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What Would They Know? Pip Danaher of Church364

by | Venue Wisdom, What Would They Know?, Wisdom


Polka Dot Bride

Pip of Church364

There’s something about a historical building and elegance going hand in hand and so it is with Church364. A beautifully renovated mansion that retains the best of the past while including modern design features, that is perfect for whatever wedding style you dream of. From the bridal couple who want their entire wedding planned and styled, to the DIY couple, Church364 will look its elegant best. Coupled with dedicated, passionate staff such as Pip and the team, you can be assured of a beautiful wedding day, with all the sparkle your day deserves.

Please describe Church364 – a little of its history and current ambience and decor.

Church364 is our little hidden gem, a Victorian Style mansion converted into a very stylish and elegant event space. Unlike a typical function venue which can be a little stark and cold, Church364 offers warmth and is extremely inviting. Old world charm meets modern glamour with wooden floor boards, open fire places and marble bar.

Where is Church364?

The name gives the location away! Church364 is located on Richmond Hill at 364 Church St. It’s not a Church but very conveniently we are situated right next to St Stevens and St Ignatius Churches where many wedding ceremonies take place before walking next door to Church 364 for the reception.

Promotional photography of 364 Church St, Richmond

Please describe the precinct in which Church364 sits?

Church364 sits in the heart of Richmond, which is located east of Melbourne’s city centre, between East Melbourne and Hawthorn and across the Yarra River from South Yarra. Richmond has a very popular food, shopping and sporting culture. Whether it’s catching up with friends for brunch or dinner, having a cold drink before heading to the MCG or perhaps Rod Laver for a game of tennis or to watch your favourite band play; Richmond is always a hive of activity and is located only minutes from the CBD.

Are couples able to have their ceremony as well as the reception on site?

Yes absolutely! We have a few different options for ceremonies depending on guest numbers. The two most popular options are on the terrace out the front for smaller numbers or we love to add a bit of theatre into the mix and perform a room change between ceremony and reception. This has become a very popular option for many brides and grooms. Guests arrive and are seated for the ceremony before heading into our piano bar where they enjoy drinks and canapés for an hour while we “secretly” reset the room for the reception. Guests are truly amazed by the room transformation!


Are guests able to utilize the whole space, moving from one area to another for ceremony to reception to dancing?

The space is yours when you book a wedding with us at Church364. The venue is completely exclusive and the venue has a perfect flow from cocktails and canapés on the outside terrace in summer or in the Piano bar by the fire in winter. Drinks and canapés then flow into the back event space, to a seated dinner of individual plates or shared grazing platters. We can design menus to suit our client’s requirements. Then for the party! The dancefloor is located parallel to the main room so those that want to dance the night away can and those that would prefer to sit and mingle at the table can also do so with full view of the dancefloor. I forgot to mention there is also a bridal room upstairs if the Bride and Groom need a little time to relax and refresh!

When a wedding is booked, do the couple have exclusive hire of your venue?

Absolutely! This is a very special day for Brides and Grooms. It’s all about them so we would never book another event the same time.

Church364 A

How would you describe the food you serve?

Our menus represent a modern Australian Cuisine with European, Middle-Eastern and Asian influences – presented with a modern twist. Our Chefs LOVE food, they are committed to keeping up with the latest food trends but most importantly we pride ourselves on sourcing only the freshest local ingredients. Our food is always fresh, always flavorsome and always creative!

May a bridal couple request that the food be served in a particular way (e.g shared platters, dessert bar)?

Absolutely! We have a range of different menu styles but even better than that we love the challenge of designing tailor-made menus to suit your specific requirements.

Are you able to assist with food and wine matching?

Yes we certainly can. Our wine list has been written in conjunction with a sommelier to offer variety and compliment the dishes we have on our menus. Once our guests choose a menu our staff are trained to suggest the wines from the list which will best compliment the dishes they have chosen.

Is the bridal couple able to arrange a menu tasting with you?

Yes all of our couples are provided a complimentary menu tasting as part of their package.


Is a couple able to request a favourite dish, or work on a signature cocktail to offer their guests?

Definitely! We love the challenge of designing new dishes and cocktails for our guests. Our overall aim is to ensure our guests have memorable experiences and if all it takes is to design a new menu or cocktail then we will do it! We get great satisfaction from exceeding client expectations.

What’s on the menu this winter? 

Where do I start!! I would have to say our most popular main dish this season would probably be our Beef fillet with a cigar of braised beef, cauliflower and parsnip mash and baby carrots.

What I have found is currently trending is the grazing table menus. These have been extremely popular. Couples will choose two or three main dishes, two or three sides, followed by cheese and some dessert canapés to share. It’s a more relaxed way of dining and it allows guests more choice.

Once a couple books Church364, how does your wedding planner assist them? Is the service an on the day service or a full planning service?

Our event coordinators will manage the event every step of the way from the very first phone call right through to the completion of the special day! Our aim is to take the stress out of planning a wedding and make the experience an enjoyable one. Our coordinators can not only assist with your reception and catering but also point you in the right direction for wedding styling , entertainment and theming.

Do you have a list of vendors you can recommend to assist the bridal couple?

We certainly do. Having been in the industry for as long as us we have come across some amazing suppliers and why wouldn’t we share and recommend the true professionals in their field of work? We have a list of preferred suppliers however we do not restrict our clients with who they wish to use.

Church364 D

What is special about assisting bridal couples plan their day with you? 

