Ashlea and Rowan

The thing that struck me most about today’s Bendigo wedding was the pure glow of the bride and groom. They’re so happy and so in love, it completely radiates through every photo!

Ashlea says, “Rowan and I first met in high school, during year 12 we both applied for the same College on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, unaware each other had applied for the same campus. During our first year there, we become best friends. My mum and dad referred to Rowan as my guardian angel. It become increasingly obvious our friendship was developing into something more. Practically when Rowan surprised me for her birthday with tickets to the Australian Ballet company at the Sydney Opera house. Although I remained unaware that my best friend was the love of my life!”

Today’s photographs are by Jonathan Ong.


Ashlea shares how Rowan proposed. “On the week of my 21 st Rowan requested I keep the Thursday free for a special birthday surprise.  He picked me up early that morning, I had no idea what was going on. We travelled south of Sydney to Wollongong arriving at a beautiful beach.  As I stepped out of the car I saw a sign saying Sky Diving. I was full of mixed emotion, a combination of excitement mixed with fear. Neither of us had ever jumped out of a plane before.  It was so exhilarating, one of the best things I have ever done.

At this point, I still did not suspect anything that was to come. We then headed back, so I thought, but soon we arrived at an incredible waterfall.  As we walked down the hill, arrows pointing the way, I soon became aware of music playing. This led to a cove, and there in front of me was a picnic all set up with wine and a banquet for two. This is when I started to squeal with excitement. Then all of a sudden Rowan was on his knee asking me to marry him. He opened the box and in it was a note saying ‘look up’. There above me hanging from the roof of the cove was the most stunning ring glistening in the sun. Of course, I said YES!!”



Ashlea says of her gown, “My dress was made with French lace fitted to the body to below the waist. I had a long train and veil with a sweetheart neckline. I designed my gown and knew exactly what I wanted. Joan Hooper quickly embraced my ideas and developed a couture gown spending over 80 hours to create. My gown fitted so perfectly and was everything I have ever wanted and more.”


The ceremony was held at St John’s Church in Bendigo. Ashlea says “Having God as the centrepiece of our marriage is very important to us. That being, we decided to have a church wedding ceremony to symbolize our devotion to him as a married couple. St John’s church is beautiful and ideal since it allowed us to have our pastor Russell Harper conduct the wedding service.

The mood was set by a string trio playing as guests arrive.  I arrived in a stretch limousine with my family. I was very excited but had trouble holding back the tears.  Walking down the aisle seeing the man I love at the other end was one of the best moments in my life.”









More love-filled photos of Ashlea and Rowan’s coming up this afternoon! See it here.