Real Wedding || Ash + Megan
My goodness! We've certainly been spruiking the fact that Brisbane bars are the place for love! This isn't the first love story we have featured that began at one of Brisbane's most famous institutions though this time we are headed to Fortitude Valley for Ash + Megan's love story. The Wickham dancefloor we are looking at you! Two proposals, a puppy, a kitty and a civil ceremony later, their official marriage (dubbed Wedding 2.0!) was a spectacular masterclass in the small and intimate. Held at Rundle's Retreat with plenty of DIY input from the couple, a gorgeous high tea and the finishing touches from some beautiful friends.
The Meet Cute
Ash explains "We met at a LGBTI music festival, Big Gay Day, at the Wickham Hotel in Brisbane. Unbeknown to Megan, her friend introduced herself to me and told me how her friend (Megan) thought I was gorgeous, but was to shy to introduce herself. At the time I was trying to get more out of my comfort zone, and say 'Yes' to life, rather then sitting back and letting opportunities fly by. So when this friend asked if I would come over to meet Megan, despite the butterflies in my tummy & my blushing face, I said 'Yes'. At first Megan could hardly look me in the eye...then she shared with me how she was watching the crowd and she spotted my long, wild red hair, big, beautiful eyes and happy, fun personality. I was drawn to her cheeky smile, gorgeous blue eyes, and her quiet, kind heart. The night flowed with drinks (of courage), laughter and lots of dancing, ending with our numbers exchanged. From that day forward, not a day has passed by where we have not spoken to each other, first by text, then on dates and finally living our best life together"
"Depending on which of us you ask, the proposal found its roots in quite a few different places. It could have been when Megan asked if I would accept her family heirloom ring as a promise of her love for me, and of course I said yes. Or, it could have been when I offered to buy Megan a ring she loved, and when I asked which finger she would wear it on, she simply answered "I was thinking my ring finger". Or when I was uncharacteristically shy with Megan, presenting her with said ring, telling her my love for her was unrivalled, I even loved her just a little bit more than my cat , Harry (my kitty soul mate), and I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her."
"But, what we remember most...Megan drove us home from my cousin, Katanya and Mick's wedding, slightly tipsy me told Megan how my Poppy Rusty (Grandfather) who was terminally ill, wished he could see us married also. Back in 2017 this was not possible, but becoming civil partners was, so this is what we did on the 27th of September 2017, with Pop as our official witness. We felt very lucky to share this memory with Pop as he sadly passed away not long after our union, just prior to the marriage equality law being passed."
"Happily with the law being passed, we realised how emotional this 'legality' made us, and realised though we had intended to wait for our Wedding 2.0, we couldn't wait all that long, and decided on the big finale, with our wedding taking place on the two year anniversary of our union, the 24th September 2019."
Ash always knew she wanted lace after seeing her cousin's lace gown for her wedding, but it was until her friend Alyce got married in a Wendy Makin gown that it was a perfect match
"I couldn't get over the detail and elegance" After scrolling the internet for lace wedding dresses, her mother Janene planned a mummy daughter getaway to visit various other beautiful bridal stores. "I fell in love with a dress at each store, where each time I said 'Ok mum, this is the one!'. On the last night of our Gold Coast getaway I said to mum, I think I want to go back to the first store, Wendy Makin. The next morning, I scrolled through their website, and happened across a dress I hadn't even noticed that first day there. Something about the Amber gown just resonated with me. When I tried it on in the store, before the curtains were opened to my Mum, fitter Marian said 'WOW, Janene wait until you see this one!', the curtains opened and tears started to swell in Mums eyes. I took a step back & saw myself in the mirror, and I too became teary, then even Marian looked as if she would cry, and we all knew, THIS WAS THE ONE :)"
The wedding day itself organically came together "We both love the outdoors, and one of our favourite holiday destinations is Maleny, in the Sunshine Coast Hinterlands."
"The wedding and reception were at the same venue, the beautiful Maleny holiday home, Ruddle's Retreat. The property gardens were the perfect setting my Megan and I, as well as our lovely celebrant Philippa Holness, to stand in front of our nearest and dearest as we joined in marriage. Ruddle's Retreat was the perfect getaway home, which we loved being able to enjoy in the days prior and after our wedding."
