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Woohoo! Our first Friday Roundup for 2017, our tenth birthday and the first month with our brand new look! It has been a mighty big week at Polka Dot Bride! We are celebrating our birthday together in the sunshine (right universe, no rain for us!) and celebrating our brand new look (read more about that here!).

We shall be drinking plenty of champagne and eating plenty of cake and we’ll be back next week with a birthday wrap up post (because it’s not Polka Dot Bride if I don’t get a little soppy on a birthday) and plenty more wedding inspiration! In the meantime, find some cake (and tag us in it on Instagram!) and drink some bubbles- we give you an excuse!

Let’s wrap up the week that was on the polka blogs!

How To Take Honeymoon Photos Like A Pro!

Wedding Place Setting Hacks – Take Your Place Settings To The Next Level With 5 Easy Tips!

Brett shares his beautiful Inspired Memories

Five Minutes With….Julia From Julia’s Celebrant Agency

One so very fitting for our birthday! Make our Polka Dot Punch

What Would They Know? Caitlyn Elliott of Studio C Bridal

Love the romance of Erin And Michael’s Captured Memories

So romantic! David and Tess’ Romantic ‘Surprise’ Santorini Proposal

Inspired Words from a bride who has walked her way down the aisle- thanks, Lisa!

Sweet and pretty- loving the Petunia font

Rainy day weddings are fast becoming a favourite as evidenced by our love for Lauren and John’s Rainy Hunter Valley Wedding

Planning for a year-long engagement? We’re sharing Honeymoons In Paradise – Where to Go In January

Andrew shares his Groom Style

 

 

Sugarlove Weddings are hosting their “Share The Love” promotion for January! Book Sugarlove Weddings and mention the “Share The Love” promotion and SugarLove Weddings will transfer $100 into your bank account! Know someone who is newly engaged? When they book and tell Sugarlove your name and details upon booking- you’ll get the dollars! (The booking must be made by midnight January 31st, 2017 and the referring party details must be provided before this date to be valid. This could be the newly engaged couple themselves or a 3rd party who has told you about our promotion.)

Showtime Events & Cargo Hall are hosting their annual wedding showcase tomorrow the 14th of January. At South Wharf Promenade from 11 am until 4 pm, the showcase will give couples who make bookings on the day special discounts with plenty of wedding inspiration to enjoy on the day.

Jennifer Go bridal Couture is hosting a Melbourne trunk show between the 9th and 12th of February. Make an appointment for a personal consultation and of course a chance to try on Jennifer’s stunning creations.  Visit their website for more information.

The Vintage Bride Magazine wedding fairs are kicking off for the year! The first one will be held in Perth on January 22nd, then Melbourne on February 5th and Brisbane on February 26th, Packed full of vintage inspired wedding vendors, they are a must visit for the lovers of history. Check their Facebook page for more details.

Brisbane Couples can get their wedding planning started for the year with The Brisbane Club open night! Join the team and their preferred suppliers on Thursday, January 19th for a night of champagne, canapes and beautiful wedding inspiration!  Visit the website to reserve your place.

The Parmelia Hilton Perth is giving away a wedding to one lucky couple! Get along and attend their wedding open day on the 12th of February for your chance to go into the draw to win a wedding valued at $10,000. The open day runs from 9 am until 2:30 pm at the hotel., with free entry and free bubbles! Tour the hotel and meet their preferred suppliers, gather inspiration for your day and potentially walk away with the prize!

Ballarat couples can receive some fun perks at the Mercure Ballarat! Book your wedding at the hotel to receive a $300 beauty salon voucher and a round of golf for four people (perfect for a pre-wedding celebration!) Check their website for more!

Wedding photographer Lucy Nuzum is travelling to Australia from Ireland in October 2017 and would love to shoot plenty of Australian weddings while she is here! Her introductory package price starts at $3300 (and includes her full day of coverage – 12 hours. This includes all the best images as high resolution, un-watermarked files, and a gorgeous video slideshow telling the story of your day. A full day of coverage is usually 800+ images.) and she loves to take plenty of unobtrusive candid photos! Visit her website to book!

Our film of the week comes from our friends at The White Tree. Dion and Jordan’s stunning flower-filled wedding day was captured in such a beautifully emotive way and somehow made me both cry and smile- definitely, one to enjoy with  a big cup of tea

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We are gearing up to celebrate our tenth birthday at Polka Dot Bride and as you can imagine, there are some lessons we have learned over the past ten years of writing about all things weddings Today, it’s all about engagements. Read on for the biggest lessons and tips we have learned about the time the question is answered and the rollercoaster of emotions that comes with it.

It Never Goes As Planned

There are so many situations where we dream up scenarios and have this expectation that it’s going to go perfectly and yet, it never really turns out that way. Instead of that glam outfit, you had planned you might get engaged wearing your oldest jumper and rattiest jeans. Instead of that perfect moment and the perfect question being popped as the fireworks explode, you may instead be rained out, or be surrounded by screaming children.

