Stones of the Yarra Valley

  • 5 Creative Ideas for a Unique Wedding Ceremony Backdrop

    Jade & Keiran’s wedding by Lost In Love Photography

    Do you want to make your big day extra memorable? If so, then be sure to include a one-of-a-kind wedding ceremony backdrop, which will set the tone and mood for your event! Here are 5 ideas to inspire you:

    Enhance your venue.

    While your wedding backdrop is the highlight of the ceremony, it should not deviate from the venue’s overall design. Try to keep the decor, flowers, and installations to a minimum in order to make sure that the people will focus on the natural elements of the venue.

    Use unusual spaces.

    Think outside of the box. There may be a spot in your venue that isn’t usually used as a ceremony area but with a little creativity, can be turned into a gem. Look for lush green spaces and try to work with the management to set up your wedding ceremony backdrop in that particular area.

    Use unusual things.

    Your wedding backdrop can be made unique by using items that aren’t normally utilized in nuptial ceremonies. Ask a rental company or two if they can provide you with some unusual materials for your backdrop.

    Mix and match.

    Incorporate a mixture of textures and materials to establish a special wedding ceremony backdrop. But remember to stay within your colour palette to keep things in sync.

    Integrate your tradition.

    You can create a stunning wedding backdrop and honour your family’s traditions at the same time. Make a bold focal point that emphasizes your culture and heritage. Not only will this design be a great photo background, but it is also a way to pay homage to what matters to you and your family.

    If you need more creative ideas to design a special wedding ceremony backdrop, be sure to reach out to us via phone or email. It’d be our pleasure to help you make your day truly unforgettable.

  • Top 5 Creative Ideas for Unique Wedding Favours

    “Favours and sugared almonds, perfect for wedding celebration.”

    Wedding favours in 2021? We say: why not! Sure, wedding favours are no longer considered mandatory, but they do help send a message to your guests that you are thankful for their attendance and love. If you want some ideas for unique wedding favours, keep reading! 

    Personalized Face Masks

    Who would’ve thought that masks could be so fashionable, right? One of the most timely wedding favour ideas today is about keeping your guests elegantly safe. So, give them washable and reusable face masks on your big day. Not only will these items protect them and others, but they can also be used multiple times!

    Custom Hand Sanitizer Bottles

    Since last year, thoughts about safety have been one of the major wedding favour ideas. With that in mind, we suggest hand sanitisers for your guests, to use at the event itself and afterward. Don’t forget to add your initials or photos, or even your favourite scents.

    Individual Wine Stoppers

    Wine is a symbol of celebration — and what better way to show your gratitude than giving your guests personalized wine stoppers? For sure, your family and friends will love the functionality of these unique wedding favours. They keep the wine air-tight, meaning it stays fresh, preserved, and tasty.

    Tea Towels

    Do you want to give your guests something unexpected? If so, then go for personalized tea towels. Have a professional calligrapher decorate them with a sweet quote or your initials. Then, apply some creativity and incorporate the towels into your table design. This is one of the nicest wedding favour ideas that are easy to pull off.

    Customized Blankets

    Want more ideas for unique wedding favours? How about special blankets? Should you tie the knot on a chilly day, you can keep your guests snug by providing individual fleece blankets. Be sure to add your exclusive design or your initials. These blankets will give your family and friends something to snuggle under when things get cold.

  • Introducing Jess, our wedding planner in the Yarra Valley & Dandenongs

    Jessica Gale is one of our most popular wedding planners here at Darling Don’t Panic, and is highly in demand in the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges as a wedding planner, but also, a florist with her other business, Sassafras Flower Design.

    Darling Don’t Panic clients are spoilt with the fact they can have their wedding planner also do their florals. It’s a match made in heaven!

    We’ve asked Jess a few questions here so you can get to know what makes her such a wonderful choice as your wedding planner for your wedding in the Yarra Valley or Dandenong Ranges

    Yarra Valley, Dandenong Ranges, Outer Eastern suburbs

    As a wedding florist, wanting to be of more service to my clients by providing a full scale planning and styling option to ensure a more polished and cohesive look and experience.

    Naturally beautiful, elevated and thoughtfully curated details.


    • Stones of the Yarra Valley – Most aligned with my personal aesthetic. Diverse spaces on the property are able to host high end, large scale weddings and also intimate, small gatherings with an emphasis on quality and unique touches.
    • Zonzo – Extremely polished and professional, incredible food and service with epic views and award winning menu.
    • Gum Gully Farm – Genuine and earthy, family run and friendly and accessible with classic homestyle country charm.
    • Montsalvat – An extensive network of spaces, including extravagant halls and gallery spaces, extensive gardens and utterly unique spaces.
    • Immerse – Gorgeous venue, acclaimed restaurant and boutique winery all rolled into one. Rolling hills of vines, picture perfect gardens, and accommodation. 

    Having had 26+ years experience in florals, specialising in weddings for the past 10+ years and having an unstoppable passion for all things beautiful and romantic.


  • Interview with our Head Planner, Jac Bowie

    Jac Bowie is the owner & head planner at Darling Don’t Panic and is the wedding planner who services our destination weddings in New Caledonia. She comes from a 10+ year background in events including founding Business in Heels and producing theatre shows including The Hurly Burly Show in Australia. In addition to planning destination weddings in New Caledonia she supports the entire Darling Don’t Panic wedding planning team with backup support & travel agent services.

