Back to Top
PolkaDotBride - Australia's number 1 Bridal Blog, Wedding Directory and Advice for Brides
Log In Register
  • Welcome to Polka Dot Bride
  • Polka Dot Submissions
  • Creative Colour Book
  • Vendor of the week
    Back to Top

    This week we preview

    Huxby Haberdashery


  • Wedding Directory
  • PDB---Circle-Slide

Sherahia & Matt’s Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens Engagement

by | Bride, Engagements


Botanical Gardens Engagement002

Sherahia & Matt

Do you know that feeling you get when you’re alone with your beloved? It’s like everything is safe, it’s cosy, it’s warm, relaxed and just quietly peaceful. That’s the feeling I get from the Mt Lofty botanic gardens engagement photos captured by Attic Designs Photography. Sherahia and Matt visited the botanic gardens together, relaxing with a picnic as the sun went down, together. Captured as they are at this very moment.

Botanical Gardens Engagement003

Botanical Gardens Engagement005

Botanical Gardens Engagement007Botanical Gardens Engagement008

Botanical Gardens Engagement010Botanical Gardens Engagement011

On how they met, Sherahia tells, “Matt & I have known each other since childhood. Every school holidays I, living in Adelaide, would make the journey to Mildura to stay with my cousins. It just so happens Matt was best friends with one of my cousins which led to us seeing quite a bit of each other during the school break.

I still remember blushing and running to hide every time I caught a glimpse of him or secretly loving it when he would help my cousin annoy us girls. We went on a few dates as we went through our teens but to Matt, I was still his friend’s younger shy cousin. It wasn’t until we reached our adult years we truly got to know each other and fell in love.”

Botanical Gardens Engagement018

Botanical Gardens Engagement019Botanical Gardens Engagement021

Botanical Gardens Engagement022

Botanical Gardens Engagement027Botanical Gardens Engagement028

When remembering the proposal, Sherahia remembers, “Matt & I were headed to his family’s house for dinner when he said quite casually “let’s go for a walk along the red cliffs”. I was very excited about that as I had been telling him I wanted to for a while and we were a bit early for dinner any way. Before we go he gets a big wrapped box out of his boot and holds onto it. As we go I am getting more excited about the potential of the present inside the box i.e. Wine, shoes, two tickets to Hawaii??

We finally get to a point where I begin to see the outline of what looks like a look out. As I get closer I see a white gazebo with fairy lights, purple flowers and vines decorating the top. My heart melted as I realised that he had made all of it himself and it dawned on me what was happening. There under a perfect gazebo for two he proposed at sunset but not before ensuring I had three jewellery boxes to open before I got to my diamond.

It was perfect. Not only did he do all that but he also had a hidden photographer capturing the moment along with my best friend from interstate waiting to celebrate with us afterwards. It was magical and truly a moment we will never forget.”

Botanical Gardens Engagement031Botanical Gardens Engagement034

Botanical Gardens Engagement035

On what they love about each other, Sherahia tells, “The saying that ‘opposites attract’ describes our relationship perfectly. We are so very different and find ourselves debating many topics. This however is what we also love most about each other. Matt is organised, frugal, reliable and daring. I, on the other hand, will take any chance I can get to go shopping but not before I search the whole house trying to find my keys. We balance each other out in a way we never knew we needed until we fell in love. Matt truly is my other half and I, his.”

Botanical Gardens Engagement036Botanical Gardens Engagement037

Botanical Gardens Engagement038

Botanical Gardens Engagement040

Botanical Gardens Engagement041Botanical Gardens Engagement042

“I have been ‘in love’ with Matt since I was 12. The result being little love hearts drawn all over pencil cases, diaries and rulers with the letters S+M. Along with a few diary entries saying thing like “Today Matt talked to me! I think I’m in love. I hope he likes me”. It’s funny now looking back at it. Matt thinks it’s really sweet but I’m sure back then had he known he probably would have found it creepy.”

