Real Wedding – Ash & Joel, Nagambie VIC 
Real Wedding – Ash & Joel, Nagambie VIC 
Real Wedding – Ash & Joel, Nagambie VIC 
Real Wedding – Ash & Joel, Nagambie VIC 

Real Wedding – Ash & Joel, Nagambie VIC 


For a loved-up, laughter-filled, party vibe day, look no further than Joel and Ash’s beautiful bash.

After enduring Covid setbacks, coming together with their nearest and dearest under sunlit skies proved to be the perfect tonic – a celebration of family, friends and love in sweet style.

For us; and Joel, it was the moment Ash walked down the aisle carrying their darling daughter that brought all the feels. Ash looked like a true contemporary queen in her two-piece ensemble by one of our faves, Karen Willis Holmes, while Joel cut a classic and dashing figure in stone and black.

Mitchelton was the perfect backdrop for this celebration of festival energy with a huge dose of style. A vibrant vermillion, burnt tangerine and rose pink colour palette infused the design with a sense of summer freshness and modern magic. Every epic frame by photographer Motta Weddings captured the essence of excitement and upbeat vibes surrounding the newlyweds.

And of course, Ash and Joel are nothing but the coolest of cats in their portrait photos, embracing the moment together underneath the endless skies, both glowing with connection and happiness.


The meeting.

We have many mutual friends, and it was at Falls Festival in 2012 when we were introduced. It wasn’t love at first sight, given Ash went too hard, too early, and on day one was asleep by 4pm! However, even though it didn’t kick off straight away, I certainly took notice of Ash’s fun-loving personality and appetite for a good time. It was about 12-18 months later that we began speaking more regularly – and then at the 2014 Falls Festival, we were well on our way to being a loved-up couple.


The ‘one’.

There are plenty of moments. When we first started seeing each other, there’s no doubt Ash made me such a happier person, and I had (and still have) a spring in my step each day. I thought from the start that I was on the right track! Early in our relationship, my nephew had a rough start to his life on the health front (thankfully, he’s 100% sweet now), and Ash’s support for my family and me throughout that time was huge. Ash holds family close to her heart and fits into ours so well.

There was also a time at Meredith when the sun was just coming up; we were on our way back to our tent and had a moonwalking contest. She absolutely nailed it! This story is a bit less heavy than the one about my nephew, isn’t it? But I distinctly remember at the time that she’s pretty special.


The proposal.

Ash had dropped some subtle hints about which ring she’d like in the event of us ever getting engaged. I contacted the ring maker and got the ball rolling. On the evening of Thursday, December 19, 2019, I was home cooking dinner and feeling nervous, as I was set to pick up the ring early the next morning.

Ash came home from work, and without even saying hello first, she said, ‘I have some news’. So, it was a pretty big moment – I was working out how to propose over the next week or so while we also just found out we’re having our first child.

We went to Tasmania a week later, and I had the ring with me the whole time, either in my pocket or in the backpack I was carrying. I considered proposing on our first night in Tassie, but I scrapped that idea. I considered doing it at Falls Festival, but it didn’t seem like the right fit. I considered doing it on New Years Day, but Ash had terrible morning sickness.

Eventually, we found ourselves driving up the East Coast and spent a night glamping at Dolphin Sands. We had the beach to ourselves, not a person in sight in any direction. We were sitting at the beach with a drink and a nice cheese board when I needed Ash to stand up. So, I challenged her to do a backflip (she’s a former gymnast). As she stood up, I got on one knee, and Ash looked at me with an almighty surprise. We spent the next few hours chatting to friends and family over the phone; it was beaut.


Planning process.

We got engaged in Jan 2019 and realised we were expecting a baby all within a few days of each other (whoops!). Our wedding date was originally scheduled for Nov 2020, but, like a lot of couples out there, we had to postpone by 12 months due to COVID. So, it felt like a super long time (nearly three years) to plan a wedding.

We initially booked the big-ticket items like venue, celebrant, photographer and dress when we first got engaged, but then didn’t worry about the smaller details until a few months before our wedding. Once we found our venue, the rest of the inspiration for the wedding flowed from there. Mitchelton was the perfect venue for us; Joel grew up in Seymour, so it seemed fitting that our wedding venue was ten minutes from his hometown. It also had everything we were looking for – Mitchelton has a hotel on-site with 58 rooms, so it was a location where people could stay for the entire weekend, the ceremony and reception could all be in the one spot, and it had space big enough to fit our guest list without having to skimp on dancefloor space. Mitchelton is on the Goulburn Valley river, so it was an absolutely stunning backdrop as a place to declare our love for each other.


