Real Wedding – Daniela & Talei, Thornbury VIC  
Real Wedding – Daniela & Talei, Thornbury VIC  
Real Wedding – Daniela & Talei, Thornbury VIC  
Real Wedding – Daniela & Talei, Thornbury VIC  

Real Wedding – Daniela & Talei, Thornbury VIC  


Dani and Talei pulled off the unthinkable – planning a wedding, during a pandemic, from overseas. And whilst the process was bumpy due to border closures and restrictions, their plan to create a huge party for their nearest and dearest to enjoy being together was truly that, and more.

Against the urban streetscape of inner-city Melbourne, these two stunning souls enjoyed a portrait session against the best of backdrops, captured with sheer artistry by photographer wiz Georgia Verrells. In their simple white gowns, both with freshly modern lace detailing, Dani and Talei were purely effervescent in their excitement – and the feeling carried across every element of their dream day.

From the carefully considered ceremony involving friends and family to a first look accompanied by their mothers and close friends, and of course, a Livestream for all those who couldn’t be there in person, this was a day steeped in community, emotion and connection.

And as the night cooled down, the dance floor heated up – with the only word beginning with C on anyone’s mind being absolute celebratory cheer.


The meeting.

We met just after high school, studying a sports course in a local TAFE


The ‘one’.

We didn’t discover this until way later into our friendship, when we were 26, almost ten years later!


The proposal.

Talei did it. One of my favourite things to do is go walking in nature, but this one time, I refused as it was –30 degrees outside and snowing. So she turned off the lights in our little igloo we were staying in (much to my disgust because I was reading!) and asked me!


Planning process.

It was very drawn out due to COVID, but we decided to marry back in Australia (we’ve lived overseas since 2015) and found our vendors all online through many emails and online meetings. We had to make the hard decision in March 2020, just three weeks before our wedding, that we’d need to postpone and thought of going back a year later. We were oblivious to how anything would roll out! Then, in late October 2021, the Australian government announced they’d open the borders (finally!) to Australians overseas. Immediately we started emailing our vendors-  all bar our venue, which we were still able to use. We quickly set the date and hunted for a new venue.

Overall, the process was relatively smooth, with emails and calls between the people who made our day run perfectly. The biggest worry for us was the dreaded wait for the negative PCR results once arriving in Melbourne. Thankfully COVID wasn’t to ruin our wedding again.


Style inspiration. 

Due to the drawn-out situation of our wedding, we wanted it to simply be a party for everyone.

I spent countless hours looking through wedding photographers’ portfolios, looking for ideas and inspiration for ceremony and reception. Wedding forums such as WedShed, EasyWeddings and Instagram were my biggest go-to’s.


The ceremony.

Our ceremony involved the most planning. Since it’d been three years since we’d seen our loved ones, we wanted it to be very personalised and inclusive of everyone who could and could not be there due to restrictions etc. We also had the bonus that was most people’s first same-sex marriage ceremony, so there were no limitations to what was expected. We decided to have both our parents walk us down the aisle, share stories about how many people there helped our relationship grow, have a ring warming ceremony with our mums and managed to laugh and cry our way through simultaneously.


The look. 

We both individually chose to wear dresses and did not know what the other was wearing until the day. Living in Berlin meant that many bridal shops had very traditional dresses, which neither of us wanted. So, ironically, we both opted for online sellers, trying many on with our friends help in our own living rooms until we found the perfect one. The whole process of making appointments to try dresses on in stores was really overwhelming for me, and the pressure to find something there was immense. However, being in the comfort of our own apartment really meant there was no worry over time limits, and we could make a fun evening of it.


Favourite moments.

We chose to have a first look with our mums and friends we got ready with on the day. Standing, anticipating the moment, was electric. But I think my favourite moment was stepping out together having a few photos just after the ceremony with our photographer.


Meaning of marriage.

Being able to share with the world who I want to be growing old with.


Wedding soundtrack.

Aisle: Best Friend by Sofi Tukker,

Reception entry: Safe and Sound by Capital Cities

First dance: Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen


Funny stories or near disasters.

Talei’s mum went “missing” 30 minutes before the ceremony. No one could get in contact with her or knew where she was. In the end, all was fine, and she rocked up to the venue one minute before the ceremony, oblivious to the running around and numerous phone calls prior to her arrival. She and her sister (Talei’s Aunty) decided to walk to the venue from their nearby hotel but underestimated the distance, heat and blisters.


Planning surprises.

Once covid was thrown at us, nothing could take us by surprise anymore!


Words of wisdom.

Don’t let others dictate your wedding by telling you what you can and can’t do. Instead, make it your own day!

And don’t forget to try the food at your own wedding!


Ready to start planning your dream day? Check out our top tips for the newly engaged to get that insider information on where to begin, what to prioritise, and most importantly, how to enjoy the planning process!




Ceremony & reception venue: Little Henri Café, Thornbury.
The team at Little Henri, particularly the owner Samira, were also a last-minute addition, having found them a month before our ceremony. Samira confidently and professionally organised both the ceremony and reception, offering recommendations when asked. Her waitstaff went above and beyond on the day, and our guests were well looked after. We continue to receive many positive comments about the venue and service.

Celebrant: Yvonne Wood. Yvonne ensured our ceremony was sleek, smooth and personalised. She was a big reason our day was so perfect!

Photography: Georgia Verrells. We could not have asked for a more talented, chilled and endearing photographer! For two amateur models, she made us feel very comfortable and has given us memories to last a lifetime!

Florist: Violet and the Fox. Mel surpassed all our expectations on our bouquets, creating stunning yet elegant designs to match our requests perfectly.

Hair: Rhea Vine Artistry. Rhea also stepped in last minute, but we were also immensely happy with the result! She was also very professional and talented.

Make-up: Make Up by Nikki Matteo. Stepping in last minute, Nikki was professional and easy going and we received many compliments on the style she used. We were extremely happy with our look!

Rings: Made in a private jewellery studio for each other

Entertainment: DJ Mercury. Dan not only made it a night to remember, but throughout the whole process of rescheduling, he kept checking in on us and offering his support leading up to the wedding. A true gentleman and a very talented DJ.

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