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Jo and Olly’s Autumn South Australia Wedding

by | Australia - South Australia, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Jo and Olly

There’s so much to love about Jo and Olly’s Autumn South Australia wedding. They embraced bright colour, they served pizza and they wed on a peacock farm. South Australia has been shining bright lately and these photographs by Nicole Cordeiro Photography are no exception.

Jo wore a lace gown with a sweetheart neckline from Liza Emanuele. Her bridesmaids were in fuchsia frocks from Alfred Sung dresses found at The Ultimate Bride. Jo loved, “Spending the morning being pampered with my sisters, sister-in-law to be, mum and my gorgeous nieces was very special. Finally getting to put on the dress!! It had lots of buttons and required all bridesmaids and my mum to squeeze me into it.”

Jo walked down the aisle to ‘Songbird’ by Eva Cassidy. One of Jo’s favourite memories is, “Being walked down the aisle by my dad and thankfully seeing my very well dressed groom waiting for me.”

Jo and Olly chose Willunga Peacock Farm for their ceremony, Jo telling, “The ceremony was in a garden at Willunga Peacock Farm. We chose the venue for its great garden setting, beautiful peacocks that roamed the grounds, and because it has a backup option for wet weather. It’s also a B&B and we stayed there on our wedding night as well.”

Of their photographer, Jo tells, “Nicole Cordeiro was fabulous to work with, a very professional and talented photographer that went above and beyond to make sure we had a great experience. Nicole did a scouting trip prior to the wedding and found a variety of locations including a beautiful golden field where we got some of our favourite photos. ”

Russell’s Pizza, Willunga (08 8556 2571) hosted the reception, Jo remarking, “Guests are fed with amazing gourmet pizza until full, followed by a choice of home-made desserts. Russell’s can fit approximately 100-110 guests with room for a DJ and dance floor.”

The couple made most of their reception decor including the bunting, decorated glass jars and signage. Jo remembers, “We absolutely loved the reception venue, the atmosphere with open fires dotted around the garden is amazing. The home made bunting made a much bigger difference to the venue than expected, it gave a real party feel. Being generous with flowers was also totally worth it when decorating a rustic space.”

The couple chose a choreographed first dance, Jo remarking “We did a fox trot to ‘Unforgettable’ (duet by Natalie Cole and Nat King Cole). After many lessons we were happy that we pulled it off with the lifts.”

Jo remembers, “The DJ got all our friends and family dancing, and having a dance with my Granny (86 years) was memorable.”

Congratulations Jo and Olly! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you to Nicole Cordeiro Photography for sharing today’s celebration with us!

Photographer: Nicole Cordeiro Photography / Bride’s Dress: Liza Emanuele / Bride’s Shoes: Adelaide Dancer's Boutique / Bride’s Jewellery: Angelique Earrings from David Jones / Groom’s Attire: Joseph Uzumcu / Groomsmen Attire: Joseph Uzumcu / Bridesmaid Dresses: Alfred Sung dresses from The Ultimate Bride / Hairstylist: Janet from Gloss Femme Homme, Stepney / Makeup Artist: Megan Pilkington / Flowers: Kelly Galliver (Friend) / Invitations & Stationery: Handmade / Ceremony Venue: Willunga Peacock Farm / Ceremony Officiant: Merrilyn Williams / Reception Venue: Russell's Pizza, Willunga (08 8556 2571) / DJ: DJ Curtis / Favors: Quinzi's Confectionery / Wedding Cake: Russel's Pizza, Willunga (08 8556 2571) / Cake Toppers: The Air Castle / Wedding Rings: McIntosh Jewellers
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Koren and Dave’s Elegant Black Tie Wedding – Part 2

by | Inspired Weddings, Inspired Weddings, Weddings,


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Dave and Koren

The Victoria Police Academy Chapel is such a beautiful space, and its natural light, warmth and grandeur made it just perfect for our elegant black tie wedding in wintery Melbourne. Dave greeted guests outside the chapel before my arrival and the images Warren Photography captured of this time are some of my favourites. They’re filled with such excitement and emotion.

