Real Wedding – Nicolle & Damian, Flinders VIC
Real Wedding – Nicolle & Damian, Flinders VIC

Real Wedding – Nicolle & Damian, Flinders VIC


There wasn’t a moment that Nicolle and Damian didn’t enjoy of the wedding planning process, in fact they soaked up the experience to create an incredible waterside wonder!

Using Tipi’s as the backdrop for a relaxed celebration, they created a communal vibe when it came to feasting with their fabulous family and friends.

Dancing til they dropped, the perfect pair could not wipe the smiles from their faces, and there to capture all the love was White Shutter Photography.

In Nicolle’s words…


The meeting.

Damian and I initially met through a mutual friend one night out at our local pub. It was about a month later that our paths crossed again and Damian asked me at out on a date. We went to dinner and ice skating and the rest is history.


The one.

On our first date – we instantly connected.


The proposal.

Damian and I had decided to take each of our Mum’s on holiday to Hawaii in July 2016. My Aunt is also a massive fan of Hawaii, so she decided to join us too… it ended up being quite the girls trip plus Damian. We had spent the morning exploring part of the North Shore and we made our afternoon stop at Waimea Bay. I was out swimming with my Mum, Aunt and (now) Mother-in-law, when Damian came swimming out to us, pulled me up close to him and asked me to marry him in front of the family. It was so spontaneous not to mention risky as he swam out to present me with the ring. It was perfect.


The process.

I loved every minute of planning the wedding. From trips to Kmart pulling out different coloured plates and cutlery to looking at inspiring pictures every night (and day) and writing in my notebook.


Style inspiration.

Family, fun, love, the outdoors and celebration.

We knew we wanted a wedding that was not limited or too formal ie; sit down to four courses. Relaxed but still with traditional elements.  We wanted our guests to mingle and move freely around the venue whilst also knowing they had a place to rest their feet from the dance floor without keeping watch as to where their drink or purse was left in order to secure a table place. When we holidayed in Italy we noticed the joy and easygoing attitude of everyone sharing a meal together, so we wanted the food to be communal as opposed to set to create a similar vibe by the water.


The dress.

My dress was fun, sexy and elegant. Pinterest strikes again when it came to looking for my dress. I knew I wanted lace – I loved that the lace is a timeless material and you can’t go further then looking at Grace Loves Lace. I had my appointment one Sunday morning with my mum and aunt. We flew to the Gold Coast and I tried on three dresses that I had adored online, and it was the third dress which was “the one.” I loved the way I could move and dance in it as well as the sophistication from the higher neck.


Favourite moments.

Too hard to pick one moment… but, coming around the bend and seeing Damian, my future husband, my best friend, at the end of the aisle. Walking back down the aisle as husband and wife and then dancing the night away.


Meaning of marriage.

Celebrating everlasting love.


Wedding soundtrack.

All songs were beautifully performed by Jimmy & Niki..

Aisle: Tenerife Sea by Ed Sheeran

Signing: To Zion by Trevor Hall

Exit: Better Together by Jack Johnson

Reception entry: Remix Ignition (Backing music – no lyrics) by R.Kelly

First dance: Into the Mystic by Van Morrison


Funny stories (or near disasters).

Ahh yes. So..

The Tipis were being set up the day before down on the Flinders Foreshore. Damian and I were running errands when we received a call to say someone was down by the reserve lighting a “bonfire.” Due to OH&S reasons and understandably so, tipis could not be assembled with a nearby flame. So that was a minor set back but luckily the person with the bonfire was happy to put it to an end.

I also had 100 pieces of teatree (shrub) cut up for 100 vases, they got thrown out by mistake so needed re-cutting late in the afternoon..

Some mysterious blown-up (inflatable) peacocks magically appeared docked in the water (courtesy of my Aunty) right in the backdrop for our ceremony… needless to say they “drifted out to sea” that night..

During the vows on the day I referred to Damian as my “breast friend” instead of “best friend..” Oooops.

Our groomsman tripped on the power cord during the night which caused a minor black out, but such a funny story as well as the groomsmen then taking over the microphones for their own rendition of “Uptown Funk”.


Planning surprises.

None, well apart from the black out for a couple of minutes – my heart stopped.


Words of wisdom.

Don’t have any regrets – if you really want it – add it in and go for it. You want to look back at your day knowing you put all of your heart into the day without any thoughts of .. “I should have added this or done that..”


Last words…

It’s obvious, but a timeline for the day is so important. If you have the formalities (cake cutting, first dance speeches etc.) complete by a reasonable time it allows a lot more time for dancing and mingling with your guests. This will also make any nervous speakers have a much more enjoyable time.



Tipi time! Get inspired by Jess and Cam’s take on the tipi trend here.



Ceremony and reception location: Flinders Yacht Club

Celebrant/Officiant: Megan Watson from Marry Me Megan – Megan is by far the best celebrant I have come across. From attending weddings as a guest and then doing my own research. I feel ever so lucky that she was able to marry us. Megan is warm, kind and funny and just an all round great person. There is a huge amount of trust that you instill in your celebrant on the day and we had not doubts knowing that Megan was the linchpin to our beautiful ceremony.

