Ashley + Sam

How did you meet?

Our parents had been friends for years, but we had never crossed paths. We finally met in the playground during the first few weeks of year 7 and I immediately knew who Sam was because he had curly hair like his Dads. We spent high school as friends (well at least to me we did. It later came out that Sam didn’t love being ‘friend zoned’) and then got together when we were 18 and just finished school

When did you know they were the one? 

I knew Sam was the one very early on in our relationship. When we were 18 and it was so young and fun, but I also knew the feelings were so big and so real. We had such an incredible friendship at the beginning so it was a great place to start our romantic relationship. We just literally fell so in love and the rest is history!

What are your three favourite attributes of your partner?

We actually did this during our wedding ceremony (but were allowed more than 3, so this is tough!)

I love that being with Sam is being with a sense of calm and steadiness. He tells me to slow down when I’m running late, to take a deep breath when I am feeling overwhelmed and gives me a big hug when he knows I need one. He is just so steady and I love that so much.

The second thing is the way that Sam is so okay with being vulnerable. He seems like a big macho guy, but everyone who knows Sam, knows about his ‘wet eyes’. He’s always the one who’s teary during emotional moments, he tells people he loves them. And I love that about him.

Most of all I love how much Sam makes me laugh. EVERY.SINGLE. DAY. He is SO funny. It’s one of the things that made falling in love with Sam so easy. I know that as we get older we will continue to laugh together.

Who proposed and how?

In 2017 Sam and I took a belated gap year, we were both 23/24 at the time and we saved really hard, then quit our jobs to spend a year back packing. We had spent 10 months abroad and were then heading to Greece where lots of our family were coming to meet us for two weeks on the Greek Islands.
It was a true team effort (from everyone except an unknowing me) with Sam’s Mum & sisters helping with the ring from Sydney, Sam’s Uncle bringing the ring over to Greece, Sam’s Dad & my Mum helping organise things on the day.

We spent the day up at Oia on Santorini, which is known for its beautiful white & blue colours, and went out for lunch with all of the family. My Mum not coping with the suspense ended up telling my younger sister what was happening, so she spent the day following us around.
We then got back to our hotel which had a really beautiful view, and with it just us and my sister, Sam said some nice words with his big ‘wet eyes’ and got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

I couldn’t have been more shocked or truly over joyed as we had spent almost a year in hostels & not working so I was absolutely blind sided. We got to celebrate with our family, and it was so special for me to have my two girls – my Mum & my sister there.
We then spent the remaining 4 months of our overseas trip as fiancé’s which was fun too!

Where did you fall in love with your dress and why?

Back in 2019 my bridesmaids & I went to Lily Grace Bridal at the Entrance and I tried on Carla.
She was the first dress that I tried on and I loved her straight away. My bridesmaids all started crying when I came out in her, so I knew she was really special. It just felt like the kind of dress I would wear, but a gorgeous bridal version. It felt like me. I love the 3D late detail, the buttons down the back, the mesh top, the low back, the train, basically everything!
I ended up heading to the Sydney boutique to try her on again, plus a few others and I knew straight away that she was it. Kelly was so beautiful and helpful with sizing and so I jumped online and bought Carla the next day. We had a few covid postponements so in that time I ended up adding the Carla veil and it just took the whole thing to another level!

What was the best moment for you at your wedding? 

For me it was walking down that aisle. We had to postpone our initial wedding 6 days out in March 2020, so had spent the best part of the last 2 years waiting & waiting for that moment, so the anticipation was real!

It was so moving to have both of my parents by my side, have my beautiful girls head down before me, I remember pausing for a little second to take it all in, to see everyone I love sitting there with so much love in their eyes and Sam very teary, waiting at the end. It was the most incredible feeling, and something I will always cherish.

What were your favourite details?

All of our guests had travelled from the Central Coast to Byron Bay, so we wanted the wedding to feel like a holiday. Byron Bay Weddings & The Wedding Shed absolutely delivered in this regard, the details of all the beautiful rattan furniture, big white urns & candles, fairy lights & cocktails made it feel fun, summery & relaxed. Which is exactly what we were after.
Not exactly a detail, but Byron Bay absolutely turned it on the day we got married so having the beautiful blue ocean & sky backdrop into a gorgeous sunset was a real favourite.

What advice would you tell other brides?

We postponed our wedding 6 days out from the initial date, so had gotten really close to our wedding and I ever feeling a little overwhelmed with how much stuff pops up in that final few weeks.
So when the new date finally rolled around I was super organised ahead of time, which made our actual wedding week so relaxed and fun. So basically don’t leave things to the last minute, you’ll want to be sipping bubbly and hanging out in the lead up.

Any standout vendors?

Our celebrant Cara (Modern Love Celebrant) was such a pleasure. She kept it warm & fun, which set the vibe for the absolute day of our dreams.
Also Byron Bay Weddings/Fig Tree Restaurant were an absolute dream team.

MWL DESIGN:

Carla

PHOTOGRAPHER:

Stories by Ash

RETAILER:

Made with Love Sydney Boutique