GPC workers delight guests with surprise wedding
DENNIS and Ashleigh Maxwell surprised their closest friends and family by getting married at their engagement party.
The couple had always dreamed of "just having a big party surrounded by their nearest and dearest", so when they started planning their engagement party they thought - "let's get married".
The nuptials and rustic romantic-themed reception took place in the front garden of Ashleigh's parents' property in Boyne Island, on Saturday, May 30.
Ashleigh (nee Smith) said after getting engaged last October there were a few new arrivals in the family between January and March, so they decided to push the date back to May, which gave them time to organise a wedding.
"It was traditionally not traditional," she laughed.
Ashleigh, who works for Gladstone Ports Corporation, said the two of them didn't want to make a lot of fuss.
"Our local diocese came and married us and that was important to me," she said, adding that her mother, a dressmaker, made her dress.
They both got ready at separate houses and did their photos before the ceremony, when the guests were arriving.
"We had a few just walk past the aisle and then realise what was going on," she said.
"It was important for us once we got married to be able to celebrate with everyone and not have to leave."
They had 120 family and friends come from the top to bottom of the country, with family from Melbourne and Darwin, who enjoyed a cocktail party styled-reception.
Dennis, who also works at the GPC, met Ashleigh at a party but the two didn't realise they worked together because they were based at different sites.
Now they look forward to celebrating their honeymoon in the coming months.
"It was our kind of perfect day," said Ashleigh.