I recently had the wonderful opportunity to photograph two special people whom I hold very close to my heart. On August 28, 1993, my lovely parents got married at St. Leonard's Church in Manotick, ON and this week they celebrated 25 years of marriage together! In honour of this milestone, I’ve decided to share their adorable anniversary shoot and love story, which begun over 15,000 km away, in Australia.
Having been tired of their regular day-to-day lives, both Roise (pronounced Raw-sha) and Julian headed to Australia to experience and adventure The Land Down Under. Roise headed south from Tokyo, where she worked as a teacher, and Julian left his home in Wales, UK. To this day, my mom STILL claims this to be the hottest place she’s ever visited (especially considering it was the middle of the winter for us)!
As this was back in the early 90’s, Roise decided to get her hair permed just in time for Christmas and New Year’s (P.S.: for those who don’t know, you can’t get your hair wet for a whole 48h after getting this done). However, this didn’t stop my mom as she planned a scenic trip in the Great Barrier Reef on a diving boat the very next day, “I’ll wear a bathing cap” she thought, “I definitely won’t see anyone I know there”.
Guess who she met on the boat the next day? MY DAD!
The boat sailed to sea on a hot (Australian) summer day, and Roise and her friend began their diving adventure, where they tried something called “boom netting”. The moment she began this activity, where you jump off the boat in strong currents and try to get back on using a rope, she met Julian (who more or less rescued her from the relentless waters), whilst sporting her yellow bathing cap (check out the picture above!).
Their relationship began to blossom instantly. Roise told Julian what bar she would be at that evening. As she was leaving the bar, he was walking in. (I still can’t believe that they never would have met if he had walked in 5 minutes later!). Over the next few weeks, they continued their travels together across the country, stopping at Airlie Beach, Rockhampton, Brisbane and Sydney.
From this moment on, the two got along extremely well and shared with each other stories of their travels; Julian, who had been travelling through Australia for the better part of a year, and Roise, who had flown across the sea to Tokyo for a teaching position.
As we all know, vacations must (sadly) come to an end. After a month or so, Roise flew back to Tokyo to continue teaching English and said goodbye to Oz. HOWEVER, their adventure together continued, as Julian followed her to Asia a few months later to teach alongside her. Eventually, Roise and Julian settled down and moved to Canada, where Julian went to university and became a teacher, like Roise.
Fast forward 25 years and two children later (yay), they decide to take their first professional pictures together since their wedding day. I can't thank these two enough for being the best parents a daughter could ask for. This was by far, one of my favourite shoots to do (although I guess I'm a bit biased)!
Fun fact: Roise and Julian headed back to Australia in 2017, where they each coincidentally bought each other significant gifts for their 25th anniversary; a silver chain for Julian (because the first one she got him in 92' was misplaced) and a beautiful ring with Roise's favourite gemstone, an Australian Opal. He also bought her a silver chain with an anchor on it as they met on a boat). How CUTE is that?!