Purchasing her Montgomery gown from Love Marie Bridal, our beautiful bride Ashleigh looked flawless at Bendooley Estate.
‘The Montgomery had everything that I was after – a plunging neckline, low back, trumpet style skirt, a bit of a train and importantly hugged in all the right places! I also chose the optional over skirt, so I really got the best of both worlds, it was like having two dresses’
Names: Kurtis & Ashleigh
Wedding Date: 17 November 2018
Guest Numbers: 110 close family & friends.
Wedding Location: Bendooley Estate, Berrima – The most beautiful restaurant in the Southern Highlands, complete with Cellar Door and a Berkelouw Book store. We had our ceremony in the gardens at the Homestead and our reception in the Book Barn. We really fell in love with the place and the team, and go back often! The grounds and gardens are so dreamy, you can’t fault it!
Photographer: The Evoke Company – The photographer was something that was high on my list of priorities to get right and Mat was amazing. We did an ‘engagement shoot’ with him to get comfortable, but he made it so easy. We had fun and mucked around on the day! I love our photos and how natural they turned out.
Tell Us Your Love Story- How did you meet?
Kurt and I officially met and exchanged numbers at a local bar, through some mutual friends. We had crossed paths many times before this at parties, as we grew up in the same area. I don’t think it was particularly romantic other than – one of the first times we said hello, we accidentally kissed on the lips instead of the cheek! I like to think that was fate being a little cheeky!
How did he put a ring on it?
Getting married was a decision we had discussed together (and what kind of ring I wanted lol), so I knew he had the ring, I just didn’t know when he was going to propose. We went on a cruise to New Caledonia with my family – about 20 or so of us! It was Hawaiian night so we were all dressed in florals and went down to get some family pics before dinner. Mum suggested we get a couple shot, so we posed in front of this wonderfully tacky island backdrop and just as the photographer started snapping he dropped to one knee. I don’t really remember a word he said other than him trying to put the ring on the wrong hand! I was definitely surprised! He knows I hate public affection so I still can’t believe he did that to me, but it was nice to share it with my whole family and of course mum has it on video.
He got my ring designed by Noah at Gattea and it’s the most perfect Oval solitaire, I am still obsessed. They did our wedding bands for us as well.
Where did you draw inspiration from?
Before I got engaged I had a massive Pinterest folder full of inspiration for my future wedding. As soon as I got engaged, I deleted the whole thing! Lol.
Our venue Bendooley has such an amazing backdrop, it didn’t need anything extra, so I really stripped everything back and just tried to complement the feel of the venue. It was really important to me as well that our wedding was timeless. I didn’t want to look back on our wedding in 10 years time and think why?! I avoided anything trendy, and kept our colour palette very classic – black & white & neutral where we needed it. On top of that, we had been to a lot of weddings in the couple years leading up to our wedding, so I had a good idea on what I liked and didn’t like for us.
What made the wedding personal to you?
Everything about our wedding was really personal to us. The second we walked into Bendooley, I had lost Kurt amongst the book shelves, he is an avid reader, and being a wine lover that was a selling point for me. We are both big family people and so our top priority was having something really intimate and homely – the estate was private and completely ours for the day and we were able to stay onsite afterwards. Our family all stayed at another estate around the corner, so it was like a little weekend away for all of us. As well as our family, we both really appreciate good food and good quality wine! We picked out the wines specifically after a couple of tastings in the cellar and we chose a shared menu for the tables. I wanted to avoid the traditional ‘chicken or beef’ at all costs. They brought out lamb shoulder, pasta and barramundi for the middle of each of the tables. I loved the idea of our friends and family serving and sharing a meal together. There was so much food!!! We scrapped the idea of a bridal table and sat amongst our family and friends and our MC was Kurt’s uncle. Every vendor we chose we spent time with to get to know each other and are still in touch with most of them today on some level. One of our beautiful friends had also made our cake for us.
What were you most nervous or excited about?
I like to think I was a pretty relaxed bride, I was super organised, I slept like a baby the night before and was pretty chill the morning of. That was right up until I was about to walk down the aisle – I am asthmatic and had a bit of an anxiety freak out as to where my inhaler was!! Dad kindly kept it in his pocket for me for the walk. Both of us agree we were just super excited to have all our friends and family in the one place to celebrate with us.
Now, the most important part – the Dress!
I feel like this was a really hard decision for me at the start, I had an idea of what I wanted, but it was about finding it. I had come down to two options, and had to go back to try them both on as I just couldn’t decide. I kept thinking that the “moment” everyone says you have when you put the dress on is a myth, I just liked them all lol. When I went back for the last decision making session, my stockist had some newbies from Tara Lauren! Don’t know why at the time I decided to try on yet another dress, but I did and there was the moment! Mum, my bestie and I were all in tears. The Montgomery had everything that I was after – a plunging neckline, low back, trumpet style skirt, a bit of a train and importantly hugged in all the right places! I also chose the optional over skirt, so I really got the best of both worlds, it was like having two dresses (my dilemma at the start). I wore the skirt for the ceremony and then took it off for the reception. I made a couple of changes, making the underlay ivory and adding an underlay to the bodice, which turned out amazing. The lace is a really classic style and matched the garden vibes of Bendooley – super dreamy!
What stockist did you get it from?
My stockist was Love Marie Bridal Boutique – Amy was the best from start to finish and I recommend her to everyone. I didn’t want to get a dress from anyone else! I still chat to her now and you will also now find a pic of Kurt and I on the wall of her Boutique.
What was your most memorable moment from your day?
The most memorable part for us, and something our guests all commented on as well, was my Dad’s speech. He really spoke from the heart, and I think maybe went off script, but he also loves a good story! For my 6th birthday I had been given a “Star Castle” and I was apparently so obsessed with it I would not get in the bath and go to bed. So Dad took it off me and told me he was going to throw it out. He even showed me him putting it in the garbage bin – but had full intention of taking it back out later. Unfortunately it was bin night and Dad completely forgot so it was gone forever!! This is always a story I would bring up through the years. All these years later, Mum and Dad had tracked down one of the exact same Star Castle and gave it back to me during Dad’s speech. So I have a new story to share now, how amazing!!
Vendors to credit:
Venue: Bendooley Estate // Florals Clementine Posy Photography: The Evoke Company // Stockist: Love Marie Bridal Boutique // Nicole Hill, Make Up // Caroline Lysandrou, Hair