Botanical Gardens Engagement046

Botanical Gardens Engagement049

Botanical Gardens Engagement053Botanical Gardens Engagement054

Botanical Gardens Engagement061Botanical Gardens Engagement065

Botanical Gardens Engagement070

Botanical Gardens Engagement072Botanical Gardens Engagement073

Botanical Gardens Engagement074

Visit Ms Polka Dot's Directory

Ashleigh & Nick’s Country Marsala Inspired Wedding

by | Australia - Queensland, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Bride and groom with floral arch

Ashleigh & Nick

This gorgeous country marsala inspired wedding is such a romantic celebration. Ashleigh, a self confessed design nerd, wanted to include the Pantone colour of the year in her wedding day. Marsala touches were added to everything from the flowers to the bridesmaid’s gowns and added a deep richness of tone to the wedding day. All of which was captured by Casey J Photography.

Ashleigh tells the story of how they came to be. “Well to be honest, it wasn’t the most conventional, fairytale meeting. We met on Eharmony of all places, I like to think that we were in the right place and in the right time of our lives and by that stage had enough bad relationships to begin thinking outside of the box when it came to finding our next relationship. As it turned out, Nick was my first and ONLY date from my little online dating adventure.

We had arranged to meet for the first time and I can remember walking up the steps to Black Coffee Lyrics on the Gold Coast and laying my eyes on Nick at the top, and then it was pretty much love at first site. Our coffee turned into tapas and wine, which evolved into dinner (it’s usually a really good sign when your first date accomplishes three separate courses!) and the rest is history!”

Marsala and red wedding bouquetShoes of prey wedding shoes

Bride with flowers in her hairBride in Maggie Sottero

Ashleigh wore a lace gown by Maggie Sottero from Casar Elegance. She tells, “I purchased my dress from Casar Elegance in Brisbane, it is a Maggie Sottero Gown “Heather” and I fell in love with it because it was just so simple, timeless in design and suited my personality. I love comfort, and I had it in mind to fully enjoy my wedding rather than feeling completely constrained and self-conscious. I had a few little alterations to ensure the fit was spot on, and wanted a slightly more dramatic “fishtail’ element. All in all it was affordable, comfortable and I felt beautiful.” To finish her look, she custom designed her bridal shoes at Shoes Of Prey.

Bride in maggie Sottero heatherMaddie Sottero Heather

Raisin bridesmaid dresses

Ashleigh’s bridesmaids wore marsala dresses from The Iconic.

Ceremony chalkboard signCream, red and pepper berry floral arrangement

Ashleigh and Nick were married at Yandina Station, Ashleigh remarking, “We chose the 6.6.2015 as our wedding day, this date has particular relevance to us as it was already our anniversary day, and also the date we moved into our first home together. It just seem liked the stars aligned for us! It took me next to no time to book our venue, Yandina Station is an iconic part of the Sunshine Coast with over 100 years in history gracing the property. The cottage gardens in front of the beautifully restored homestead was where we said our vows, and then our guests were ushered down to the ancient fig free where we had cocktails and lawn games prepared under crisp white market umbrellas looking over the paddocks of grazing heifers.”

Floal arch for ceremony

Raisin and beach floral arrangement

Ginger Lily & Rose created the floral arrangements for the day, the bride noting, “When designing my dream wedding, I thought about who we were as a couple and individuals, that really helped me shape the setting, the colours and the atmosphere. Nick is a very grounded, down to earth guy who really loved the outdoors and country. So it made perfect sense to have an outdoor ceremony surrounded by rolling cattle pastures, iconic rustic buildings and the native bush. I love contradictions (my husband has called me a walking contradiction many a time). I wanted bold and vibrant, demure and elegant all rolled into one.

I coupled the very popular “Rustic/Vintage Country Wedding theme with bold blooms and a contrasting colour palette. The Pantone colour of the year is Marsala (I am a graphic designer and a bit of a nerd) and I wanted to pair this striking burgundy with the softly complimentary tones of peach and grey. If I had to string together a sentence to describe the style it would be “Vivid Vintage Country with a touch of Glamour”. The flowers were the hero of the day with radiant florals dripping from almost every structure I could afford to put them on, it just brought the most divine feeling of freshness and life to the setting.”

bride walking down the aisle with aprents

For her walk down the aisle, Ashleigh remembers, “Nick was in charge of the music selection for the day, and he was determined to have me walking down the aisle to something acoustic. He found a completely acoustic version of Bruno Mars – Marry You, and it was delightfully sweet.”

