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James & Nadia

— Summer Fields & Endless Love


1 February 2014


200 people


Kristen Cook

James & Nadia by Kristen Cook
James & Nadia by Kristen Cook

When we stumbled across a picture of Nadia Coppolino in her J'Aton gown we were literally lost for words. Hand beaded with glass pearl and studded ceramic beads on a caged embroidered mesh, Nadia's couture gown is absolute perfection.

Renowned for her innate sense of style as the breathtaking beauty behind Chronicles of Nadia, Nadia's chic aesthetic transcends into every detail of this stunning wedding.

Set against green rolling vineyards & luscious fields of Bellarine Peninsula overlooking Port Phillip Bay, Nadia and James's secluded outdoor wedding fuses city sophistication and relaxed country elegance.  

The impeccable styling and decor by The Style Co. incorporated fresh palette that took inspiration from the surrounding landscapes; crisp whites, deep greens, raw timbers and earthy neautrals.

The food and beverages looked just as incredible; catering team Tommy Collins had waiters decked-out in casual/country attire - stylish checked shirts, rolled chinos and canvas boat shoes serving quenching cocktails (Mint & Lychee coolers & Pina Coladas) in quirky garnished mason mugs. 

James and Nadia's day was expertly captured by Melbourne photographer, the very talented Kristen Cook.

HOW WE MET: Through mutual friends at a party in early 2008.

OUR ENGAGEMENT STORY: Jim proposed in Playa del Carmen in Mexico. He organised a little secluded hut on a private beach, lit with candles and after dinner he proposed down on one knee.

MARRIAGE TO US MEANS: Coming together to take on all of life's challenges and joys together. As a team we can achieve so much and marriage cements our love for each other as husband and wife.

WEDDING LOCATION: Baie Wines is on the doorstep of the beautiful Bellarine Peninsula overlooking Port Phillip Bay. Baie Wines was the venue of our dreams, we knew it was the one as soon as we laid eyes on it early last year. It had three elements we adored, it was a vineyard meets country meets the coast with a beautiful relaxing feel as soon as you stepped on the property. It was nice and secluded which we loved. Seeing as our ceremony was outdoors I worried for our guests, I didn’t want them to be dripping waiting for me to walk down the aisle (it was predicated to be 42 degrees!). We organised these high-tech air conditioners for the marquee but lady luck was on our side as it ended up only reaching 30 degrees and seeing as we were located on a cliff top, there was a beautiful southerly wind. The weather could not have been more perfect. The owners of the property were so accommodating and worked hard to make sure the day was perfect for us, they are such gorgeous people.

THEME/STYLE: We wanted to re-create that resort style feel in a relaxed environment. It was elegant and sophisticated feel meets country.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Our photographer was Kristen Cook I felt a connection with her as soon as I met her. She did an amazing job and we chose her for her candid and relaxed style of photography. I was so happy when I saw the photos as she captured so many moments that I didn’t remember on the night. 

BRIDE'S DRESS: I was lucky enough to have two dresses from J’Aton. It was an easy choice to go with the boys as I have long admired their work. They are the masters of couture and their attention to detail and mastership is in a league of their own. I am not a bridal type of girl, so I wanted to wear something that was sexy yet classy on the day and something that I felt like myself in. My first dress was a bias cut sheer silk jersey dress with tulle sheath underneath. The dress was hand beaded with glass pearl and studded ceramic beads on a caged embroidered mesh. It was so heavy with all the beading. My second dress was a lace and leather Baroque encrusted sheer sheath gown that was a lot easier to dance the night away in.  I loved both my dresses as they were very different and they were both very me. So many of friends kept saying that they didn’t expect me in the dress but they thought it was a 'Nadia' dress!

BRIDE'S SHOES: Charlotte Olympia from Net-A-Porter

BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: I wanted a style that suited the venue and also tied in with my dress. It was a summer outdoor wedding so I didn’t want anything too long and formal. I was also looking for a muted tone that sat nicely against the green vines of the venue. I turned to one of my favourite Australian designers Dion Lee. Green With Envy boutique ordered the pieces specifically for me (it was new season also I knew other guests wouldn’t be dressed the same) I had 5 bridesmaids and 2 of the girls had a v-neck dress and the other 3 had the backless pleated top and pleated skirt version that were from the same story so they worked together. The pleating on the dresses gave the pieces texture. I didn’t want the girls to look to matchy-matchy. 


