Ainslea & Tim
We’ve featured a lot of rainy day weddings around these parts, we love them, we even embrace them and sometimes wish that it would pour down. But todays? It completely brings to light why a rainy day wedding can not just save your plans, but actually turn out to give your wedding day a special, mystical quality. For Ainslie and Tim, the bucketing skies didn’t deter their outdoor ceremony and the result? A mountain filled, misty backdrop that enveloped them and their favourite people in a special kind of magic. Luckily for us, Ava Me Photography was there to capture it all.
It was at a youth group that these two met, sharing many mutual friends and finally making it official with a romantic hand hold during a zombie movie one New Years Eve.
It was on a sneaky road trip that the groom popped the question, Ainslea fills us in. “I had planned to take the Friday off on the 19th of May 2017. Tim decided to take this day off with me so we planned to drive down to Wollongong as this was one of our favourite go-to places for day trips. What I didn’t know is that Tim had already ordered a ring from the US a couple of months back which had been delivered about two weeks earlier.
Tim picked me up from my house and had even packed a picnic lunch for us to have on the beach. It was pretty overcast when we left so I was wearing a jumper and boots (nothing beachy at all) and unfortunately when we got to Wollongong the weather was awful, it was freezing, windy, raining, and it looked like there was no chance of any sun or a chance to sit on the beach, so we sat at a picnic bench under a gazebo to eat the lunch Tim had packed with our coats and hoods blocking the wind and rain.
Amazingly, and out of nowhere, after we finished lunch the sky suddenly cleared up, the rain stopped, it warmed up and there was blue sky, so we decided to take the opportunity to go for a walk along the beach. We got about five minutes into our walk before I got too hot and made us walk back to the car so I could take my boots and coat off as if Tim probably wasn’t nervous enough already walking around with a ring in his jacket. We went back on our walk along the beach and stopped about halfway where we just stood and had a bit of a cuddle. After a few minutes of silence, Tim said that he had a question for me and got down on one knee in the wet sand and asked me to marry him. It was surreal and so private and just so Tim. As soon as we got back to the path to walk up to the lighthouse it started raining again. Perfect timing with our 30 minutes of sunshine.”
A production manager at a digital printing company, the groom designed and printed every piece of stationery himself – right down to the invitations!
The bride found her delicate Sophia Tolli gown at Penrith Bridal Centre with the help of her mum. She remembers “My mum has always had an eye for anything different or fashion that stands out a bit. She’s an incredibly stylish woman and looks amazing in anything so sometimes I’m a bit sceptical that what she likes or suggests will suit me, but she has always seemed to know better. She spotted my Sophia Tolli dress on the rack at Penrith Bridal Centre after I had already tried a few dresses on that hadn’t really grabbed me. Being open minded I tried the dress on and surprise surprise, Mum knew better than me.
I loved the beading on the front, the capped shoulders and the low back. It was elegant with a bit of sparkle and it was an easy pick.
We went to a couple of other dress shops the following weekend just for the sake of looking, but I kept comparing to the Sophia Tolli dress so we went back and bought it.
I think my dress is especially special to me because it was spotted by my Mum. I still go into our spare room at home from time to time and look at it because it’s so beautiful.”
Despite the pouring rain, the couple chose to continue with their outdoor ceremony overlooking the mountains at Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens. Ainslea sharing “I had always wanted an outdoor wedding ceremony and it was important to us both that we held our wedding in the Blue Mountains as we’ve both grown up here. We chose the Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens in Mt Tomah because of how beautiful an outdoor ceremony there would be and how many locations for photos there were. We got married at Wedding Tree Terrace underneath a beautiful sweeping tree on green grass with views looking over the gardens and out to the valley. Despite the fact that it had poured down rain on our guests for the 30 minutes before I arrived Tim insisted that we were going to go ahead with having the ceremony outdoors in the garden and I could not be more thankful that he did that because the rain and mist made the gardens and the backdrop of our ceremony even more beautiful”
The bride’s brother played her down the aisle to “Lost In You” by Lior. “Lior is an Australian songwriter whose music has been very special to my brother and I growing up, so it was really special that my brother Linden played and sang the song as I walked down the aisle with my Dad.”
The couple chose: Ben Sattler to officiate their ceremony, noting “Tim and I are both Christians and met through youth/church so we wanted our ceremony to be God-focused first and foremost. We had readings from Colossians 3:12-17 and Ephesians 5:25-30 which were read out by our sister-in-law Ellie and Tim’s little brother Levi.
Our only other aim was that we wanted our ceremony to just be relaxed, easy going and fun which we think reflects us as a couple. We also just wanted something intimate with just our closest friends and family so we only had about 70 guests.”
“We love the fact that it rained. Neither Tim or I cared that it rained on our wedding day because it was just part of the day and made it especially memorable to our guests as they huddled under umbrellas in this beautiful garden waiting for me to arrive. It also created some absolutely magical mist that made all of our wedding photos look just that little bit more stunning.”
