An absolutely radiant Ashleigh
Robotham-Arnold is back from a dream honeymoon that took her and her tall, dark and handsome hubby to the UK, Dubai and Bangkok. This, following an equally spectacular wedding.
The Wedding Day
Saturday, September 14, 2013
t was a stylish gathering of family and friends who slipped into the pews of Webster Memorial United Church to witness the nuptials of Ashleigh-Ann Robotham, corporate and regulatory affairs executive at Carreras, and Tennyson Conrad Arnold, information technology specialist at JPS.
How They Met...
Mutual friends had introduced the couple four years ago, but their relationship began to blossom two years later, and culminated in Tennyson's dramatic proposal at 35,000 ft on a return flight from Miami.
10 Minutes To Go..
Knowing glances and nods of approval from the many gathered, in between slight wrist movements of red and yellow expandable folding-fan silhouetted programmes, complete with "double happiness" (a signature of the bride) and bamboo graphics.
A bustle of activity announced the bride's arrival in a light purple-grey Mercedes-Benz.
The Bridal Party...
The 12 member bridal party included maid of honour Belinda Orrett and bridesmaids Lisanne Chai, Jhordanne McDonald, Alexia Miller, Michelle Rankine and Monique Robotham — all dressed in orange-red sheath gowns with slight trains, halter necklines secured with drawstring closures and matching tulle floral pins at the decolletage. Their identical loose topknot ballerina buns and gold chandelier earrings created an elegant symmetry. The best man Andrew Tate, along with five groomsmen — Maurice Bennett, Ryan Grala, Stephan Powell, Nikolaus Price and Dave Williams — wore matching charcoal Spokes Apparel suits, with red neckties and black dress shoes. The six-foot-four bridegroom wore a slight variation of this look: a lighter grey waistcoat and Manchester United cufflinks (Arnold and Robotham are huge Manchester United fans); the lapels of his jacket carried welting and in place of a necktie, he wore a smart red bow tie.
All would make their way up the aisle, one
charcoal suit to one burnt-orange gown to the strains of Halo by Beyoncé.
Here Comes The Bride...
Christina Perri's A Thousand Years turned all eyes to Ashleigh, stunning in a white, Sottero & Midgley Spring/Summer 2013 mermaid gown with sweetheart neckline, ruched bodice, corset back closure, and Swarovski crystal embellishment at the thigh, commenced her walk on the arm of proud dad Dennis Robotham. Her white, Swarovski crystal-edged Sottero & Midgley single-ply, tulle veil fluttered in the light afternoon breeze; the powdery cloud of tulle that made up the asymmetrical ruffled skirt, which extended into a restrained train, floated over the red aisle carpeting.
Her white lilies and roses bridal bouquet was designed by her aunt, Joan McDonald — who also decorated the church's interior with ornamental folding fans and white floral arrangements.
The ceremony, ably officiated by the Reverend Astor Carlyle, included readings by Matthew Robotham, Jodi Roberts and Nadia Nivens-Jarrett.
After the signing of the register and the presentation of the newly-weds, the entire bridal party moved in gentle rhythm to Jefferson Starship's Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now.
The reception — decorated by Dawn Leyow; catered by the 'Queen of the Pop-up Kitchen' Lorraine Fung; with bar services provided by Sean Gonzales' Top Shelf; and musical stylings by Warren Harris and Friends — was held at The Sunken Gardens, an idyllic spot located within the perimeters of Hope Botanical Gardens. While the obligatory wedding album photos were being shot, guests mingled under buoyant orange and red Chinese lanterns (the oriental theme more assertively carried over from the church) strung like sculptural pennants under the night sky as Top Shelf cater waiters, outfitted in black mandarin jackets with red welting or red with black welting, served signature cocktails — the 'Ashleigh' (coconut rum, red rum, pineapple juice, with a splash of lime juice and clear syrup; and garnished with mint leaf and pickled cherry), and the 'Tennyson' (pineapple juice, orange juice, vodka and triple sec; and garnished with lime and a pickled cherry) — along with non-alcoholic beverages, juices and coconut water. Meanwhile, a larger full-service Top Shelf bar served wine for dinner and then later, during the party phase of the night, converted to after-dinner drink service.
Lorraine Fung designed a formidable 'Wok the Hell' menu steeped in Chinese tradition and symbolism centred on "The Lucky Eight": eight different kinds of meat and vegetables in lucky combinations. Dishes consisting of lobster, tempura fish, deboned chicken, crispy skin pork and Peking duck, all signalled good luck to the happy couple. Dawn Leyow of Dec Events draped food and drink stations in vibrant orange and red fabrics; these colours along with gold accents (gold, a representation of luck) were visible at every turn. A bride-requested 'wishing tree' and guest-signed porcelain plate with the "double happiness" insignia were added, and served as three-dimensional guestbooks. Spiral tree arrangements with coloured spheres adorned the entrance; and on select trees, dragon cutouts in bold shades of the thematic colours were spied. The green space between the entrance and the reception tent was outfitted with a large illuminated dancefloor and filled with red ottomans and red roses and carnations atop bistro tables, while the rims of the Sunken Garden's permanent water features were transformed, with the help of red cushioning, to banquet seating. Under the reception tents, the circular tables were named after pastries and dishes and were topped with towering bamboo and potpourri centrepieces. The head tables were decorated with folding fans against a backdrop emblazoned with "double happiness".
On pâtissière Nyla D-Andrea's recommendation, the bride's mother, Anne Marie Robotham baked three traditional fruitcakes that were later assembled by D-Andrea into a 3-level confectionery totem. She then sealed the alcohol content of the cakes with almond paste, iced them with fondant and added the decorative details such as the gold folding fans, and orange and red cherry blossoms using gum paste. The cakes were then mounted on top of each other with plastic rods, into the final creation — the official wedding cake. Guests were given favours of traditional Chinese boxes, paired with chopsticks and engraved with the couple's names, containing squares of wedding cake.