Real Wedding – Ashleigh & Brendan, Melbourne VIC
Real Wedding – Ashleigh & Brendan, Melbourne VIC
Real Wedding – Ashleigh & Brendan, Melbourne VIC
Real Wedding – Ashleigh & Brendan, Melbourne VIC

Real Wedding – Ashleigh & Brendan, Melbourne VIC


On a golden summer’s day in a blissfully beautiful garden, Ashleigh and Brendan exchanged their I Do’s. And as stunningly special as this was, this was just the beginning of their captivating celebration. Add in an Italian-inspired reception complete with all the exquisite food and wine this conjures up, styling details to wow, and a first dance complete with an actual flip, and this dream day takes on a whole new level.

With the incredible For the Love Celebrancy at the helm, the uplifting ceremony was one of Ashleigh and Brendan’s favourite moments. Filled with magical music, a gorgeous lakeside vista, and so much sweet emotion, it will forever be inscribed in their memories.

Ashleigh was a glowing goddess as she walked down the aisle in her gown by Khya, a sleekly cut sheath of contemporary style. The wedding party in black and white and classic blush and vanilla florals anchored the look in timeless beauty.

Photographer Jess Nicholls worked her magic across the entire event, capturing an epic portrait session through the Botanic Gardens and into the uber-cool urban streetscape, complete with champagne and mega-watt smiles.


The meeting.

We had known of each other for years, but a night out in Richmond made me think about Brendan a little differently. He was so fun, tall, easy to talk to, and handsome, and he tried to keep up with me and my tequila shots at the bar!


The ‘one’.

I knew really early on. At the start, Brendan was living in Sydney, so I initially didn’t think anything would eventuate. But then, one day, he moved back to Melbourne, and I like to think it was for me (not work)! Also, on that first night out in Richmond, Brendan let me eat all of his chips and gravy after too much tequila. I knew I had to be with him after that!


The proposal.

It was the 19th of June 2021, between Melbourne lockdowns. We took our dog, Betty, to a park close to where we are renovating our dream home. Brendan had walked off a bit in front of me and called out to Betty, so she sprinted off. By the time I got to them, Brendan had put a bandana on Betty, which said, “will you marry my dad?” And he was holding the ring. I didn’t even give Brendan the chance to get down on one knee; he had his hands full with Betty, so I grabbed the ring and put it on myself – I now can’t believe I did that!


Planning process.

We knew we wanted to get married in Melbourne, and we spend most weekends going to the Botanical Gardens, so it seemed a perfect spot for us. Good food and atmosphere with all our loved ones were also so important, so Ms Frankie in Cremorne was a great venue choice for our reception. Once we had picked a date, everything started to fall into place with locking in our suppliers. I relied on recommendations from friends, which was so helpful, and Brendan is so good at research, so that was his job. I found the last month before the wedding most stressful, just deciding on all the finishing touches, but I was so happy with how everything turned out.


Style inspiration. 

We just wanted our wedding to reflect the type of couple Brendan and I are. We love a good time with friends and family, so ensuring we were surrounded by delicious food, drink, and amazing entertainment was key for us. We love Italy; it’s one of our favourite places to travel to, so we wanted Aperol, antipasto boards, pasta and Italian desserts. My friend Penny was our MC, and she even greeted everyone in Italian!

I loved flicking through magazines for inspiration on dresses and flowers. Being able to see the different styles of weddings and which suppliers they went with made choosing ours easier as you could visually see the vibe and how different suppliers worked.


The ceremony.

Looking back on the wedding, the ceremony was one of my favourite parts of the day. The best part was having my dad walk me down the aisle and seeing Brendan waiting for me at the end.

Brendan’s niece sang at our ceremony, which was so special to us. She has the most incredible voice, and we were lucky to have her part of our day. Our celebrant told our story so beautifully, and I just loved that we had a stunning Melbourne day with the city backdrop behind us.


The outfit. 

I think this was the hardest and most stressful part of the wedding planning process. Because we started planning our wedding during covid lockdowns, I didn’t have much time to find a dress. I had absolutely no idea what style I wanted or what would suit me, but I found the perfect dress at Kyha. They were so accommodating with the timeframe we had, and I picked my dress five months before the wedding. I changed into my hen’s dress for our first dance and the last three hours of the night when the dance floor went off!


Favourite moments.

So many favourite moments.

I loved the ceremony so much. Holding Brendan’s hand, saying our vows and looking out at our family and guests who were there supporting us. I loved all of our speeches and our first dance as husband and wife. This really started the dance floor, and the remainder of the night was a party with our favourite people.


Meaning of marriage.

Marriage is a sign of our love and commitment to each other always. I already loved our life together, but as husband and wife, we get to continue to create a life together as a family and enjoy the journey as a team.


Wedding soundtrack.

Aisle: Can’t help falling in love sung by Lauren Sheridan, Brendan’s niece

Reception entry: Shooting stars by Bag Raiders

Father / daughter dance: Brown-eyed girl by Chester See

First dance: Simply the best by Noah Reid then mashed into the Tina Turner and Jimmy Barnes version


Funny stories or near disasters.

We wanted to do something fun for our first dance. I had a friend choreograph a dance, and my one request was that when it mashed into the upbeat version, somehow Brendan would flip me. I was a gymnast, and we wanted to surprise everyone. I was a little nervous about doing a flip in heels, and it could have been a huge disaster if I didn’t land it properly, but we pulled it off, and everyone joined us on the dance floor after that.


Planning surprises.

I was surprised by how involved Brendan got in the planning! He is so organised, and I needed his help making decisions. I also didn’t realise how difficult figuring out the table settings would be. That was so tough!


Words of wisdom.

Try not to compare your wedding day to anyone else’s. Three of my closest friends got married in the lead-up to mine, and I loved that everyone had such different days that reflected the couple. Everyone’s wedding is so much fun and perfect in their own way.




For more timeless styling in an inner city setting, check out Sam and Bridget’s stunning South Melbourne soiree, here on the blog.



Ceremony location: Taxodium Lawn, Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne

Reception venue: Ms Frankie, Cremorne

Celebrant: Alexandra Baxter, For the Love Celebrancy

Photography: Jess Nicholls

Videography: ENA Wedding Films

Florist: Wild Flos

Hair & Make-up: Zoe Karlis

The dresses: Dress 1 – Kyha, dress 2 – Rebecca Vallance

Veil: Kyha

Shoes: Tony Bianco

Rings: Sol’s Diamonds

Bridesmaid’s dresses: Hexie

Suits: Peter Jackson

Cake: Miss Ladybird Cakes

Stationery / Signage: Invitations – State of Elliot, Menu – Rebel Reflective

Entertainment: Rutherford Entertainment

Honeymoon: America

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