FLOWERGIRLS/PAGEBOY OUTFITS: We had a little flower girl and pageboy. I purchased the Page Boy outfit from Seed, he rocked a little navy outfit and the grey striped bow tie.  With my flower girl (she is only 3 years old) so I wanted something really fun and pretty and went for a simple style that was slightly off white to suit my dress colouring. 

JEWELLERY/ACCESSORIES: Cerrone studded diamond earrings. 

WEDDING RINGS: Cerrone bands. I had a diamond band that went the whole way around and Jim had a simple thick style. My engagement ring is a round solitaire diamond with a Cerrone setting.

GROOMSMAN ATTIRE: I wanted the groom to look stylish and quite formal in comparison to the guests. Jim wore a custom made black suit from Shoreditch London with silk lapel with a Bow tie. The groomsmen also had custom made Shoreditch London suits with skinny black ties.

HAIR: I had my amazing stylist Marie Uva from Uva Salon style my hair on the day. I wanted to feel comfortable and wear my hair how I normally would so we created wavy style which was quite relaxed and teased to give it extra volume. My hairdresser was a guest at my wedding so she popped it up in a 5 minute pony when I changed dresses.

MAKEUP: I used my fabulous makeup artist, Chantelle Baker. We wanted a Victoria Secret inspired look with a dewy, bronzed skin, pink highlighted cheeks and brown gold tones on the eyes with a pretty nude/pink lip. 

STATIONERY & INVITATIONS: The Style Co created individual menus for each guest on a wooden board that matched the seating plan that hung on the tree branches. The invitations were created by the amazing Tammy from PAPYRUS DESIGN.

FLOWERS & BOUQUETS: I love beautiful flowers. We used big colourful floral arrangements in the ceremony area as it was a more relaxed feel and worked with the styling. We also had a foliage archway created with greens and whites in the ceremony area. The same foliage feel was also used in the reception marquee behind the cake, installation on roof, doorways etc. The Style Co. florists used 450 bunches of green foliage, 920 bunches of flowers including Hydrangea, David Austin roses, Lisianthus, Amy Lou roses, and 200 stems of Phalaenopsis orchids!

VIDEOGRAPHY: The style was laid back and candid, we even forgot the videographer was there on the day. Purple Ribbon were amazing!

PREPARATION: The ceremony didn’t start until 4:30pm so we had lots of time to get ready. All the preparation took place at our home in Geelong (which is only 20 minutes away from the venue) with all my bridesmaids and my mum. It was very relaxing, we organised some beautiful catering and sipped on champagne all day!

CEREMONY DECOR: Our ceremony was styled with a classic elegant feel with a neutral colour palette that sat perfectly against the ripe green rolling vineyards and the luscious fields. To tell you the truth the ceremony was a bit of a blur, it felt like a dream. I do remember the big grin on Jim’s face as I walked down the aisle. Post ceremony, it was time to drink, relax and get the party started. I love blooms, so the cocktail bar and the lounge bar were covered in big colourful arrangements. 

RECEPTION STYLING: We created a glam resort feel with sea views to match. Our clear marquee had a giant floral installation on the roof that was cascading down and long tables filled with white and green florals.They had also set up a stunning vertical garden which served as a back drop for the cake cutting and speeches. The Style Co girls did an extraordinary job, I was quite fussy with my styling as I knew exactly what look I wanted and the The Style Co team mastered it perfectly - they actually blew all my expectations out of the water. Our marquee and all our furniture was provided by Dann Event Hire. We chose pieces to suit our resort feel but I was torn when I looked on their site as they have so many cool options. Their pieces are edgy and modern which can be quite hard to find when you are hiring furniture. You can also purchase their incredible pieces at Space To Create if you love them so much. Everyone partied the night away on our open-air dance floor under the stars and strung with a zigzag of chic festoon lighting, without sounding cliché it was the most magical day of my entire life. We never wanted it to end. 

CAKE: Possibly the best wedding cake I have ever tasted! We had three flavours, choc-mint, white-choc raspberry and citrus. It was styled with rough-white icing and decorated with fresh flowers cascading down the side to suit the installation on the roof. Jo from Splendid Servings is incredible! 

WEDDING SONGS: Song walking down the aisle - Charlene Soraia "Wherever you will go" (sang live).  Song when papers signed - Ellie Goulding "How long will I love you" (sang live). Recessional - Beyonce "Love On Top" (sang live). Song for the first dance - John Legend "So High".

