ASHLEY + GEORGE by In the Wilds of Someplace

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship:

George and I met through a mutual friend of ours from school.

Although we had attended the same high school, in which George and my older sister attended at the same time, and us growing up in neighbouring towns, we had not met until we were both living in Perth. We bonded over the same interests; food, adventure, boating, diving, and travel amongst other things.

George has always worked a fly in fly out job where he is away a lot. Although challenging at times, I think it has helped us to build a strong foundation from the beginning as we learnt to trust each other, never take each other’s company for granted and really cherish our time together. George still has a fly in fly out job as a mechanical supervisor and I work in a sales position for a fertiliser company.

We love the ocean and traveling so a destination wedding in Croatia was our idea of a perfect wedding.

Tell us about your special day, was there a specific theme or style? Tell us a little about the setting, the styling and some of your favourite details:

George and I both have a special connection to Croatia. I first travelled to Dubrovnik with my sister in 2016, at which point I had been dating George for about two years. During that first visit I had decided then and there that Dubrovnik was where I wanted to marry George.

George’s Mother’s family originally emigrated from Croatia and a lot of his family hadn’t been back there. We used this as a great excuse to persuade them to make the trip over for our wedding.  We both value family over everything so it was a really hard decision to get married overseas, knowing that some family members wouldn’t be able to make it. George’s whole family is in Australia and the majority of mine lives in the UK. Somehow, having it in Dubrovnik felt like the perfect solution to have a fair share of family present. Having a destination wedding also meant that our wedding celebrations were extended over the whole holiday to cherish with our family and friends.

We realised quite early on in the planning process that we could not coordinate this wedding alone from Australia so we found a local wedding planner in Dubrovnik to help us create our dream wedding. Katarina was amazing in making our wedding seamless and easy for us. We went for an elegant and classic look with blush, white and soft colours to ensure that no attention was taken away from the picturesque setting. We had a mix of roses, orchids, and olive leaves in our floral arrangements, buttonholes and the bridal bouquets. We were able to re-use the floral decorations from the ceremony at our reception where we matched them with crisp glassware and gold details.

Tell us about your main outfits:

I wore a beautiful dress by Amalia from Oxford Bridal. It took me long time to say yes to my dress, as when I was trying on each gown, I tried to picture myself in the 6th-century stone courtyard looking down the aisle of archways at my beau. I knew I wanted something elegant and quite simple but with a bit of sparkle and that’s just what I found. I had tried on a dress previously with a gorgeous beaded double strap on it and decided to have it incorporated into my dress which I loved.

My shoes were an unexpected find on ASOS but I adored their chic look with a transparent heel and a pointed white toe and straps that tied up around my ankle. For the ceremony, I borrowed my great grandmother’s sapphire earrings from my mum which were my something old, something borrowed and something blue. I then changed into a pair and silver earrings that I had bought from a local silver jeweller in Dubrovnik a few days earlier which represented my something new.

George wore a blue-grey suit from Tony Barlow paired with a white shirt, grey tie and pocket square and blue glass cuff links. George wore a Frederique Constant wrist watch and all the groomsmen wore matching Daniel Wellington watches; a gift from George.

What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day:

Our wedding was the best days of our life by far! I say best days because we arrived in Dubrovnik a week in advance and had a great time showing our friends and family our favourite places around the city. We also had a week long buddy-moon after our wedding, sailing around the dalmatian islands with friends on our own privately chartered boat.  

One of our favourite memories from our wedding day was after the ceremony, as we walked around Old Town Dubrovnik getting photos with our photographer. The temperature was about 35 degrees and so we decided we needed to take a cocktail break. I asked George what he felt like and he said he would love a gin and tonic. I said that I could go for an aperol spritz and to our amazement, the first little restaurant we walked past had a sign out the front displaying that aperol spritzes and gin and tonics were half price. When the waiter came to our table to take our order, they insisted that we have them on the house as they thought it was wonderful that we would stop there for a cocktail on our wedding day. We enjoyed our drinks and relaxed for a special moment together, taking it all in.

We really wanted to make the wedding day fun and unique for our guests, so while we were taking photos in the old city, our guests were sailing to our reception enjoying champagne and beautiful views of the Adriatic sea. We managed to keep the whole day and all locations a secret from our friends, family and even the wedding party. I think it’ safe to say we managed to surprise them all and create a memorable day.

Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together:

Before meeting George, I had never given marriage much thought. I kind of didn’t believe it was important and that if two people loved each other they will be together, that was it. I remember George being quite disheartened by my views and his explanation of marriage has stuck with me from that day. He told me that the way he sees marriage is that it is a commitment to love each other, support one another and grow together as a team no matter what life throws at you. When he proposed, on a surprise picnic along the river in my home town, I was nervous but excited when I told him yes. Now, after a year of marriage, I feel a strong sense of comfort and grounding knowing that we have made that incredible commitment to each other for life, that we have each other’s backs and that we accept each other for who we are.

Photographer: In the Wilds of Someplace | Planner & Styling: Dukata Events | Flora: PatRea | Ceremony Venue: Sponza Palace, Dubrovnik | Reception Venue, Catering & Cake: Royal Dubrovnik | Cake Topper & Stir Sticks: Fran Johnson House | Accommodation: Hotel Kompas – Dubrovnik | Bride’s Dress: Oxford Bridal | Groom & Groomsmen Suit: Tony Barlow | Groom & Groomsmen Accessories: Camicie Roma | Engagement Ring: Infini Jewelry | Wedding Rings: Michael Hill | Bride’s Shoes: ASOS | Groom’s Shoes: Aquila | Groom’s watch: Frederique Constant | Makeup & Hair: Frizerski Salon | Bride’s Fragrance: KKW Fragrance | Groom Fragrance: Hugo Boss | Bridesmaids Dresses: Purbelle | Bridesmaids Robes: All Things Nice | Page Boy Outfits: Silly Horse