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Melissa & Chantra Winter Forest Engagement

by | Bride, Engagements


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Melissa & Chantra

I love the beauty of a forest and anyone who knows me, knows I love Winter, so when I spied today’s shoot which joined the two into a Winter forest engagement shoot, I knew I wanted to share it with you! Photographer Sonya Chindamo from Laugh Out Loud Photograhy scouted this woodland site for Melissa and Chantra’s engagement photos which has a strange sense of synchronicity for the couple – Chantra had chosen a forest to propose to Melissa.

And that, is why I love the forest. The sense that the trees which have seen so much, that dwarf those below, hold so many stories and create such a sense of intimacy and peace. Perfectly suited for a shoot that captures your own quiet moments together.

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The stunning forest scene was a surprise for the couple, who remark, “Chantra and I love the outdoors. Many important memories we share involve being outside, exploring and enjoying our surroundings. This shoot is not only a perfect depiction of the type of places we like to go, but it is also a beautiful representation of where Chantra proposed. Sonya scouted the site and said it match us perfectly as a couple. While we knew we want to be rugged up and embrace the Winter elements in our photos, we never imagined Sonya would find somewhere as incredible as that forest! ”

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Melissa tells the story of how they came to be. “Chantra and I met on and off in passing through friends until we met properly on New Years Eve of 2011. Our mutual friend had made it clear that Chantra was interested in me and didn’t hesitate to make it as awkward as possible for us. This resulted in Chantra being quite hesitant to talk to me. After I initiated a conversation, the rest of the night seemed to fly as we talked the night away. We watched the fireworks together at 12, and he wished me a Happy New Year with a shy smile. He always tells me he wanted to give me a New Years kiss, and is kicking himself that he didn’t!”

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On what they love about one another, Melissa muses, “We love that we both have a desire to experience new things. When we are together there is never a dull moment as we always try to find new things to do and see. Still to this day we have an endless list of ‘firsts’ that we want to experience together.”

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The proposal was an epic surprise for Melissa who remembers, “We had decided to celebrate the anniversary of our first date, which was 2 years earlier by spending the day in Lorne. Still to this day I have never been to Lorne, because instead we ended up at Melbourne Airport with two tickets to Tasmania in our hands. Tasmania was the first place Chantra and I travelled to together and we fell in love with its natural beauty, slow paced lifestyle and specifically the Huon Valley.

Upon arrival in Tasmania, we picked up our rental car and headed to a little lunch spot Chantra had found. It was a quaint, little, permanently docked boat restaurant where we had the best fish and chips we have ever had. Afterwards, Chantra handed me a map, showed me where we were and told me we could do and see whatever I wished. He knew me well, and knew I would choose to the Tahune Airwalk. The Tahune Airwalk is within a Heritage listed Forest and is absolutely stunning.

We made our way through the forest and up the steps that led us to the air walk in the canopy of the trees. We then reached the look out which is suspended 48 meters above a river with the most incredible views. I don’t know how he did it but we happened to have the lookout all to ourselves! It was in that moment when we were silently enjoying this spot that we now call ours, that he calmly and modestly asked me to marry him.”

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Amy & Heath’s Modern Science Museum Wedding

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Newlyweds at Scienceworks

Amy & Heath

Amy and Heath chose a fun and unique venue for what turned out to be their modern science museum wedding. They married in the courtyard of the museum before leading guests to the historic Pumping space – a space that is beautiful in its industrial style. With a day heavily focused on fun for guests, the newlyweds made sure their guests were looked after at every turn – including arranging a surprise ice cream truck for dessert! Alex from Motta Weddings was there to capture it all.

As for how they met, Amy tells, “A girls night out turned out to be the night I pointed out my future husband saying to my friend “that one!” ”

Grooom and groomsmen gettting ready

Groom preparing for wedding dayGroom dressing

Grooming for wedding

groom with groomsmen

Bride putting on wedding dress

Bride getting ready for weddingBride putting on shoes

Amy chose a gown by Suzanne Harward, remembering “‘I’ve never been a glamorous or even fashionable girl so the thought of wearing a huge white dress in front of hundreds of eyes was terrifying! I began the search by following some amazing designers on Instagram. Suzanne Harward was my favourite and the first place I went to.

