Real Wedding – Bronte & Damien, Hepburn Springs VIC
Real Wedding – Bronte & Damien, Hepburn Springs VIC
Real Wedding – Bronte & Damien, Hepburn Springs VIC
Real Wedding – Bronte & Damien, Hepburn Springs VIC

Real Wedding – Bronte & Damien, Hepburn Springs VIC

Bronte and Damien’s sun-soaked soiree is a captivating concoction of blissful garden party vibes and unbridled romance, all with an undercurrent of Bridgerton-inspired style. Dreamy pastels mixed with clean contemporary touches make for a timeless aesthetic treat. And, of course, all the emotion and genuine feels you’d expect from such an epic occasion!

Our own Natalie Drum was there to set the pitch-perfect tone for the day, guiding the sweethearts and their guests through a stellar ceremony that felt as incredible as it looks. For Bronte and Damien, this was one super special moment, melting away any stress and nerves and setting the scene for the sweetest emotions to flow.

Black Finn Weddings was the creative genius behind the look of the day, styling the ceremony and reception and breathing life into exactly what Bronte and Damien imagined. Against stunning arrangements by Prunella, the husband and wife were every bit the radiant centre of the day. We love the divine floral detailing on Bronte’s Raffaele Ciuca Bridal gown, complementing to perfection the theming throughout the event, while Damien cuts a super sleek figure in his classic black tux by our talented friends at YSG Tailors.

As the guests moved to the reception, long tables spanning a glamorous garden setting awaited them, accented with creamy natural timber elements in classic styles juxtaposed with sweet pastel tablescapes.

But the moment our hearts caught in our throats was the breathtakingly beautiful golden hour portrait session, where Lost in Love Photography captured Bronte and Damien to absolute perfection.

Lady Whistledown, eat your heart out! Scroll on for more of this sweet visual treat.


The meeting.

We actually went to the same high school briefly, but we don’t really remember each other from then. After high school finished, we socialised in similar groups for a while but didn’t see much of each other for a couple of years. Then in 2014 we just ended up being at the same parties and social gatherings again and were both single… and the rest is history!


The ‘one’.

I don’t think it was a sudden realisation, but we were pretty crazy about each other and moved in together after just six months of dating. It was then, when we were living together, that we both saw just how well it worked. We found we wanted the same things from life and really made each other so happy, so it was then we both knew.


The proposal.

Damien proposed while we were on holiday in Bali in late 2017. After a day out exploring Ubud, we were relaxing on the deck of our villa enjoying the most beautiful view of the rainforest, when Damien said he was going inside to make some drinks. Shortly after, he came creeping out of the bushes down the side of the villa from behind me, without any drinks and I wondered what he was doing – then he knelt on one knee, presented the ring box he was hiding behind his back and asked me to marry him. I said yes, of course! It was very sweet and very romantic, being just the two of us. I think he was very relieved – for the trip I insisted that we only needed to take one suitcase between us, so the poor thing had to hide the ring box in his socks and hope the whole time I wouldn’t find it!


Planning process.

We had a long engagement which worked really well for us as we had a lot of time to think about all the options and what we really wanted for our day. We began the serious planning just over a year out. I wanted to try and book the big-ticket items such as the photographer and venue as soon as possible, as I knew with Covid postponements suppliers would be booking up well in advance.

My one non-negotiable from the start was that I wanted to have Lost in Love Photography to capture our day – I had followed them on Instagram years before I was even engaged and always knew I wanted them to be my wedding photographers. Once we had their availability, which worked with our venue, we set the date and I began working down the list from there.

I wanted to try to book vendors that had worked together previously in order for the day to run as smoothly as possible, which lead us to find our beautiful celebrant Nat. Within just a few minutes on our initial Zoom meeting, Damien and I knew she was the perfect fit for our day.

We then locked in our lovely florist, Caris from Prunella – who was an absolute dream to work with, and I found our DJ (Heartbreak Hotel) on Instagram and loved their style – they were also fantastic to deal with and the fact we were able to add a sax player into our package sold us (this was a huge hit on the night!).

From there, I worked through booking our other wonderful suppliers – hair and makeup, furniture hire, cake, invitations etc., and organizing all the extra little bits and pieces for the day.

In the later stages of planning, I was feeling pretty overwhelmed, and we wanted to make sure everything went to plan, and that on the day we didn’t have to worry about a thing – so we enlisted the help of gorgeous Claire from Black Finn Weddings as our on the day coordinator and stylist. This was a huge relief in the weeks leading up to the day – Claire was so on the ball with everything and when the day came it was amazing to just relax and fully enjoy the day knowing she had everything under control. She did a phenomenal job, as did our venue and all our suppliers! Everything came together so beautifully, and we are so grateful to have had the team we did!

During the entire process, I kept a running Excel spreadsheet of everything I had to book/do/buy, which really helped keep me on track and up to date with everything!


Style inspiration.