    Destination weddings in New Caledonia, plus backup wedding planner for Australia – if clients need us in a location that is not serviced or one of our planners can’t do that date!

    I was a theatre producer for many years, and then founded Business in Heels – so had a really strong background in events. I’ve produced over 500 events including bringing West End shows out to Australia and touring shows around Australia like The Burlesque Ball.

    Making the transition to wedding planning was a simple one. I’ve absolutely loved getting to know my clients and creating their dream event. It’s also nice to not stress about ticket sales, PR, costumes and just focus on creating something beautiful!

    Love something a bit luxe boho – really into corals and unstructured florals – love love love!

    I service our clients in New Caledonia and love Le Meridien, Chataeu Royal as hotel wedding venues in Noumea – but also am dying for someone to book Duck Island – you can have your own island for your wedding with food, drinks, music for under 10K – please someone book me for that!

    In Australia I have a few local faves down here in Geelong – love Rocklea Farm, Rusty Gate Weddings & in the Yarra Valley – Stones of the Yarra Valley!

    Aside from my strong logistical background in events, I’m passionate about what I do. I love getting to know my clients and creating something unique that truly represents them.

    Alex & Justin’s wedding at Rusty Gate Weddings.


    I use Thymebase for all my wedding planning tasks and also my on the day timeline. For communication with my clients I use Aisle Planner . For invoicing, questionnaires, contracts I use Dubsado. We offer full access to Aisle Planner to all of our clients.

    A look inside Aisle Planner
  • Wedding Venues in Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges

    Bride and groom hugging on the rocky mountain. High quality photo

    Stones of the Yarra Valley

    Some of our favourite weddings have been held at Stones. The attention to detail that Vonnie and the staff have is incredible. There are multiple spaces for ceremony and reception that are all beautifully curated and are wonderfully supported by the on-site accommodation and bridal rooms. Our couples are always so well looked after at Stones and rave about the food and wine and of course the opportunities for incredible photography. Many of the suppliers on the Preferred vendor list are also on our lists as the quality and workmanship aligns so well with what we do.

    Gum Gully Farm.

    Gum Gully Farm

    We just love Gum Gully Farm – Sue and Simon run this family business that was literally built from the ground up. There are multiple options for a ceremony, they only book one wedding per day and they really shine when it comes to hosting a gorgeous country wedding. Our couples love how Gum Gully feels – it’s the real deal with a working farm and incredible photo ops everywhere you turn. The food is always generous, the service is genuine and all the vendors we know love working here, too. It’s a real treat.

    Montsalvat. Wedding by DDP.


    Montsalvat is the most beautiful venue – you honestly feel like you’re on another continent when you step inside the grounds. Set amongst a thriving artist community with peacocks roaming the gardens are multiple spaces for ceremony and reception. There are too many incredible photo opportunities to even mention here, but we particularly love the stained glass window in the Upper Gallery, the wisteria lined outdoor pool, and the front of the Great Hall is magnificent with its arched windows and flagstones. There is an incredible bridal room too with book-lined walls, oil portraits and even a spiral staircase.

    Tatra Receptions


    Set in a leafy 10 acres of established gardens Tatra is a part of a thriving group of venues in the Dandenong Ranges that include Poets Lane, Lyrebird Falls and Nathania Springs. There are options for a garden ceremony at the Cupola, or the sweet little chapel: and options also for canapes outside in the gardens or inside at the Bar.
    The ballroom is classic and elegant and the on-site accommodation handy for getting ready and staying after the wedding. Tatra has a lot of inclusions already, but we do love to bring in a little more colour and help to put the couples’ personal stamp on their wedding with florals and linens especially.

    Burnham Beeches.

    Burnham Beeches

    Set in the rainforest on over 22 hectares Burnham Beeches is a really exciting and richly historical space. There is work being done to convert the 1930’s mansion into a 6-star luxury retreat, currently, there are numerous satellite buildings including the Piggery Cafe and Bakery, kitchen gardens and trufferie.
    Ceremonies can take place in front of the Mansion on the lawn and also in front of the hedge, and reception is at The Piggery which looks out over the bocce and croquet pitch. Beautifully prepared as you would expect from the people running Vue de monde and assorted Vue Group restaurants. This is already an amazing venue for weddings and we’re excited to see the continued evolution of this property.

    Zonzo Estate

    Zonzo Estate Yarra Valley

    Set amongst 45 acres of vines, Zonzo is picturesque and top of the line. With the recent addition of the Capella, there are multiple options for ceremony, and the classic Italian styled dining area looks out over the Yarra Valley. The service is seamless and here, recently voted Australia’s No.1 Restaurant Reception for the 5th year in a row. The food is abundant and amazing, served on shared tables with incredible wine and every detail is thoughtful and impeccable.

    Jessica is our wedding planner in the Yarra Valley & Dandenong Ranges regions. She’s also a florist with her own business, Sassafras Flower Design. Darling Don’t Panic offers wedding planning, styling and on the day services in this area. Get pricing and check dates at our Get A Quote page to find out more.