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April & John

I simply cannot stop looking at these amazing images from April and John’s enchanting old-world garden wedding, so beautifully captured by Kate Drennan Photography. The couple wanted a floral, vintage, garden theme, and I have to say they absolutely nailed it! It was important to them that their day feel very relaxed, and not too fancy, and so almost every element from their day was DIY, with the help from their amazing family and friends. The fact that it hailed on their wedding day did nothing to discourage the couple from enjoying every moment of the day.

The bride remembers how they came to be. “We met in high school. John was trying to get into my friend’s party, and I was trying to stop him from getting in because we didn’t know him. John managed to sweet talk his way in and the rest is history. That was over 10 years ago!”

The groom wore a grey, textured suit from Pierre Cardin, purchased from Myer. “The grey was my choice to fit in with the vintage style,” says John. “I thought that grey was the most classic style. My pocket square was a fabric off cut of April’s dress, which mum gave to me the morning of the wedding. It was really exciting to get a little glimpse of April’s dress without knowing at all what it would look like. My blue, floral bow tie was from a cool online store Grand Frank, which I came across by chance when looking for vintage wedding things. My groomsmen and I wore vintage Casio watches, which I bought for them as a gift. I love their timepieces; always have, and thought they would go perfectly with the theme of the day.”

April wore her mother’s wedding dress, which she had designed in 1981 for her own wedding. “I loved it when I was little, and love it still now,” gushes the bride. “Nothing about it was changed for our wedding. It is such a beautiful dress, with a classic and simple design, that it really needed no improvement. I felt beautiful and elegant in the gown, and it was made even more special knowing that my mum felt the same on her wedding day.”

The bride also made her own bouquet, as well as the floral buttonholes for the groom and groomsmen. The jewellery worn by herself, her sisters and cousin (who were her bridesmaids) were all made by the bride’s friend, Caroline McWhinnie. Her bridesmaids wore gowns from Portmans, and adorned stunning floral belts from Nash and Willow.

The couple were married in the garden at April’s parent’s home, both saying that it was a no brainer for them to choose it as their ceremony venue. “we have always loved it, and have spent a huge amount of time in it with family and friends,” tells the bride. “My parents have always maintained a beautiful garden, and we really wanted to get married in a place that was not only lovely, but meant something to us as well. My parents worked tirelessly on it before the wedding, and then had a small team of friends arrive to help set up the day before.”

April walked down the garden aisle to Sam Smith’s “Make it to Me” to meet her dashing groom in the marquee from Marquee Magic, and beautifully decorated by the bride, her parents and her sisters. “We wanted our ceremony to have a bit of everything,” she says. “It was really important to John to have aspects from his Scottish heritage included, and for I wanted to be married by the Catholic priest, Father Michael McMahon, who I had known since school. We wrote our own vows and, literally “tied the knot” while John’s aunt spoke about the symbolism of the knot. We also had two close family friends pick their own readings for us. It was nice to have a surprise on our wedding day, and also to hear what other people felt for us. It was really lovely.”

“Our photographer, Kate Drennan, was absolute perfection. She has given us the most wonderful photos, and has captured, so beautifully, intimate photos of not only us, but of our friends and family too. She was incredibly relaxed all day, and most of the time we didn’t actually notice she was there. We were very lucky to have had her for our day, and would highly recommend her to anyone else after someone to capture their wedding. Due to the rainy weather on the day, the photos were amazing. They say it’s good luck for it to rain on your wedding day, well, John and I have enough luck for eternity.”

April and John chose The Roleystone Country Club to hold their reception, as it is very near where John grew up, and they wanted to have their reception somewhere they could revisit whenever they wanted. “We’ve already been back to the club a few times with friends, and love that it is already becoming a place where we can go and remember our perfect day,” gushes the bride. “The staff let us do whatever we wanted to the function room on they day, so it was our own blank canvas and we made the most of it!”

The reception decor was set up by a team of friends and family. All the lights at the reception were set up by John, and all the flowers were arranged by April, and some friends and relatives. The vases on each table were hand painted, and the bunting that hung from the ceiling was made by the bride’s sister. The invites and place cards were also all made by the bride, who admits that all the work to create their perfect wedding theme was tiring, but that seeing all of their hard work and ideas come together was truly special.