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Having conducted countless weddings where a bride doesn’t see any faces on her way down the aisle for all the iPhones pointed at her, we asked our guests in advance to switch off their phones and cameras for the duration of the ceremony. It made such a difference to have everyone engage completely with the ceremony and we love that in each and every photo John took you can see faces, not phones.

Dave, his groomsmen and Alex all wore dinner suits we had custom made overseas. Dave was very particular about their black tie look and spent several weeks looking for braces and real bow ties. At the end of the evening, with their jackets off and ties undone, they looked like long lost members of the Rat Pack.

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Our flowergirl and pageboy entered the chapel to ‘God Only Knows’ by the Beach Boys, followed by Alex and Mum. The girls, Dad and I walked down the aisle to ‘I’ll Cover You (Reprise)’ from the musical Rent. I told Dave not long after we met that he would have to quickly develop an appreciation of musicals if we were to have a future together and Rent is one we both love. This song has such a joyous, triumphant sound and its lyrics speak about enduring love.

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Our celebrant, Amanda Matler, has been a friend and mentor to me for several years and it felt so natural to share our ceremony with her. She was engaging and inclusive and the ceremony was a celebration of the life and love we share, as well as the love shared with our family and friends. My sister’s partner, Tom, and Dave’s Aunty Janelle delivered readings by Victor Hugo and Bob Marley.

We asked six friends with marriages we admire to share a piece of advice, a wish or blessing for our future together. These were kept secret from us until the day and were given with such love and grace. Our friend Phil chose to quote the Beatles, leading to an impromptu singalong. The sound of 150 people singing ‘All You Need Is Love’ is not something we’ll forget soon! It was such a gleefully happy moment.

It meant so much to us our three surviving grandparents were able to attend. I was particularly thrilled that my Nan flew down from Brisbane – no mean feat when you consider that she’s 96. Given my profession, it probably isn’t surprising to learn that there were no fewer than 6 celebrants in attendance – 7 if you count the bride.

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Many of our guests came from interstate so we wanted to give them a truly Melbourne experience while warming them up at the same time. We booked Karine and Jason from Harts Coffee Cart to provide everyone with coffee after the ceremony. The coffee was a huge hit (and delicious – Jason is one skilled barista), as was the shortbread my Mum and sister spent several days making to go with them.

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Mum turned her kitchen into a workshop in the lead up to the wedding, first making 200 shortbread biscuits to serve immediately after the ceremony, then peanut butter and cherry chocolate truffles for reception favours. Anyone who happened to drop by during that stage was co-opted into stirring or rolling or shaping.

The weather on our wedding day was true to Melbourne’s wintry reputation – cold and wet! We hadn’t checked the forecast at all in the lead up to the day as we knew we couldn’t change it, so why bother worrying? The rain only made everything feel cosier, and the photos taken as we danced in the rain are some of my favourites.

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Our reception was a formal, sit-down affair at the extremely elegant Church St Enoteca. It is our favourite restaurant for so many reasons – its warm ambience, the wonderful staff, the incredible food and the impressive wine list. Conversation flowed as guests sat at long tables lit by tealight candles and decorated with white flowers.

Favour boxes filled with Mum’s chocolate truffles doubled as name cards and Dave’s Aunty Dianne Zipf made our delicious three-tiered cake. Dianne is a professional cake baker from the Gold Coast and we couldn’t believe our luck when she offered to make it for us.

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The speeches were memorable for all the right reasons – they were funny, touching and honest. My sister had the entire room in hysterics when she congratulated me on a being a very calm bride, admitting that she thought she might have been stuck with a bridezilla!

We had a vintage-inspired poster custom made by Alexander and Co to display above the dance floor. It was a talking point amongst our guests and now lives on our bedroom wall.

We danced to ‘Dance Me To The End of Love’ by Leonard Cohen. The first concert we ever went to together was Leonard Cohen at a Day on the Green, where we waltzed around on the grass to this very song. We had five lessons leading up to the day and got it right for the first time on the day.

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Rutherford Entertainment provided our music and were so, so good at getting everyone up and dancing. They asked all the right questions to determine the mood we were trying to create, playing jazz standards during dinner and retro classics to fill the dance floor. They even played The Horses for this Daryl Braithwaite tragic.

