Real Wedding – Alessandra & Jake, Red Hill South, VIC
Real Wedding – Alessandra & Jake, Red Hill South, VIC
Real Wedding – Alessandra & Jake, Red Hill South, VIC
Real Wedding – Alessandra & Jake, Red Hill South, VIC

Real Wedding – Alessandra & Jake, Red Hill South, VIC


Alessandra and Jake’s dream day is a vision of stunningly striking simplicity, magical moments and sun-drenched perfection. Choosing to celebrate in the beautiful area they call home made for a blend of expansive coastal views foregrounded by vibrant vineyard vistas.

With the dramatic architectural features of Port Philip Estate as their setting, the husband and wife to be chose a sleek monochrome palette to complement the bold backdrop. Bridesmaids in crisp white sheath dresses and groomsmen in classic black anchored the effect, while layers of diverse floral textures diffuse the overall effect to one of subtle style and mega impact.

We love Poppy Culture’s ceremony creation of clouds of florals cascading around the newlyweds as they are led through a beautifully authentic and entertaining ceremony by celebrant superstar Sam Lavery. Alessandra’s custom Elly Sofocli gown enhances the effect with artful draping and a sassy split to create an updated princess gown fit for a modern queen.

Tess Follett captures every darling detail of this stylish soiree to perfection – scroll on to enjoy each magic moment.


The meeting.

Jake and I met in 2015 at Groovin’ the Moo music festival in Bendigo. Our mutual friends Nick and Sammi had met at the same festival the year prior and are also engaged. We arrived at the festival in separate groups, but as soon as Jake and I were introduced, we hit it off right away. We even shared our first kiss during the closing set of Flight Facilities.


The ‘one’.

I can’t pinpoint an exact moment in time that I knew Jake was the one; however, what stood out to me from the beginning was Jake’s genuine and kind nature which made me positive that he was a keeper.


The proposal.

Jake was outside watering the garden one afternoon when he decided he would ask me to marry him. I was away on holiday with a friend in Bali at the time and had no idea of what he was planning when I returned. Jake got to work that week while I was away and met with our families to let them know of his plans – both sides were over the moon with excitement. He took this time to source a beautiful diamond I could then use to design my dream engagement ring.

I returned home from my trip and decided to go to our local beach to make the most of my last days of leave. I let Jake know I was there and suggested he meet me after work that day; this was music to Jake’s ears as the scene for the proposal was set. Jake has always known the way to my heart, so he came to the beach prepared with a picnic of snacks, champagne and, most importantly, the proposal diamond. We sat for a while listening to music and enjoying our picnic when he got down on one knee and proposed. I was in complete shock, and it took me at least five minutes to realise what was happening to which I replied with a big yes!


Planning process.

Jake and I both envisioned from the beginning that we liked the idea of a winery wedding which made the process of scaling down the type of venue a lot easier. We took time to enquire at wineries throughout Victoria, and through this process, we realised that the Mornington Peninsula holds a lot of sentimental value to us. The Peninsula is where Jake grew up, and it is the place where we purchased our first home together and now live. After we came out of our first lockdown in 2020, we had the opportunity to visit Port Phillip Estate, and we decided on the spot that it was where we wanted to have our wedding.

We set our initial wedding date as October 23rd 2021, as we figured it was enough time for this COVID business to be a thing of the past. How wrong we were in thinking this; after hearing all the horror stories of postponements with other brides and grooms, we started to realise this was going to be a reality we had to navigate. I work as a nurse, so I was not naïve to the situation occurring across the state as our initial date grew closer, and we eventually came to the difficult decision to postpone to January 25th 2022.

We chose this date as we wanted to keep as many of our suppliers as possible, and we understood many of them would be unavailable for the remainder of the wedding season. Our new date also felt like a great send-off to summer, and as it was followed by a public holiday was giving us all the party vibes.

Another key reason for our postponement was to guarantee that three of our closest friends would be present. Nick, Sammi and Jackson all live in the United States, so it was crucial that the Australian borders would be open in time for them to arrive.


Style inspiration. 

We kept our styling chic yet classic as Port Phillip Estate is architecturally a statement in itself. We chose all-white florals as it is classic and a contrast to the dark and moody features of the venue. One of my favourite styling elements of the day was our ceremony. I’d been inspired by the use of mass quantities of baby’s breath which Poppy Culture styled on clear plinths instead of a traditional arbour. This framed us and created cloud-like imagery while showcasing the views of the coast.

I drew a lot of inspiration from current real-life weddings, which I was able to view from their suppliers, such as photographers and stylists, on Instagram. I also started following industry wedding planners such as The Nuptial Collective for ideas. Wedding blogs such as Ivory Tribe and the Lane were also very good resources to help find local businesses.


The ceremony.

Our ceremony was special to us as it began with the story of how we met and all of our achievements as a couple to that day. A standout reading during the ceremony was made by my brother Samuel. He created a heartfelt yet cheeky reading of the meaning of love and marriage according to himself while also describing what he admired about us as a couple. All of our guests were in absolute stitches, yet simultaneously sobbing at the same time. He did such a great job!


