Photography: Life and Love Photography  Venue: The Lussh  Guests: 125

After setting the bar high with their gram-worthy date nights and Amazing Race-inspired proposal, Ashlee and Travis kept the good times flowing with their super-stylish Brisbane wedding at The Lussh. Music, dance, and plenty of creative DIY details featured over three unforgettable days spent with their favourite people. 

We asked Ashlee to give us the goss on how this playful pairing brought their classic-modern-fun wedding vision to life and why a spontaneous first date set the tone for their entire love story.

Ashlee and Travis - Brisbane wedding

QB: All good love stories start somewhere; how did you meet?
We met on Tinder. It was about 8 pm on a Sunday night when we exchanged the first few messages, and within 45 minutes, we were down at the local pub having a drink together. I was surprised because most people would have stayed in bed, and from that moment I knew Travis would always be up for anything. Travis said the person who had the worst Uber rating had to buy the first drink: that was me. Travis then pretended he was a breakfast specialist and gave me his business card. The next day I messaged him pretending to be a cafe owner wanting to book him to do a breakfast review. We both knew there was something special about each other. It turned out we only lived three streets apart. 

QB: Tell us about your lives together …
We’re always doing something and we’re usually trying to fit 26 hours into a day. We love spending time with friends and family — playing card games, eating good food, having friends stay for the weekend and watching sport. From the very start, we always made time to go on date nights. Our dates were so much fun and often surprised people, which led me to start an Instagram page @datenight.brisbane to share all the great things to do in Brisbane. We’ve shared 190 date ideas so far and there are still lots more to come. 

QB: Make us laugh, make us cry: who proposed to whom, and how?
Travis planned an Amazing Race-style adventure around Brisbane. We had to solve puzzle after puzzle and crack the code to multiple safes. We rode scooters to each destination and the last destination was the place where we first met, Stones Corner Hotel. We cracked the code on the last safe and Travis reached inside to get the ring box, got down on one knee, and asked if I would marry him. After Travis proposed, the entire pub started cheering and a videographer popped out of the corner. Travis also organised six of our closest friends to arrive afterwards to celebrate. I was completely surprised. When we got home, there was a bunch of peonies & roses — my favourite. 

QB: What does marriage mean to you?
I believe it means continuing to date each other, adore each other, support each other, inspire each other and grow with each other. It’s waking up every day and choosing each other. Getting married is so special — it’s the declaration of your love and commitment in front of your closest friends and family.

Ashlee and Travis - Brisbane wedding

QB: How & why did you choose your venue?
We fell in love with The Lussh instantly — the white arches, the cliff rock wall, the outdoor area, and the festoon lights. We didn’t have an appointment for a couple of weeks but decided to drive by to peek through the windows. The owner, Marie, saw us and welcomed us in anyway. Marie, Sophie and the entire Lussh team went over and above. 

We wanted a venue that could host the ceremony and reception so guests didn’t have to travel between places. It also fit our guest list perfectly. When we were there, we loved the idea of having me come down the stairs to surprise guests. 

QB: What was the inspiration behind your wedding style?
I’ve always wanted something modern, classic and fun. Once we had chosen The Lussh as our wedding venue, that set the tone for the wedding style. I spent many hours on Pinterest, Instagram and wedding planning websites. I created a mood board on Google Slides to bring together my final vision from each of the platforms. I also loved the idea of it being a wedstival (wedding and festival).

Ashlee and Travis - Brisbane wedding

Talk us through how the wedstival concept played out …
We had a Friday dinner at the Pig & Whistle for about 100 guests where we ran bride and groom trivia which was great to help guests get to know each other in teams. The wedding on Saturday, the afterparty at The Archive in West End, and the Sunday Session at the hotel common area. We also hired the Insta Kombi photobooth for the cocktail party which added to the wedstival vibe. The hotel where we were all staying had a bookable common room with a kitchen, lounge and pool table. We used this for makeup and hair and other pre and post-wedding events.

QB: Did you incorporate any traditions or perhaps do something a little different?
We organised a flash dance where everyone broke out into a synchronised dance when ‘We Are Family’ by Sister Sledge played. We sent out a video tutorial in the lead up to the wedding so guests could learn the moves. The surprise was that guests didn’t know when the song was going to play. We had it come on just as the dance floor kicked off to symbolise that we are now family and get the dance floor pumping. We played it again at the end of the night as our last song. I hope we can start this as a tradition for our kids one day at their wedding.

QB: How else did music/dance play a role in your event?

We had a strings trio for the ceremony, a guitarist for the cocktail party and then the rest of the four-piece band joined for the reception. We felt the music was really important to set the tone of the day. 