Style inspiration. 

From the get-go, we wanted a relaxed, fun and happy vibe. Initially, we were thinking of a festival type wedding, given all our major life milestones happened together at music festivals, however having to hire everything and do everything ourselves seemed like too much work for our liking. So, we tried to encapsulate that festival vibe at a winery location. We wanted our guests to feel relaxed, happy, and like they were having the best time for the whole duration of our wedding. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, so we wanted our wedding to portray that. We choose bright florals, mismatched wedding party outfits, stand up canapes, fun/funky music, a champagne tower and maximum dancefloor/party times. We really value our relationships with all our family and friends, so we also wanted our wedding to be about them as well and how much they mean to us. Instead of wedding favours, we chose to write a personalised message to each of our guests.

When it came to styling, neither of us had any idea when it came to flowers, so we got a vibe for what types of flowers and colour we liked then screen-shot images to send to our florist. Likewise, with Joel’s outfit, all of retail was closed for months leading up to our wedding, meaning we couldn’t go to try on suits, so we really relied heavily on wedding blogs to get ideas on what we thought would look good.


The ceremony.

I think what made our ceremony special was our celebrant Jon Von Goes, he is a very unique character, and he oozes class and charisma. He had a special presence about him while still making sure the bride and groom were the stars of the show. He was so captivating throughout our whole ceremony. Jon said to us that the ceremony is the launch of the party, a highlight of the day, not something that should be endured before our party starts. Jon did just that; he made our guests laugh and made them cry, all while highlighting the significance of marriage. We didn’t want a ceremony where the celebrant was talking about two rivers joining to become one or any of those cliche lines. We just wanted it to reflect us – our love, our happiness, our story.

We had our beautiful two-year-old daughter as our flower girl, and she also made the ceremony extra special. We had intended for her to walk down the aisle by herself; however, I think we underestimated how daunting that would be. On the day, she just wanted to be carried down the aisle by Ash which upon reflection was even more special. It was Joel’s favourite moment of the entire day, seeing his two girls walking down the aisle together.


The look. 

For my dress, my main criteria was something that was no fuss, easy to wear and nothing too bridal. I only went into one shop and bought the second dress I tried on, which was Daisy by Karen Willis Holmes. I had a three-month-old baby at the time and didn’t fancy going all around Melbourne trying on thousands of dresses, so when I tried the Daisy on, and it met my criteria, I thought I might as well just get it. I bought my dress almost two years before our wedding, given Covid rescheduling. I went back into KWH and tried it on again a few months before the wedding to make sure I still liked it, and it was exactly as I remembered – I really like how it had classic elements with a modern twist. I tried on a veil but instantly knew it just wasn’t for me, so I decided I’d jazz it all up with a statement earring. I ended up getting the Baroque Teardrop hoops by A.B. Ellie.

For Joel, we wanted his outfit to suit the venue and the vibe of the day – formal and significant yet relaxed and fun. He ended up wearing a Country Road jacket in stone with slim-fitting trousers.

We had a big wedding party, and we wanted them all to feel fabulous and show off their unique styles, so they picked their own dresses in an array of pinks, orange and red tones. The dresses all worked so well together on the day.


Favourite moments.

The golden hour, as titled by our photographer, Alex Motta. This was when it was just the two of us getting photos together during sunset. We had enjoyed the day so much already, starting from getting ready with our bridal party, then having photos before the ceremony; the ceremony itself was so much fun, followed by canapes and speeches – but at around 8pm (the golden hour), we had 20-25 minutes to spend together and chat about how great the day had been so far while knowing that we had a party to attend again shortly! It was a really special time.


Meaning of marriage.

To be honest, we knew marriage wasn’t going to change our relationship very much. We already knew we loved each other unconditionally and once you buy a house and have a child together, you are pretty much committed to each other for life. We just think love is one of the greatest things on earth and why not throw a whopping big party with all your favourite people to celebrate such a special thing. Life is too short to not celebrate the great things in life.


Wedding soundtrack.

Aisle: Simply the Best by Stephanie Rainey

Recession: Your love keeps lifting me higher by Jackie Wilson

Reception entry: Shooting Stars by Bag Raiders, followed by Young Heart, Run Free by Candi Staton

First dance/flash mob: Twist and Shout by The Beatles

Farewell song: Sunchyme by Dario G

We made a Spotify playlist called Wedding – canapes for us to use on the day. We listen to it heaps.


