Real wedding – Merve & Lucas, Coldstream VIC
Real wedding – Merve & Lucas, Coldstream VIC
Real wedding – Merve & Lucas, Coldstream VIC
Real wedding – Merve & Lucas, Coldstream VIC

Real wedding – Merve & Lucas, Coldstream VIC


When a wedding photographer with an obvious eye for luxury and style has her moment to take to the aisle, you’re sure to see magic unfold. This was exactly the case for Merve and Lucas, who created the breathtakingly beautiful Stones of The Yarra Valley celebration that stopped us in our tracks.

From a dream-like ceremony setting encapsulated in an elegant, white floral work of art by Sassafras Florists, to Merve’s custom-designed Coral Confortti gown (created in Israel over a series of fittings with Melbourne-based Merve, no less!), everything this couple touched truly turned to gold.

While every moment had elegance and beauty surrounding it, underpinning each interaction of this Yarra Valley day was love, joy and heart-stopping emotion.

A tear-filled first look that they’ll never forget, a ceremony drenched in joy, and traditional touches paying homage to their respective family cultures – every element combined to create this beginning of their life as newlyweds.

Captured by the MERVÉ TOGAN team, there is not a moment of this day you won’t adore.



The meeting.

We met exactly six years ago at the Portsea Hotel on Australia Day weekend. We coincidently booked our wedding the same weekend six years later. Weird.

We never exchanged numbers and we didn’t really know a lot about each other but the following week I bumped into him at a club. We never had intentions on being together at the time and jokingly even said “don’t fall in love to each other” and here we are. We couldn’t have fallen any harder.


The ‘one’.

Gradually, I guess. There was no particular moment.


The proposal.

Like everyone else in the year of 19’, we had dreams of travelling to Europe. It was actually my first year of booking international weddings as a wedding photographer, and both of us are super business savvy people where we put our hearts and souls into what we love doing most, so this was going to be the perfect excuse to make a holiday out of it.

I had one in Turkey, in Italy, New York and also Bali. Lucas had plans to propose in Notting Hill as it’s one of my favourite movies, however due to the pandemic, we didn’t have a lot of travelling options. We’re not overly romantic people where we over-plan for things and make it an extravagant thing to be honest, and once we realised we weren’t getting out of lockdown any time soon, he proposed in our kitchen while I was in my robe when we had an 8:00pm curfew. I had just done my nails at the time, and jokingly I was recording and saying to him “I’m ready for that ringgggg” and at the time he said to me “oh are you recording, keep recording” and next thing I knew was he was pulling out a ring and I was yelling “OMG SHUT UP, ARE YOU SERIOUS. NO WAY!!!!!” So technically I still haven’t said yes to his proposal. I took the ring and ran for my life.


The process.

When we had gotten engaged, we were in lockdown and the last thing I wanted to do was to think about our very own wedding so we booked ours exactly a year and 10 months before the big day, so that I was able to concentrate on our couples weddings, especially with so many postponed weddings at the time.

I also booked all of our suppliers roughly a year and 10 months out from our wedding. I knew that if I wanted to book the people I really wanted to work with, I had to get onto it straight away. Fortunately, and unfortunately enough, great wedding suppliers tend to book out quite far in advance. Once everything was booked in, I spent that year focusing on our couples and roughly the 10-6 month mark was mostly just sourcing inspiration.


Style inspiration.

To be completely honest, there was so much inspiration sourced from our very own couples who we photograph. We get to be a part of so many gorgeous weddings that we were able to use towards our inspiration. There was also a lot of Pinterest boards.

I always had a vision of having a wedding that was just simple, elegant, and warm.


Favourite moments.

The most memorable moment of our wedding day was our first look. It was honestly the most heart-warming, most romantic and emotional thing I have ever experienced.

Marrying Lucas brought out a whole new love language between us I never knew existed. We’re generally full of banter, lots of business meetings over dinners and simply like best mates. Those that know us well, know we rarely ever get overly lovey-dovey; so this was really different for the both of us.

Although we didn’t go to Notting Hill, during our first look – we played She by Elvis Costello and I literally bawled my eyes out. Usually, I see grooms reacting in such a way, but seeing Lucas as a groom from both perspectives of a creative and a bride was the most incredible thing I have ever felt. It was that very moment where I said to myself “he is literally the most handsome groom I have ever seen; I can’t wait to photograph him”.

I really wanted to do a first look as seeing each other for the first time was really important for me to keep this moment sacred. This might sound contradictory, but the moment was particularly important for me to feel real emotions and to be completely honest, I was petrified of seeing him for the first time in front of all of our family and friends.