It was the 5th dress I tried that put my Mum and bridesmaids in tears, so I took that very dress home right then and there! However, once home I had a complete melt down and changed my mind! Luckily, Marnee from Suzanne Harward was able to read my mind and completely recreate the bottom half of the dress making the lace bodice pop. It was simply perfect.”

Bride and bridesmaids with floral crowns

Amy’s bridesmaids wore gowns from Sabo Skirt with colourful flower crowns.

Historic building

Amy and Heath chose Pumping Station, Scienceworks for their wedding, with the ceremony in the courtyard. Amy tells, “The courtyard of the Pumping Station was so romantic and different to your traditional ceremony venues. The gorgeous 1890’s French architecture of the buildings that surrounded the ceremony were stunning, not to mention the 2 gorgeous towers on either side of the bridal party.”

Grand industrial wedding venue

hand painted wedding signs

Groom and groomsmen during processional

Ringbearers at scienceworks

Bridesmaid in apricot

Wedding processional in Melbourne

Amy walked down the aisle to Chantal Kreviazuk “Feels Like Home” sung by her sister Kate McLachlan.

Melbourne wedding

Bride and groom with colourful streamers

Chantelle McLachlan officiated the ceremony, Amy remembering ” Our ceremony was light-hearted and straight to the point. My sister-in-law Chantelle was our celebrant making it extra special.”

guests during ceremony

Unusual melbourne wedding venue

Urban Melbourne wedding

First kiss at industrial wedding

Newlyweds at Sciencwworks

Bridal party at scienceworks

Newlyweds at Scienceworks Wedding Photo

Industrial Melbourne bride and groom

multicoloured wedding bouquet

bridal party with corrugated iron

Wedding against rusted corrugated iron

corrugated iron wedding photo

Bridal party at Outdoor science museum

Industrial groomsmen photo

Industrial wedding photoWedding at outdoor science museum

Of their photographer, Amy tells, “Alex for Motta Weddings was simply incredible. His vision and creative flare was amazing. He was laid back, approachable and fit in perfectly with our guests and he made the bridal party relaxed and at ease. Our day was captured so beautifully and the fine art book is just stunning.”

Bride with bridesmaids with multi coloured flower crowns

Bride in Suzanne HarwardPumping Station Portrait

Pumping Station newlyweds

Melbourne Museum Wedding

Bride and groom with baloons

Newlyweds with balloons

Science musuem wedding

“Our guests were treated to exclusive use of the Scienceworks galleries for their pre-dinner drinks and canapés. Our guests’ inner child were in heaven as they sipped on champagne and played on all the exhibits.”

Bridal table with baloons

The reception was held inside the Pumping Station itself, the bride explaining, “Our guests entered the reception via the Coal Bunker ramp. The mysterious, dark passage led our eager guests down towards the Boiler Room. The reception was in the Boiler room of the Pumping Station and this was our WOW factor. The huge ceilings, beautiful brick walls and huge barn style doors was the industrial feel we were after. We had two long tables lining the walls with the bridal table along the top and the dance floor taking centre stage. We styled our own cake and signing table which included a Jenga guest book and set up a vintage inspired photo booth in front of the two huge boilers.”

Industrial wedding space Melbourne

Candlit industrial wedding venue

“My very talented Mum did all the floral arrangements and our bouquets. My step-dad made some incredible test tube vases that were our centre pieces and our guests’ place cards/favours. Our gorgeous invites were made by a talented friend and all the styling was me.”

Industrial wedding decor

Cake table at industrial wedding

Friend Sandy O’Brien created a table of delicious wedding cakes.

Melbourne Musuem Wedding Reception

Will and Daniel Acoustic Duoo

Acoustic duo Will and Daniel kept the atmosphere going for the night with their tunes.

