Collingwood locals, Holly and John’s love story blossomed amidst the digital age, culminating in a fun and relaxed wedding celebration in the heart of their favourite suburb at Rupert On Rupert. Captured by Leo Farrell Photography and filmed by Bottlebrush Films, Their day was full of unique details, including Holly’s stunning dress which as Holly states, “the brief was Grace Kelly meets Collingwood chic.” Holly shares more about their fun-filled wedding below.

We met online! Real 21st-century romance. Our first date was a Zoom session early on in Covid lockdowns which lasted several hours before we agreed to meet in person.

John proposed in Malta at the very start of a three-week travel adventure around Europe. He asked me to go out onto our beautiful balcony first thing in the morning and had organised a celebratory private boat to island hop later that day. The most perfect day from start to finish.

As Collingwood locals ourselves, we love the relaxed and quirky vibe that the suburb offers.

Rupert On Rupert as a venue is no exception to this, so we wanted our wedding to evoke a similar atmosphere with nothing but love, lots of fun and endless laughs. We wanted it to be a cocktail and canapés evening that saw everybody dancing and mingling – and had precisely that!

My wedding party made sure we had the traditional “night before” night of nights where John and I didn’t see each other before our wedding. That night was spent watching the movie ‘Bridesmaids’ as me and my girls soaked up the joy of the moment.

The morning of the wedding was so relaxing, and we had a girlfriend coffee date to start off the day. I then gifted my beautiful bridesmaids their wedding earrings from Aje and it was so heart-warming to see my maids in their special earrings on the special day.

I had a friend make my dress. After trying on dresses with my maid of honour and mother-in-law, I couldn’t find the dress I had in mind. My very talented friend, Diane Calwell Designs, was very kind and agreed to help bring my dream dress to life. The brief was Grace Kelly meets Collingwood chic.

I didn’t really know what materials I wanted but knew long sleeves and high neck was my style. Diane and I went shopping and looked at lots of different materials before I decided on an embellished tulle top with a satin bottom combination. Diane even used the same material from the top half of my dress to create my dream veil and tie the whole look together.

My mother-in-law gave me a beautiful brooch to pin to my bouquet which consisted of a Celtic four-leaf clover (an ode to my Irish background), Scottish bagpiper (an ode to John’s background on his dad’s side), a Danish key from where my mother-in-law’s family came from, and a heart which was symbolic of our love. This pin also served as my something old and borrowed.

I booked a maxi taxi for myself, my father-in-law, and six bridesmaids to travel from my in-law’s home in Richmond, to the venue.

John had four groomsmen. His best friends, Zak (best man) and Paddy, plus his two brothers, Alec, and George.

I had my very best friend Maddi as maid of honour and my dear friends, Camilla, Georgia, Blaire (identical twin), Emma and Maya as my bridesmaids.

The six to four ratio offered a fun asymmetry.

I wanted all white flowers for my bridesmaids to complement their ivory dresses. I let my bridesmaids choose whichever white florals they liked so that it could be personal to them. I then incorporated the six different flower types into my own bouquet, with hints of soft pastels. This white and pastel theme was then used in our ceremony cloud display which was impeccably put together by Val from Val’s Vases.

We had both the ceremony and reception at Rupert On Rupert. It was everything we could have hoped for and more. Unbelievable service and food from start to finish and we can’t thank Mali and the team enough for making our wedding so seamless. We quite literally never felt stressed about anything because the Rupert team were such experts in the field.

In terms of ceremony readings, we wanted a mix of love, but also formality which paid homage to the lifelong commitment we were about to make. Our celebrant, Natalie Drum, nailed the brief and offered the most perfect blend of laughter and tears.

Mali, the owner of Rupert On Rupert, organised roses for our guests to throw during our recessional as we forgot to bring them. It was the sweetest, most kind gesture. Which was a particular nicety given Mali is allergic!

We walked down the aisle with the instrumental version of ‘Here Comes the Sun’ by The Beatles.

Our photographer, Leo is a true professional. He brought a candidness to our photos that is not often seen in wedding moments. His informal, documentary style was exactly what we hoped for and the moments of pure, raw emotions that Leo was able to capture throughout the day will be cherished by us forever. We can never thank him enough. His talent knows no bounds.

All the vendors were phenomenal. None stand out more than the other because they all made our day so incredibly straightforward and filled it with such pure happiness. We had complete and utter confidence in all our vendors from the moment we met them all.

The five things that made the wedding special were:

1. Hosting it in Collingwood, our home suburb.
2. Having my father-in-law, who doesn’t have any daughters, walk me down the aisle as I joined my new family. The family I never had.
3. To finally have the chance to wear my wedding band, which has a birthstone for each member of the family I’m marrying in to. This was brought to life by the team at Black Finch Jewellery.
4. Being surrounded by all our dear friends and family as well as having speeches from the heart.
5. It was so wonderful for John and I to share a meal upon our arrival back to Rupert On Rupert and post cocktail hour photographs. The morning and day just went so fast, so to have some time for us just to breathe and be together amongst the beautiful chaos, was perfect.


Kick-on party was held at Le Bon Ton! Thank you to Le Bon Ton manager, for the celebratory jager shots.

Some advice for the future couple getting married – marry your best friend.

The wedding was filmed by Bottlebrush Films. Andrew was a joy to be around and captured our day in the most light-hearted, magical way.

Thank you to Holly and John for sharing their beautiful wedding day, and to Leo Farrell for sharing their stunning images.