The day after our wedding, Marcus from C2 Video posted a highlight reel. It brought me to tears then and still does now. In those few minutes, he captured how the day felt.

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One of my strongest memories is of standing hand in hand with Dave, just before we made our speech, looking out over a room full of the people we love. They were all smiling and it was truly humbling to realise they were all smiling because they were happy for us. That’s a high you never come down from.

Images by Warren Photography

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Ms Gingham says: What a beautiful day you had Koren. We’re so happy for you and wish you and Dave all the very best luck!

Koren Harvey says: “I love standing with a groom waiting for his bride to arrive and watching the emotions well up in his eyes. I love seeing the joy on a bride’s face when she catches sight of her husband-to-be. I love what I do. Being a celebrant is the best job in the world.”

Photographer: Warren Photography / Hairstylist: Rare Earth Hair / Makeup Artist: Beauty In Motion / Flowers: Botanics / Bride’s Dress: Suzanne Harward / Bride’s Jewellery: Elissi / Videography: C2 Video / Wedding Cake: Dianne Zipf / Ceremony Venue: Victoria Police Academy Chapel / Reception Venue: Church St Enoteca / Ceremony Officiant: Amanda Matler / Coffee Cart: Harts Coffee Cart / Favors: Notefully / Custom Poster: Alexander and Co

Polka Dot Christmas Gift Guide – For The Couple & Each Other

by | Bride, Wedding Gifts


My third and final instalment in the Polka Dot Bride Christmas Gift Guide for 2013 is all about presents you can buy for your beloved, or that gift givers than gift to a couple. perhaps for Christmas or perhaps as a wedding or engagement present. presents to enjoy together and help build your home, or add some beautiful touches to your abode.

wedding gift ideas for christmas

Aura By Tracie Ellis Chevron Grande Tablecloth in Smoke, Kitchenaid Artisan Stand Mixer in Watermelon ($779), Mozi Tropicalia Gold Spot Cushion ($79.95), kikki.K Wedding Organiser $39.95) Bormiolo Rocco Palatina Multicolour Glasses ($24.95), Pommery Grand Cru 2004 ($99.50), Aromatherapy Associates Limited Edition Bath & Shower Oil Ultimate Collection ($103.80), Minted Christmas Cards (From US$43 for 25)

I couldn’t write this gift guide without including a Kitchenaid now could I? Kitchenaid has released a fantastic set of new colours for Summer- including the pictured Kitchenaid Artisan Stand Mixer in Watermelon, plus Crystal Blue, Truffle and Cocoa Silver and along with new colours in their platinum collection (Blueberry, Plumberry, Toffee & Liquid Graphite). Kitchenaid stand mixers are always a classic gift for a newly engaged couple, a wedding present or your beloved. The only thing that’s stopped me from getting one, is colour indecision!

This Mozi Tropicalia Gold Spot Cushion is such a fun addition for Summer to your couch or bed. It’s vibrant, polka dot and just a nice addition to make your home a little more yours. I love the shimmering gold of the dots on this pillow, pair it with a bright blue or lime green throw for a festive Summer look!

Admittedly, this kikki.K Wedding Organiser is the Polka Dot Bride office copy – the newer version has your own customisable tabs, a polka dot cover (win win) and is packed with checklist. The neutral colour scheme of white and grey has always been a winner for me with these wedding planners and they are such a great gift idea for the newly engaged- the paperwork starts to pile up quickly and it’s a wonderful way to keep on top of it all.

Bormiolo Rocco Palatina Multicolour Glasses are part of my motto of buying great things you would never buy yourself. I’m always picking up plain glassware but don’t think of something bright and bold like these beauties. They’re perfect for outdoor entertaining or dressing up a table for a dinner party. I’m still a big fan of buying couples or each other crockery and glassware- my parents still have pieces from their own marriage and engagement and they’re treasured with each story that is told. Pair a box of these with your favourite cocktail ingredients for something a little extra.

Champagne never goes down as a bad gift and the decadent Pommery Grand Cru 2004 is a perfect celebration gift. Perhaps even one to gift your beloved to drink on a special night (the first night home from your honeymoon perhaps?). Madame Pommery described her champagne as joyful lightness. The brand is always dancing to it’s own tune (being the first to make extra dry champagne for English Aristocrats in the 1800’s). The flavours fresh and light making for a delicious gift to enjoy.