I’m in the business of delivering on people’s hopes and dreams. If I can deliver on those hopes and dreams particularly weddings “one of life’s most treasured occasions” I get great satisfaction and that’s what makes it special!

What do you enjoy about living and working in Melbourne?

Until October last year I had lived in Melbourne for over 12 years. Being a genuine lover of food, wine, events & sport, Melbourne has it all! I spent a few years living in other countries around the world but I will always call Melbourne home. We have such great produce and we are so far ahead in the food and wine game.

In October last year I moved from a 60sqm apartment in the city to a place call Tooborac on an 80 acre property with my partner who’s a winemaker. (Hence my love for wine) We love our new country life. We have our own veggie garden, an orchard with almonds, chestnuts, cherries, quinces, apricots and an olive grove with over 300 olive trees. Food and wine is a big part of our lives and we are both so lucky that our jobs are also our passion!

Thank you Pip for sharing your story. To find out more about Church364 visit the website.

All images with permission of Church364.

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

by | Hair and Beauty Wisdom, Wisdom


Camille Davies


Following on from Wedding Beauty Regime by Paula’s Choice, as we count down the weeks until the big day, Paula herself says: “Steer clear of facials from here on out.”

It can be tempting to splurge on an exotic facial treatment or chemical peel right before the big day, but that can unfortunately backfire in the form of a severe reaction! In fact, some treatments require weeks and weeks before the skin is completely healed, leaving you with reddened, flaking skin in the interim.

At this point of your wedding beauty regime, Paula’s Choice suggests that a safer bet is to use a gentle, at-home AHA or BHA exfoliant to reveal your radiant skin. AHAs are ideal for dry, sun-damaged, ageing skin, whereas BHAs are the optimal choice for oily or breakout prone skin (while also addressing the signs of ageing and dull skin). Continued, daily use produces noticeably clearer, smoother and softer skin that you’ll be inspired to maintain even after the honeymoon phase. And don’t forget the important “cleanse, tone and moisturize” routine too!

And why not pamper yourself with a stress-relieving massage while you’re at it? With the “wedding day clock” ticking away, you’ll need one to get through all the last minute details ahead!”

Paula makes a great point here – I know I’m definitely guilty of panic-experimenting with various new beauty products before a big event! I know I’m also a stress head, which is generally not great for my skin, so that massage will go a long way with well deserved chill out time and gaining some extra beauty points.

Make sure to also keep using that sun cream daily, as all that newly exfoliated skin is very vulnerable! Australian sunshine is heartless, even when hidden by clouds, so keep it Factor 50.

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Thanks Paula; great advice from the “Cosmetics Cop” on achieving glowing and radiant wedding day skin!

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

by | Fashion Wisdom, Wisdom, Wise Words


Moira Hughes Couture
Find me on Ms Polka Dot's Directory


Moira Hughes Couture ‘Pearl’ dress

Finding your perfect gown can be very time consuming and very emotional – is it the “right one”? Did I like the one I tried on yesterday better? Was it a better style for me? What about the colour? Moira Hughes Couture understands that the experience of finding your dream gown can be very overwhelming and we would like to give you some tips to make your choice an easy – and happy – one!

1. Who Should You Go To For Your Dream Wedding Dress?

Have a look at websites and the social media of the boutiques you have in mind. If you choose the three you feel most drawn to, you will ensure the best experience and avoid being overwhelmed

Ask for recommendations from recently married friends and read reviews. That way, you can make sure the service and experience match what you are looking for.

2. What Style Of Wedding Dress Is Best?

Be open minded when trying on dresses. You might be surprised by what suits your figure! Don’t worry about matching your dress to your venue or what your bridesmaids are wearing; just choose what you feel incredible in and this will shine through.

Be true to yourself. Sometimes others opinions can sway you but if you feel more comfortable in a dress with straps then stick to it!

If you have a very clear idea of what you want in terms of style, budget or details  let the designer know from the beginning so your experience is tailored to your needs.


Moira Hughes Couture custom ‘Indianna’ dress

3. Where To Go To Find Your Perfect Wedding Gown?

Ask for recommendations from your friends.

Read reviews – most of the time these can give you a feel for how the designer operates.

Travelling to a boutique? Make sure it is somewhere you are happy to visit; are you prepared to travel a long distance for multiple fittings?

Make appointments in advance with your chosen boutiques.


Moira Hughes Couture ‘Willow’ dress


Moira Hughes Couture ‘Pearl’ dress

4. When Do You Start Looking? 

Most brides book the venue and set a date before finding their dress. This gives you a good timeline on how long you have until the big day.

If you’re having a gown custom designed for you, most designers will recommend you start looking about a year to 8 months in advance.

Set a time limit. Allow yourself a few weeks to find your gown. Giving you enough time to try different gowns but not so many it becomes overwhelming.

5. How Do You Prepare For The Boutique Appointment?

Feel good about yourself when you visit. If you want to wear makeup, your favourite heels or seamless underwear, do so.

If you have some ideas for your hair preferences, have a rough version done to get a feel for the overall look.

Bring one or two trusted opinions, or feel free to go on your own. Most brides find it more enjoyable with fewer friends in the first consultation.

Moira-Hughes-couture-bridal-paddingtonImages via Moira Hughes Couture

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Some fabulous advice; particularly about what style of dress is best  – and how long it can take a dress to be designed!

About Moira Hughes: You can ask a woman of any age or nationality what her wedding dress looked like and 50 years later she will be able to tell you every detail. That’s why I love bridal, the whole experience. It is so special to be involved in making a woman feel more incredible than she ever thought possible.

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