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Modern Luxe Melbourne Wedding

— Ashleigh & Tim


6 February 2016


130 people


Erin & Tara

Ashleigh & Tim by Erin & Tara
Ashleigh & Tim by Erin & Tara

Ethereally classic with a nod to modern luxe, the ceremony of Ashleigh & Tim began in a historic Melbourne church, beneath dramatic ceilings and surrounded by an aura of nostalgic mysticism. An extension of classicism, the Bride wore a floor length Stella McCartney gown, backless yet demure with long sleeves, adding unexpected seductiveness to her silhouette.

Seamlessly continuing to the inner city reception, held at Melbourne’s exclusive Panama Dining Room, the couple gravitated to a cohesive style of soft golds. Luscious botanicals imperfectly framed tablescapes adding a slight contrast to a nordic canvas. 

Luminous in her second gown, a silken & sleeveless Toni Maticevski added another dimension to opulent glamour. Incredibly documented by the talented Erin, from Erin & Tara

NAMES: Ashleigh Bawden and Tim Faulkner

WEDDING DATE: 06/02/2016


HOW WE MET: We met about 9 years ago at work. Tim had just moved to Melbourne from Adelaide and I took him under my wing to show him all the reasons why Melbourne is great. What was a great friendship soon became something more. 

OUR ENGAGEMENT STORY: Tim proposed on Christmas Eve in Paris. It was a freezing night and we were walking from Notre Dame down a quaint cobblestoned lane adorned with fairy lights. He called my name from behind me and I turned to find him on one knee, grinning at me. It was more than perfect.

MARRIAGE TO US MEANS: A commitment to starting a life together and a great feeling of content.

WEDDING LOCATION: We were married at Newman College Chapel at Melbourne University. I was a student there and have always thought it was a beautiful location. We deliberated quite a lot over the reception location as we wanted something different to a typical wedding reception, but settled on Panama Dining Room where there was plenty of room for guests and where the arched windows speak for themselves. 

THEME/STYLE: We wanted something modern, lush and luxurious and nothing to “weddingy”. Tori Allen and I settled on a theme of white, navy and gold with lush green through the flower arrangements. Pinterest is a great source of inspiration where I was inspired by a lot of art and photography to help formulate ideas. 

(Interview continues beneath gallery)

PHOTOGRAPHY: The super amazing Erin, from Erin and Tara photographed our day. I couldn’t have asked for a better photographer, her style echoed my style and the mood we wanted for the day. We loved the candid shots she got of the day and her laid back nature kept us relaxed throughout the whole day, which shows in the photos. 

BRIDE’S DRESS: Working in fashion, I could not just settle on the one dress and ended up with three. The first was a long sleeve Stella McCartney backless gown, bought on a whim from Net-a-Porter. My Mum and her Mother and also Tim’s Mum and both Grandmothers all wore long sleeve, and I felt this was a nod to tradition and also appropriate for the church ceremony. The second was Toni Maticevski, a designer I had always wanted to wear on my wedding day and I love the sculptural nature of the dress. The third was the party dress, from Solace London. Again, bought online, this strapless dress with high split was so comfortable to wear into the wee hours of the night

BRIDE'S SHOES: Gold YSL platform heels bought from Miss Louise.

BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: Dressing 5 girls with different tastes and body shapes is no easy feat, however, all 5 girls voted yes for their Scanlan Theodore dresses in navy. They looked incredible.

BRIDESMAID’S SHOES: I wanted the girls to continue to gold theme so we found some three strap gold heels from The Iconic.

FLOWERGIRLS/PAGEBOY OUTFITS: Our gorgeous flower girl wore a dress from David Jones and a flower crown from TAE flowers. 

WEDDING RINGS: My engagement ring is from Tiffany and Co in Paris and both our wedding rings are from Charles Rose

JEWELRY / ACCESSORIES: I bought three earrings to choose from on the day as I am usually not an earring person. I decided on a modern pair from Noir Accessories. Tim’s gold cufflinks were a great ASOS buy. As were the Bridesmaids earrings.

GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: The boys all wore Herringbone suits, with Tim in a tux and bow tie and the boys in normal suits and ties. Tim wore John Lobb shoes and luckily his vintage Breitling watch arrived back from being serviced overseas two days before the wedding!

HAIR: I have never been a fan of formal up do’s so I wore my hair down with some huge curls thanks to Hermiz Daniel from Joey Scandizzo Salon.

MAKEUP: Similar to hair, I like to keep my make up natural and not too overdone. Amy Kenny had done my make up before and I was happy to work with her again as she always produces a natural look. 

STATIONERY/INVITATIONS: We used Paperlust for our save the dates and invites. Thankfully Mum is very crafty and was able to help with the placecards, church books and other stationery items.

FAVORS/BONBONNIERE: We wanted something the guests could keep and take home so we decided on potted succulents and again my Mum helped with this one! She propagated succulents from my grandparents garden and bought herself a huge bag of cement to make the pots. They were extra special as Tim and I painted them together with Mum and Dad and it was nice to have something handmade to give the guests.

