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.
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
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