The outfit. 

The wedding dress shopping was the most exciting part of the planning process for me. When I was little, I was always obsessed with brides and would dream about what my dress would look like one day. So I visited a few bridal stores which I knew would have a large variety of different styles and silhouettes so that I could understand what I liked. Eventually, I found that I liked bits and pieces from different gowns and that the best direction for me to go in was to design a bespoke dress.

I met with Elly Sofocli for the first time on Zoom during the pandemic, and I instantly knew that she was somebody who made me feel comfortable. I had been following her on Instagram for some time and was in love with some of the gowns she had created. From there, we eventually had the opportunity to meet, and I shared some inspiration from which she made sketches, and we discussed fabrics. Elly created my gown, starting with the corset and from there, crafted the gown by draping and folding fabric until it looked like a masterpiece. She is magic!


Favourite moments.

My favourite moment of the day was when we took our sunset photos. It was a time for just the two of us to reflect on the day and soak it in. I think it’s important to have a moment like this with just the two of you, as it is easy to get pulled in different directions throughout the day/night.


Meaning of marriage.

Finding your other half who you can keep learning and growing with and, most importantly, love.


Wedding soundtrack.

Aisle: Every breath you take by The Police

Recessional: You make my dreams come true by Daryl Hall & John Oates

Reception entry: Groove is the heart by Deee-Lite

First dance: Thinking of you by Sister Sledge

End of night: The Rhythm of the night by Corona & Another Chance by Roger Sanchez


Funny stories or near disasters.

Funnily when it came time to bustle my gown, my Mum and bridesmaids could not recall how it was done; we were able to improvise, though in a bit of an unconventional way (sorry, Elly!). None of this mattered at the time, as we all just wanted to get on the dancefloor to party the night away.


Planning surprises.

Not really, although there were a lot of minor details which came up in the final week of planning that I hadn’t considered. Luckily, I had a lot of help from my Mum and Jake’s sister Bree to sort these out.


Words of wisdom.

Tap into your resources and delegate when people offer to help you! Particularly in the final weeks when stress levels are high. Jake’s sister Bree was a literal lifesaver in those final weeks. Bree has experience in events, so she was able to help keep things organised and iron out some of the finer details. Also, try not to stress too much! At the end of the day, it’s a party to celebrate you and your fiancé, so try and remember that.




Want to follow Alessandra and Jake’s lead and build the ultimate dream team to support you? We’ve got the perfect place to start, here on our directory – full of all the top talent and friendly faces you need to make your planning journey sweet and smooth.




Ceremony & reception venue: Port Phillip Estate, Red Hill South

Celebrant: Sam Lavery Marriage Celebrant. Sam was lovely to work with when planning our ceremony. He made sure we could tailor our ceremony to truly reflect us as a couple, including all the important bits while keeping it light and entertaining.

Photography: Tess Follett. Tess did such an awesome job of making us look like absolute movie stars on the day. She was so friendly and approachable as well, which put us at ease, ensuring we not only got the shot but had fun while we were doing it. I couldn’t recommend her enough!

Florist: Poppy Culture. Poppy Culture understood the brief and were able to curate some of the key styling aspects for the day. I found them extremely professional and reliable from start to finish.

Hair: Shannon Brache. I found Shannon through Tonic Agency. She was so great with our hair, she did all the hair for myself and the bridal party, and it did not move all day. If you are having trouble finding a hair or make-up artist, I would recommend checking out Tonic to put you in touch with one.

Make-up: Lizi Hance. I had Lizi recommended to me through a friend, and I am so glad I booked her, as she is an absolute professional! She did an amazing job on all of us, and I remember my make-up was still in place when I had to wash it off in the early hours of the following day.

The dress & veil: Elly Sofocli. Elly brought so much creativity and authenticity to my gown based on my inspiration photos; she fully understood what I wanted from the beginning, and it was so easy. She was also very helpful in advising me of key styling elements, including shoes and hair. Elly was always bubbly during my fittings and made me feel comfortable during the whole process.

Shoes: Jimmy Choo

Bridesmaid’s dresses: Manning Cartell

Grooms suit: Caruso Menswear

Cake: Peninsula Cake Art. Peninsula Cake Art were fantastic. The cake looked almost too pretty to eat; however, we did eat it the next day, and it was so delicious!

Stationery / Signage: Feel the Love Design. I’d definitely recommend Feel the Love, who helped us to create our welcome sign, seating chart and name cards. Laura was always willing to help and give advice when I had questions and made sure we got everything just right.

Entertainment: Calibre Entertainment (ceremony) – we had Alanna and Daniel sing live with an acoustic guitar during our ceremony, and they did such a beautiful job. DJ Milo Eastwood (reception) – Jake is passionate about his music, so I left the DJ search in his very capable hands. He is a fan of Milo listening to him on PBS, so he thought he would contact him to see if he did weddings, and luckily for Jake, Milo said yes. He kept the dancefloor going all night, which is all we could have wanted.

Hire: Iconic Events – Stand hire for signage


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