Winter 2022 | Page 59


[ Above ] A very happy ending for this holiday romance . [ Below ] Long reception tables were dressed with eucalyptus , votives and iron candlesticks . [ Bottom left ] A huge cannoli dessert was served in a nod to Michael ’ s Maltese heritage . [ Bottom right ] Papers signed and ready to party !
The couple ’ s dream wedding venue ended up being a nostalgic choice , after one of Ashleigh ’ s colleagues mentioned Bellingdale Farm .“ I always knew I wanted to get married around my hometown of Murwillumbah in Northern New South Wales , and after some social media stalking , I realised I had known Bellingdale Farm by a different name growing up ,” says Ashleigh . “ As soon as I drove up the driveway , the homestead had my heart .” Located on 130 acres near Mount Warning in the Tweed Valley , the 100-year-old farmstead and its glorious natural surrounds aligned with the couple ’ s aesthetic . “ Our wedding was very classic black , white and green with accents of pale pink in the flowers ,” says Ashleigh . “ The venue itself was our inspiration with its white walls , timber accents and wrought iron balustrades .” Planning was driven by the couple ’ s personal style . “ We didn ’ t want to delve too much into wedding trends as we wanted our wedding to be authentically us as possible ,” says Ashleigh . “ Michael ’ s only pre-requisite was that they served Stone & Wood beer . He is an easy man to please ! His philosophy was that when you have a fiance that works in bridal , weddings just seem to plan themselves ...”
Speaking of which , we need to talk about the bride ’ s three outfits ! “ Wendy was always going to be making my dress !” says Ashleigh . “ Having my own business ( Saving Grace by Ashleigh Marie ), I also wanted to put my own stamp on the dress and have something upcycled . There was one of Wendy ’ s samples that we never put into production but I was always taken with the pleated tulle . So , with Wendy ’ s permission , I repurposed the gown and made it into my wedding skirt while Wendy created my strapless gown . I made a silk organza wrap top and belt to match .” With wild weather ( and potentially muddy terrain ) on the horizon , Ashleigh impulsively nabbed a Watters dress from the Wendy Makin studio when she picked up her main gown . “ I knew I had the dress I would party the night away in !” she says . “ I left my belt on to tie all three looks together .”
With the bride ’ s wedding wardrobe sorted , Michael looked to classic black tie tailoring . In a sweet touch , fellow “ HP nerd ” Ashleigh had his cufflinks engraved with the Harry Potter quote : “ After all this time ? Always .”
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