I am a firm believer that the world does not have enough baths. So this Aromatherapy Associates Limited Edition Bath & Shower Oil Ultimate Collection is my mission to help change it. These bath and shower oils are truly luxurious – based on the beautiful therapeutic oil blends, this set contains nine miniatures of their popular bath oils. With each having a different “mood” and essential oil blend. “Support” containing Lavender & Peppermint oils, “Relax” a blend of Vetivert, Camomile, Sandalwood oil right through to “Deep Relax” and “Revive”. I love this gift for a newly engaged couple as an act of support through any kind of wedding stress and also for each other- take time out and enjoy the peace of a bath.

I love fun Christmas stationery and I loved the Minted Christmas Cards this year- gorgeous foils, die cut shapes and typography really set the cards off and adding your own photographs, especially if you are newly married, makes it personal. Minted has a huge range, including custom Christmas wrap to coordinate.

christmas gift ideas for couples

 Aura By Tracie Ellis Chevron Grande Tablecloth in Smoke, KNIndustrie ABCT Range Casserole Set (16cm casserole $88 16cm lid $58, 24cm casserole $110, 28cm lid $67 28cm casserole $129 28cm casserole lid $88) Kate Spade Larrabee Dot Toasting Flutes ( $149 Similar available at Wedding Gifts Direct) Leah Duncan “Nesting” Print ($28  Available at The Woodsfolk), Breville Nespresso Umilk In Pure White ($299), Aura By Tracie Ellis Big Spot Tea Towel In Marine ($8.95), Normann Copenhagen Cognac Glasses- set of two ($70 Available at Wedding Gifts Direct), French Navy Personalised Note Cards & Lined Envelopes  ($249 for 50)

Isn’t this kitchen ware the funkiest? KNIndustrie ABCT Range Casserole Set is a new favourite of mine. All white enamel cookware with wooden lids that convert to trivets for hot pans. The pieces are somewhat convertible (a detachable handle and silicone lids are available).

Kate Spade is always, always on my Christmas wish list and when the Larrebee dot range is on the cards, well isn’t that just a match made in heaven? Champagne flutes are almost obligatory for an engagement and these Kate Spade Larrabee Dot Toasting Flutes (Similar available at Wedding Gifts Direct) up the stakes with their elegance but playful touch.

This gorgeous Leah Duncan “Nesting” Print (Available at The Woodsfolk), may be on my Christmas list. I’ always looking for beautiful art to hang in my home and I love the playful vibe of these sweet birds. Prints are always a wonderful gift – for me, I find that they can evoke things I want to say to someone, or how much I love them through someone else’s artistic talent.

There was one thing that came into my life this year that I can say changed it. Breville Nespresso Umilk In Pure White (with integrated Aerochino not pictured), I had put off buying one for years until Mr Polka did it behind my back, like all great things he gifts me. This little machine is my go to in the morning for quick one button coffee that has kicked anything ‘instant’ to the kerb. There’s three programmable coffee sizes,a  range of colours and a bucketload of different coffees (including flavoured varieties) that make this one of my favourite gifts for people who don’t fancy spending ages in front of their coffee machine.

Looking for something cheap and cheerful? Try the Aura By Tracie Ellis Big Spot Tea Towel In Marine. Fun tea towels that sway from the traditional stripes and checks are always a welcome addition and somehow, I think this one has my name all over it!

These are Normann Copenhagen Cognac Glasses – set of two (Available at Wedding Gifts Direct)  – beautiful pieces aren’t they? Wedding gifts to me are always wonderful things you would never buy yourself but make your life together just a bit more special and these I think, do that justice. They can hardly just be glasses, instead, I call them ‘art’.

