Winter 2022 | Page 58

For most young travellers , a holiday romance is all part of the experience , but for Ashleigh and Michael it was the start of something everlasting . “ On a Topdeck tour of Europe , at a London hostel , I saw Michael across the room and told my friend I thought he was cute ,” Ashleigh recalls . A few hours later , on a ferry to France , Ashleigh couldn ’ t help but strike up a conversation , lighting the first flames of romance . But , unlike most holiday flings , the couple stayed true . Distance couldn ’ t shake their dedication , even with Ashleigh living on the Gold Coast and Michael in Newcastle . “ When you want something to work , you make it work !” says Ashleigh , who is well versed in the world of love thanks to her decade working for iconic Brisbane-based bridal designer Wendy Makin . “ I made the move down to Newcastle , and eventually started working remotely for Wendy Makin again ,” says Ashleigh . “ We then had the opportunity to move to Germany for six months for Michael to complete his PhD .” For these avid globetrotters , the adventure was a no-brainer . “ We are both travel obsessed , sports mad and massive foodies , so our lives revolve around those things ,” says Ash . “ Covid has made us slow down a little , we have bought and started renovating our first home and have two fur babies : Florence and Macy Gray .” It was on home turf that Michael ended up presenting Ashleigh with her dream ring ... that she had designed ! “ Michael let me design my own ring with a local jeweller and no sooner had he placed the deposit we ended up in lockdown ,” she explains . “ So , once the ring was ready he wasn ’ t able to sneak it into the house !” After waiting out the six-week lockdown , Ashleigh might have expected a proposal ‘ setup ’. Instead , it was a refreshingly low-key affair with Michael hiding the ring in Florence ’ s collar and waiting for Ashleigh to notice after a morning at the gym ! Lunch at the couple ’ s favourite Hunter Valley winery restaurant sealed the deal .

[ Top ] The bridal party aced the black , white & green brief with maids ’ gowns from Ashleigh ’ s own label . [ Above ] A reimagined gown from the Wendy Makin archives was one of many wedding day highlights . [ Below left ] Ashleigh was delighted to have her father by her side .
58 Winter 2022