I wanted us to enjoy an intimate moment just the two of us with hopes that I would be a little less nervous during our ceremony.

The whole time during our first look I bawled my eyes out. It was an unexplainable feeling. I think seeing him for the first time, seeing myself on the other end as a bride, seeing our two culturally and religiously different families come together to celebrate us was incredibly emotional. I couldn’t stop crying from happiness and we were both in a romance bubble.



The ceremony.

Although we had done a first look, during our ceremony, we both teared up. I think we both just felt so happy that we could share that very moment with our nearest and dearest ones.



The outfits.

A highlight was definitely my wedding dress being completely custom made from the other side of the world – Israel.

I came across Coral Confortti’s work and instantly fell in love. The detail of her dresses, it was basically the perfect way to describe how I like things. Simple, but detailed. Effortless with so much attention to detail.

I was in complete awe when I saw her work. I knew this was the dress for me, but I wanted it customised with slight tweaks which meant I would have to fly to Israel, which was impossible as we were in lockdown.

Getting another designer to make this style dress was completely out of the question for me. I truly believe and appreciate the uniqueness of every artist, therefore I wanted to stick to the original designer and Coral made this happen for me.

I contacted Coral and it was almost a done deal. It wasn’t just her incredible talent; her passion, dedication and genuine authenticity had me. Our friendship grew during the process of crafting this wedding dress, with hopes that I could either fly to Israel or she flee to Australia. That didn’t happen due to lockdown. So, we did multiple DHL postages… Literally every single process was shipped up and back. In total we did about six postages.

I honestly have no idea how we managed but thank you to my dear friend Eda being by my side with measurements, fittings and postages; we got there. Honestly the process was completely stress free and enjoyable.

During this process whilst growing her family, she still gave me so much time and energy, giving me peace of mind whilst she was creating my dream dress, miles away.

I don’t know how to put this in words but I’m forever grateful to have met such a beautiful soul. We shared many memories together, laughed together, cried together and created the most incredible dress. Thank you so much Coral, you are one of the most incredible souls I’ve ever met. I can’t wait to show you all more from our wedding day, my dress and all the finer details.


Wedding soundtrack.

First look: She by Elvis Costello.

Aisle: Can’t help falling in love

Reception entrance: Bella Ciao to traditional drums

First dance: Can’t take my eyes off you by Frankie Valli


Funny stories (or near disasters).

If Covid hasn’t been the biggest disaster, I don’t know what has. Leading up to our wedding day, I thought I had Covid every day.

But otherwise, everything ran smoothly on our day, there was a couple of hiccups, which is quite natural.


Words of wisdom.

Don’t overthink what could go wrong. Focus on the positives, and whatever is meant to happen will happen. Of course in saying that, plan for exactly what you envision for your wedding day. We didn’t hold back on booking the suppliers we wanted, and it was everything we could have asked for on our special day.


Unique twists.

Bringing two different cultures together. Lucas comes from a strong Italian family, and I come from a Turkish family. For the both of us, family is incredibly important, and we wanted to make sure that both cultures were represented throughout our day but also not overkilling it as well. We entered with traditional Turkish drums but we had a twist to it by playing Bella Ciao.


What you would change.

Honestly, absolutely nothing. It was the most magical day of our lives and when planning I was quite meticulous about every aspect. I had a particular vision for the day and that was to keep it quite simple, ethereal and elegant. The only thing I think we could have incorporated more was to add more cultural music for our families.

When we were planning before our wedding day, we thought it might be an overkill but our guests were craving more cultural music from us, which we wish we did more of. They loved the two cultural customs we had coming together for our entrance with the drums.






Ceremony: The Chapel – Stones of The Yarra Valley

Reception: The Barn – Stones of The Yarra Valley

Celebrant/Officiant: Sarah Durso

Photography: MERVÉ TOGAN team

Videography: Tango Films

Florist: Sassafras Weddings

Hair: HairbyNeveen

Makeup: Steph Piazza and Katia Makeup Artist

The Dress: Coral Confortti

Veil: Coral Confortti

Shoes: Aquazzura and YSL

Earrings: Dior

Rings: All Diamonds

Bridesmaid’s dresses: Shona Joy

Suits: V&J

Cake: Party with Grazer

Gold Cutlery / Champagne tower: Event Merchant

Stationery / Signage: Ivory and Noir


Entertainment Collective for ceremony

Zaffet Royale for reception entrance (drums)

Rutherford Entertainment for reception

MC – Serge Romano

Honeymoon: Jackalope

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