A lot of couples brush over the first dance but we felt it was important. We booked ten dance lessons with Dancecorp and learnt the Rumba. They teach you several moves rather than a set choreographed dance which made it easier to enjoy the dance together. The lessons were a really lovely way to connect in the lead up to the wedding.

Ashlee and Travis - Brisbane wedding

QB: Was there a favourite/funny/most memorable moment of the day?
At The Lussh, they mentioned that they ask guests to enter through the alleyway so they can keep the reception hidden. I thought: how cool would this be if it was a speakeasy hidden entrance for guests to enter through? We love going to speakeasy bars and escape rooms and it felt like a fun element to add. My parents built the bakery facade wall and added special touches like ‘McGojlo’ as the name of the bakery which is our combined last names (McElligott & Dragojlo). Guests were greeted by two actors dressed as bakers and guests needed to give the passcode on entry — “All you knead is love”.

We had 100 McDonald’s Cheeseburgers served to the dance floor at 9.30 pm. It certainly kept guests partying till very late.

QB: Tell us about your dress/suit choices …

When I tried on the Byron Gown by Chosen by KYHA, I knew it was the one. It was classic and elegant. I also hired an after-party dress from Little White Dress Hire. It was Amy Sheppard’s hen’s party dress, custom-made by Couture Loves Madness. We had the band play Geronimo by Sheppard as I danced back into the party.

For the six bridesmaids, I went with a mixture of champagne colours. With so many bridesmaids, I didn’t want one block colour, so this worked really well and it meant I was able to choose dresses that best suited each of them. One of my bridesmaids was eight months pregnant so I went with a jersey wrap-style dress, and this was perfect.

Ashlee and Travis - Brisbane wedding

We chose our suits from Politix. We wanted to go with something that would make Travis stand out, so we had the groomsmen in black suits and Travis had a black velvet jacket. 

Ashlee and Travis - Brisbane wedding

QB: Do you have a special mention for any stand-out vendors/suppliers?
All of our suppliers were phenomenal, the creme de la creme of the wedding industry. I couldn’t have imagined a better team for our wedding day.

Ashlee and Travis - Brisbane wedding

QB: Any words of wisdom for other couples?

  • Spend money on things that are important to you. For us that was the band, photographer, videographer and wow factor moments. We spent less on the hotel, stationery and styling. We borrowed the bow ties and veil from friends. We chose to have a really big flower arbour with flowers at the top so they were in most of the photos where our face was framed. We had very few flowers on the reception tables and the let the grazing platters of food take the show
  • Take the week off before the wedding. There’s always something that needs to happen at the last minute. We bought wrapped fortune cookies for our name cards and used printable stickers from Officeworks to print the names. This was a fun special touch that didn’t cost a lot. There were some logistical misfortunes with the cookies though, which is another reason the week off was really helpful.
  • Organise an afterparty destination as most weddings finish at 11 pm. We went to West End where there were a few bars open till 2 am. This meant everyone was able to keep spending time together for a few more hours.
  • We had a video guestbook instead of a written one as we noticed the written ones rarely get used. We set up an iPad with a sign that prompted guests to leave a message, give advice or sing us a song. We have so many great videos which have been really fun to watch back
  • We asked our photographer and band to do a dancefloor photo I saw on Instagram. We asked the guests to make a circle around the dancefloor with us in the middle. The band planned Hey Ya! by Outkast so we could get candid photos with guests while the song was playing.
  • Say I Do was great for wedding invites and sending updates to guests.
  • It’s super important to have a good connection with your photographer, celebrant and venue organiser. You spend a lot of time planning your day with them so it’s important you are comfortable with them, and they understand your vision.

QB: How did you honeymoon?
A mini-moon to Perth the weekend after the wedding: Travis really wanted to see the Quokkas at Rottnest Island. We had such a great time! We went to Freemantle, Cottlesloe Beach for sunset, hidden speakeasy bars in Northbridge, Optus Stadium rooftop tour and Rottnest Island. We then planned a bigger month-long honeymoon to Europe.

Wedding date: 28 May 2022 // Gown: KYHA Studios / Sphere Bridal // Groom/Groomsmen Suits: Politix Menswear // Bridesmaid dresses: Tania Olsen & Shona Joy // Wedding venue: The Lussh // Catering: Pure Catering // Cake Maker: Miss Maples // Celebrant: Married by Jacki // Florist: Kate Dawes Flower Design // Rings: AG Designer Jeweller // Band: The Fonoti Brothers // Strings Trio: Angel Strings // Videographer: Sunny Day Films // Photographer: Life and Love Photography // Photobooth: Instakombi // Hair: Charliez Hair & Beauty // Makeup: Annabelle Hog MUA // After party dress: Little White Dress Hire // Dance lessons: Dancecorp // Wedding website: Say I Do

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