Nat & Zander

The way that Zander looked at his stunning bride Nat on their wedding day has definitely given us goosebumps – the good kind! It is how every other half to a soul wants to be looked at. The couple wanted their day to be a timeless, relaxed affair, and chose Tony Evans Photography to capture the magic of their charming Rippon Lea wedding, held in the garden on a sunny, late Spring afternoon.

The story of how they met, goes a little something like this from bride Nat. “We met back in 2005 whilst studying at Melbourne Uni – we both lived on campus at St Hilda’s College. It wasn’t until a year later that love finally blossomed, after going on a few brunch dates that inevitably extended into dinner and drinks. I am reliably informed that Zander actually invented the brunch-date!!”

Of her divine gown, Nat tells, “I had long been a fan of Suzanne Harward after driving past their studio years ago and falling in love with a gorgeous dress in the window, and the designer was still on my mind after we got engaged. I actually bought my dress at their sample sale – it was literally one of those movie moments where I tried on the dress and knew it was the one! It had a gorgeous French lace overlay, with a short train and scalloped hem. The girls at there were very easy to deal with, and I took my dress home on the same day!” Her groom agrees. “The dress was absolutely magnificent! Nat looked unbelievable in it. I think the dress perfectly reflected Nat’s style with its easy, understated elegance and charm.”

Meg from Pash Flowers in Brighton created the florals for the day, including the bridal party’s lush bouquets. “We gave Meg free rein to create the floral arrangements for the day,” says Nat. “And she snuck some fresh mint into the bouquets, and the smell always takes me straight back to our wedding day!”

Zander wore a bespoke, navy 3-piece suit, complimented by crisp white shirt and tan shoes and belt. He chose a bright coral bow-tie to match the bridesmaids. The groom tells of his experience choosing his wedding attire. “After meeting the chaps at Oscar Hunt Tailors at the One Fine Day Wedding Fair – I looked no further! I didn’t even know what bespoke meant before meeting those legends, so I was a little apprehensive about the idea of choosing all of the elements of my wedding threads. Fortunately, the smooth operators at Oscar Hunt were able to guide me through all of the important decisions whilst we sipped Scotch and laughed at some of of my ridiculous ideas. They made it easy and fun!”

The bride walked down the garden aisle to “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers. Their ceremony began with group vows, where everyone made a promise to introduce themselves to people they didn’t already know, have heaps of fun and tear up the dance floor after dinner! The couple say that everyone honoured their vows!

“We both feel strongly about marriage equality,” Nat explains. “So our celebrant, Melissa Cornwall, made a statement at the beginning to express our support for same-sex marriages. She really set the tone for our wedding, made us feel completely relaxed and injected lots of fun into the ceremony without ever over-doing it. Zander’s sister read a quote from Albert Einstein, ‘Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. How on earth can you explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love? Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with that special girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.’ The second was a passage, “Union” by Robert Fulghum, read by my cousin.”

“As a nod to Zander’s Jewish heritage, we were married under a beautiful silver birch Chuppah, and Zander broke a glass at the end of the ceremony. We succeeded in creating a relaxed, beautiful, joyful ceremony, lasting less than 30 minutes.”

Rippon Lea Estate is a gorgeous little pocket of paradise owned by the National Trust; a 19th century mansion overlooks 14 acres of stunning heritage gardens. “Our ceremony took place next to the lake at the appropriately named “Duck Exit”,” says Nat. “Guests then spilled out onto the lawn and pool terrace to enjoy cocktails in the sunshine prior to the reception. Having the ceremony, photos and reception all on the same property meant that we weren’t pushed for time or stressed about transport. It also made for some truly amazing photos!”

“We were incredibly lucky that our amazing brother-in-law is the esteemed Tony Evans, of Tony Evans Photography. Having eyed off his gorgeous wedding photos over the last few years, we were very excited when he agreed to be our photographer (and wedding guest, of course!). We adore his relaxed style of photography, and forever marvel at his ability to capture stunning photos at every wedding he shoots. He may well be the only photographer on the planet that can actually crack some hilarious jokes whilst peering through a camera, and he’s got every mother of the groom and mother of the bride wrapped around his little finger.”

The couple made salted caramel sauce in sweet little jars for their guests as favours. “We loved the end result, though blood, sweat and tears went into the eight litres we needed for our 150 guests!” laughs the bride.

Nat and Zander mixed and choreographed their own wedding mash up of four songs. “The first being “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, before breaking down to some Creedence Clearwater Revival. We managed to sneak in some CPR, and the all important kiss of life, in tune to “Staying Alive, and followed it up with a Scissor Sisters classic to get everyone on the dance floor!” remembers the bride.

Congratulations to Nat and Zander on your beautiful wedding. Thank you to Tony Evans Photography for sharing this lovely day with us!