Real Wedding: Ashleigh & Sean – Photography by Mitch Pohl

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

We met over 10 years ago when Sean came into Video Ezy where I was working. When he signed up, I noticed we had the same birthday and I very enthusiastically told him. I thought I had scared him away until 2 weeks later, I got a text from him. He had got my number of a friend of a friend, he asked me out and the rest is history.

Being so young when we met makes us feel like we have grown up together, we are best friends first and foremost.

We live in Newy (Newcastle, NSW) with our four year old Mini Aussie Bulldog, Vada. We love taking her to the local dog beach every chance we get. We both love the outdoors and regularly make weekend trips to go camping, hiking and snowboarding. Both of our Dads are avid outdoorsmen and we have definitely absorbed their passion and made it a huge part of our lives together and of course we bring Vada along as often as we can.

We also love renovating and making furniture. We’re currently doing up our second home and loving it. Sean is extremely skilled and does most of the work himself while I just come up with impossible ideas for him to execute, we’re a great team.

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…

Sean and I had known for a long time that we wanted to get married so when the day finally came to plan our wedding, we had a pretty good idea of what we wanted. We wanted a relaxed weekend of fun with our family and closest friends, where we could all drink and dance and be as loud as we wanted; basically one big party. We wanted the venue to reflect our style and love for the outdoors and of course, allow Vada to come along.

After our initial venue fell through, Sean and I immediately thought of my Dad’s partners’ farm in Bulahdelah where Sean and I have spent weekends shooting and hiking. The farm sits on the edge of the Myall River surrounded by rolling hills and bushland with no neighbours in sight, it was perfect.

Our friends and family were able to stay nearby and they all joined us for a dinner on the Friday night at the local pub. It meant so much to us that everyone made a weekend of our wedding and we had a ball catching up with everyone before the day, it definitely calmed our nerves.

We chose a paddock closest to the river to set up bell tents for the bridal party and their partners to crash at, which Simple Pleasures Co to set up beautifully. We chose the centre paddock closest to the farmhouse to hold the reception and ceremony. A clear marquee was set up and we enlisted the help of Kate from Two Wild Hands for the styling.

She did an amazing job taking the plain marquee and paddock and transforming it into a wedding. She used a lot of Australian natives, like banksia and eucalyptus, and brought in rustic timber trestle tables, bentwood chairs and created pockets of seating using vintage lounges and festoon lights. It was so amazing to see the farm completely transform.

One of my favourite details was the arbour she designed and created. She found beautiful twisted branches from the bush near her home and weaved banksia through it, it was so unique. She created the most beautiful tablescape using our antlers and skulls as the centrepiece with high and low candles and greenery runners. Our amazing caterer, Fennel and Co graciously lent us their beautiful ceramic plates and linen napkins which topped it all off. Kate did an amazing job at reflecting our style, she created our absolute dream.

We had dinner and speeches under the clear marquee and all afternoon we could see the surrounding bushland, the amazing sunset and at night, the starry sky. We loved having our first dance at sunset and seeing the marquee light up with all of the beautiful colours. After that, I don’t think I left the dancefloor all night. Our band, Aubrey, were incredible and had everyone dancing the night away.

Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?

Sean’s outfit came together in one day on a weekend trip to Sydney. The first store we walked into and the first suit he tried on, he bought. He does not muck around! He chose a bone linen suit and paired it with his RM Williams boots. His groomsmen had similar coloured chinos from MJ Bale and each chose their own grey jackets. All of the boys had matching navy linen ties from OTAA, and RM Williams boots.

My dress was years in the making, 35 years to be exact. I wore my Mum’s dress from the 80’s. She had it dry cleaned a few years before and it looked so beautiful it had to be worn again. I did, however, get those 80’s puffy sleeves taken in but that was the only alteration, it fitted me like a glove! I had a silk slip made to go underneath which complimented the chiffon and Chantilly lace overlay perfectly. And when it was time to party, I took off Mum’s dress and had just wore the silk slip. It was so special wearing mum’s dress and seeing the reaction of my Dad, Grandmothers and Aunties who had seen my Mum wear it.

My bridesmaids all chose their own dresses. I wanted them to feel comfortable and be able to buy a dress they’d be able to wear again. The only stipulation I made was white and lace. They all chose dresses true to their style and I loved seeing it all come together, they looked stunning.

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

Our flower girl Vada attacked the banksia on to the arbour halfway through our ceremony which had everyone in stiches. She’s always the centre of attention.

Our day had a million highlights but one that stands out most was after the ceremony and the formal photos were done and dusted. I kicked off my heels, pulled on my RM Williams boots and we headed up Mt. Alum for a hike just us and our amazing photographer Mitch. It was so nice to spend time together talking about the ceremony, absorbing everything while doing something we love most. It made for some pretty epic photos too.

What does being married or being in a union mean to you? And what is married life like so far? 

Being married means declaring our commitment to each other in front of all of our friends and family and asking for them to support us in our marriage. It’s about being accountable to each other and promising to never giving up.

Married life is a lot like non-married life, except now we get to call each other Husband and Wife and that is a lot of fun!

Photographer: Mitch Pohl | Ceremony and reception location: Private farm | Celebrant: Uncle of the groom | Entertainment: Aubrey | Special song: “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes | Styling and flora: Two Wild Hands | Catering and cake: Fennel & Co. Catering | Hair and makeup: Sculpt Hair and Beauty | Wedding dresses: Family heirloom, Atelier Rose Bridal | Shoes: YSL | Groom and groomsmen’s attire: MJ Bale | Shoes: RM Williams | Rings: Cartier | Brooch: Family heirloom | Bridesmaids’ dresses: Shona Joy, Hansel & Gretel, Alice McCall, Stevie May