Real Wedding – Nella & Derek, Collingwood VIC
Real Wedding – Nella & Derek, Collingwood VIC
Real Wedding – Nella & Derek, Collingwood VIC
Real Wedding – Nella & Derek, Collingwood VIC

Real Wedding – Nella & Derek, Collingwood VIC


Nella and Derek’s dream day is classic inner-city glam with a delightful dose of fresh, modern warmth and chic detailing. Choosing to forgo many traditional to-dos made for a perfectly personal vibe, relaxed, genuine, and absolutely brimming over with sweet emotion.

We love that Nella and Derek chose to spend the morning together, and the incredible images by photographic legend Maegan Brown Moments capture the intensity of their beautifully raw first look. For both, seeing each other for the first time was the most magic of moments.

Nella wears a stunning sheath by Rebecca Vallance, exquisitely accented with statement earrings by Scanlon Theodore and florals by Blonde Florals. Derek cuts a dapper figure in his suit by The Bespoke Corner tailors.

There to take the vibe to a whole new level, was epic party starter and general all round entertainment experts, One More Song. Scroll on to see every divine detail of this stunning day!

The meeting.

We first met in 2013 at Truman Café in Albert Park when Derek applied for a role that my business partner and I were trying to fill. He did get the role. It was all business.


The ‘one’.

We had been colleagues first, then friends. It was in 2017, when we travelled to Loas for a colleague’s wedding, that we really found each other.


The proposal.

We had just come out of Melbourne’s covid lockdown and took a trip to Hamilton Island. Derek intended to pop the question a number of times which I didn’t make easy for him, being distracted by my surroundings. Finally, after a long hike, we found ourselves at a quiet beach called Hideaway Bay, where Derek proposed with a Kmart ring he had been carrying for the whole trip waiting for the right moment. Clearly, the Kmart ring has now been replaced.


Planning process.

Derek proposed on the 18th Feb 2022, and we planned to get married sooner rather than later. We both shared the same expectations of what we wanted our special day to be. We did away with a lot of the traditions; for example, we did not separate on the day; we spent the morning getting ready together. Why would we not want to share the whole day and experience together?

Derek had already researched some potential venues prior to our engagement. We visited Rupert on Rupert in Collingwood and instantly knew this was the place for us. We booked it immediately! They are masters at their trade, and we loved the venue: the greenery, the decor, the ambience and, of course, the wonderful staff.

As we made a list of all the items we needed to organize, we started to compile supplier lists. Rupert on Rupert helped with this, as they have recommended suppliers they work with and others were recommendations from other suppliers. Via social media, we were able to see all the supplier’s works to get a feel for the ones that suited our style. We were very organized, which left time to enjoy a three-week self-imposed isolation period before the wedding to ensure we were covid free.


Style inspiration. 

Derek and I have simple, classic, and contemporary tastes. The venue provided inspiration, and that helped us build the style even further.

To be honest, Instagram was where we did most of our research. Using the supplier lists as a starting point, then, once we started searching on Instagram, the algorithm started feeding us with inspiration.


The ceremony.

It was the perfect day! After two years of covid, this was the first time we had our family and closest friends all together in one place to celebrate our marriage. Those present were our dearest and nearest and were so very happy for us, you could feel the love. Everyone was there to celebrate us; it was a great party. The venue, ambience, food and staff also made it very special, as our guests all loved the environment and warmth.

Also, a special callout to our photographer Maegan Brown; she is very talented and gets all the candid and special shots, she does not miss a beat, and the guests loved her mingling with them. Our DJ, Eddy from One More Song, knows how to read a crowd and play to their tunes. Also, he is a delight to work with.

And of course, it is significant, because we are now husband and wife and are very happy!


The look. 

I (Nella) knew that I wanted a simple dress, something classic that was elegant and sexy. I knew I would get that from Rebecca Vallance or Rachael Gilbert, so I wasted no time and visited their boutiques on High Street in Armadale. I narrowed it down to a dress from each boutique, but in the end, I pretty much bought the first dress I tried on at Rebecca Vallance. Perfect fit, comfortable and little alteration required. Keeping with the simple theme, I accessorized with some beautiful earrings and shoes from Scanlon Theodore, which I will wear again.