Groom awaiting brideQueensland country wedding ceremony

Yandina station wedding ceremonyAlison Dempster

Alison Dempster officiated the ceremony. “Neither of us are particularly formal people so we opted for the simplest of ceremonies (a total of 15 minutes I believe). We wanted it to be intimate and to the point, and our lovely celebrant Alison Dempster took care of all the finer details. We chose not to have any poems, or readings and made our personalized vows the focus of the ceremony.”

Alison Dempster Celebrant

First kiss at Yandina Station

Ashleigh tells, “I have been in quite a few positions of project management through out my own employment history, so wedding planning came very naturally for me. With the help of my amazing Prop Hire (Splash Events), Florist (Ginger Lily & Rose) and Yandina Station we were able to whip up this wedding in just 6 months. I think the best part of the wedding planning was seeing everything transform from my little collection of images on my mood board to the real thing. It was nice to know that what I had envisioned in my head all these months wasn’t just an assortment of colours, flowers and designs. That feeling of everything just falling into place was so satisfying.”

Guests at Yandina Station

Flowers in brides hairCasey Jane Photography

Bride with marsala bouquet

“Nick and I had always agreed that weddings are less about the bride and groom, and more about the celebration among our nearest and dearest. We just wanted to make sure our friends and family had a wonderful time during the very rare opportunity that we are all in the one place. I think the Garden Party underneath the Fig Tree was a really lovely touch, the guys were entertained with Lawn Bowls, Bocci, and Horse-Shoe Tossing and the ladies were able to relax and chat with a glass of Champagne or a Pimms Cocktail.”

Bride wearing Maggie Sottero HeatherMaggie Sotteor heather lace detail

Yandina Station Country WeddingMarsala and peach bouquet

“I had done a fair bit of research prior to coming across Casey Jane Photography, and I had a certain idea of how I wanted the photos of turn out. I fell in love with her ability to capture emotion int the most natural way, the softness of her images just oozed romance. I already knew she was a skilled photographer, and the fact that she shot with a mixture of digital and film just made me love her all the more.

It wasn’t until I met Casey on the day of my wedding that I realized how exceptional she was. Nick can not stand having his photo taken on the best of days, so I knew getting him to pose and smile on command was going to be quite challenging, but Casey had this incredible way of relaxing you and taking the awkwardness out of intimate photos. The whole experience was fantastic, and the photos are breath taking, something Nick and I can cherish for the rest of our lives.”

Bidesmaids in marsala dressesBridal party at Yandina Station

Bouquet of cream and marsalaCasey J Photography Weding

Newlyweds at Yandina Station

Yandina Station Wedding photo

Marsala tie with pale grey suitGroom and groomsmen in marsala ties

Winter wedding wraps

Ginger Lily & Rose

Rustic tablescape

Flowers at wedding place setting Chalkbaord wedding menu

“The Yandina Dairy Shed was where we held the reception, dusted with fairy lights and the exquisite blooms from Ginger Lily & Rose it was an absolute site to behold. We a coffee nook created with leather chesterfield lounge and white washed chandelier supplied by Splash Events and just added the most wonderful touch of class to the area.

Sally and Neil run Yandina Station, and to be honest, I couldn’t have done all of this without the constant support and guidance from Sally. Their team is incredible! The staff were so professional and attentive through out the whole day, and that food.. OH MY GOD THE FOOD! Friends and family are still raving about the quality of the meals. Yandina Station was everything I had ever hoped for in a venue and more.”

White wedding cake with marsala

Table of wedding favors

Ashleigh created a lot of the decor pieces, telling, “I love all things artsy and it was only natural to make a lot of the wedding elements myself. I hand-sewed the bunting that we had strewn about the ceremony and reception area. I up cycled a few old window frames I found at our tip shop to create the rustic blackboards that displayed our menus, ceremony info and photobooth instructions.

The most time consuming part of all the DIY creations would of been the wine bottle vases (hand wrapping 50 odd bottles with twine felt like it took a lifetime). And with the help of my amazing Mother In-Law we put together a home-made tomato relish and rocky-road for our guest favours. All the littler personal DIY details made the wedding more intimate and real. Our guests really appreciated the efforts.”