Reception entrance

Candle lit industrial wedding reception

Guests enjoyed a feast catered by White Card Food and Events , the bride telling, “Annie from White Card Food and Events was a pleasure to work with. She was relaxed, yet enthusiastic and was up for all my crazy ideas. She was there every step of the way answering my endless questions and following up my many queries. On the day she was professional, inconspicuous and made every second run smoothly. She was heaven sent.”

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Photobooth in Melbourne

Wedding SPeeches

Speeches at Melbourne wedding

Melbourne bridesmaid singing

Of their first dance, Amy remembers, “My sister sang our first dance song – Oasis, Wonderwall. This was always ‘our’ song. After we first met we went through a stage of texting each other song lyrics when we were out with friends. One night Heath sent me the lyrics to Wonderwall, the very song playing as I read it. Turned out we had been at the same venue for a few hours and not realised it. My sister had no choice in the matter of her singing on the day! I love hearing her beautiful voice and this was really special for me.”

Wedding dance Melbourne

Melbourne first dance

wedding dance floor

fun dance floor

Bride and groom with ice cream truck

“We wanted our day to be as fun as possible for our guests. The buzz of the guests was contagious however my favourite part was hearing and seeing their reaction as they walked into the adjoining engine room and seeing a Mr Whippy van ready to serve their favourite childhood soft serve ice-cream and gelato.”

Surprise ice cream truck at wedding

Icecream truck at Melbourne wedding

Congratulations Amy and Heath! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Motta Weddings and Pumping Station, Scienceworks for sharing today’s wedding!

Photographer: Motta Wedding / Cinematographer: Linh Luu / Bride’s Dress: Suzanne Harward / Bride’s Shoes: Tony Bianco / Bride’s Jewelry: Anny's Manufacturing Jewellers / Groom’s Attire: Hugo Boss from Cavalier Menswear / Groom’s Attire: Cavalier Menswear / Bridesmaid Dresses: Sabo Skirt / Bridesmaid Accessories: Portobello Jewellers / Hairstylist: Tamara Floate / Hairstylist: Michala Marshall / Makeup Artist: Brooke Sutherland Makeup / Flowers & Decor: Bride & Groom / Invitations & Stationery: Bride & Groom / Venue: Pumping Station, Scienceworks / Ceremony Officiant: Chantelle McLachlan / Ceremony Musicians: Kate McLachlan / Band: Acoustic duo - Will and Daniel / Catering: White Card Food and Events / Cake Baker: Sandy O'Brien / Wedding Rings: Anny's Manufacturing Jewellers / Transport: My Limo

Friday Roundup

by | Blog News, Bride



Photo by Stu & Malia Photographers via Underwater Wedding Photos

Hello August Eve! Who can believe August is almost here? I’m off for a fun lunch with some good friends today before a weekend of quiet after a bit of a flux. My head needs to be still!

In the mean time, let’s finish off the week by checking in with our specialty blogs!


We love a groom shares his story with us! Brad and Erin’s Intimate Mornington Peninsula Wedding

The Who, What, Where, When and How to Finding Your Perfect Wedding Dress

Want to meet Brisbane’s newest wedding venue? Take Me to High Church!

Enjoy this Cocktail Friday – Bannisters’ Japanese Slipper

Dreaming of the sea? Check out these Underwater Wedding Photos

We love a good chat with a bridal designer, meet Carla Jenkins of Made With Love

Honeymooning close to home? Check out Mount Lofty House Honeymoon Getaway

Hand lettering fans rejoice, you’ll love the look of Mulberry Script

A chandelier and a caravan? All included in this Whimsical Yallingup Wedding

Get ready for warmer weather with this Lime, Coconut and Ginger-Infused Rum

Love the theme of this Bow Ties and Fascinators Engagement Party

Wedding Beauty Regime With Paula’s Choice – The Final Weeks!

Rounding up our favourite Vine Bridal Hairpieces

News Roundup 31st July 2015

I love special offers just for you and Little Sister Invitations has a good one! Book and pay for your invitations before the end of August and mention Polka Dot Bride and you’ll receive 80 standard wishing well cards for free! Visit the website to check out their wedding invitation collection.

