It was second time lucky for Ash and Mark. The pair, who originally planned for a May 2020 wedding, rescheduled everything to their final date, 4th of October thanks to a little pandemic. “Planning it was twice as easy as all the vendors were able to shift date – amazingly” laughs Ash.
And not only did that turn out to be golden but the little detail of Ash’s sister being wedding photographer E.L Simpson Photography? Oh, it also came in handy! The pair choosing their “sisdor” to capture their beautiful and fun Brisbane wedding. The colour palette? Completely based around the exotic peacock. Gold, black, teal purple and turquoise woven throughout every detail of the day.
It was on the Gold Coast that their pair met, Ash sharing “Mark was on the Gold Coast for a conference (down from Brisbane) we met for coffee, then the next week there was another conference on the Gold Coast, we had dinner one night, then the next night dinner again and continued to see each other.”
Marriage being on the agenda was no surprise, but Mark wanted to pop the question traditionally, so he surprised Ash with an at-home proposal. “Mark and I had discussed getting married for while we had chosen rings as well together” explains Ash. “Mark was adamant that he wanted to propose so I left it to him to decide what to do. He took me to the movies, and then we came home he blindfolded me and took me into the courtyard.
Mark had his best friend and sister come over to put up fairy lights and spell out ‘I love you’ on rolled sheets on the grass. There was a bottle of Moet and a dozen roses. Mark got down on one knee and asked The Question.”
The grooms honoured the moody tones of the occasion, Ash wearing a suit from Thailand, with pieces made in Brisbane by Black Jacket Suiting. Ash telling “I wanted a deep dark green suit jacket. We were in Thailand Bangkok in October 2019 – where I found the perfect fabric for my jacket. The suit was made by Black Jacket Suiting. I wanted a tux/dinner jacket, black bow tie and white crisp shirt.
Mark loves purple, he was set on a traditional Tuxedo with a purple bow tie. Mark had also found some unique design shoes from Thailand with details of silver and purple.”
The blooms on the day tied back to the loose peacock theme and were by Bumble and Bloom, remembers Ash “Our groom’s maids had modern dried and dyed flowers that were bright. The flowers matched the peacock colours and the groom maids’ dresses. Mark and I had hand made peacock feather buttonholes.”
The groom’s maids were dressed in peacock hues. Ash explaining “I had two close female friends who chose their dress that matched the peacock theme colours Mark had his youngest sister and his best friend again who chose the dress style that matched the peacock theme. One of our favourite parts of the day was getting ready all together, we were ready early so we loved sitting around having champagne with our groom’s maids.”
Ash and Mark chose the waterside spot of Events on Oxlade to say their vows. Says Ash “The ceremony was beautiful it was a light breezy Saturday afternoon with clear skies and the two big Jacaranda trees that were blooming. The aisle was down a grassy hill to the bottom of a grassy area which faces directly onto the river.”
The grooms walked down the aisle hand in hand. “The four Grooms’ maids walked down individually” remembers Ash. “Then I walked down by myself till I got to the top of the aisle, I turned and waited for Mark who then walked downhill. Once he got to me we held hands and walked the aisle together.”
Ash and Mark worked with their celebrant to make their wedding ceremony reflective of their personalities. Ash sharing “We wanted it light hearted, the Celebrant and I had worked together a few years ago and Liz was great. We had questionnaires that Mark and I had individually completed in an email to Liz. Liz then put a story together of the responses to create the beginning of the ceremony.
There was a flavour of Disney through the ceremony as Mark loves Disney. Mark had his sister Helen, and I had my little sister Kelly complete readings. Helen read a poem, and Kelly was asked to find a light-hearted reading and not let us know so we were surprised on the day.”
Mark’s memories of the day? “I remember the ceremony the most as the reception goes so fast. My favourite part was the vows we said to each other, the funny things the celebrant said in her story. Looking at our friends and family, all the smiling faces as those were the people we wanted to be with us to celebrate .”
Ash’s advice to you? “Don’t listen to what others say – do the wedding for you and what you and your partner want.”
The couple could not have been happier with their choice of photographer, which you’d hope for, seeing as Erin is Ash’s sister! “Erin shot the photoshoot two weeks prior before the wedding, so there wasn’t long between the ceremony (3:30) and reception(5:pm).
She had a friend assist and shoot the ceremony so she could enjoy it, then the reception was a mixture of her friend and Erin.”
Guests celebrated the happy couple with a cocktail reception at City Winery “We had been looking a City Winery for while as they weren’t open yet” explains Ash. “We loved the simple open space in the cellar door, allowing us to have a casual but classy cocktail style event. We hired in some vintage furniture mixed with wine barrels and stools.”
The grooms credit much of the success of their day to two vendors, their venue City Winery and wedding planner Michael Taylor. “They were amazing – Michael had all the details sorted and just made the day go so well.”
As with everything about Ash and Mark it was important that they got the mood right, Ash noting “For the reception we wanted a fun, casual atmosphere with a live three-piece band. As we couldn’t dance due to Covid, we had our two MC’s host a game with Mark and me where we were back to back sitting on chairs withholding one in each other’s shoes. We were asked questions about each other.”
In keeping with the peacock vibes of the day, the couple hired Completely Baked to make a peacock theme wedding cake. “Felicity was great to work with and assured us to create an amazing cake that was different, classy and tasted amazing!” remembering Ash.
For their first dance together, Ash and Mark chose Glee’s “Happy days are here again/Get happy”.
Congratulations to you both Ash and Mark! How special it was to be able to share your story. Thank you also to E.L Simpson Photography, because without her, we wouldn’t have such beautiful images to share the story!