ENTERTAINMENT: We chose our own playlist. It was a mix of hits, old classics. I wanted music you could dance to and we also had a DJ and percussions. I liked the feel of the Sax and the bongo player!

FOOD & BEVERAGES: We had the catering expertise from the fab Tommy Collins team, it was an easy decision to pick Tommy’s team. There are so many great caterers in Melbourne but he stood out by a mile with his personal touch, 5 star gourmet food and creativity, it was exactly what we were after on the day. Tommy’s team were decked out in casual/country attire - stylish checked shirts, rolled chinos and canvas boat shoes while they served our pre-dinner canapés (in the lovely outdoor setting adjacent to the blooming vineyard) which consisted of lemongrass and lobster tail brioche rolls, compressed watermelon with feta and lime and paprika fried calamari.

During the pre-dinner service, with the sun beaming down, guests were treated to some quenching cocktails in quirky garnished mason mugs. We served fresh Mint & Lychee coolers, Pina Coladas and my favourite Veuve Clicquot. 

With a quick uniform change into pressed white shirts and black suspenders (for the fellas), Tommy paired each Mr. Collins staff member up with a Mrs. Collins to help pamper the 190 guests for a slick sit down dinner inside the large clear marquee erected on the bay side of the property. As it hit 10pm we had the espresso martinis rolling, perfect to give everyone a little buzz. Whilst all my cousins and uncles couldn’t get enough of the cigar and scotch bar- we had to have a little Italian touch!

Under the expertise and guidance of Tommy Collins Executive Chef, Emile Avramides, the kitchen produced various creations such as; ‘Sautéed globe artichokes served with butternut pumpkin & barigoule dressing’ and ‘Grain fed Eye Fillet, with caramelized baby onions, dutch carrots, shemiji mushrooms & a smoked marrow jus’. 

Once the main dinner service had concluded, Mr. Collins and his team constructed an epic dessert station on the outdoor area next to the dance floor. A strong focus in pastry Chef Eli Faye’s mind, was that Jimmy had a sweet tooth and loved all desserts. So he came up with a quirky creation combining 10 separate desserts all displayed with a huge visual impact to entice all of the guests. 

TRANSPORT: Chrysler sedans

HONEYMOON: We are going on our honeymoon in October this year. We are planning Maldives and Europe - Paris, Rome and Barcelona!

GIFT REGISTRY: Travel registry - Geelong Travel

CELEBRANT: Megan Watson from Marry Me Megan

READINGS: We wrote our own vows. We also had two readings "Marriage Joins Two People In The Circle Of Its Love" By Edmund O’Neil and "The Key to Love"


SOURCES OF INSPIRATION: I didn’t pick up one wedding magazine but I did use the fabulous LANE and some other blogs. I am quite fussy with my style so I knew what I wanted. 

A MEMORABLE MOMENT: A memorable moment was when I saw Jim as I walked down the aisle, his face was perfect with a gorgeous grin!

ONE THING I WISH I KNEW BEFORE I STARTED MY WEDDING PLANS The day goes so fast -  try to remember every moment!

IF I COULD GIVE OTHER BRIDES TO BE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE…  Try to relax and not take things too seriously, even if everything doesn’t go exactly to plan. It's okay as it is more about the special moment you are sharing together. Try to stay together with your hubby on the night as you will get pulled in so many directions with everyone wanting to congratulate you but try to take time out with your partner. 



BRIDE'S DRESS: J'Aton Couture

BRIDE’S SHOES: Charlotte Olympia from Net-A-Porter 

BRIDEMAIDS DRESSES: Dion Lee from Green With Envy 


FLOWERGIRLS/PAGEBOYS: Pageboy outfit from Seed and Flowegirl from Princess Boutique

GROOMS FORMAL WEAR: Shoreditch London


HAIR: Marie Uva from Uva Salon

MAKEUP: Chantelle Baker


CAKE: Splendid Servings

CATERING: Tommy Collins

CELEBRANT: Megan Watson




ENTERTAINMENT:  DJ - Alex, Vocalist - Laura from Allegro Music  

FAVORS: Wedding Paper Chic

VIDEOGRAPHER: Purple Ribbon Wedding

GIFT REGISTRY: Geelong Travel

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