Ashleigh: We live in Peckham, London, where Chris works in banking and I’m a litigation solicitor. We love the village-y feel of Peckham and relish our quiet weekends visiting the local grocer, cheese shop and florist.
For his birthday, Chris took a sourdough course. He’s been turning out loaves ever since, and bread is often swapped with our neighbours for homegrown tomatoes and baking. My ‘therapy’ of choice is ceramics and I attend a weekly class where I’m taught lessons in patience and slowing down. We met on our first day of university, when we became next-door neighbours in our hall of residence. We stuck together like glue during those initial days and our relationship quickly evolved. Now, we’re so much a part of each other’s lives we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Chris did really well with the proposal. We were celebrating my 30th birthday in Capri, when he surprised me by hiring a little boat. He drove us around the island, anchored in front of the lighthouse, then dropped to one knee and proposed. It was all the more special that we were able to celebrate our engagement with my parents, who were travelling with us. Many limoncellos were consumed that evening.
Chris and I got married 13 years to the day of our first meeting. To us, there’s nothing better than home, so we decided to get married in Nelson, which is my hometown and a place Chris is also very fond of, having spent many summers there over the years. We chose Appleby House as our venue because of the vast open land it sits on. It was the perfect blank canvas, so we dressed the marquee with grey-green foliage, mustard and white flowers, dried flowers and twigs to complement the landscape, and kept the sides of the marquee tied up so as not to obstruct the view of the Richmond Range.
Our wedding was a real joint effort. My amazing mum and dad were our eyes and ears on the ground in Nelson while Chris and I were in the UK, and Chris’s family stayed on site at the homestead and were great helping hands on the day. Our friend was our celebrant, my childhood friends were our photographer and makeup artist, and my maid of honour designed our stationery. We were in trusted hands and it made the day even more personal.
A few special moments that stand out for me are my dad’s tight grip on my arm as we walked down the aisle, making me feel steady and secure; seeing Chris’s face wet with happy tears when I read my vows; entering the marquee and being blown away by how our florist had delivered our dream theme; and looking around during dinner to see all of our guests enjoying themselves. Above all else, we remember the feeling of love and support from our friends and family. That was everything.
Photography: Ana Galloway | Bride’s gown: Suzanne Harward | Groom’s suit & shoes: Suit Supply | Flora: The Wilde Florist | Bride’s earrings: Amber Sceats | Hair: Ursula Hair Design | Makeup: Asher Artistry | Venue: Appleby House | Bride’s shoes: Chaos & Harmony | Bridesmaids’ earrings: Matthew Calvin | Bride’s rings: Naveya & Sloane & her grandmother’s wedding band redesigned by Benjamin Black Goldsmiths | Groom’s ring: His grandfather’s wedding band | On-the-day coordination: O’Fee Wedding & Events | Marquee: The Flagship Events Company | Cake: Blackbird Cakery | Groomsmen’s tuxedo hire: Nelson Tailors Menswear | Groomsmen’s shirts: Charles Tyrwhitt | Bridesmaids’ dresses: Max, Shona Joy, & Victoria & Woods | Catering: Madame Lu’s Kitchen | Beverages: Rimu Grove | Celebrant: Nikki Lorigan | Entertainment: Kramit