We adore a little bit of colour at Polka Dot Bride, so you can imagine how much we love the warm hues of Lauren and James’ fun summer winery wedding! The pop of yellow gives this couple’s day a playful, joyous vibe! The bride and groom wanted their day to have a relaxed, rustic feel to it, and both adored their wedding venue for this exact reason. Henry Paul Photography was there to capture their endearingly sweet day.
Lauren remembers how she and James came to be. “We met in high school when we were 12 years old, though did not really know the other existed until we were in our final year, 6 years later. James auditioned for a production that I was directing, and he barely impressed me with his minimal acting skills. However, as not many other males auditioned, I was forced to give James a part. After being the only one to turn up to the first rehearsal, I found out James was a nice guy with a great sense of humour. A few weeks later at my 18th birthday party, we had a chance meeting which sparked the rest of our relationship. We dated for the rest of the school year and went our separate ways to travel the world after we graduated. A year later, one of our friends created a scheme to get us into the same bar… and the rest is history…”
Johanna Johnson dress, named ‘The Kennedy Gown.’ She chose the dress because it was simple, and she fell in love with the low back. “Having always wanted to wear something with a low back, I thought my wedding day was the perfect opportunity. I went ‘window shopping’ to look at bridal gowns for the first time with my Mum and two best friends. At the time, I had no intention of buying a dress; I just wanted to see what was out there. However, ‘The Kennedy Gown’ was the first dress I tried on, and after toing-and-froing for a couple of weeks, I made a phone call to the bridal studio saying that I wanted the dress!”
Lauren wore a
Lauren walked down the garden aisle to ‘First Day of My Life’ by Bright Eyes, which was sung by one of James’ closest friends.
Of their ceremony, James tells, “Our ceremony was conducted by the father of one of Lauren’s best friends. Having known her Dad for a while now, we knew that he would do an amazing job. We wanted it to be a personal one. We spoke not only of the traditional wedding vows, but also wrote our own. Lauren loves poetry, so we included one of her favourite poems as one of our readings – ‘[i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)]’, by E.E. Cummings.”
A favourite memory from their day for the groom was during their ceremony. “After things had gotten started, all was moving very smoothly; which came as quite a surprise to us. Then came the readings. Our first reader (one of Lauren’s close friends) got up to read. While this was happening our next reader (one of Lauren’s sisters), shot us a very bleak look. The first reading finished, and Lauren’s sister mouthed to us “I don’t have the poem…” We had a bit of a giggle to ourselves as we thought this was hilarious! Lauren’s father was then informed of what was going on, and stood up as inconspicuously as possible before sprinting off to the car park to get the poem. Our guests could not contain their laughter, watching a suited man run for his life during the middle of our ceremony!”
James also notes that their ceremony and reception were both help at the lovely Cupitt’s Winery in New South Wales. “The winery is situated on a rise overlooking a lake and gorgeous farmland. This spot suited the feel we were going for perfectly, and had a picturesque view that would make an excellent backdrop for our photos. We thought being able to hold both the ceremony and reception at the same venue would make for a more relaxed day for our guests.”
James and his groomsmen wore chocolate chinos with crisp white shirts from Country Road, and topped their look off with suspenders and bow ties from Etsy. The groom completed his look with a woollen waist coast from ASOS. Lauren’s gorgeous bridesmaids wore matching dresses from Dangerfield, which were adorned with floral belts from Etsy in hues that matched their bouquets.
Of their photographer, Henry Paul, Lauren gushes, “Our photographer is an amazing young man. I have never really enjoyed having my photo taken, and can become quite nervous whenever a camera is pulled out. From having engagement photos taken a year before the wedding, to the wedding day itself, Henry made us feel comfortable throughout the entire experience. Henry was full of amazing ideas, and one of James’ favourite photos was taken in a spot we never would have thought of; behind the winery’s kitchen! The time we all spent together strengthened a friendship that I know won’t be broken. He was absolutely amazing; capturing each memory exactly how it happened. In all honesty, every vendor we worked with exceeded our expectations. We aimed to find and work alongside small Australian businesses as often as was possible, and this did not disappoint!”
The couple and their families wanted to DIY as much as possible for the wedding! “We did almost anything we could ourselves,” explains Lauren. “We made our Save-the-Dates and invitations, centrepieces (jars of planted herbs), wedding programs, wedding favours which doubled as place settings (small boxes with vials of sweet pea seeds; a put-it-together set bought from a shop on Etsy), among a number of other bits-and-pieces.”
An element that was incredibly important to the couple for their day was the music. Lauren explains, “Music has always been very important to both of us. Over the years, so much of our relationship has been entwined with music. This love of music meant that we included it in every possible part of the wedding; from cocktails prior to the start of the ceremony, to quoting lyrics in our vows, to the live band in the reception, and as we exited.”
James remembers their perfect, special first dance moment. “Two of my best friends played ‘Sweet Disposition’ by The Temper Trap, for our first dance. It was the first song Lauren had heard my band play when we were back in high school. She was dreading the first dance, as she does not like to be the centre of attention. Despite this, I managed to keep her on the dance floor… until the end of the first chorus! She then ran to get as many people as she could to join us!”
Congratulations Lauren and James! Thank you to the couple and to Henry Paul Photography for letting us share this stunning day!