Ash and Megan were intent on keeping things small and intimate "We only ever wanted our closest friends and family to be with us on our big day, making our guest list only 50 people"
"Megan and I are long time friends with our beautiful hair dresser KC of Purrfect Hair, so of course no one but her could style our hair, and join us as a guest for our wedding. Neither of us have a clue when it comes to make up, therefore we both decided to ask Makeup artist Sally Townsend. "
"Our home is styled with eclectic, mix-matched furniture that we both love, therefore we of course we wanted that style reflected in our ceremony and reception. The ceremony was held under a large tree, with mixed & matched wooden chairs for guests, a vintage rug runner for the aisle. Our arbour was built by our favourite housemate and 'best man' Brendan, and it was decorated by our dear friend Michelle.
We love having picnics, with it being a date favourite of ours, so we decorated the rest of the grounds with rustic picnic rugs, cushions, tables and props from sourced from op shops and hired from Sugar Rose Tea Party Hire, for guests to enjoy during our reception. Both of us love receiving flowers from the other, therefore I DIY'ed lots of big beautiful flower arrangements for through out the ceremony and reception, with flowers and foliage supplied by both Poppy Lane Florist and Eumundi Roses."
Poppy Lane also supplied Ash and Megan with corsages as well as a hair piece for Ash in a stray from the traditional bouquets " we found ourselves so awkward holding bouquets in our civil ceremony."
As for the food "Megan wanted a High Tea, like Alice in Wonderland, for our reception, so we hand made cheese & fruit platters and finger sandwiches. For the sweet part of the high tea, we not only had a white chocolate and raspberry wedding cake, but a whole desert table of small cakes, donuts & (our favourite) scones, provided by Chocolate2Chilli."
"Our vows included funny little things about Megan and I! I promised to protect Megan from the spiders, if she protects me from the ants (our biggest phobias), each morning I make the bed, and each night Megan hogs the blankets, and once again I shared how I would promise to give Megan all the adoration and support I give my cat. Megan pledged to always let me win Connect Four, and never wear the fitness shoes she really wants, toe-shoes!"
The Favourite Part
The look on Megan's face as I walked down the aisle to her, she had tears in her eyes as she saw my gown for the first time, and couldn't believe how beautiful I looked. I walked down the aisle in to the arms of my favourite person in the world, after nearly 8 years together, we married each other in front of those we loved the most.
"We were exhausted after all the 13 hour preparation the day before, and early 4am start on the day, but we were absolutely filled with love, happiness and we were content."
Take lots of time to plan, and if you can afford it, organise a wedding planner, as I wished I had ;) Our wedding was very DIY, but it did take a lot of planning and as I am a perfectionist, with a vision of exactly what Megan and I wanted, therefore I did find myself a little stressed leading up to our wedding day. In the end though it was all worth it, and we were supported by amazing vendors."
Take time to find the perfect celebrant that both you and your partner form a bond with. Philippa was our celebrant for both our civil union and wedding, she became a friend, pretty much part of the family, with the care and sincerity she took to make sure our day was relaxed, meaningful, full of fun and laughter, as well as many happy tears. She told our love story beautifully...we will always appreciate the contribution Philippa made to our both our big days.
Enjoy every moment, the day goes by so quickly! We are so thankful to our photographer, Adriana Watson, for recording so many beautiful moments, memories we can keep fresh in our minds forever. But, also remember it is not just the wedding day that is important, it is the rest of your lives together as one, about being each others cheer squad not only that day, but for life :) So let your wedding day be the big celebration about the two of you, not about the latest trends, or making everyone else happy - you two are the stars, so rock it in a beautiful dress or suit, hold each others hands and kiss each other silly!
Gown: Wendy Makin Couture 'Amber'
Photographer: Adriana Watson
Venue: Ruddle's Retreat, Maleny
MUA: Sally Townsend
Hair: Purrfect Hair
Celebrant: Phillipa Holness
High Tea: Chocolate2Chilli