met at a local bar in the area that we grew up, introduced by a mutual friend we went to school with. However, three years into our relationship, when visiting my Granddad in England, we watched an old video from my pre-school nativity play in 1996 over a few gin and tonics and realised we actually went to pre-school together as we spotted Josh as a shepherd in the video. In hindsight, there was a boy from pre-school who would ask me for a kiss every day before nap time, I presume now that this was Josh. He played the long game!”
“We are currently living in the Northern Territory for work and enjoy going camping on the weekends. Josh suggested a night at Gunlom Falls in Kakadu, which is about a 5 hour drive from Darwin. At the campground, two hours away from reception, we were setting up camp when we realised we did not have tent poles for the tent. After I had a mini meltdown about how this meant every dangerous animal in the outback was definitely going to kill us, we decided we could both fit in the single swag and would most likely make it through the night in one piece.
“Josh had planned to propose at the top of the falls and had hoped to do it without anyone else being there. However, when we got to the top, we knew a fair number of the people up there. Josh had to stall. He started suggesting we stay for sunset, and then dusk, and then to take ‘photos with the stars’. For those who know Josh, this was out of character. I was happy to stay for dusk however as it was a scramble down from the falls to the campsite, I was beginning to get nervous with the rapidly fading daylight. My complaining began.
“Josh asked me to sit on the edge of the rock and look out at the view for a photo, I obliged. Then he asked me to turn around and smile for a photo, I obliged again but with a, ‘We really need to go before we can’t get down’. He then asked me to turn around to look back out at the view, my patience was running out. Finally, he asked me to turn around one more time, this time he was on one knee. The whole world stopped in that moment.
“We then scrambled down in the dark, passed three snakes, and had our engagement all to ourselves for 24 hours. It was perfect for us.”
“I didn’t know exactly what I wanted in my wedding dress before I started shopping. There are so many beautiful designs out there, it was hard to know how to choose just one for the day. Even now, I see so many beautiful gowns I would have loved. I did know I wanted something fitted, and something that I would feel like myself in.
“I saw there was a Jane Hill trunk show at Love, Marie Bridal Boutique so made the trip down to Camden with my mum and two close friends. During the fitting, Amy, the owner, suggested I try on some gowns by Alyssa Kristin. These gowns were just so simple and classic, I felt like a bride, but most importantly I felt like myself.
“I modified the dress by closing the split at the front, adding an inch to the neckline and including buttons on the zip at the back. I also had it altered to be tighter around my butt and waist to emphasise my curves. As for accessories, I chose a simple pair of pearl earrings by Hemera and Nyx and a simple pearl drop necklace from Etsy.”
“I’d have to say walking down the aisle. I was so overwhelmed with emotion, but I could see Josh waiting for me at the end, and I had my Dad holding my arm, stroking my hand and talking to me the whole way down the aisle to comfort me. There was so much love in that moment.”
Words Of Wisdom
Anything you would change about your big day // “I would have been ready earlier so I could have relaxed a little with my family before leaving for the Chapel. I would have also thought a little more about where the ‘getting ready’ photos were going to be taken where we were staying.”
One piece of advice you would give another couple // “Communication, most importantly between the bride and groom. Early on in the planning process, sit down and agree on the big ticket items, just the two of you. Do you want a small wedding or a big one? Do you want a destination wedding or somewhere close to home? What is your budget? There will be a lot of people with a lot of opinions, but ultimately it is most important that the two of you agree on your vision for the day. Luckily we were very much on the same page with all of these decisions.”
Walking down the aisle // Can’t Help Falling In Love by Kina Grannis
First dance song // More Of You by Chris Stapleton (Tiny Desk Version)
Reception entrance song // Dancing In The Moonlight by Toploader
Massive congratulations to you, Rachel and Josh. Here’s to a lifetime of happiness!
BY KATIE STOW
Editor of One Fine Day
(and proud cousin of Rachel)