Don your best suits, and turn up your favourite music (Shania Twain in this instance!) because today we’re telling the beautiful wedding story of Gary and Nathan. There are stunning suits and equally stunning backdrops and with so much love you will be glowing from ear to ear once you read all about it. It’s everything these two dreamt of, as evident in the photographs today captured by Sunlit Studios.  “We both adore the green hinterland of Kabi Kabi country (Sunshine Coast, Queensland) and winter is one of our favourite times of the year” explained Gary, “We wanted the wedding to feel lush, fabulous and classic with more than a little sparkle (It’s a gay wedding after all!).”

And for Gary and Nathan, the significance of the day in and of itself is what truly made it special. “For us, being able to celebrate our union as an LGBTQI+couple with the support and love of those who mean the most to us (especially on the traditional lands upon which I was raised, that of the Kabi Kabi people). Many gay people do not get that. Many around the world struggle for even basic safety or human rights. We are truly blessed and grateful to have that. It was never a given. It was hard fought for.”

Gary and Nathan’s story begins at a rural Queensland hospital. “We met at work, Gary was the new doctor in town and Nathan was one of its clinical nurses. We bonded over our love of dogs and bonded over many long walks and hikes with our pups.”

As two lovers of Shania Twain, it was appropriate that Nathan asked Gary to marry him in the second row of a Toronto Shania Twain concert. “She is an absolute icon in our eyes and one of the forces that got both of us through the tumultuous years of our teens.”

Both Nathan and Gary chose Urbbana and InStitchu for their attire and the attire of their wedding party. “It’s tricky to match two colours, so my suit was white with silver detailing and Nathan’s was in a beautiful dark teal colour. Nathan was afraid I would look like I belonged in a Vegas wedding! Life is far too short not to look fabulous so I choose a suit that fitted that brief.”

Both Gary and Nathan chose “From This Moment On” by Shania Twain to play as they walked down the aisle.

The ceremony began with tradition says Gary. “My family are First Nations’ (Wiradjuri from my father and Biripi from my mother’s side) and my youngest sister Ashley read an acknowledgement of country in my father’s language, Wiradjuri, which was really important to us.” The ceremony, officiated by Brendan Anning was designed to be relaxed and intimate.

The couple married (and celebrated!) at Tiffany’s Maleny.

Gary shares two golden pieces of advice for you. “Plan tailoring well in advance to avoid mistakes and disappointment. Confirm things as many times as you need to. Do not leave things to chance before the day.

On the day, let things go, I tried to channel the famed Drag Queen Jinx Monsoon and tell myself “water off a duck’s back” every time something went less than perfect because things will go wrong.

Also – fork out the money for a wedding planner – for us, we didn’t have one (not necessarily because of the cost), but because we didn’t really understand their role. You want someone else to be the point of contact for problems on the day, not you!”

“Alana was exceptional” raves Gary of their chosen photographer. “She went the extra mile (and even fell off a ladder and got bruised for our engagement shoot!). On the day, my mum asked me what had happened to her! We felt terrible, but she was truly a gem. We really cannot speak highly enough of Sunlit Studios.”

And of course, the first dance was to Shania Twain! The newlyweds chose “Still The One”. “It was beautiful – everyone in the room was singing along as we danced” remember Gary. “It gives me goosebumps just to mention It.”

Congratulations on your marriage Gary and Nathan! Thank you for taking the time to share your stories with us. Thank you also to Sunlit Studios for sharing today’s images.