It was in the family for the flowers, Floristry by Chloe doubling as the groom’s sister, styling up the garden inspired arrangements for the day. “Tim’s sister Chloe is a qualified florist and has done some amazing wedding floristry so it was a no-brainer with who we wanted to do the flowers.
I wanted the flowers to be pretty simple, something that would suit the relaxed garden setting. I didn’t give Chloe much to go with other than a couple of Pinterest photos as I was pretty relaxed and knew she’d know what to do and what I would like, so she pretty much designed and arranged them all herself and they all turned out beautifully.
She’s also really creative and suggested that we have a floral arch on the ground for the ceremony because there was already an amazing backdrop at the Botanic Gardens, and she totally out-did herself on it. It perfectly centred our ceremony in the gardens at Wedding Tree Terrace and so many guests commented on how beautiful it looked.”
Of their photographer, Ainslea shares “Joel from Ava Me Photography is an absolutely incredible photographer with an amazing eye for the little moments, attention to detail, and an obvious passion and genuine care for what he does. Aside from just being a legitimately hilarious and fun guy who made everything so breezy and stress free from the moment we made contact, he took so much consideration into every shot he took and captured so many little, fleeting moments that we didn’t even realise he was there for – he’s honestly a photography ninja.
He completely smashed our already high expectations and anticipation and went above and beyond in what he delivered and I now can’t imagine what it would have been like to not have him there with us on the day – it felt like we had a good friend capturing our day and that made everything feel so much more natural. He was super easy going and patient, constantly made us laugh, kept us relaxed, and most importantly made sure we were having fun the whole time. He’s a superb photographer and just an all-around great guy, definitely someone you want to have hanging out with you while they capture the best day of your life.”
“My favourite part of the wedding planning was that Tim and I planned it completely as a couple and got everything done together. I didn’t feel like I had to organise everything, or that I planned the wedding mostly by myself, and I didn’t want to organise everything because it was Tim’s wedding too. Our contribution was even and we organised the wedding together, so it was 100% a reflection of both of us. I think that’s what made the whole process so stress-free and easy, we didn’t make a fuss about anything or stress if something wasn’t working out, we would sort it out and got it organised together and bounce off each other.”
Guests gathered for a cosy reception at Loxley On Bellbird Hill, tells Ainslea. “We chose Loxley on Bellbird Hill because it was an intimate reception venue with gorgeous views of the Hawkesbury Valley and I had fallen in love with the venue six years ago when I had my year 12 formal there. I even knew back then that one day when I got married I would want my reception at Loxley so when we got engaged we arranged a viewing within a couple of weeks and booked the wedding the same day of our viewing without even looking at any other venues. The service of all the staff was incredible and our wedding coordinator Natalie was so flexible and accommodating, she made everything super easy and stress free and nothing was too hard to be changed to how we wanted it.”
At each place setting sat a bag of homemade (by the bride and her mother) chocolate rocky road.
The newlyweds took to the dance floor to kick off the party and were surprised when many of their guests joined them AInslea explaining “Tim and I have always been big fans of One Republic so we chose the song “Just Won’t Stop” as our first dance song.
We hadn’t expected any of our friends and family to get up and dance after our first dance as many of the weddings we’ve gone to haven’t had much involvement from guests with the dancing, so we were so surprised when all our family and friends joined us after our first dance at the invitation of my step-Dad who was our MC and started slow-dancing. It was so romantic and unexpected that we just got so lost in the moment and it seemed like everyone else was having this beautiful romantic moment too.
For the month leading up to our wedding, I had told my step-dad who was MC’ing our reception that no one would dance and that I wasn’t going to bother having a dance playlist. So he was suddenly caught off guard with the playlist when everyone started slow dancing after the first song, so he quickly started played “Slow Dancing In A Burning Room” by John Mayer at the recommendation of my Bridesmaid Steph, purely because it had “Slow dancing” in the title. Luckily that’s my favourite song!”
“We had arranged for Mitch, one of the Groomsmen, to move Tim’s BMW to right at the top of the stairs at the entrance to Loxley so that we could hop straight in the car and go once we did the farewell tunnel and left the reception. So Mitch moved the car out the front just before everyone got together to form the tunnel.
We ran through our farewell tunnel together and as soon as we got out the other end we headed for the door to leave, not realising that we actually didn’t even have the keys to Tim’s car because Mitch still had them, but before we even made it to the front door Mitch called out to Tim and we both turned around suddenly to see Mitch throwing the car keys over from the end of the tunnel. Our photographer Joel perfectly captured the moment and there’s this great photo of Tim standing half-turned towards the door with his hand outstretched to catch the keys, and me still holding my dress from running, with the car keys captured mid-air flying towards Tim, and both of us looking so happy.”
A big congratulations to you both Ainslea and Tim! Thank you for sharing the beauty of your day with us! Thank you also to Ava Me Photography for sharing today’s gorgeous celebration.