“The view from the club is amazing, and the photos we took out on the bowling green are some of our favourites from the day!”

Congratulations April and John! We are so in love with your stunning wedding! Thank you also to Kate Drennan for sharing it with us.

Photographer: Kate Drennan Photography / Bride's Dress: Mother's Dress / Bride's Shoes: B.A.I.T Footwear / Bride's Jewellery: Caroline McWhinnie / Groom's Attire: Pierre Cardin / Groom's Bow Tie: Grand Frank / Groom's Shoes: Roger David / Groomsmen Attire: Pierre Cardin / Groomsmen Shoes: Roger David / Groom & Groomsmen's Watches: Casio / Bridesmaid Dresses: 'The Gown' Portmans / Bridesmaids Belts: Nash and Willow / Bridesmiads Jewellery: Caroline McWhinnie / Bride's Hair: Pamela Hunter (Groom's Mother) / Bridesmaid's Hair: Hair by Hayley / Makeup: Bride & Bridesmaids / Flowers: Bride / Ceremony Venue: Bride's Parent's Home / Marquee: Marquee Magic / Ceremony Chairs: Passion Tails / Ceremony Officiant: Fr Michael McMahon / Reception Venue: Roleystone Country Club / Reception Chairs: Bella Viola / Reception Music: Glen Myles (Family Friend) / Favors: Seeds bought from Bunnings / Catering: Roleystone Country Club / Wedding Cake: Melle's Cake Craft / Rings: Alexander Michelle Jewellers / Transport: Thirties Limousines
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Kristy & Ben

For us at Polka Dot Bride, it is all abut the story. The story of the details, of the relationship, of the day unfolding – these are the stories that carry us away. Kristy and Ben’s chic restaurant wedding carried so many beautiful stories on a day that was designed to be intimate and relaxed, but most of all meaningful. I am so delighted to share these with you today, along with their stunning wedding photographs captured by Andy of All Grown Up Weddings.

The good old pub brought these two together, Kristy remembering “Ben & I met when we both worked together at a local pub. There was always a spark between us but we were both in relationships at the time when we first met. When we were both finally single, I sent Ben a text and asked if he would like to have a drink with me. Luckily he said yes and our first date was in St Kilda. We were both absolutely smitten. That first date was 9 years ago and now we are married!”

The groom wore a black and white tuxedo by Briggins, wanting something a little different that would surprise his future wife.

Kristy and Ben chose Cecilia Fox to create their floral arrangements for the day in deep greens and white. Kristy tells “All of the companies we had dealt with were so great to work with. To be honest we had an absolute ball planning our special day and managed to avoid any stressful moments during the planning!”

The bride worked with a dressmaker to create her dream gown. “I always knew I’d pick something very simple and classic. As soon as I saw my dress I know it was the dress I wanted to get married in. I found the design and had a fabulous dressmaker custom make the dress for me. The dress was floor length with natural georgette sequin and silk lining. I am still in love with the dress, the dressmaker did a fantastic job.”

The beautiful  Melbourne Royal Botanical Gardens set the scene for the sunny Summer ceremony.

Callisto String Quartet  played the bride down the aisle. “We are both a huge Pete Murray fan and had always loved his song “Saving Grace”. We had a string quartet play the song while I walked down the aisle. I’m sure nobody else knew what song they were playing, but it was special to us.”

Kristy and Ben were married by Tim Manger, the bride remarking “The ceremony was at Nymphaea Lake East right next to the gorgeous colourful blooms.

Ben & I decided to do our own vows which meant a lot to us. Our celebrant was great and had complete control of the crowd while sharing our story so far. The celebrant is a big Magpies supporter as is Ben, which made our decision very easy. We decided to involve both of our parents by including a ring blessing into the ceremony. Our parents formed a circle around us and each made a wish as they held our rings. It was very sweet.”

With the belief it isn’t a celebration without champagne, the bride and groom finished their ceremony with a champagne tower! “I am such a lover of champagne so I had to include a champagne tower! It was great to pour the champagne together over the tower just after we said I do. Our guests got to enjoy the champagne while we had our photos taken.”

