She shocked the country earlier this year by announcing her retirement from tennis, but the surprises have kept on coming from Ash Barty!
The Australian star has married her longtime partner Garry Kissick in a private and intimate ceremony in front of close family and friends.
Last week it was revealed the former No. 1 and her golfing star partner shared their vows at a secret venue in Queensland believed to have been Richard Branson’s private island sanctuary Makepeace Island, just off Noosa Heads on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast – late last month.
While the happy couple have remained tightlipped with details, guests who attended their special day reportedly included tennis great Pat Rafter, Ash’s former doubles partner and friend Casey Dellacqua, former player Alicia Molik and junior coach Jim Joyce.
Speaking to Woman’s Day, a close source to the sports champ reveals everything about the wedding was “all very Ash”, starting with the event’s total secrecy!
“Ash and Garry made sure that guests were sworn to secrecy about the location – and when it happened, no one knew except Ash’s inner sanctum,” says the insider.
Ash is said to have known Richard’s business partner and friend, former Virgin boss Brett Godfrey, for most of her career, with our source joking it’s “likely they got mates rates” on their lavish island.
While Ash has earned herself plenty of prize money in recent years, the cost of hiring out the entire island resort for one night – for 22 guests, which included family and close friends – would have set her back a cool $18,000.
The rest of the guests were reportedly brought to the venue secretly via boats from Noosa Sound.
When it came to the reception, guests were treated to a luxurious spread. “Makepeace is famous for putting on one heck of a feast, including the best of local seafood and premium wines. And the beer – Ash’s choice when it comes to enjoying a drink – was flowing!” says the insider.
For her gown, Ash went with a pioneer of Australian bridal fashion, Suzanne Harward, who has been designing out of her Melbourne studio since 1975.
Following the couple saying “I do,” Garry, 29, and Ash, 26, traded in Queensland’s warm weather for chilly Queenstown, New Zealand. Garry took to Instagram to reveal beautiful honeymoon snaps, which included plenty of scenic walks and a few bar stops along the way.
Despite rumours ramping up that Ash is considering a comeback to tennis, our insider maintains “it remains very doubtful that she’ll ever play professional tennis again”.
Instead, it appears the couple will be turning their attention to starting a family – something that has always been front of mind for Ash. “Both Garry and Ash’s priority now is to start a family as soon as possible.
They have the big, beautiful, new family home they’ve moved into, next to her favourite golf course and everything feels perfect right now,” shares the source, but says in typical Ash style we shouldn’t expect any announcements from her.
“Don’t be surprised if it happens sooner rather than later – knowing Ash, it will be well out of the limelight and without too much fuss. That’s why everyone loves Ash, because it’s always on her terms.”