Remember the sweet fabric bouquets and hairpiece in Amy and Ben’s National Arboretum Wedding? The designer Ashlee Lauren Designs is holding a giveaway to win $500 worth of bridal accessories! Head to the Ashlee Lauren Designs page for information!

South WA couples, you’ll want to attend the Southwest Wedding Fair in Busselton on Sunday the 3oth of August.  There will be a huge array of wedding suppliers from around the area all displaying their services just for you. Check out the website for full details.

Sydney waterside venue Beachside Dojo are having a wedding open night on the 13th of August at 7pm. Get along to meet a selection of fun wedding vendors, grab styling tips, a free drink and of course, a goodie bag! Get your free tickets by emailing

Our film of the week comes from In A Maze Films. Not only does the film make me feel like I have crashed the wedding, it also made me let out a little sob, a little laughter and fall just a little bit in love.

Toni & Chris’ Hinterland Country Hall Wedding

by | Australia - Queensland, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Bride with Bo and Luca Luna Hairpiece

Toni & Chris

Toni and Chris held their hinterland country hall wedding in the mountains of the Gold Coast. They wed in the gardens of the community run hall, before guests dined inside the hall under a foliage wrapped chandelier the couple made themselves. The spirits were high – the couple designing their day so everyone could feel as connected as possible.  Lucas & Co were there to capture the day.

Toni remembers how they came to be. “We met at a music festival when our eyes clicked in a drinks line. We spent the day and night together before heading out for dinner after the festival.”

Bride putting on wedding gown

Bride getting ready

Toni wore the ‘Bridgette’ by Pia Gladys Perry gown from Bohemian Brides, explaining, “I chose a simple dress because I wanted to have a special headpiece, which I chose from Bo & Luca (Luna headpiece).  It wasn’t what I had pictured before I went looking but the dress suited me and I knew I would be able to boogie in it!

Kate from the boutique made the experience really lovely and was incredibly accommodating. I added some handmade elements to the dress including a simple belt my mother in law helped me make, beading across the drop back and my something old. A friend had found antique ribbon embroidered with my initials in a store many years ago. I had the ribbon sewn to the inside hemline of the dress (thanks again to my mother in law). ”

Bride in Pia Gladys Perry

Chalkboard wedding sign

Toni and Chris were married at Mt Nimmel Hall, Toni noting, “From the get go we wanted a small hall in the country that we could make our own and decorate just how we wanted. When we came across Mt Nimmel Hall we couldn’t believe how perfectly it suited us. It is run by volunteers in the local community.”  Toni and Chris made the welcome sign, amongst other things (friends and family photoboard, drinks menu, order of events sign, menu, chandeliers, bench for ladies toiletries, toilet signs (man punching bear and 50s housewife), wedding favours, name tags, table numbers, speech stand and bunting).

Bride walking down the aisle

Of her walk down the aisle, Toni remembers, “I’ve always loved the song from the opening credits in ‘Juno’, ‘All I Want Is You’ by Barry Louis Polisar. I had a fear that I was going to sob (read ugly crying) the whole way down the aisle and therefore wanted a happy song. My plan failed though. Our wonderful singer Tommy Sheehan, a local Gold Coast artist, made the song his own and had slowed it down to a beautifully romantic piece. Choking up ensued.”

Bride at end of aisle

Bridesmaids in mismtached gowns

Enchanted Flowers created the floral arrangements for the day.

Bride and groom during ceremony at Mt Nimmel HallCeremony at Mt Nimmel Hall

Lindsay Carroll  officiated the ceremony, Toni telling, “Our number one goal was to have a ceremony that made everyone feel connected. We wanted it to be personal and heartfelt. Our celebrant Lindsay had some lovely ideas to make our guests feel included. Lindsay entwined personal stories and information we had shared with her within her dialogue and this coupled with having written our own vows ensured it felt very much our day. We had two readings; ‘On Your Wedding Day’ Poem by Unknown and ‘Love is a Temporary Madness’ by Louis de Bernieres.”