I love this gift idea- French Navy Personalised Note Cards & Lined Envelopes. Remember in the “olden days” a wonderful gift was new stationery with your new married name? Why did that become something of times gone by? French Navy has long been a favourite of mine (see this post of stationery I still treasure today!) and they’ll work with you on a custom design to reflect your new initials. I love this idea for a wedding present- nothing beats a beautiful handwritten note.

wedding gift ideas

Aura By Tracie Ellis Chevron Grande Tablecloth in Smoke Blacklist Studio XO Gold Foil Print Set ($149), Pony Rider Flower Patch Cushion Cover ($109),  Pimms, Aura By Tracie Ellis Big Spot Apron In Coral ($29.95), Polk Audio Heritage Speakers, Woodbourne ($849), Neato Robotic Vacuum ($799), KNIndustrie ABCT Range Wok And Handle (32cm Wok $143 Handle $44) , Bruny Island Cheese Club (From $83), ABC Delicious Tasting Bowls ($29.95 Available at Myer), Palm Beach Collection Deluxe Candle In Quince ($99.95)

This modern and super cool Blacklist Studio XO Gold Foil Print Set would make such a fun wedding present. The X and O are modern, the gold foil a touch of luxury and the message behind it warm and wonderful. I really do adore beautiful prints and I think this striking duo would look fantastic hanging on a wall.

Pony Rider makes such beautiful pieces and I fell in love with this Pony Rider Flower Patch Cushion Cover. It is such a lovely neutral with a bit of added botanical interest.

Pimms, what more could you want in a summer drink? Making jugs of Pimms on hot Summer days is one of my favourite things to do and gifting this to a couple is something you can’t go wrong with. Include a jug and the ingredients (lemonade or ginger ale, mint, oranges and strawberries) for something fun or a bocce or lawn bowl set for something non perishable!

Aprons are never something I think to buy, but judging by the state of my clothing after I cook, something I need. This Aura By Tracie Ellis Big Spot Apron In Coral is such a fun addition to the kitchen and has multiple colours so you could buy two as a wedding or engagement gift. Mr Polka and I love cooking together (except I don’t cut the onions, because he needs them to be in millimetre perfect size) and this apron set would suit us to a ‘T’!

I admit I wasn’t sure quite what to expect when we dug these Polk Audio Heritage Speakers, Woodbourne, out of the box for our shoot (it comes with it’s own dust bag) but I never thought I would walk away actually calling it beautiful. But if a speaker could be beautiful, then this one is it. It works with Airplay, Bluetooth and even hooks up to your TV and stereo system. I love the idea of this as a gift for a music loving couple who have a chic sense of style.

Nobody likes to vacuum, or if you do, feel free to come and meet me. So that’s why I love the Neato Robotic Vacuum as a gift idea. Sit back and relax as this laser mapping vacuum cleaner (read: no bumping into furniture) does the hard work for you. It works off a schedule for your daily cleaning, adjust its speed depending on your surfaces, is pet friendly and can return to it’s charging dock when it’s low on battery.

The KNIndustrie ABCT Range Wok And Handle is the final piece in the white enamel cookware set I featured earlier, but this piece shows off the removable handle making it easy to store. Stylish and convenient? Yes please! The entire cookware range can be used on gas or electric cook tops, is nonstick, oven and dishwasher safe, and is designed to go from oven to table.

Let me introduce you to one of my favourite pieces of mail. The Bruny Island Cheese Club. Based in Tasmania, Bruny Island make the most incredible cheeses and offer a monthly cheese club where you receive a selection of beautiful cheeses and accompaniments. It is one of the more beautiful pieces of mail to receive (and if I am honest, stinkiest!). The Bruny Island Cheese Co are wonderfully passionate about the art of cheese making (they taught me cheese needs to be at room temperature to enjoy it, or as my beloved French friends put it “friendly”.) Each month founder Nick films a video which has us drooling and if you have cheese lovers in your life I guarantee they will adore this.

The ABC Delicious Tasting Bowls (Available at Myer) are a fun little gift for your home or for a couple. They come in a set of fun pastel tones and are again, one of those items you never think to buy yourself but always appreciate when you have it. Perfect for entertaining- olives, nuts, cheeses and your favourite dips can all sit in these sweet tasting bowls looking as stylish as can be.

Candles make the best gifts, as sometimes they’re just a little too indulgent to buy for yourself. So I adore this Palm Beach Collection Deluxe Candle In Quince. They’re Australian made and owned (big ticks for both) and this epic sized candle makes for a wonderful gift for a couple. It has four wicks and is a stupendous weight, kicking off a massive 180 hours burn time.

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