ASHLEE + JESSE

19th July 2018

SPICERS HIDDEN VALE

THE VENUE

We had spent a lot of time researching venues on the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Byron Hinterland when I started researching Spicers Venues (Jesse’s sister and brother in law actually got married at Spicers Clovelly Estate which is how we found Hidden Vale). 

As soon as we stepped out of our car at Spicers Hidden Vale, we knew it was the place we wanted to get married. We love the country and the outdoors, and as soon as Jesse saw a fire pit he said “This is the one!” It was hilarious however we both just knew, it was ‘us’. 

I fell in love with the Figtree, the cute cottages and the infinity pool. Even the smell of the fresh country air was amazing. 

I also love their ‘paddock to plate’ philosophy using the produce from their own property, whilst also using local produce from the Grandchester area. 

Lina (our wedding coordinator) was so helpful and kind throughout the planning process and on the day, I could not believe how smoothly everything ran! Lina truly went above and beyond to ensure our day was as we imagined, we could not have done it without her. 

Spicers also ticked a lot of boxes for us in the fact they provided all of the furniture, cutlery and crockery, napkins, arbour etc. so these were all big ticket items we did not have to worry about organising for our day. We also loved the food and beverage packages provided. We opted for the banquet with lamb and pork which was amazing. All of our guests could not speak highly enough of the food and the amount that was there. It just kept coming and no one was left hungry! 

We loved the fact that our guests and ourselves could spend a few days at Hidden Vale before and after the wedding going exploring on the ATVs, relaxing by the fire and swimming in the pool. Not to mention the restaurant and food is absolutely divine! 

Our wedding at Spicers Hidden Vale was absolutely magical and was everything we had dreamed of, and more. 

HOW WE MET

We were both living in Darwin, NT, when I moved next door to Jesse. Our dogs, Hunter and Lola, actually became friends first as Lola would dig under the fence to come into my yard during the day to play with Hunter. I’d then return Lola to Jesse nearly every day after work. 

Shortly after, my housemates and I became friends with Jesse and his housemates, and we have been inseparable ever since 🙂 It is safe to say I fell in love with and married my best friend. 

THE PROPOSAL

We love camping, 4WD’ing and the outdoors. We were on Fraser Island in May 2017, and I was eager to climb to the top of Indian Head (the most eastern point of Fraser Island) for sunrise. 

We were having some pictures taken in front of the beautiful backdrop of Fraser Island, when Jesse got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was one of the happiest moments of my life and a huge surprise – so much so that I nearly tumbled backwards on the edge of the cliff! 

My advice is to start planning early, so you have plenty of time to really figure out a budget and have time to research to find the suppliers you truly want. Go out and listen to live music, attend wedding fairs, read wedding blogs and use social media (I actually found a lot of providers via Instagram!)

The biggest thing for us was finding the perfect venue, and everything else just seemed to fall into place after that. Once we knew where we were getting married and the atmosphere we wanted to create, we were then able to narrow down choices such as our outfits, flowers and music. 

Stay true to yourself and what you love, and you will not go wrong. 

OUR FUTURE

We have pretty much settled back into our normal lives after our honeymoon last year in the US. We would love to start a family in the future. I’d like 2 children, and Jesse would like 3, so we may have to compromise there haha). 

I would eventually like to move back to Hobart where I am from. We would also love to have a small slice of land so we can have a hobby farm with some chickens, cows and goats, and space for our family to grow. 

We are a pretty chilled out pair though, so we will see where our lives take us!

THE LINE UP

Venue  Spicers Hidden Vale  ||  Photographer Figtree Pictures ||  Flowers The Little Flower Market  ||  Dress Belladonna Bridal Brisbane || Suit YD Australia ||  Hair Harpier Beauty Hair Fashion  ||  Makeup Sarah Harrington Makeup and Hair  ||  Entertainment McGee Entertainment (Reece Freeman)

THE FLOWERS

The Little Flower Market made the most beautiful bouquets and really tailored them to suit us and our day. I loved the ‘native’  bouquets, particularly because our venue was so ‘Australian’. 

Katrina was so helpful with assisting in narrowing down the perfect bouquet for our day (even if I did change my mind a few times!) The colours worked so well with our theme (given it was a winter wedding and we opted for darker outfits for the groomsmen and bridesmaids) our bouquets really tied in and complimented them. 

ENTERTAINMENT

Reece Freeman was so versatile and efficient at each set up location and played everything we requested – his voice is incredible! 

I still remember walking down the aisle and listening to Reece singing Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling In Love” with tears streaming down my face. It was just perfect and so fitting for our wedding. 

Reece played great music during our reception, it was just loud enough to hear and not overpowering so you could still have a conversation with people. 

Later that evening we danced the night away to 80s and 90s hits, and Reece had everyone on the dance floor! 

THE PHOTOGRAPHER

Figtree Pictures as you can see, captured the most amazing photos of our day and were so easy going and fun!  Dan and Emily were the perfect team, they made us feel so relaxed and comfortable all whilst maintaining their professionalism and having fun at the same time. I love the way they used the natural light and our stunning sunset to capture the most incredible shots of Jesse and I. We will admire and cherish these photos forever. 

HAIR & MAKEUP

Harpier/Sarah Harrington – Prue and Sarah were absolutely amazing at hair and makeup. They were so calm but fun to chat with while they did our hair and makeup – the perfect pair for calming my nerves. My bridesmaids, mum and myself were so impressed with the work they did – it was the best hair and makeup I could have asked for! They knew exactly what we wanted from pictures I had shown them, and executed it beautifully.

THE DRESS

Belladonna – After spending months searching for a dress, I was about ready to give up and walk down the aisle in a potato sack… I was at the point where I was so upset and thought I would never find the ‘perfect dress’, and time was quickly running out.

I came across Belladonna online and booked an appointment to head in. I continued to try on dresses that did not make me feel great, but they were the style that I had set in my head that I wanted to wear. With the help of the team at Belladonna (and my very persuasive future sister in law), they encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and try on some styles that I didn’t particularly think I would like. But as soon as I started trying these dresses on, I instantly felt better and knew we were finally heading down the right path.

I booked another appointment at Belladonna a few weeks later to try on some of my favourite dresses again from the previous fitting, and also found another that I had not seen previously (it was actually a corset and skirt combo! Again, not what I imagined for my wedding dress). 

I put the two on, and instantly I knew it was what I was going to be married in. I Face-timed with my mum (who lives in Hobart) and I knew from her reaction that I had to get it. 

It was so magical, the way the skirt flowed as I walked and danced, with the subtle glistening of the tiny diamonds and pearls of the bodice in the light. I feel it really complimented the style of our wedding. I felt the most beautiful in this dress that I ever have, and Jesse absolutely loved it. I’m so happy that I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried on these dresses, otherwise I may not have had this absolutely stunning dress and memories.