Ashleigh and Megan met at Big Gay Day, a Brisbane LGBTIQ pride festival at The Wickham in 2012. Since falling truly, madly, deeply they made their engagement stick by locking it in a few times over and, keeping in the same theme of doing things really thoroughly, they’ve had two official unions. The first was in 2017 before same sex marriage was legalised, so it was a civil union first time around.
Today Ashleigh shares the story of hers and Megan’s official wedding day – the one where they put in a huge DIY effort in an intimate ceremony followed by tea party-style reception in Maleny.
Why The Sunshine Coast?
It’s our favourite place to unwind, adventure, relax, holiday or day trip! We love the outdoors and we always choose the Sunshine Coast for our romantic getaways, beach trips and hinterland hikes. Maleny is just beautiful, we love being out in nature, the the birds, trees and fresh air. Having it at Ruddle’s Retreat meant we could stay there and set up our eclectic, vintage and antique, Alice in Wonderland-esque tea party, picnic wedding!
Philippa, our celebrant, was also such a special part of both days, we were so lucky to have someone so commuted to helping us share our love story and legalise our love and commitment (twice!). Also, finding Adriana for our photography was such a blessing, she was so lovely, helped us relax and captured so many beautiful moments for us to remember always.
One Thing We’d Change
I would have had a wedding planner, DIY was great in that it was perfectly what we wanted, but it was also very stressful.
Images by Adriana Watson Photography
The (Recurring) Proposal
Depending on who you ask, the proposal started in many ways. It could have been a year into our relationship when Megan gifted me her family heirloom ring as a promise of her love and commitment to always be there through the hard times & the easy. It could have been when I offered to buy Megan a ring she loved & I asked which finger so I knew the size and she said “well I thought my ring finger”. It could have been when I presented her with said ring, suddenly very shy despite our many years together & told her I loved her more then anything, even (slightly more then) my kitty soul mate, Harry Hairypants.
Or, what we remember most was after my cousin Kat’s wedding to her amazing Mick, I spoke to Megan about how my terminally ill grand pop had told me that night he wished he could see us married (in mid-2017 this was not yet possible). So I said how about we organise a shotgun Civil Union, because I didn’t want to wait anymore. So we did, pop saw us united, it was the happiest and healthiest we had seen him in years. He sadly passed a few weeks after, but we know he held on for us, for our love.
How She’s The One
Because she is the kindest person I have ever met, she makes me laugh when I want to cry, I feel safe and perfect just as I am with her. I want to be a better person for her. Her beautiful eyes and cheeky smile light up my life. She gives the best hugs and she loves my cat, and all our pets, just as much as I do!
Our Next Adventure
We have just signed for our own little piece of heaven, an acre block in the beautiful bushy Lockyer Valley and we are in the plans of building our dream home for our four fur babies, and hope to also fill it with children in the years to come.
Biggest splurge: My wedding dress – Wendy Makin Amber Couture gown, made to my measurements & selection of lace & silk
Best money-saver: Decorating & styling everything all ourselves
Ashleigh’s dress: Wendy Makin Bridal Designs
Ashleigh’s accessories: Paula Hall earrings and my Grandma’s jewellery
Ashleigh’s shoes: Diana Ferrari
Megan’s accessories: Myer and mother’s jewellery
Megan’s shoes: Vans
DIY: The whole wedding was pretty much DIY, with help from friends, family and suppliers.
Honeymoon: Koh Lanta, Thailand
Number of guests: 50
Wedding budget: $10,000
Actual cost of wedding: $12,000
Megan walked down the aisle with her sister Simone first, then I walked towards my love, holding hands with my parents to “2 Million” by G Flip – it’s a love song written by G Flip for her girlfriend that sings of all the hopes & dreams of their future that resonates with us.
Check out the playlist I’ve compiled using songs recommended by real couples, and a few of my own suggestions…
Photographer: Adriana Watson Photography | Florist: Poppy Lane Flowers and Eumundi Roses | Catering: DIY | Cake + dessert table: Chocolate 2 Chilli | Makeup: Sally Townsend Makeup Artistry | Hair styling: Purrfect Hair | Picnic rugs + vintage chair hire: Sugar Tea Rose Party | Gifts: wishing well | Wedding night accommodation: Ruddle’s Retreat | Celebrant: Philippa Hollness Marriage Celebrant