Of their photographer, the bride noting  “Our photographer, Andy ( and his partner Jackie) from All Grown Up Weddings were an absolute dream to work with. Andy managed to capture the entire day beautifully. We adore the photos of Ben & I with the sunlight behind us in the cactus garden. Andy listened to exactly what we were after and got some beautiful candid shots. As we didn’t have a bridal party, we were able to spend the time getting some shots with our family and friends just after the ceremony. Our good friend Macca also got some incredible shots of the entire day which we will cherish forever. ”

Kristy and Ben celebrated with their guests at The Botanical. Kristy explaining “It was important to make the day as easy as possible for our guests so when we had decided on getting married at the Royal Botanical Gardens, The Botanical across from the gardens was an obvious choice for us. We loved the relaxed atmosphere at The Botanical. We knew the food was delicious bistro style modern European fare that everyone would enjoy, they had a great beer & wine selection and had the most perfect private dining room with a glass ceiling for the sunshine to stream through when we entered as well as a vertical garden to suit our theme. The staff at the Botanical were just amazing to deal with leading up to the wedding and also on the night. Both Ben and I had such a wonderful night celebrating with all of the people we love.”

Guests took home mini terrariums complete with name tags designed by Cake Ink. “In keeping with our botanical theme, we made some gorgeous succulent & cactus plants as wedding favours for our guests to take home. We had some cute mini name tags made by Samone at Cake Ink to match our invites and signage and had them sticking out of each plant with a small message for our guests.”

“Our good friend Lauren baked our wedding cake, which was an incredible two tiers of rich chocolate Guinness and fresh lime (limes were homegrown from Lauren’s tree) with a coconut cream cheese frosting. So delicious!!”

The newlyweds chose an old favourite for their impromptu first dance, Kristy remembering “Ben and I were unsure if we were going to do a first dance. Late into the dinner, we had decided that we would although hadn’t prepared a song. We had the most amazing singer & guitarist duo perform on the night which just made everyone relax and feel comfortable. We asked them to play a song which ended up being “Let’ stay together” by Al Green. It was a great choice. Halfway through the song we got our friends up for a dance which was really special. I’m glad we decided to do our first dance as man & wife.”

Congratulations on your beautiful day Kristy and Ben! Thank you for sharing your stories with us and thank you to All Grown Up Weddings for sharing the photographs of the day!

Photographer: All Grown Up Weddings / Bride's Dress: Dressmaker Maria / Groom's Attire: Briggins / Hairstylist: Joey Scandizzo Salon / Makeup Artist: Danielle Gardiner / Flowers: Cecilia Fox / Invitations & Stationery: Cake Ink. / Ceremony Venue: Melbourne Royal Botanical Gardens / Ceremony Hire Items: The Wedding Zone / Ceremony Officiant: Tim Manger / Ceremony Musicians: Callisto String Quartet / Reception Venue: The Botanical / Reception Hire Items: The Small Things Co. / Band: Nathalie and Isaac Moran / Favors: Cake Ink. / Catering: Blakes Feast / Wedding Cake: Lauren Dickenson / Wedding Ring: Simon West Jewellery / Transport: Uber

Kylie and Liam's Bohemian Country Wedding

Kylie & Liam

I met Liam 14 years ago in the Kiewa Valley, North East Victoria where our families went on holiday every year at Christmas time. We exchanged numbers and began talking and went home at the end of our stay. Three weeks later was the Australia Day long weekend and we had to hurry back to catch up again. Being only 15 and 16 years old and living four hours apart was a test but as soon as Liam got his licence he was on the road to move closer.

It was when he moved down closer when I realised that he was the one. Eleven years later we had our annual Christmas holiday in Tawonga, Kiewa Valley. One day Liam took me on a 4-wheel-drive track up the mountains and we stopped at a lookout. With a picnic lunch, we stopped there and looked down over the most amazing scene into the Valley. It was there that Liam got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was absolutely surprised but I was totally ready. I said yes.

When it was time to look for my dress, I went on a holiday to the Gold Coast with my Mum to go shopping. I knew I wanted a boho, non-traditional looking wedding dress and I found a couple of places to try some on. I also knew I didn’t want a sweet heart neck line or for it to be fitted around my hips. I wanted a free flowing dress which was white rather than ivory or off white. I ended up with the total opposite of what I had in mind, but I fell in love with it when I put it on. It was a Watters dress which had champagne lining and an ivory lace overlay, a sweetheart neckline was fitted around my hips! I couldn’t have been happier with my choice. I purchased it from Bohemian Brides;  they were so helpful and had beautiful dresses – with the exact style I was wanting.