Wedding entrance at Yandina Station

Ashleigh tells, “Aside from how beautiful everything looked, I felt that mixing our guests tables with half and half of each side of the family was a wonderful way to integrate the Hamilton’s with the Treacher’s so to speak. It honestly was such a great thing to see our friends and family laughing and joking, and even fighting over the last piece of steak from the banquet meal! It is so hard to single out details when the whole event just flowed so seamlessly, it’s true what they say, your wedding day feels like a blur.”

Cutting wedding cakeGroom giving speech

First dance at Australian wedding

Of the first dance, Ashleigh remembers, “Coming from two people who hated the idea of dancing in front of 100 of our closest friends and family, the actual moment that we took those first swaying steps was magical. We had Vance Joys – Georgia playing and it felt like everyone else in the dairy shed just melted away. I love looking at the photos of Nick and I dancing together, you can tell by the big cheesy grins that we are having a fantastic time.”

First dance under faiyr lights

The entertainment for the day definitely had a family vibe, Ashleigh explaining, “Nick’s Mum is the lead singer of a local band called the Limeburners, they specialise in good ole fashioned classic rock! So to conclude the evening Robyn, Chris and Wayne took to the stage to liven up the dance floor with the likes of The Eagles, Eric Clapton and Fleetwood Mac. The music and vibe was that good that my awesome 80 year old Grandmother was out of the dance floor most of the night busting out some fantastic moves with her 90 year old partner.”

As an added bonus today, the couple hired Tatjana Hamilton to film their wedding. A film which captures the romantic intensity of the day.

Congratulations Ashleigh and Nick! Thank you for sharing your wedding with us! Thank you to Casey J Photography for sending this wedding our way!

Photographer: Casey J Photography / Cinematographer: Tatjana Hamilton / Styling: Splash Events / Bride’s Dress: Maggie Sottero / Bridal Salon: Casar Elegance / Bride's Necklace: Locket (gift) / Bride’s Shoes: Shoes Of Prey / Groom’s Attire: Myer – Blaq Slim Fit / Groom's Shoes: RM Williams / Groomsmen Attire: Myer – Blaq Slim Fit / Groomsmen's Shoes: RM Williams / Bridesmaid Dresses: The Iconic / Hairstylist: Evalyn Parsons Salon / Makeup Artist: The Bride + Beauty & Make-up By Erin McAuliffe / Invitations & Stationery: Design by the Bride, Printing by UMAX Print / Flowers: Ginger Lily & Rose / Venue: Yandina Station / Ceremony Officiant: Alison Dempster / Band: Limeburners

Friday Roundup

by | Blog News, Bride



Photo by  T-One Image via Alannah and William’s Romantic Autumn Wedding

It’s Friday, which may be an obvious note to write but thank goodness we made it to the end of a week! It’s a little short one for us, though admittedly I don’t know of anyone not actually putting in some hours down here today. Luckily the warmth is here for the weekend so I am definitely making some time to get in the vitamin D!


Such stunning light at Alannah and William’s Romantic Autumn Wedding

Making Plans For A New York Engagement

Warmer weather is just the ticket for this Four Pillars Gin G&T

Sharing A Glass Of Bubbles With… Michelle Of Hugo & Elsa

Finding Your Signature Men’s Fragrance

The gorgeous MAC Cosmetics x Giambattista Valli Spring Collection

Alannah Rose Stationery shares her favourite things in Vendor’s Favourites

Love the bold cursive of Kestrel Script

A French Chic inspired getaway at Spicers Clovelly Estate

What goes into a wedding film? We chat to Kara & Brad Melick of Way Up High

Sweet Peach Flowergirl Dresses

A pop of colour at Anneleen & Tom’s Tiffany Blue Wedding

Behind The Door With….Moxom and Whitney

How to get Perfect Wedding Day Brows

News Roundup 2nd October 2015

The Etsy Wedding Trunk Show is going to be held this October 16-17th! Pop on down to see more than 20 of Etsy Australia’s best wedding makers. See more info on the website.

Oakridge Wines are hosting an open day on Friday the 13th of November, Entry is free or a special offer is available if you’d like to dine on the night. See more information on the website or via the event listing.