Funny stories or near disasters.

Two weeks before the wedding, we were getting our bridal party gifts organised – wrapped and packed into individual bags. There was a bit of a mess in the lounge room. While we were doing this, we also had our rings out, so we could pack it all together. Once it was finished, we realised we couldn’t find Ash’s wedding ring. Ash couldn’t have been quicker to blame our two-year-old girl, Harriet. It’s the only time I’ve ever seen Ash truly angry with her. We spent over an hour looking through every inch of the house, even opening up the washing machine and dishwasher to see if Harriet had hidden it in there. As it turned out, Ash had actually thrown them into the recycle bin when she was throwing out the rubbish that night; it also happened to be bin night that night. We finally found them – a very close call!

Another one on the day – we were set to get married at 5pm. So, Joel wandered down to the ceremony area at around 4:40pm to find that our speaker (for music and for the celebrant) wasn’t working. It took some tech-savvy geniuses to sort it for us – high-pressure stuff.

The next thing we noticed was that our celebrant wasn’t anywhere to be seen. Joel wasn’t too stressed, though, we had caught up with him a few times previously, and he’s super laid back. He rocked up at 4:55pm. While Ash gave him a friendly jibe that he was late, Joel still believes that 4:55pm is five minutes early, given the ceremony was set for 5pm.


Planning surprises.

We actually really enjoyed every aspect of the wedding planning; it was a fun thing to do as a couple. Each night we would sit on the couch with our laptops and work things out together, from music selection, seating chart, personalised notes, event order – every bit meant we were one step closer to throwing the best party of our lives.


Words of wisdom.

Don’t sweat the small stuff! If covid has taught us anything, it’s not to take these events/celebrations for granted. We were so grateful that our wedding was able to go ahead in this climate, so we really didn’t stress about little things that no one else would notice on the day.



Love Ash’s gorgeous gown? We were lucky enough to have an insider peek at the latest collection from the queen of cool, Karen Willis Holmes – check out all the beauty on the blog.



Ceremony & reception venue: Mitchelton – Nagambie

Celebrant: Jon Von Goes

Photography: Motta Weddings. Alex was an absolute dream to work with, he photographed my sister and best friend’s wedding, and we knew instantly that we wanted him on board. He is not only super talented and professional but also one of the loveliest guys we’ve ever met. We couldn’t be happier with the photos from the day. It is obvious that Alex is a real perfectionist when it comes to his work, knowing exactly the best lighting, position and timing for all his photos. This is why he produces the most beautiful photos time and time again.

Videography: Cyan Wolves – Scott Barker. Scott is an absolute legend; he produced the most amazing wedding video, which we think sums up our day so perfectly. We were amazed by the quick turnaround; Scott sent us our wedding video plus the raw footage within two weeks of our wedding day.

Florist: Twig and Hynes. A local florist in Shepperton – so lovely and easy to deal with. I sent her tons of images, and she completely knew how to make my vision come to life.

Hair: Stephanie KateTonic Agency. Both Steph and Tonic Agency were so professional, efficient and great to deal with. I really struggled to find a hairstylist that was available on our date, so I contacted Tonic Agency, and they put me in contact with Steph. She woke up at 4am, did nine beautiful hairstyles (even our sassy flower girl), all while having great banter throughout the day with all of us.

Make-up: Sophia Pafitis. Sophia did two of my friend’s wedding make-up, so she came highly recommended. She knows exactly what to do with your face to make you feel beautiful while still completely natural. I couldn’t have been happier with my makeup.

The Dress: Karen Willis Holmes

Shoes: Chaos and Harmony

Earrings: A.B. Ellie

Rings: Bride – Krista McCrae, Groom – Claire Ren

Bridesmaid’s dresses: Aje

Suits: Country Road

Bow ties: Peggy and Finn

Stationery / Signage: BMF Designs. Breanna was the most organised and efficient of all our vendors. Would respond to emails within minutes of sending them, gave great suggestions and followed direction perfectly.

Entertainment: The Vintage Stylus. They have a huge collection of vinyl records with the coolest DJ booth setup. Adam, who runs the business, is brilliant to work with; we had a zoom consultation so he could get an idea of the vibe we were going for with each part of the day, giving great suggestions along the way. It is clear that he loves music and knows what tunes to play to get toes tapping, heads bopping, and hips shaking all night long.

Hire: The Small things Co

Honeymoon: Portarlington

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