I also wore a veil that hung behind me and dropped to floor length; it was handmade by my seamstress from chiffon and more lace from my dress which was made into a clip.

Liam actually chose my ring all on his own – no hints were given along the way. He bought it from a jeweller in Sydney’s Queen Victoria Building and surprised me with it when he proposed. I love my ring. I guess when you’re in a relationship with someone for 13 years they really do get to know what you like!

My awesome florist Jess Mauger Floral Design really set the direction on our beautiful flowers.  I gave her a couple of pictures of colours and designs that I liked and I asked it we could do all in seasonal flowers – roses, stock, chrysanthemums and dusty miller. My bouquet was tied with a jute wrap and I also attached my grandmother’s brooch to it.

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In the bridal party, I had my step sister in-law Kim Champion as my maid of honour, my sister Stephanie Williams and my other sister in law (Liam’s sister )Ellie Pearce as bridesmaids. Liam had my step brother and his best friend, Shane Champion, as his best man, his other mate Brett Beveridge and his brother Sam Pearce by his side on the day.

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We decided on those people as they are our closest friends and family members. Liam and I asked them in different ways – he asked his boys over a beer and I asked my girls in a hand made and hand written card which was in the shape of a dress silhouette decorated with lace.

On the wedding day our gifts to the girls was a little box of goodies including, chocolates, wine, a floral robe, a singlet, a personalised stubby cooler, lipstick and a personalised (handmade my me) hanger all surrounded by tissue paper. Liam gave his boys cuff links which unfortunately didn’t show up from ordering online until four weeks after our wedding day, a personalised mason jar cup, quirky socks, personalised (handmade by me) hangers, beers, and personalised stubby coolers.

The hardest parts of the wedding planning process we found was the budgeting – and sticking to it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help to help keep costs down – the more handmade items and more ground work you do to hunt down the best prices the better your budget looks.

Liam was the best support. He had lots of say in the style, the venue, helped with budgeting and made a huge amount of props for the day including full sized chalk board easels, a massive LOVE light up sign, wooden hand written name plaque to hang in the archway, a big rustic candy bar, wooden slabs for the centre pieces and much more. It wouldn’t have been what it was if he wasn’t able to help so much!

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I walked down the aisle to ‘All of Me’ by Boyce Avenue. We both wrote our own vows for the ceremony. They were very meaningful and expressed our personalities. Liam had a little bit of humour in his which showed his true self which we all loved.

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We created an elegant barn style feel theme for our reception with boho hanging floral and greenery, lengths and lengths of handmade doily bunting, fairy lights, a photobooth and a rustic candy bar. Tables were decorated with white table cloths whilst white Tiffany chairs featured handmade hessian bows on the back. Centrepieces were round wooden slabs decorated with different sized jars filled with beautiful blooms.

Our photographs are amazing! I met Carissa from Capture The Moment Photography at a wedding expo and she was more than helpful. Choosing Carissa for our special day was the best decision we could have ever made. Her professionalism, organisation and her award winning talent was beyond what we could have ever imagined. Our pictures tell a thousand words and show our heartfelt feelings and capture the memories perfectly.

Casey from Dejavue Photo and Film was our talented videographer and I highly recommended her. Having your wedding day filmed is so important as it captures the day exactly how it was. I watch all the footage now and all the wonderful memories and feelings just flood back.

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Congratulations Kylie and Liam; your handmade details added such beautiful sentimental touches to your happy day!

Venue: Mercure Capricorn Resort Yeppoon / Flowers: Jess Mauger Floral Design / Bride's Dress: Bohemian Brides / Bridesmaid Dresses: Goddess by Nature / Wedding Cake: Margret from Le Bronze Cafe / Photographer: Capture The Moment Photography / Ceremony Officiant: Carolyn Farmer / Makeup Artist: PRO Makeup By Kylie / Hairstylist: NG Hair / Cinematographer: DeJaVu Film and Photography