Ashlee Richmond and Chris Gamble managed to do in less than eight hours just before weddings restrictions came into effect last week.
And while it was not the wedding they had dreamed of and spent months planning, the Bamawm couple says it wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
“I don’t think it could have been better,” Ashlee said.
“I wouldn’t have changed a thing.”
The young couple was due to be married on Saturday, March 28, two days after the coronavirus pandemic forced the government to limit wedding sizes to no more than five people.
“We were going to get married with 80 guests at Perricoota Vines Retreat in Moama,” Ashlee said.
“But when we heard the announcement on the Wednesday morning, March 25, about the restrictions coming into force at midnight, we just decided to go ahead and get married that day.”
Several hours and many phone calls later, the couple, along with the help of family and friends, managed to put together a perfect wedding at Chris’ parents farm at Bamawm.
“We were ready to go for Saturday so we used what we could,” Ashlee said.
Their families and friends dropped everything and headed to the dairy property, collecting what they could along the way – including flowers and food from Bendigo and a last-minute cake from Lockington supermarket Giddings Co.
“It was a big blur, but everything came together so well,” Ashlee said.
“I never thought I would do my own hair and make-up half an hour before I got married.”
“There wasn’t even time to get nervous,” Chris laughed.
“We couldn’t have done it without our two farm workers Andrew (Johnson) and James (Roskam). Andrew milked 400 cows on his own and James worked through his lunch and helped set up all the hay bales for the ceremony.
“It was an amazing effort by everyone.”
With about 15 guests attending, Ashlee’s sister Nicole was bridesmaid, while Chris’ best man from Bendigo left work early to be by his mate’s side.
“Delia Currie was our celebrant and she was just amazing,” Ashlee said.
“We had most of our immediate family there, as well as our dog Max and our pet donkeys.”
The miniature donkeys, Theodore and Paddington, who were transported on a horse float from their 25-acre property to the farm were a special touch.
“We got them the day Chris proposed, just under two years ago,” Ashlee said.
While Ashlee and Chris have re-booked Perricoota Vines Retreat for a commitment ceremony on April 10 next year, they said it would be hard to top their wedding.
“The best thing about our wedding was that everyone just pulled together and made it work,” Ashlee said.
“That’s what made it so special.”