Ash & Laurie
There is nothing like the Australian country landscape and when it comes to a wedding, there are few settings quite as stunning. For Ash and Laurie, there could be nowhere else to tie the knot, than the very farm where Ash spent so much of her childhood making memories. The pair, who chose Sarah Jane VR photography to capture their day, wed against a backdrop of working fields, before celebrating in a stunning marquee reception that the guests all agreed radiated love and joy. The bride, resplendent in a gown by D’Italia, could only agree that this celebration was a true team effort. “To be honest, having it all in place and seeing it all come together at the end was my favourite part. I’m indecisive so I would just show Laurie several options and he made a lot of the final decision!!”
An interlude on Facebook led these two together, Ash shares their story. “It was a very modern technology meeting! Laurie grew up in Swan Hill and I grew up on a farm 100km south of Swan Hill and because of our 6 year age gap, we never crossed paths in Swan Hill but both lived in Melbourne when we met.
We were suggested to each other by a mutual friend from home and first made contact over Facebook. After a brief Facebook chat, I declined Laurie’s invitation to meet up as I was home for the weekend and we then didn’t chat for about 5 months until in late January of 2016, I received a “super like” on tinder (we still laugh about this) and the rest is history!”
Ash chose D’Italia to bring her wedding gown dreams to life, adding a pair of gold heels to finish her look. She shares “I tried on so many dresses before I found D’Italia to make my dress. From all of the dresses I’d tried on, I worked out exactly what I did and didn’t like.
I chose to design my dress because I wanted something that was “me but bridal” and I wanted to be elegant and still fit in the farm theme. D’Italia’s fabrics were exactly what I envisioned and although we only had 6 months to make the dress, they made it happen!
My dressmaker was absolutely amazing and a real pleasure to work with and my dress was really comfy and as I pictured it. My shoes were amazing also and a bit of an impulse buy (you know, bride gone wild purchase) – gold straps with an amazing gold hexagon heel!”
It was all about family for these two, who chose to marry on Ash’s family farm. The bride explaining “We chose to get married and have the reception marquee on my family farm in the middle of a paddock. It was harder work than initially anticipated to pull off a wedding in the middle of a paddock (power, access, water, toilets, catering etc). We chose this venue and space because we wanted something in nature, surrounded by as many friends as we wanted (didn’t want to be capped by a venue) and we both loved the item of having a large circus-style marquee wedding in a paddock (and mum and dad said yes!!)”
The family all lent a hand for the day. “One of my talented brothers, Kane, created our triangle arbour which was one of my favourite details” tells the bride. “I loved that it made the ceremony feel like an outdoor church with the church seating in the front row.”
Ash walked down the aisle with her father to “To Build A Home” by The Cinematic Orchestra.
The couple chose Katie Poltrock to officiate their ceremony, sharing “We wanted it to be super relaxed and have a giggle throughout the ceremony to set the scene for a fun day/night ahead. I included some “funny” vows to Laurie’s surprise which got a little laugh. We had an acoustic musician playing the songs and he made it feel really relaxed.
We didn’t want it to be too long so from start to finish was roughly 20 minutes. Our celebrant was awesome and kept it relaxed but also professional but had laugh with us about a few things that didn’t go to complete plan (i.e. Laurie’s brothers getting lost and being 45 minutes late, Rhory dropping my ring into the dirt and us swishing flies from her face as she read off her sheet). Our mums did a reading each and our dads signed as our witnesses.”
The groom and groomsmen were dressed in beautifully tailored suits by Samuel Diamond Tailors.
Laurie took Ash completely by surprise when he proposed. “It was a complete surprise – Laurie is normally pretty bad at surprises but kept a good surprise. Laurie proposed on Christmas morning in his family home’s backyard. He told me that he had my present outside on the deck and not knowing what I was about to walk outside to (and in my tracksuit pants) I walked out to a bottle of bubbles and 2 chairs which initially seemed odd but I quickly remembered that Laurie’s family enjoy their bubbles and Christmas morning was no exception.
Before I could sit down, I turned around to Laurie on one knee presenting to me his grandmother’s ring (it’s absolutely stunning) and asking for my hand in marriage (I can’t remember a single word he said, but I’m sure it was romantic). It was the best surprise and we felt so lucky to be able to celebrate with family and friends at this very festive time!”
“We loved our photographer. I found her through a mutual friend who suggested her” explains Ash. “We chose Sarah-Jane because she took very artistic photos and seem to find beauty in everything. We liked her natural photography and that we didn’t have to pose too much. We were really happy with what she gave us.”
An enormous marquee welcomed guests for dinner, it was exactly what Ash’s dreams were made of. “Everything about the reception marquee – the inside of the marquee was everything I dreamt and more. The native style with gold chairs and table settings. The outdoor area was set up beautifully also and had couches and wine barrels and animal feeding troughs for alcohol which we loved and was surrounded by crop (although it was a drought, the crops still looked awesome surrounding the marquee).”
Elderberry Event Hire kitted out the reception with all of Ash’s favourite details, she says “The marquee and furniture company who provided 99% of the furniture for our reception were incredible. They were affordable, professional and went above and beyond (driving to Melbourne and back – 4 hour round trip, on the Thursday to retrieve more gold chairs as they realised they didn’t have enough when they arrived). Not to mention, the quality of their products were amazing and mostly new.”
Native blooms, styled by Farmyard Flowers were a feature of the wedding. Ash explained “I left the flower knowledge up to the florist. I showed her photos of mainly native flowers and she made it happen! I didn’t want anything that wouldn’t fit the farm theme so natives worked well. I loved how she decorated the arbour and the marquee posts the most!!”
It was important to Ash and Laurie that their wedding honoured the land, so they carefully considered every possible way to do it, right down to the catering done by Truffles Continental Foods, Ash telling “We wanted to speak about the farm and we emphasised our honour to be married on the land that my family had worked for over 100 years. We searched high and low for a catering company that would allow us to use Dad’s farmed lamb and local beef & pork as we believe it’s the best from Dad’s farm.”
The atmosphere was set with live music from Lark Music. Ash remarked “We enjoyed acoustic music for the ceremony and the first two hours of the night set the mood and then put his DJ hat on and played for us well into the night. Oscar from Lark was amazing and played/dj’ed for 10 hours in total.”
Ash’s mum blew everyone away, the bride explaining “She made a song for Dad at their wedding and then sung it at my brother’s wedding 5 years ago and I asked her to sing it at ours as well – it was the only time I cried for the whole day! It was such a special moment, the amount of love felt in the room after the first dance and into the evening (several people commented on the amount of love energy in the air)”.
The newlyweds chose an old Elton John favourite for their first dance remembering “We chose Elton John – Tiny Dancer. We love the song and it felt appropriate for our first dance. We did some rehearsal in the kitchen only and enjoyed dancing along to it with our family and friends on the night!!!
And to make it more special, we only realised about a month ago that Laurie’s brother & sister-in-law had it for their first dance a couple of years earlier (but we didn’t remember) and were super shocked to think that we chose the same song (out of all the songs we could have chosen)!”
Ash and Laurie’s glorious day was also captured on film by the talented team at Steven Beck Media.