For years I had inspiration photos of intimate, al fresco Tuscan villa-style weddings on my Pinterest board, which is why we chose our venue (beautiful Villa Parma and the gardens at Peppers Mineral Springs Hotel) for those European vibes. For the styling, I was actually really inspired by the Bridgerton Netflix show. I loved the colours, the décor, the music and the florals used in the show – so I wanted to incorporate that theme in a tasteful way while also trying to keep some classic, timeless elements in the mix too.

The Ivory Tribe website/ social media accounts were a great resource, and the real weddings section was a godsend – reading about other couples’ experiences and supplier recommendations was so helpful and a great place to get ideas and tips. The directory was also really useful for finding reputable suppliers.


The ceremony.

If I could do our ceremony 100 times over, I would, it was beyond special. I don’t think either of us expected it to be so emotional. Nat told our story beautifully, and we both wrote our own vows, which were very heartfelt.

Having an intimate wedding with just our nearest and dearest was exactly what we wanted, and it turned out perfect. We are fortunate to both have such wonderful families and friends – a lot of whom were a huge help and support in the lead-up, so to be able to all be together to share the day was an experience we’ll never forget. The location we chose in the gardens was gorgeous, and our ceremony florals were absolutely breathtaking – it felt really dreamy! It was a truly magical experience, I think the best words to describe how we felt is pure joy!


The look.

My dress was from Raffaele Ciuca Bridal, it was the third shop we went to and the lucky last! Out of many different dresses and styles I tried on, it was the only dress that I felt totally comfortable in and that ticked all the boxes. I knew I wanted some sort of sleeve and I fell in love with the tulle sleeves and detailing on the front of my dress! I also loved the floral embroidery on the dress as I felt it tied in really well with the garden setting of our day.

Damien went with a classic black tux which was perfectly tailored by YSG Tailors who came highly recommended.


Favourite moment.

So many! I think my absolute favourite would have to be seeing Damien waiting down the end of the aisle for me as I started walking. We hadn’t seen each other since the night before, and all morning I was just so keen to see him and get the show on the road! The moment I saw him, all the stress and nerves just melted away into joy and love – and seeing him tear up was completely unexpected; it was a lovely (and very touching) surprise! It was a truly incredible moment.

And we both agree that our few minutes of time alone between getting our photos done and walking into our reception was really special – it was amazing to just have that time alone to soak up the fact we just got married!

There were also some excellent moments and laughs on the dancefloor!


Meaning of marriage.

As cliché as it sounds, marriage to us means being a team. A partnership, a lifelong promise to love and care for the other person and having someone you can’t wait to come home to at the end of the day. People say marriage doesn’t change things, but for us we found it did – we went from a couple to a family and our bond is stronger than ever. Having been together for seven years before we married, this feels like a new chapter to enjoy in our lives, and we are loving it! It’s been a few months now, but we still get such a kick out of being able to call each other husband and wife!


Wedding soundtrack.

Aisle: November Rain by Guns N’ Roses

Recessional: Let My Love Open the Door by Pete Townshend

Reception Entry: This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) by Natalie Cole

First Dance: The Wonder of You by Villagers


Planning surprises.

I was surprised by just how much goes into planning a wedding! So many little things popped up that I hadn’t even thought of or considered until we were in the thick of it. There is just so much to plan and organise but it was the best feeling to see our vision finally come to life on the day – totally worth all the hard work and stress!


Words of wisdom.

Our advice would be to have the wedding you want, make it really personalised to you as a couple and don’t feel you have to do anything that doesn’t align with what you want out of the day– there are no rules, and after all, it’s your special day!

We did go over budget, but coming out the other side, I would say spend the extra on the things you truly want and perhaps compromise in other areas. If you’re tossing it up, but you can make it work, it’s worth it. For us, making sure we had all the things that were really important to us meant we had our dream day with no regrets.

And be as organised as you possibly can the week before the wedding (coming from someone who left the seating chart to the day before!)



Oh, how we adore an outdoor wedding. Celebrating under the stars and soaking up the love. For an epic outdoor affair be sure to check out Lauren and Mitchell’s dreamy sun-soaked soiree



Ceremony and reception venue: Peppers Mineral Springs Hotel, Hepburn Springs

Celebrant: Natalie Drum

Photography: Lost in Love Photography

Videography: Josue Films

Styling: Black Finn Weddings

Florist: Prunella

Hair: Blowwaves by Kristina

Make-up: Dom Mitrotasios

The dress: Zavana Couture WS 6135 from Raffaele Ciuca Bridal

Veil: JJ’s House

Shoes: ASOS

Bronte’s engagement ring: Michael Hill. Wedding ring: Cartier

Damien’s wedding ring: Angus and Coote

Bridesmaid’s dresses: Atmos & Here (The Iconic)

Suits & bow ties: YSG Tailors

Cake: Blackbird Cakes

Signage: Blush Paperie Shop (Etsy)

Invitations, vow books and menus: Rabbit Loves Graphics (Etsy)

Napkins: Image by Riverry Studio (Etsy). Designed on Canva and printed via Zazzle

Entertainment: Heartbreak Hotel

Furniture hire: Memphis Hire

Linen: Table Art Event Hire

Festoon lighting and Dancefloor: Bendigo Hire

Honeymoon: Bright, Victoria


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