Photographer: Darin Collinson Photography
Ashleigh & Adam: A First Look For A Elegant & Handmade Wedding in Melbourne, Australia.
Good morning, loves! I hope that you’re all well today?
Today’s real wedding has for sure got me all in a flutter, and, I am so excited to finally share what pinged into my inbox just a few months ago. I adore weddings on a good day, but when a wedding which has the love and talents of the bride and groom and all their loved ones just poured into every fibre of the day, it’s all the more special – today’s lovely, colourful and heartfelt DIY celebration is a wonderful example of just that.
This sweet couple bravely broke tradition and changed their last names – taking on Adam’s last name Shirley, but adding Spencer before that, in honour of his late grandfather. Ashleigh and Adam actually met on an aeroplane on the way to Thailand as she was on a girl’s trip and he on a boy’s. Together, they travelled the entire three weeks together and went on to stay friends for many years.
What started off as friendship led to the most beautiful love story and wedding years on…
“We actually did something a little bit un-traditional and both changed our names. Adam’s name was Adam Shirley, and when we got married we also took on his late grandfather’s last name, Spencer, in order to keep his memory alive, as he was the last remaining Spencer and him and his grandfather had a really close bond.”
“We met on an airplane on the way to Thailand. I was on a girl’s trip and he was on a boy’s trip. We ended up staying at the same hotel on the first night and then travelled the entire 3 weeks with their group and became great friends for many years. We were friends first and only started seeing each other many years afterwards. I thought he was pretty annoying when we first met and we didn’t really ‘click’ at first.”
“Adam proposed in Noosa at our favourite restaurant, he had hidden the ring in his pants for a huge walk beforehand so that I wouldn’t suspect anything in his pocket.”
Ashleigh opted for the most beautiful embellished couture gown from Helen Manuell she goes on to say…
“I wanted it to be quite fitted, but also have a really long train with embellishments without being too traditional. My brief was ‘no lace’ so instead we used a range of appliques and different mesh materials to get a more modern take on a traditional dress style.”
The loved up lovelies wanted lots of colour, lots of fun, lots of greenery. No white and green styling in sight. Everything had to be really vibrant and colourful. The flowing floral’s were sourced from Botanics of Melbourne and greenery from, Warner’s Nurseries. The wedding was brought to life through Papermill Media and Party Plants.
What was your favorite moment from the day?
“Our first dance, definitely! We love to have fun and we are always the last ones on the dancefloor together so that was a moment that truly represented us. We danced to Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars and the energy was just so electric and upbeat – our guests literally jumped into the dancefloor halfway through to join us.”
One of our favourite things about this wedding is the choice of fashion. The grooms were suited and booted in outfits from P Johnson Tailors and the girls were dressed up in the most dreamy little dresses sourced from Finders Keepers (I mean, how gorgeous are they?!). Accessories were from Ichu Jewellery.
“A lot of the styling was DIY, we were very hands on! From the beginning, I came up with all the concepts and then my mum and I brought them all to life over the next few months. My mum was amazing, she is really talented and so she handwrote all the place cards and table numbers, she hand-painted 80 sets of oyster shells as makeshift salt-and-pepper shakers and trawled the internet for weeks just to find the right vases for our table settings.
We also got a bit DIY with the menu and asked the venue to create one canape that was my favourite food (fish tacos) and another that was Adam’s (hot chippies). We then made little toothpicks that either said ‘from the bride’ or ‘from the groom’ on them. Also my Aunty, Uncle and cousin were incredible. My uncle runs a family nursery so he arranged the shipment of about 16 Oak Trees into the venue. The ceilings were really high and the room was massive so we knew we needed a bit of height in there. We wrapped them all with fairy lights and the end result was just incredible. Also, because I had created most of the styling myself, I couldn’t be there on the day to set up so my talented cousin managed the entire bump in and bump out including styling a huge 2.4m tall flower wall which formed a backdrop for our DIY photo booth.”
If you could do it all over again, what would you change?
“I just asked Adam this question and his response was “can I change my wife?”. We really wouldn’t change anything, it was great.”
Ashleigh’s top tips to future couples:
“Don’t get too caught up in the styling of it all. People can go way, way overboard with it all but at the end of the day if you can nail all the big ticket items like the ceremony, the speeches, food and the music, no-one is going to remember what colour the tablecloths were, or whether there was Aesop soap and heaps of candles in the bathrooms or not. It’s really easy to get so caught up in the detail, but on the day, none of it even matters”
And, for creating and maintaining a strong relationship?
“Keep laughing, don’t let things get too serious. Communication is so important, and listening to the other person and respecting their point of view, even when you don’t agree, is also pretty pivotal.”
The Full Story…
What a gorgeous couple and wedding day, a truly family orientated and handmade celebration. We hope you have enjoyed reading about Ashleigh and Adam’s special day – for a full list of the talented team that got involved, please see the list below.
The Team Behind The Talent…
Dress: Helen Manuell Makeup: Tre Dallas Hair: Sarah Caporale Accessories: Ichu Jewellery Bridesmaids Dresses: Finders Keepers Grooms Suit: P Johnson Tailors Photographer: Darin Collison Personalised Wedding Gift: Adorn Invitations Plants: Warner’s Nurseries Wedding Invitations: BWedding Invitations Creative concepts and styling: Papermill Media Styling: Party Plants Cake: Cherry Tree Bakehouse Food: Bursaria Flowers: Botanics of Melbourne Ceremony Venue: Abbotsford Convent Reception Venue: Abbotsford Convent Rosina Room