If you take a stroll though Hyde Park in Sydney CBD, you would notice there are a lot of park benches. They all look pretty much the same and ordinary. But for Jason and Rachel, one of them holds a special significance in their lives.
Jason and Rachel’s first met at Allianz in August 2011. Before working there, Rachel was a hairdresser. Her sister kept trying to recruit her to work in the office and eventually she gave in and decided that change is good. When she met Jason, her first impression was “isn’t he a sweet little Asian guy” who looks like an innocent nerd. But her impression was really way off as she discovered that he is actually a tradie and only took the job at Allianz because he also wanted a change. For Jason, her impression of Rachel was she is gorgeous, interesting, and confident.
In the office, Jason and Rachel are on the same team although they barely talk to each other. Jason was either busy with work or busy chatting with the ladies. All the girls in the office loved Jason. One day, Rachel invited her colleagues to her home to work on a team mask for their big awards night. Everybody cancelled except for Jason. It was really hot that day so they both decided to just have a swim as there was a pool in the building. This was their first real conversation. Rachel realised that Jason and her have a lot in common. Their family history is so identical that if she was a boy, she would be Jason!
One Friday after work, they decided to go out. They went to Jason’s favourite Chinese restaurant in Burwood. After dinner, he took her home but they both wanted to spend more time together so they took a walk through the City. They ended up in Hyde Park. Rachel was determined to see the big chess board as she remembered it from her childhood. They went from one end of the park to the other but can’t find it. So they decided to sit down a little while on a bench. They sat there in perfect silence watching the fireworks, enjoying the scenery and each other’s company. That is when Jason stole his first kiss on Rachel. Thereafter, they would refer to this particular bench as “our bench”.
As Jason walked her home, they still were not ready to leave each other so they decided to stop and sit for a few minutes more in Darling Harbour on the stairs in front of the iMax Theatre. He had his arm around her and all of a sudden everything went quiet and peaceful and there was just Rachel and Jason and the Harbour. When she realised where she was it was like someone had turned the volume back up and she said to Jason “for a minute it felt like it was just you and me here and silence” and he replied saying “yeah I felt the same”. That was when they knew that they were meant for each other. They had been inseparable ever since.
The 27th November 2011 is the official date they agreed to be a couple. So every month on the 27th they make it a day where they do something together. Whether they go out for dinner or stay home and watch movies. They always make it their day to be together and acknowledge the loving relationship they have built. As a couple, they enjoyed shopping, eating, and snuggling on the lounge watching NCIS. In terms of how they think about each other’s personality, Jason is very generous, helpful, reliable and exceeds people’s expectations. Rachel is strong, beautiful, and confident. What makes them unique as a couple is that they work as a team in every decision (50/50). They are best friends, soul mates, and do and share everything together.
They got engaged on the 27th August 2013. Jason took Rachel out for a lovely dinner at a restaurant next to the Hyde Park Hotel. After dinner they went for a stroll to visit “our bench” and reminisce. She actually could tell Jason was going to propose. He was so nervous and kept fidgeting. It was adorable. Finally he pulled out the ring and turned to her and said “You know how I think you are my soul mate?”. She said “Yeah”. He said “Will you be my wife?”. And before she could answer, Rachel started crying then managed to squeeze out a “Yes!” amongst tears of joy and excitement.
So this particular non-descript bench at Hyde Park came to symbolise the special and beautiful love of Jason and Rachel. We visited this place again during the wedding’s location shoot so as to complete the bench’s presence in every important occasion of their relationship.
It was a very lovely wedding highlighted by one of the best speech I ever heard given by a bride. This in itself is rare as brides don’t normally give out speeches. Rachel and Jason, it’s been an honour and privilege to be part and a witness to your beautiful and enduring love. I wish you all the best and may you have at least 8 kids! (LOL…this is an excerpt from the speech).
Dodie Labial is the lead photographer and heads the team at Expert Photography
I’d like to acknowledge these other wedding vendors: