Real Wedding – Kate & Declan, Ballarat VIC
Real Wedding – Kate & Declan, Ballarat VIC
Real Wedding – Kate & Declan, Ballarat VIC
Real Wedding – Kate & Declan, Ballarat VIC

Real Wedding – Kate & Declan, Ballarat VIC


Kate and Declan embarked on a wedding vision that embraced minimalism and elegance, resulting in a dream day that epitomises modern sophistication. Opting for a black-tie affair without the fuss, they set the stage for a sleek, chic, and effortlessly stylish celebration.

The exquisite Willow and Stone is the canvas for their soiree, expertly curated by stylist and planner Claire of Black Finn Weddings, who flawlessly translated their style brief into stunning reality. With a white-on-white colour palette creating a timeless effect, geometric decor detailing adds a contemporary touch to elevate the overall aesthetic.

Kate looked sophisticated in her Tania Stokes Design gown and d’Italia veil, complementing Declan’s classic, three-piece suit to perfection.

Our very own Teagan from Panache & Co was there to create a vibe of effortless romance, with a stunning ceremony amongst the lush gardens. The blissed-out energy continued as Hey Jack took the aural reins, creating a soundtrack to ensure every guest was on the dance floor.

There to capture every sweetly stunning moment is photographer Weddings by Ryal. We love the golden hour frames, a sweet symphony of relaxed love and candid, spontaneous moments between the newlyweds.

Join us as we delve into the details of Kate and Declan’s wedding day, where every element, from the venue to the fits, resonated with the couple’s commitment to a chic and understated celebration of love.

The meeting.

We met in November of 2016, the night before we started a two-week Contiki tour together! I ran around the corner of this pub in London and the first person I saw was Declan. I knew then that he was it for me.


The one.

It’s crazy but it was love at first sight for the both of us! We knew straight away that we were meant for each other.


The proposal.

Our engagement was supposed to be down in Melbourne but, unfortunately, Melbourne went into their stage four lockdown mere hours before we were supposed to fly in (we live in Queensland). Instead, Declan brought Melbourne to me. It was still winter, so Dec organised to go up to the Atherton Tablelands to Mount Quincan Retreat where it was cold and dreary, my perfect kind of weather. We walked up to the reception on day two ‘to see the view’. As we got closer, I could hear my favourite instrumental song (which I ended up walking down the aisle to) playing and Declan got down on to one knee. Too bad he forgot what he was planning to say due to me sobbing so hard!


Planning process.

I had found Willow and Stone Estate before Declan and I got engaged; I knew that was where I wanted to get married. After seeing the venue and booking with their incredible team, the rest fell into place. Probably because I had the amazing stylist and planner Claire from Black Finn in my corner!


Style inspiration.

Very minimalistic. Black tie, without the fuss!


The ceremony.

We got married on my late grandfather’s birthday so, other than the fact that I was marrying the love of my life, when Dec and I turned to each other to complete our vows, the clouds parted, the rain stopped, and the sun beamed down on us. Grandad sent us his love.


The outfits.

My dress was created by the amazingly talented Tania Stokes, I went to her with an image, and she turned it into reality. The end result speaks for itself.

Declan really wanted a classic, three-piece suit and we found the team at Peter Jackson Chadstone to be extremely helpful in that department.


Favourite moment.

Too many to count. I do remember being at the back of the dance floor and seeing that almost every single chair was empty! Everyone was up and dancing (thanks to Adam from The Vintage Stylus)!

Our photographer, Ryal Sormaz, also brought such joy to the day. He made the experience of getting our photo taken so much fun!


Meaning of marriage.

That we have made a commitment to each other, in front of our family and friends, to be the best that we can be, forever.


Wedding soundtrack.

Aisle: The Balcony Scene (From “Romeo & Juliet”) by Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Reception: Strangers Like Me by Phil Collins

First dance: As Time Goes By by Andy Williams


Funny stories (or near disasters).

Halfway through the reception, I knocked red wine onto myself! We ran to the bar for soda water and for five minutes I had my mother’s hand down my top and my three bridesmaid’s hands up my skirt! At that point I didn’t mind about the dress though, the train was already wet and dirty enough from being dragged through damp grass for five hours!


Planning surprises.

Other than the cost, it would be how quickly your favourite vendors book out! Declan and I were lucky, we locked in our first preferences, but we were one of the last bookings for 2023 for them!


Words of wisdom.

Your wedding won’t be perfect, but it will be perfect to you. Go with the flow, enjoy the day, and don’t let the little things get to you!

Nothing prepares you for how quick the wedding day goes! Soak it all up and take in everything.



Does black tie with no fuss sound like your style? Be sure to see Shaun and Abbey’s stunning celebration that epitomises this exact theme. 



Ceremony & reception venue: Willow and Stone Estate

Celebrant: Teagan Dole

Photography: Ryal Sormaz

Videography: Moment Seeker

Styling: Black Finn

Florist: The Refined Bloom Co

Hair: Hair by Caroline

Make-up: Tahlia Liapis

The dress: Tania Stokes

Veil / headwear : d’Italia

Shoes: ASOS (honestly, the most COMFORTABLE shoes I have ever worn…and only $80!)

Rings: Kavalri 

Bridesmaid’s dresses: Effie Kats

Suits and accessories: Peter Jackson

Catering: Peter Rowland

Stationery / Signage: Paper Paper Co

Entertainment: Mayfair from Hey Jack for the ceremony and cocktail hour and Adam from The Vintage Stylus for our reception

Décor: The Small Things Co

Hire: Dann Event Hire, Festoon, Table Art, Lusso

Honeymoon: The Shore at Katathani

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