Photography: Anne from White Shutter Photography – Anne is incredible. Not only was she great with us but with all of our guests. I have had many people comment on how wonderful she was on the day and the photos are pure proof. As soon as I saw how she could captured a moment, the emotions and beautiful light in her photographs,  I knew I wanted to meet her. We clicked right away and both Damian and I felt that Anne was hands down the right person to capture our wedding. I am still in awe looking over our photos.. the scenery, the emotions, the lights – so good!

Styling: By us! I had the best time ‘Pintresting’, ‘Instagraming’ and drawing up how I dreamt our day to be – with Damian’s help.

Florist: Poppy Culture – Poppy Culture are again the best! They’re professionalism, creativity and overall work…an absolute floral dream! It is hard to find the words to express just how incredible the work of Poppy Culture is. I can not imagine anyone else putting together the florals for our day. From receiving the bouquets at the house to walking down the aisle to the arbour adorned with flowers and then our stunning peacock chairs and aerial design… wow. Apart from Damian – they took my breath away!

Hair: Amanda from Alby’s. I was lucky enough to have my hairdresser of 10+ years tend to the locks of me and bridesmaids.

Make-up: The skillful and bubbly Sallie was responsible for me and my bridesmaid’s faces. A joy to spend the morning with sharing stories and laughs.

The Dress: Grace Loves Lace. I was nervous to purchase my dress online although I went for my fitting on the Gold Coast. However the experience was lovely and easy. The team at GLL reply instantly to any enquiry you have along the way and are some of the nicest ladies I have ever dealt with. The fitting was one of the best days ever… so girly and so fun in the beautiful show room, sipping sparkling and eating little cookies. The whole experience was divine.

Veil: Grace Loves Lace. I was dancing around the showroom with my beautiful veil. So fun.

Shoes: Nine West

Rings: Studio 41 – My engagement ring was designed by Damian himself along with a local Mornington jeweller. Damian already knew I loved Edwardian / Art deco styled jewelry and I am still in disbelief looking at my hand with his creation. Our wedding bands were then designed by both of us along with our jeweller, plus custom cuff links for the groom, groomsmen and father of groom. As well as tie pin for groom & father of groom.

Bridesmaids dresses: Combination – Shona Joy, Keepsake and C/MEO collective, all bought online. (with lots of measuring.)

Groom’s suit: Politix

Groom’s shoes: Country Road

Bow ties: Handmaid in the UK by Emma of Beau Tie UK. Emma was gorgeous to deal with, again so prompt with replies and postage getting the ties from UK to Aus.


Canapes, anti pesto, salads and desserts by Moreish Catering

Pizzas by Pizza Wagon

Drink service, tea and coffee by Franklin Coffee Co.

Absolutely everyone of the above made our night a huge, tasty success. Our guests were happily entertained (and fed) with delicious food and drinks. The service was second to none along with exquisitely good food.

Favours: Wedding Honey – The favours are one of my favourite components of our wedding. We selected honey to gift our guests based upon the symbolism. To give honey is to share good prosperity, good health, wealth and healing. It is also delicious and cute on the tables. Sharon from wedding honey was another delightful person to work with and we loved ALL the flavours- seriously, seriously so delicious we ordered them all! There was no way we could pick one or two! My granny and nanna tied little sprigs of olive to each jar to also gift/ represent peace.

Tipis: Our incredible tipis are from Tipikata… it’s hard to describe how magical the tipis are. A total dream and such fun.

Cake / Cake topper: Our delicious cake was made by Lauren from Sweet Heart Bakery. Lauren is a friend of a friend and we are so honoured to have her make our devine cake. Each tier was a different a flavour; one tier lemon syrup and the other choc raspberry. The top tier (ours) choc mint (our favorite).

Stationery / Signage: The talented and gorgeous Carli from Love Carli. Carli is local on the Mornington Peninsula and we were lucky enough to be gifted a gorgeous drawn portrait by Carli from some dear friends for our engagement. Familiar with her work, we sat down with her to discuss our look and dream for the wedding – which she delivered. From the invitations, to personalised menus and welcome signs… all stunning and personal to be cherished forever.

Entertainment: Jimmy and Niki! Jimmy and Niki performed at our friend’s wedding and we just loved the vibe they created. I could not imagine having any other form of entertainment for us. Jimmy and Niki performed beautiful versions of all of our song requests and we just danced and sang the night away. Music connects people on all different levels and our wedding night was no exception.

Décor: By us! As our wedding was DYI we found most items cheaper to purchase then hire. Our arbour was made by my step father and we purchased our own plates, centre pieces, vases, lanterns and other items to make our day incredibly personal.

Hire: Wine barrels, additional festoon lights, chairs by Mornington Peninsula Party Hire. This crew are great, understanding and reasonably flexible.

On the day co-ordinator / planner: Although we did so much ourselves the day would not be possible or put together without the amazing help and co-ordination from Kristina of Dream Catcher Weddings. Kristina made sure that our vision actually came to life. Kristina was dependable, helpful, understanding and again a truly great person to work with in the lead up to and on the day!

Honeymoon: We honeymooned for three weeks. After our wedding we didn’t want to travel too far however we wanted to be away just far enough. We started in Noosa, followed by Palm Cove and then spent our final week on the idyllic Orpheus Island. If you are looking for a slice of heaven and utter indulgence Orpheus Island is the place to visit. Photos do not this beautiful destination justice. We spent our time swimming, relaxing and puttering around in our own little boat each day. The staff will pack you with lovely little picnics, fishing gear and / or snorkel gear along with drinks.

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