The Wedding List Co are joining with Urban Couture to hold a couples style event on Thursday, 8th of October. Pop along to an evening filled with fun and current rends in interiors and homewares. Registration is essential via their website.


reading and loving


This father of the bride made his daughter’s day

Frida Kahlo Wedding Inspiration

Diy Will You Be My Bridesmaid Piñata

Meet the Bride Who Is the 11th in Her Family to Wear This 120-Year-Old Dress

A Rustic Vintage Wedding Inspiration Shoot at Montrose Berry Farm

Our film of the week this week comes from Soda Films. The film of Rich and Lou is so old world romantic, and if you play Moon River? You have my heart.

Ten Canberra Garden Wedding Venues

by | Australia - ACT, Bride, Wedding Venues


With Spring upon us, garden weddings are in their prime. Gorgeous green leafed trees, dappled shade, green grass and plenty of fresh flowers complement it all. Today, I’m visiting the nation’s capital with a roundup of ten Canberra garden wedding venues I adore!

Poachers Pantry


Photo by Thorson Photography via Michelle and Piero’s Vintage Country Wedding

I have always loved Poachers Pantry. Amazing food and wine, a gorgeous venue – it makes one very happy! This all in one venue has an incredible elm tree on the homestead lawn allowing for a garden ceremony before celebrations in the on site restaurant.

Ginninderry Homestead

Ginninderry Homestead

Ginninderry Homestead is a gorgeous homestead which makes a beautiful setting for a wedding. Set on 70 acres, the gardens are beautiful, vast and plentiful and allow for an all in one style wedding, complete with accommodation.

Lavender Courtyard, Canberra Hyatt Hotel

Canberra Garden Wedding

Photo by Adori Studios via Claire And Chris – The Celebration

For something with more of a central spot, the Lavender Courtyard, Canberra Hyatt Hotel offers up a garden courtyard for wedding ceremonies. You can even have outdoor celebrations here with the space able to seat 250 guests for a banquet wedding or 400 for a cocktail reception.

Redbrow Garden


Photo by Thorson Photography via Sam and Will’s Garden Twilight Wedding

Want to marry under the trees and then dine under the stars? Sweet bed and breakfast Redbrow Garden is an all in one style venue (with accommodation) with a beautiful lake, a garden filled with trees and capacity to have outdoor receptions.

Heart Garden

Heart Garden Canberra

Heart Garden is rather a special space. Owned by a marriage celebrant, the garden is her own private home. Ideal for smaller ceremonies, Heart Garden is lovingly cared for with beautiful manicured gardens with trailing wisteria, and a very private feel. The garden is available for weekday weddings.

Brittle Gum Lawn


One of the many, many gorgeous garden spaces at the Australian National Botanic Gardens, Brittle Gum Lawn is shaded by stunning trees, complemented by a beautiful lawn and has a capacity for 200 guests.

Elm Grove

Elm Grove Canberra

For a country garden wedding, Elm Grove is the most beautiful setting. The property, which originated in the 1840s, has lawns dotted with historic buildings, fences and beautiful majestic trees. The property allows marquees for receptions, allowing an all in one venue for your wedding.

Grazing at Gundaroo


Photo by Thorson Photography via Jo and Ben’s Relaxed Country Elegance Wedding

Thirty minutes from Canberra sits Grazing at Gundaroo. Not only does the property house a divine restaurant, but it also has a beautiful onsite garden that is just the right size for a gorgeous garden wedding. The venue’s all in one capacity allows for a beautiful country garden wedding.

Nara Park, Lennox Gardens


Image via Weekend Notes

Lennox Gardens are already a popular Canberra garden wedding, but with the wide open spaces, I thought it worthy to include in the list. The spot that is particularly popular, Nara Park, features a Japanese style landscape in honour of Nara, Japan, which makes for a beautiful ceremony spot, while the Lennox Gardens as a whole, have beautiful lake views and plenty of positions for a garden wedding.

Lanyon Homstead

Lanyon Homestead

Lanyon Homstead has plenty of versatility when it comes to weddings – six different gardens (The Bunya Pine Lawn, The Vinca Lawn, The Nut Lawn, The Apricot Lawn, The Front Lawn and The Rose Garden) provide six very different atmospheres for a wedding ceremony. From lawns that are walled with hedges, to being landscaped around beautiful Bunya Pines. The homestead can even host a reception to kick off your celebrations.

What are your favourite Canberra garden wedding venues? Which ones would you have included in the list?

Back to Top