Excited parents of newlyweds

Forest road wedding photo

Australian forest weddingBabbling brook wedding photo

Of their photographers, Toni remembers, “Sarah and Jason from Lucas & Co were lovely to work with. They were unobtrusive and were very quick to get a shot and move on to the next. We didn’t feel staged or unnatural at all. We loved that they were up for a bit of a bush bash so we could get down to a stream in the state forest to capture some amazing shots. Also, Sarah has great shoes!”

Australian bride with bridesmaids

Bridal aprty at forest wedding

Australian forest wedding locationAustralian mountain wedding

Toni recalls, “I loved going to take photos and having some quiet moments with my new husband and some fun with our wedding party. We stopped at an open field by the side of the road opposite a large barn. Shortly after, a band started jamming in the barn so we had a dance in the field. I still regret not going over and asking them to come and play the reception!”

Bohemian wedding bouquetAcoustic guitarist at wedding

Reception entrance at mountain wedding

Mt Nimmel Hall Speeches

The newlyweds and their guests started the evening off with speeches at dusk.

Mt Nimmel Hall Wedding Moments

Mt Nimmel Hall Wedding Toast

Happy guests at mountain wedding

Country Hall Wedding

The reception was held inside the Mt Nimmel Hall which was decorated with a rustic style chandelier made by the couple, Toni remembering, “We collected driftwood which Chris used to create two rectangular frames. We wrapped them with fairy lights and hung foliage from them, before hanging them from the roof over the tables.”

Wedding Favors

Homemade muesli was gifted to guests as a wedding favor.

Dresser with wedding cakesCountry hall wedding decor

The newlyweds made sure to hire a team who could support them on their day.  The Events Lounge coordinated everything on the day while Lovestruck Weddings styled the wedding. Toni notes “Rachael from The Events Lounge who provided an on the day wedding co-ordination for us was extremely easy to work with and her professionalism was superb.”

Mint wedding napkin

Toni notes, “I really enjoyed making our name cards which included an individualized greeting or message to our guests.”

Country Hall Wedding Gold CoastGold and mint cushions

Mt Nimmel Hall, Austinville

Speeches at Gold Coast Wedding

Wedding at Gold Coast Hall

Gold Coast hall Wedding

Rustic Gold Coast wedding venue

Laughing at Mt Nimmel Hall Wedding

Bride at gold coast weddingFirst dance with marquee lights

For their first dance, Toni and Chris chose Ottis Redding “How Strong My Love Is”.

Country hall dance floor

Dancing at country hall

Bride and groom at Mt Nimmel Hall

Brid eand groom at Mt Nimmel Hall

Dancing at gold coat wedding

Congratulations Toni and Chris! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Lucas & Co  for sharing today’s wedding with us!

Photographer: Lucas & Co / Wedding Planner/Coordinator: (On The Day) The Events Lounge / Styling: Lovestruck Weddings / Bride’s Dress: ‘Bridgette’ by Pia Gladys Perry / Bridal Salon: Bohemian Brides / Bride’s Shoes: Florsheim / Bride’s Jewelry: Lovisa / Bride’s Veil/Hair Accessories: Bo & Luca (Luna headpiece) / Groom’s Attire: Politix / Groomsmen Attire: Tarocash / Bridesmaid Dresses: Various / Hairstylist: Foxs Lane Stying / Makeup Artist: Avia Beauty / Flowers: Enchanted Flowers / Invitations & Stationery: Handmade / Venue: Mt Nimmel Hall / Ceremony Hire Items: Lovestruck Weddings / Ceremony Officiant: Lindsay Carroll / Ceremony Musicians: Tommy Sheehan / Reception Hire Items: Lovestruck Weddings / LOVE Sign: Retro in the Rough / Catering: Canadian Kitchen Catering / Photobooth: The Photobooth Collective / Wedding Ring (Groom): Michael Hill / Wedding Ring (Bride): Paradise’s Facet 58 Jewellers
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