Moments like this are never as we dreamt, but they’re ones we retell time and time again and laugh about because they make the stories ours.

You’ll Get Questions Right Away

The minute you share the news, you’ll get questions ” What’s your wedding date?” “Where are you getting married?” “What is your wedding style going to be?”. Sometimes it can be frustrating, it can feel like everyone is pressuring you to decide, to come up with a plan. Really, everyone is just so excited for you and eager to share in your joy.

Photo by Kelly Adams Photography via Mia & Jon’s Frolic by the Seaside Engagement

You Don’t Have To Do Anything But Enjoy It

And following on from the above, it’s completely okay to kick back and enjoy it. Share your excitement with your friends, bask in that newly engaged glow, celebrate, enjoy it- nothing else needs to happen but enjoy this really special time.

You Don’t Even Have To Plan A Wedding Yet

Don’t feel like a wedding is something you want in the next year? In the next two years? That’s completely fine! Whether you are engaged for six months or ten years- this is your decision and resist the pressure to do it anything but the best way for you.

It Will Be The Best Of Times & The Worst Of Times

While your engagement is so wonderfully exciting and joyful, it can also be a time of disappointment and struggles and that’s okay. I call engagement a bit of an emotional hothouse- feelings come out, pain comes out, stress is magnified and people who you rely on may not show up. You may struggle with budgetary discussions, friendships, family, the sadness of those who are not able to be present. This is all part of planning a wedding and while this sounds like a complete downer, it’s just another part of this transition in life and one that you are more than capable of navigating through.

Photo by Matt Reed via Crystal & Danny’s Sydney Waterside Engagement

Overwhelm Is Very Real

What flowers do you want? How many bridesmaids? Why haven’t you booked that yet? Why not this idea? Or that one?

Wedding overwhelmed is real- the to-do list can seem endless and the decisions never ending. Make sure to take plenty of wedding free time and work together through the lists and to-dos to reduce your stress. I am always an advocate of wedding planners (especially if you worry and want to delegate!), they can be your greatest advocates and can help share some of the load.

There Will be So Many Bubbles (And Cake!)

Yay, we booked our photographer, let’s drink champagne to celebrate. Hooray, I haven’t seen you since I got engaged, let’s drink champagne to celebrate! Hooray elt’s catch up and drink champagne. Should there ever be a time you think this is time to cut back, to create a healthier lifestyle- this is not it. It’s so incredibly fun to be celebrating with your favourite people

Working On A Wedding Mission Statement Will Save Your Heartache

I say this time and time again but it really is one of my favourite tips. Sitting down with your beloved and figuring out what you want your wedding to look like, how you want it to feel and what is most important to you (whether that be photography, food, music- you name it!) can give you such a clear roadmap when faced with stress or difficulties along the road. It will allow you to remember what is most important and allow you to let go of the rest while still having the wedding that is exactly what you want.

Photo by Morgan Roberts via Jackie & Reilly’s Outdoor Queensland Engagement

Being Yourself Is Crucial

If you’re someone who loves everything vintage, a modern slcik celebration might not be for you. if you spend all your time in the city- perhaps that’s the best location for your day. if you couldn’t think of anything worse than being looked at by hundreds of people, perhaps keep your guest list small. This is about you and your belove- make decisions that are truly about you. Not about what the latest thing is, what someone says, what a publication shows- be yourself and your day will be incredible.

It Is & Isn’t Just About You

This is kind of a funny piece of advice, but it’s one I have been reminded of time and time again.

While your wedding is very much about you and your beloved and shouldn’t be dominated or domineered by anyone else, life does go on after the wedding and it’s so important to remember that as you make decisions that may hurt others will last long after the day is over. If your mum has dreamt of making your wedding cake all her life and it will cast a dark shadow for her if you reject the idea- how does that work into your relationship after the day? If you leave one aunt out of six off the guest list, will that sever that relationship?  Make the decisions that are right for you, but consider the lasting effects too before you decide on things that may determine the future of your relationships.

 

 

elegant-country-wedding-photo

Ebony & Heath

When Ebony and Heath got married, they wanted an intimate day with just their nearest and dearest. Their elegant Australian country wedding was held on a stunning Hunter Valley property circa the 1830s. They married in the garden and then dined at long tables under glorious festoon lights. Kait Photography was there to capture their day.

Ebony tells the story of how she and Heath came to fall in love. “Heath and I met through mutual friends on a night out at our local Uni bar party over six years ago. We were both studying High School Teaching so our paths crossed a couple more times before we went for a date. After our first few dates together we became inseparable – we supported each other through our university degrees, travelled the world by each other’s side and then began out biggest adventure yet – moving in with each other, buying dogs and a home (and then renovating it) together!”

Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/groom-with-groomsmen-in-navy-suits

Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/

The details were important to the couple who chose stationery from The Whistle Press with calligraphy by Seniman Calligraphy . “I loved our hand pressed wedding invitations from Suzanne at The Whistle Press, The invitations were simple but beautiful and featured soft grey ink and a whimsical floral design stamped into each invite. Suzanne also made our letterpress reply cards and designed our menu and wedding program. We also had some special hand written place cards from Seniman Calligraphy.”

Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/

Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/

Ebony had her heart set early on a Bo & Luca wedding gown, she explains “I have always loved the romance of Bo & Luca gowns and they were the first on my list to visit. I wanted something with simple, elegant flowing silk and detailed beading. As soon as the ladies suggested the Isra gown and I tried it on I instantly knew it was the dress for me! It was an easy choice – I loved its hand beading, whimsical, flowing movement and soft silhouette. The capped sleeves were also a little bit old world which tied into our venue perfectly. After I had tried it on I kept picturing myself in it on our special day, so my decision was easily made!”

Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/

wedding-ceremony-welcome-signElegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/

greenery-on-pew-end-at-wedding

Hello Blossom Bouquets taught the bride how to create the floral arrangements for the day, Ebony explaining “I decided to take a creative risk in doing all the florals on the day including my bouquet, table flowers, cake flowers and boutonniere for Heath as well as the father of the bride and father of the groom. I absolutely loved having some lessons from Kate (Hello Blossom Bouquets) to help with my confidence! My mother also made our linen napkins for the table which added a lovely personal feel.”

outdoor-ceremony-pews

The couple chose private farm Belltrees for their wedding day, Ebony telling “Belltrees is a circa 1830’s historical property spanning 22,00 acres and framed by the hills of the Barrington Tops National Park. This was the perfect setting for us – we both love the Australian landscape and Heath has always loved the history of places, old buildings and old architecture. The scenery at Belltrees is breathtaking and was beyond perfect with its old buildings and rolling hills – it was truly magical and special.”

Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/

Ebony walked down the aisle flanked by her parents, to “The Wedding Song” by Angus & Julia Stone.

Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/

Of their ceremony, the bride remembers “Due to the small nature of our wedding (16 guests!) we wanted our styling and feeling to be intimate, understated, and real. Our aim was to be authentic to ourselves and to the history and landscape of Belltrees. With the help of some of our closest friends, Heath and my parents we set the wedding up. Our ceremony unfolded in between two 1830’s farmer’s cottages, underneath trees with the mountains in the background. It was very natural, as were our vows which we chose ourselves and readings from my mother and Heath’s grandmother.”

Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/

Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/

 

Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/

Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/

“It was so relaxing! As we didn’t have the pressure of a huge guest list our weekend felt like a retreat with close friends. We didn’t feel overwhelmed at all and really got to take in every aspect of our day.”

Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/

Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/

Swan Fine Foods catered a feast for the couple’s 16 guests.

Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/

Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/

Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/

Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/

Of their photographer, Ebony remarks “Kait is such a gorgeous soul who is so easy to get along with – this was really important to us as our wedding was so intimate, we wanted to feel comfortable having them a part of our day. She is lovely, and her photography and use of natural lighting was just what we wanted!”

Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/

Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/

Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/bride-wearing-bo-and-luca-gown

Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/

wooden-wedding-reception-tables-and-benchesranunculus-wedding-centrepiece

Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/

The reception featured beautiful long wooden tables set with the couple’s personally chosen crockery and glassware. “As we had such a small, semi-elopement with 16 guests rather then spend our money on hiring crystal wear and cutlery we decided to buy our own special pieces to keep forever. We purchased Waterford wine and champagne glasses and Laguiole cutlery for our table wear and get to enjoy these items still today!”

Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/

outdoor-wedding-reception-with-lights

Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/

Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/

Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/

Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/

Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/

Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/

The Angus & Julia Stone theme continued for the couple’s first dance. “Our first dance was to ‘Just a Boy’ by Angus & Julia Stone. This has been a favourite song of ours since we first started dating and made for such a special moment. Our dance floor was on two old rugs we found at garage sales, under festoon lighting. Just us in front of our 16 closest friends and family – just perfect!”

Elegant Australian Country Wedding | Photo By Kait Photography http://kaitphotography.com.au/

Congratulations on your marriage Ebony and Heath! Thank you for taking the time to share your beautiful day with us! Thank you also to Kait Photography for sharing today’s celebration!

Photographer: Kait Photography / Other: Bo & Luca / Other: Tony Bianco / Other: Samantha Wills / Groom's Shoes: R.M Williams / Other: Roger David / Hairstylist: Jess & James / Makeup Artist: Chic Artistry / Invitations & Stationery: The Whistle Press / Calligraphy: Seniman Calligraphy / Ceremony Hire Items: Ivory Lane / Catering: Swan Fine Foods / Venue: Belltrees Station / Wedding Rings: Cort Jewellery / Wedding Rings: Danny Designer Jewellery