FLOWERS & BOUQUETS: I LOVE floral and I knew this was something I wanted to be a wow factor. I love lush greens and textures mixed back with pure white and Zoe from TAE understood my vision. My bridal bouquet was big and not too rigidly put together and the bridesmaids had the same but a smaller version. Tim and I were completely flawed when I walked into the venue for the first time. It was like a tropical wonderland and it completely transformed the space. 

VIDEOGRAPHY: The boys at Moon & Back filmed our day. Again, these boys were great fun to hang out with and made Tim and I feel very relaxed. They captured some amazing parts of the day and we feel very lucky to have this video to look back on the day whenever we want.

PREPARATION: The whole bridal party and their partners and our families stayed at the Coppersmith Hotel in South Melbourne. It is a beautiful boutique hotel where we were able to accommodate everyone and also have the recovery party on the rooftop the next day. In the morning, I ran into my husband to be going for a run and we shared some quick “I love you’s”, then the girls and I walked to the Kettle Black for breakfast and much needed coffee and then straight to Joey Scandizzo where we spent the rest of the day having champagne while getting our hair and make up done.  

CEREMONY DÉCOR/ RECEPTION DÉCOR: We wanted to keep the ceremony undecorated as felt the church was beautiful in its own right, so we only added one floral arrangement near the altar. As our friends and I have been to Panama a few times for drinks in the past, I wanted the venue to look different to this, so we changed a few elements here. We got different chairs in – I love black Bentwoods, covered the pool table with a big central table, changed the cutlery and tableclothes and of course added a lot of floral, which TAE executed perfectly. We also added fun decals as the guests were heading up the two flights of stairs. 

WEDDING PLANNER/ WEDDING STYLIST: Tori, from Tori Allen Events was the perfect wedding stylist for me. She understood I wanted it to look different and came up with some fantastic ideas and executed it well. She was cool, calm and collected and allowed me to not worry about this part of the wedding.

CAKE: Again, Mum offered her expertise here and we indulged in a beautiful three tier white velvet cake adorned with some TAE floral, it was amazing. Even better the next day at the recovery party!

WEDDING SONGS: The ceremony was strictly sacred music only and I chose to walk down the aisle to “Ave Maria” performed by live organ and singer, which was beautiful and more special as my mother had also used the same song as her bridal march. Tim and I did not have to discuss our first dance song, we knew it would be “Your Song”  by Elton John, which we both just love. Unfortunately, neither of us can dance, so we swayed together singing the words to each other.

ENTERTAINMENT: A great friend of ours offered his services as DJ and it was perfect. We danced till past 1am!

FOOD & BEVERAGES: We chose a sit down menu with an alternate entrée and main. Dessert was roaming Gelato Messina (Tim’s favourite), Mum’s wedding cake and what can only be described as a cheese mountain! Tim and I chose wines that we love to be served on the night and the French champagne was bottomless at the brides request! Espresso Martinis were also brought out after speeches to get the party started. 

TRANSPORT: Cars were not a big focus for us so we hired three black Audi’s to transport us and the bridal party. Tim and I just got an uber back to the hotel!

HONEYMOON: We honeymooned in Mexico, which was perfect! We mainly stayed in Tulum which has a pretty special laid back vibe and indulged in too many taco’s. Tim then accompanied me on one of my round the world buying trips directly after and we went to LA, NYC, London and Paris, all together we were away for a month, which was a really special time between us.

GIFT REGISTRY: We had a small registry with Myer and other guests gave cash gifts.

CELEBRANT:  We used a priest my Mum recommended, Father Michael McEntee who was great, very relaxed and a lovely man to deal with.

READINGS: We had two friends deliver readings at the ceremony and both our mothers say some prayers at the close of the ceremony.

ANY OTHER SPECIAL DETAILS: I had gathered memorable pictures of Tim and I and also his family and my family and displayed them at the venue as a surprise to him.

SOURCES OF INSPIRATION: Pinterest, The LANE, art, Instagram and my travels.

A MEMORABLE MOMENT: We snuck out during mains for a sunset photo shoot with Erin and the videographers which was absolutely beautiful, but then we got stuck in the lift on the way back up. We had to ring the venue’s landline for them to come and get us, lucky they answered! It was a hilarious 5 minutes.

ONE THING I WISH I KNEW BEFORE I STARTED MY WEDDING PLANS…That things probably will go wrong no matter how much you plan. You can’t control everything and need to let go and let the day unfold. I cannot even remember if anything did not go to plan! 

IF I COULD GIVE OTHER BRIDES TO BE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE…Be detailed on the things you really want, its one thing to describe what you want but this is open to people’s interpretation. Show visuals, examples and follow up. Be firm on the things that really matter to you and don’t accept the first offer, price or package if it is not right—everything is open for negotiation! 



BRIDE'S DRESS: Stella McCartney, Toni Maticevski, Solace London  

BRIDE’S SHOES: Yves Saint Laurent





WEDDING RINGS: Tiffany and Co and Charles Rose


HAIR: Hermiz Daniel at Joey Scandizzo

MAKEUP: Amy Kenny


FLORIST: Tori Allen

CATERING: Panama Dining Room


CELEBRANT: Father Micheal McEntee 

WEDDING VENUE: Newman College Chapel, University of Melbourne 




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