Derek knew what he didn’t want – no velvet – as he hates the feeling of it. He found a few examples, but it was a suit worn by Daniel Ricciardo at an event that provided a starting point. We visited a few tailors and found The Bespoke Tailor, who provided guidance and expertise that made us very comfortable with the end product.


Favourite moments.

Nella: my favourite was when Derek first saw me all dressed up. His emotion and loving reaction made me feel truly special.

Derek: watching Nella walking in was very emotional for me, and she looked so beautiful.


Meaning of marriage.

Love, support, friendship, partnership and companionship. Having each other’s back in good times and bad.


Wedding soundtrack.

Aisle: Wedding Medley by Anthem Lights

Signing: Grow Old With You by Voiceplay, Everything by Michael Buble

Recessional: This Will Be (an Ever Lasting Love) by Natalie Cole

No first dance, but during the speeches, Derek had engaged a singer/songwriter Nick Isham, to write a song for me. It included many personal parts of our life together. It was not performed live, it was pre-recorded, and DJ Eddy was the only one that knew about it, as he knew exactly when to press the button. Amazing!


Funny stories or near disasters.

Apart from covid impacts, it was pretty smooth.


Planning surprises.

We found that working with suppliers was easy, as a lot of them had worked together before, which made for seamless coordination. Bear in mind in some cases, most of our meetings were virtual. They were all masters of their trades, which made for a day to remember.


Words of wisdom.

Do you and make the day yours. Try and stop together and take it in (hard to do, as there is so much going on). It is a great high that you will always remember.

Just enjoy the process, and don’t sweat the small stuff. If you can have a short engagement, we’d recommend it. We found that because we had five months, we did not procrastinate. We were quick to make decisions, and we do not regret any of them.




Choosing a first-look photo moment worked to perfection for Nella and Derek. But if you’re unsure whether it’s the right choice for you, we’ve consulted with the experts to find out the pros and cons. Check out what we discovered, here on the blog. 




Ceremony & reception venue: Rupert on Rupert – Collingwood. We have talked about Rupert in our answers above; they are masters at making your celebration of love special and a memorable occasion. The venue, food and staff – five stars!

Celebrant: Julianne Bambacas. An experienced celebrant who guides you through the process with great experience and ease. Julianne is very genuine and spends time getting to know your story so that your ceremony is very personal.

Photography: Maegan Brown Moments. Talented, energetic and fun. Maegan helps you feel at ease, which is so important with photos and captures so many special and candid shots of everyone. She has created special memories for us.

Videography: In-house family member. We love his enthusiasm. Some great footage of the day and night, which we have loved watching, particularly the ceremony, speeches and capturing our guests’ dancing and partying.

Florist: Blonde Floral Design. Bronte is amazing and a delight to work with. I (Nella) provided a brief of what I liked, sent photos of my dress and accessories, and she created the most beautiful bouquet. I loved it. Additionally, the floral work done at Rupert on Rupert was stunning; we could not be happier.

Hair: Zucci Hairdressing. These guys have been my hairdressers for 20+ years, and they did an amazing job in prepping me for the big day, treatments, colour etc. My hair was so healthy and shiny on the day. The styling of my hair was perfectly me, in line with keeping it simple and elegant.

Make-up: Sue Frey. It was great working with Sue during a make-up trial, ensuring I was comfortable, and on the day, I was very happy with my make-up.

The dress: Rebecca Vallance

Shoes & earrings: Scanlon Theodore

Rings: Jan Logan

Flower girl dresses: Chloe and Amelie

Suits & bow ties / ties: The Bespoke Corner tailors. Thank you, Patrick; you know your craft.

Cake: Miss Ladybird Cakes. Easy process all done online and via emails. One phone call to finalize some details. The cakes were stunning and delicious.

Stationery / Signage: our invites were Paperless Post.

Entertainment: One More Song (Eddy Mac). Eddy knows how to read a crowd and play to their tunes. A delight to work with.

Honeymoon: Japan 2023

Other: wedding night was at Next Hotel in Melbourne CBD

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