When the world was going into lockdown, Lora and Rachel decided to take the opportunity to meet face-to-face. With a suitcase packed, Rachel jumped into a car with a perfect stranger, not knowing if she’d be gone for hours or weeks.
How did the love tale of Lora and Rachel begin?
We met on Tinder in March 2020. People tell you that love, at first sight, is a thing, but what about when you are literally forced not to see them? Rachel had messaged Lora a few times before she wrote back. It wasn’t that I wasn’t keen, I was just terrible at the chitchat!
We had an inkling that the whole country was about to go into lockdown and had had a few video dates at that point. We both had the feeling of “oh shit, I really like them, do we go for it or wait it out?”. Deciding to go for it and we both isolated for a week before deciding that we would see how it went in person. The day that “Lockdown One” was announced (which was supposed to last three weeks), Rachel packed her things into a suitcase, told her housemate she would be back in anything between a few hours or a few weeks, and jumped into a car with a perfect stranger.
Lora: I can really remember that nerve-wracking drive. Wondering if the sparks would be there in real life. Doubting whether this was a sensible (or even safe) decision, and there was a moment where I contemplated whether it was all just an elaborate hoax. Rachel hasn’t left since.
You jumped into an engagment quickly, how did you know that you were perfect for one another?
After about three days, Lora initially proposed after a night where we had indulged in quite a few gins. Telling Rachel, “I think I’m going to marry you.” We just worked together so perfectly that we always knew it was on the cards. Even in those first few weeks and months that everyone kept telling us was “just the honeymoon phase,” it was like we were an old married couple, and we just had the best time.
I bought the ring online after about a month, and when it arrived, I had to make sure it fit. So I made Rachel close her eyes while I hoped for the best (the ring was engraved, so it couldn’t be returned). Keeping it in my bedside table for about another six months, peering at it every so often. I had planned to propose around October time. We had hoped to have a small gathering with some of our family altogether where I would pop the question. But that was scuppered at the last minute due to covid restrictions.
Instead, the day before, I had half-planned a little party that had to be canceled. We had both had pretty rotten days at work and were having a mutual moan. At that moment, I know that we always had each other, and that was my moment. Championing convenience (in PJs and tear-stained) over style or grandeur, I asked, “will you marry me yet?”. Rachel reciprocated the question a few months later, at one of Lora’s favorite spots. A hillside where you can see the most amazing view of Kent.
What does your engagement mean to you both? Has anything changed?
It hasn’t changed anything in our relationship. But it means a lot to us both as it’s a real signifier that we’re in it together – forever!
Lora: For me, I’m doing most of the planning. Telling our story and explaining that we have two brides makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside; I just can’t wait until she is actually my wife.
How is wedding planning going? Particularly in the middle of a pandemic?
It’s going okay, but I wouldn’t know because Lora has everything in her master spreadsheet. Lora is a bit of a control freak in that sense – it comes with being a Project Manager. This is just another Project.
Rachel: I hope it is the best day of my life, other than the birth of my child, having friends and family altogether having fun means everything.
Lora: I was never a little girl that dreamed about a wedding or had any grand vision of what it would be. But as soon as I saw our venue, I could picture me walking down the aisle and seeing Rach at the top of it. I hope that our day is filled with moments that capture that essence.
How are you going about choosing your wedding vendors vendors?
Lora does the research, and then we choose and pick together. This is for a few reasons; mostly convenience (she has more time to look into the latest trends, things we want, and where to get them). Also that she’s equal parts crafty and great at sniffing out a bargain.
Out photographer was a no-brainer. I’d followed Cemanthe after seeing someone online recommend her. And we were lucky enough to win an engagement session with her. And from the first time we started talking, we knew we’d found the one. Thankfully she liked us back! We just clicked instantly. It was a great feeling for us, as people who have never been particularly fond of being in front of the camera, to find someone who made us feel at ease.
Photography by Lemon Feather Photography