FP Ever After Presents: Say Yes

Julia Ashwood of The Vista takes us down the aisle as she replays her big day in the Grace Loves Lace x Free People Willow Gown. Read the exclusive below, then head over to our Instagram feed to check out more images from this dreamy Australian wedding! 

The day of the wedding I was awake at 5am. I had six messages and a missed call on my phone from my best friend Brooke in NYC (who was sadly unable to make the wedding). I decided to take her for a hike (on facetime) and watch the sunrise over the ocean (in keeping with tradition my husband-to-be had stayed the night with his brothers down the road). I was actually entirely calm, just super excited about the big day. I meditated, swam in the salt water waves, said some words to my favourite mountain, then returned home to have some breakfast and wait for my gorgeous bridesmaids to come over and begin the giggly preparations.



Matterson and I met in my hometown of Byron Bay, so it was an easy choice when it came time to decide on a location for our special event. We had 100 guests from both near and far and had the party of the century planned, with awesome surprises throughout the day.

Organising the wedding was such a humbling experience, we found a beautiful local chef who created an incredible menu of shared food, including baked breads, slow cooked beef, olives, and a bounty of fresh yummy salads. My childhood next-door neighbor baked our wedding cake layered with fresh wild berries. My girlfriends Jamie, Jen and Leaha had helped source my shoes and jewels and Holly created our stunning flower arrangements with a combination of Australian native plants and rich burgundy peonies. The DJs and psychedelic love band ‘Babe Rainbow’ had everyone on the dance floor before the entrees were even served! Our close friend Paul designed the invitations and MC’d the day and our parents and family helped with all the finishing touches and were so supportive and adorable.   

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Our ceremony was divine, simple and so quick. Pam our celebrant was a scream — so sweet — and Matty’s brother also delivered a gentle poem which all the guests were so moved by. We had carefully selected our music and a mixture of artists and genres including old rock, disco, soul, and blues.

The next part of the day was a complete surprise for all. We had the local community dance hall built in 1911 decked out from floor to ceiling in stunning floral arrangements and over 100 candles. The guests poured in and made way to the bar whilst we had photos taken, so by the time we entered with a cheeky dance around the floor it was indeed time to get the party started. 

The only thing I was worried about was my speech, I had it scribbled in my diary for weeks and to me it made sense but I wasn’t sure how it would come out… yet after a few champagnes, I had more courage than I could imagine and besides I knew that whatever I said, as with all the speeches, it would be honest and straight from the heart. The rest of the evening was a vibrant wash of laughter and crazy dance floor antics, which subsided around midnight when the double decker big red bus escorted everyone home.

If I could describe our day in five words I would say it was fast, beautiful, overwhelming, hilarious, and absolutely oozing with love. I’d do it all again in a heartbeat, perhaps we start planning another party our 5 year anniversary! But for now, we are off to Mexico for a dreamy honeymoon! Hasta la vista senoritas! 

Love Julz xx









Get the look: Willow Maxi

Photos by: @Hannahblackmore & @atdusk

A big thanks to @the_vista and @grace_loves_lace !!

+Head over to @freepeople to check out the exclusive Instagram takeover! 


  1. Wow. Thank you so very much for sharing your amazing day; it sounds like it was so incredibly magical! I love wonderful love stories!!! You are such a gorgeous, joyful couple, I wish you much love and happiness together!

    The Weaver Of Words…..give me 15 words and I’ll tell you a tale

  2. This is literally the most beautiful and romantic collection of pictures I’ve ever seen! I think the dresses are gorgeous and the love story looks absolutely too magical to be true! Relationship goals <3

  3. What!! I’ve been following her on insta for the past few weeks and have fallen in love with it, is she really not from Byron Bay? I hope she is not lying.

  4. On her Instagram account Vista said these pictures were taken a few days before her real wedding and she is wearing a different dress to the one in these pictures, she is not wearing a Grace Loves Lace dress for her big day, more lies. First saying she is from Byron Bay, followed by having native Australian flowers, now the dress. FP – we are sick of blogs that don’t tell the whole truth, we have learnt the hard way following the so called brain tumour patient.

  5. This girl isn’t from Byron Bay, I went to school with her she is from
    a neighbouring town called Lennox Head, maybe it was a typo or someone needs to check their facts as the truth always comes out. Great photos though even if a little misleading x

  6. Wow, Have followed The Vista since I joined instagram & just to clear things up.. She did have native flowers at her actual wedding & she looked just as stunning. This was a photo shoot to capture the collab between Free People & Grace Loves Lace for their new wedding range leading up to her wedding day. Julz is sharing moments /memories with you all from her actual wedding day.. & as for not being from Byron Bay.. Lennox Head is practically a stones throw. So she went to school there.. She probably spent every minute she could on Byron. appreciate the gorgeous images bought to you. They are amazing!!

  7. Sarah, you might need to get a map because it isn’t a stones throw and we went to school in lismore which is almost an hour away from Byron bay, so no she didn’t go to school in Byron. I’m proud to be from lismore and she should be too. She is lying about where she came from and this makes these pictures doubtful. FP – I love your site, but you need to do articles about authentic people.

  8. No body asked you how far you travel to work Sarah. I believe people should be truthful of their origins and not jump on the I am from Byron Bay wagon. Most people who grew up with her would know she is from Lennox and attended school in Lismore so it’s a disrespect to them as well and a lie. Lennox Head is also a beautiful town & would be nice for her to bring attention to that.

  9. A little lie begets another little lie is what’s the matter. This entire post was very ill conceived. The collaboration could have been done in a lot of other ways (a dream sequence for example) that would have been transparent as well as beautiful & genuine. Diary writings about the wedding day with a blog post & Instagram pictures that were not the wedding day is a straight up misrepresentation. Especially from a brand / blog that espouses being authentically who you are. What does being free mean to you?

    Also, most of the blog posts this summer have showed almost no people of color. Is the FP brand / blog that homogenized? C’mon now! FP marketing folks need to reevaluate their direction on all fronts.

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