Real Wedding – Zara & Danny, Daylesford VIC

Real Wedding – Zara & Danny, Daylesford VIC


Zara and Danny brought together Italian glam with a touch of country charm for their elegant Daylesford celebration.

With gorgeous florals a focal point and of course, bride Zara in her incredibly striking black gown, there is so much to love about this creative and heartfelt day.

Captured with love by Dean Raphael, we adore Danny and Zara’s  darling I-do’s.


In Zara’s words…

The meeting.

At the favourite hang out of all north side hipsters on Australia Day, Edinburg Gardens in North Fitzroy, in 2012.

The proposal.

We were on a camping roadtrip through ‘the outback’ to Uluru, Kings Canyon etc . Sitting on a red sand dune looking at Uluru, drinking cheap sparkling at sunset. Pretty romantic stuff! I was in total shock!

The planning.

We didn’t start planning anything for a good year after getting engaged. We moved to the country and opened a new business so it wasn’t a priority and were enjoying just being engaged. We found a venue on a random Sunday drive and it began from there.

Style inspiration.

Once the dress was chosen it all stemmed from there. ‘Italian glam, in the country’, haha. Being a country wedding it was all quite relaxed but I didn’t want it to feel too ‘rustic’ or ‘vintage’ I wanted a bit of glam so my girls all wore sexy black dresses with gold statement earrings and the flowers were bright and over the top with flowing, burgundy silk ribbons.  Overall it was a collection of things that reflect us as a couple and our personality including the places we chose to do it.  Our invites were bold black text, very simple. The train a bit of country fun, for the flowers I kind of wanted everything and for it to be non-traditional so lots of colour and wild crazy arrangements. Our ‘arbour’ we made from concrete reo beams and I told Ame to go to town on it and she surely did.

The dress.

I saw a photo from a Dolce & Gabbana runway and just fell in love with the whole look. The sexy black sheer dress covered in flowers, the hair, makeup etc. I sent a picture to my Mum asking if she thought she could make this for me. So we made it our mission and sourced all the amazing fabric to make my dream dress. I didn’t try on any dresses or go to any boutiques, I didn’t want to become confused about what I wanted. I just knew the black dress would be perfect and all the styling and planning revolved around it.

Favourite moments.

Going out into the field with Dean, our photographer, at dusk to take some shots with just Danny and I. That’s when I felt the full gravity of the day and closeness to who I just married. It was beautiful, and, looking back at the little hall all lit up full of all our nearest and dearest awaiting our grand entrance.

Also, hanging with our amazing bridal party who had come from all over the globe to be with us.


Other than the ceremony and first dance, that’s about it! No cake cutting, bouquet tossing or spending the night before alone etc.

Meaning of marriage.

It means I get to live my life with someone I adore. It means more to me now we have been married a few months, before the wedding I didn’t know how I felt about the meaning of marriage but now it was a beautiful warm weight to it, it is a dedication to each other that is so humbling and special. Its exciting.

Wedding soundtrack.

Aisle: From This Moment by Shania Twain

Ceremony: Only To Be With You by Roachford

Ceremony: You’re my Best friend by Queen

Ceremony: Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys

First dance: The Time Is Now by Moloko

Funny stories (or near disasters).

Disaster – having our ‘bar’ stolen from the front of the hall was disappointing, we had to make a last minute plan which was stressful. Funny – my Dad after hitting the DJ up for a request, slipping on the stage in his cowboy boots and crashing down the stairs taking down the flower arrangements and almost the stage curtains with him.

Planning surprises.

Thinking you have it all planned but forgetting or overlooking so many things, but in the end it doesn’t matter! No one notices they are all just having the best time. The help of so many of our friends and family was absolutely amazing and am forever grateful. The venue we chose was definitely challenging, but worth it in the end.

Words of wisdom.

Well… flowers are the most important part of a wedding obviously, ha ha.

Take your time!  Its not all about getting pretty photos. Think about that when planning the timeline, I wish I had more time with my guests or could just do it all over again it is an amazing day.

Just be true to yourself, don’t get caught up in the minor details, there are so many things we forgot to do and it just didn’t matter! We even forgot to put the seating out for our guests but the people helping on the day just made a plan and no one even noticed!

Your vendors want to make this the best day ever for you and take great pleasure in doing so, let them surprise you they love being a part of your day.



Daylesford dreaming? Madeleine and Nick’s spa country celebration is another incredible one to get your inspired. See it here




Ceremony location:  Manor House, Daylesford

Reception: Bullarto Hall, Bullarto Vic

Celebrant/Officiant: Annie Mullen-Walsh

Photography: Dean Raphael  

Styling: Self styled, with items hired and borrowed – napkins, wine glasses, wooden ceremony benches, and wine barrels from Peake Hire Co.

Festoon lights, lanterns, champagne buckets and rugs from Trove Hire.

Florist: Wootton and Nicholls and Raven and The Rose

Hair and make-up: Sophia Lambrinakos

The Dress: Bride’s mother – Kaylene Cameron – Fabric from Alla Moda and Tessuti

Headwear:  Vintage brooches

Accessories: Earrings by Christie Nicolaides 

Shoes: Diavolina and Missoni from Zomp Melbourne

Rings: Mania ManiaEtsy  and G Daylesford 

Bridesmaid’s dresses: Bec and Bridge

Groom’s suit: MJ Bale

Groom’s shoes: Aquila

Groomsmen suits: Joe Black

Bow ties / ties: MJ Bale

Catering: Spade to Blade, wine from Fontanella Winery (Glenlyon) and Goodwill Wine (Woodend)

Favours: Salt Dishes from Bridget Bodenham

Cake: Portugese Tarts from Dannys Farm. All others homemade cakes, slices etc by wedding guests and family.

Stationery / Signage: Invites and menu cards designed by Zara and Danny, printed locally, with signage by Danny

Entertainment: Acoustic: Nico Buck Jr and Tim Coleman, DJ Stylus 

Transport:  Bonneville, Daylesford Spa Country Railway and Little Coaches

Honeymoon:  Sardinia, Corsica, Capri, Amalfi Coast and Rome


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