Meeting over spilled beer at her parents house, to being proposed on top of a hill over- looking a small town in France six years later, Dom and Duncan create a beautiful day for themselves to share with their loved ones.

#RCRealBride Dominique wore the Maggie Sottero Nola gown purchased from our Armadale boutique. A fit and flare gown with lace appliqués cascading down the bodice, breathtaking scalloped hem, and illusion open-back in this tulle over Vogue satin fit-and-flare. Featuring beaded spaghetti straps, a V-neckline, and beaded embellishments. Finished with covered buttons over zipper closure.

Photographer – Nikki McCrone


We met over a smashed six pack of beer on my parents floor – I was having a party and my cousin (also friend, and future bridesmaid) brought Duncan along, who dropped the beer all over the floor before we exchanged our first words. We were friends initially, and it was a year or so later that our friendship eventually turned into a relationship. Our first date was pretty classic Melbourne, a cute little café with great coffee.


We were at the end of an overseas trip, in a little town in the south of France. I had an inkling he was going to propose on the trip, but we’d already been to the place I thought he would choose, so I was thinking my intuition was off. But then on the second last night we packed a picnic for dinner (borrowing a few things from the hotel…) and hiked up a hill with a view over the town. After finding a little secluded nook, I started snapping photos of the view as Duncan organised the picnic. When I turned around he’d laid out a beautiful spread of all the delicious things you find in France, and in the middle, a Minnie Mouse ring (a stand-in ring as we designed the engagement ring together).


This was one of our favourite parts of the wedding planning – we did degustation menus at a number of different places to compare the food (which didn’t help with the dress fitting!). So we ate our way through the wedding venue options, and Lake House won hands down. There were a few other good options, but Lake House had more than the food, with a beautiful intimate room for dinner where we could have everyone at the one (very long!) table. We were struggling on working out a ceremony venue that worked with the reception venue, so being able to have both at the same place made the organisation so much easier – no ferrying guests between venues!


We’d been told by so many people how amazing the day was going to be, but we were worried we’d be so caught up in the organizing and not really get that magical feeling. Luckily, we were wrong! Every part of the day was incredible, but having a small, close group of family and friends for an intimate ceremony, who gave such beautiful speeches really made the day feel so special.

The little fleeting moments in between all the things we had on the day were also amazing, everything from the drive in the car to take our pictures at the railway, to the the moments before the ceremony begun, or watching our guests opening up their wedding favors.


When I started trying on dresses, I had a pretty good idea of what I was looking for. Then I actually put them on, and turned out what looked good in my head didn’t really suit me. When I was at Raffaele Ciuca we picked about five dresses out, and I always try clothes on starting with my least favorite (to save the best until last). The Nola dress was my least favorite on the rack, but when I put it on, I fell in love! It had the beautiful lace back that I’d been searching for and a soft romantic delicateness that I just loved.


I’d highly recommend trying a number of different styles, even if they don’t look perfect on the rack – you never know what you might find! I went along to Raffaele Ciuca after having been to a number of other bridal boutiques. There were a lot of beautiful dresses on the website that I was looking forward to trying, so was definitely feeling hopeful. Everyone was so wonderful, and once I found ‘the one’, we popped a bottle of champagne and had a toast, starting off the wedding planning on a high note!


Don’t be afraid to make the wedding your own! Decide what’s important to you in the day, and (as much as you can) be flexible and relaxed on the rest. We put a lot of time and effort into our bonbonniere/favors as we made personalized cocktail baskets but we knew that’s what we wanted to spend our time on and it was so much fun to do. Then there were other areas that we spent almost no time deciding, as in the grand scheme of things they just weren’t all that important to us, like the cake flavor, corsages or speech order (there are so many little things!).

On the tips for a happy relationship – there’s so much advice out there, and every relationship is different! Get to know your relationship, and what works for the both of you.


Venue: Lake House, Daylesford

Church/Celebrant: Kim McClelland

Flowers: Deb Cooper (Lake House)

Cake: Lake House

Hair: Paulz and team, The Lounge Hair and Beauty Daylesford

Makeup: Emily Rogala

Shoes: Alan Pinkus

Invites: Design from SignedSealedForever

Suits: Oscar Hunt

Band/DJ: None

Bridesmaid Dresses: Forever New

Bonbonerie: Homemade

Table Centrepieces: Lake House

Rings: Custom design, Larsen Jewellery