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Kara and Bart’s Eco Beach Wedding

by | Honeymoons, Inspired Destination Weddings, Inspired Weddings, Location Australia,

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Polka Dot Bride
1
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eco beach wedding0056 Kara and Barts Eco Beach Wedding

Kara & Bart

Recently I spent some time  at a beautiful Western Australian place called Eco Beach Resort, and as a prelude to my stories of my time there I wanted to share this amazing Eco Beach Resort wedding captured by Lakshal Perera. To me it captures the heart and soul of this beautiful place – the incredible scenery and the magic of a love story that unfolded on its shores. Destination weddings are often thought of as international affairs, but there are so many amazing places right here in Australia that can set the scene for a weekend of fun.

Kara tells the story of how she and Bart came to be. “We met via a mutual friend at a pub in Cairns. I moved to Brisbane a few weeks after that initial meeting and while we stayed in touch, it wasn’t until I moved back to north Queensland 18 months later that we realised we had something special. Still, we lived 4 hours from one another, me in Townsville, Bart in Cairns and most weekends one of us would make the drive to spend it with one another. A further 18 months of doing this saw us pack up and drive across the country to Broome where we discovered that this was a once in a lifetime kind of love.

Bart proposed one afternoon at a little coastal creek just north of Broome. My sister was living with us at the time and we’d spent the afternoon showing her how to hook for mud crabs. While we had no luck with the crabs, we did take the time to enjoy a sunset drink while overlooking the Indian Ocean. My sister was on the phone to my brother (completely unaware of what was about to unfold) when Bart got down on one knee and asked the big question.”

eco beach wedding0004 Kara and Barts Eco Beach Wedding

Of their decision to hold their wedding celebrations at Eco Beach Resort, Kara tells, “Eco Beach Resort was the perfect location as it enabled us to have a three day celebration in one of the most magical places in Australia. Having everyone there the day before and the day after meant the wedding day was stress free. Seriously! We did what we wanted, when we wanted, knowing we could catch up with individuals the following day if we didn’t get the chance on the wedding day.

Eco Beach Resort is a little over an hour from Broome. As most of our guests travelled from interstate to celebrate with us, choosing a venue that enabled them to enjoy not just the wedding but their time in the Kimberley was essential. When beginning our hunt for a venue we knew we really wanted a bonfire, a beach and a never ending party (the worst part of weddings is when they end!). Eco Beach Resort offered us all of that, plus it meant that we got to spend a long weekend with most of our guests. Seriously; BEST DECISION EVER!”

eco beach wedding0006 Kara and Barts Eco Beach Wedding

eco beach wedding0007 Kara and Barts Eco Beach Wedding

Guests arrived the day before the wedding and celebrated on the beach – the girls enjoyed “mud and bubbles” a treatment where after taking to the beach, your skin is slathered in mangrove mud from Jack’s Creek. Champagne optional (but in my mind, required). The boys celebrated with a sunset cricket match. Kara explains, “We organized as much as we could to ensure that our guests’ weekend was as hassle free as possible. Seeing everyone else relaxed and enjoying themselves meant we could do the same.”

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Of the wedding day, Kara tells, “We started our day like any other. We enjoyed breakfast together and took some time to appreciate what the day would bring. We had to do a lot of the set up ourselves so we borrowed the man power of many of our guests. They were all seriously awesome and the venue looked amazing.”

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eco beach wedding0027 Kara and Barts Eco Beach Wedding

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The couple hired one of the ocean view villas to get ready in, Kara explaining, “I started getting ready at lunchtime and had family and girlfriends come and go throughout this time. Bart got ready with his folks.”

eco beach wedding0036 Kara and Barts Eco Beach Wedding

eco beach wedding0040 Kara and Barts Eco Beach Wedding

Kara chose a gown by Carla Zampatti . She tells, “I’d purchased two dresses and I didn’t know which I was going to wear until the morning of the wedding. In the end, I chose the Carla Zampatti gown.

Living in Broome made it incredibly difficult to shop for a dress. During a trip to visit family in Melbourne I took my mum and Aunty dress shopping on High Steet, Armadale. This was the first dress I tried on that morning. I decided to keep looking however after walking through the next shop went straight back to Carla Zampatti and placed my order. The most outstanding customer service imaginable!

I loved the simplicity yet amazing lace-like detail. It was different to anything I’d seen elsewhere, and I knew from the outset I didn’t want a typical wedding gown. It was perfect for the beach setting.”

eco beach wedding0042 Kara and Barts Eco Beach Wedding

eco beach wedding0044 Kara and Barts Eco Beach Wedding

eco beach wedding0046 Kara and Barts Eco Beach Wedding

Bart and Kara met before the ceremony for a first look, Kara remarking, “We had a first look prior to the ceremony which allowed me to rid myself of much nervousness.”

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Broome Florist created a hairpiece of white blooms for the bride, Kara telling, “I knew early on I didn’t want formal arrangements of the flowers. I wanted something neutral and rustic. Rather than carry a bouquet, I wore a garland made of white snap dragons, hyacinth, chincherinchee, wax flower, delphinium and ranunculus. The same flowers were purchased in bulk and our Aunty’s had a lovely time arranging them for us on the day.”

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Kara walked down the aisle with her parents to “Here Comes The Sun” by The Beatles.

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Kara’s sisters gave a reading during the ceremony which was performed by Bea Mead (0420 946 117). Kara remembers her favourite memory. “I loved looking out at our guests during the ceremony and seeing such love and happiness on their faces. It was a truly beautiful moment realizing that all of these people were there to support us and our relationship. The vows were also pretty special. We each wrote our own and they were very heartfelt and emotional.”

eco beach wedding0079 Kara and Barts Eco Beach Wedding

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One long table was set up on the beach, Kara telling “The beach in itself was enough of a backdrop – we really didn’t need to do much to create the feel we were after. I’d wanted a long table on the beach from the outset but it seemed near impossible to achieve. However, after showing Eco Beach Resort my inspiration, they were sold on the idea.”

eco beach wedding0099 Kara and Barts Eco Beach Wedding

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eco beach wedding0101 Kara and Barts Eco Beach Wedding

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The couple made sure their family was very involved in the day – the bride’s parents walked her down the aisle, her sisters gave readings during the ceremony, Bart’s best friend and cousin signed the marriage certificate along with Kara’s brother who also acted as DJ on the night. Bart’s dad was the MC for the evening and Kara’s brother and sisters gave a speech as did Bart’s pseudo best man. Kara notes, “We’d tossed up the need to get married for a long time. Our discussions kept coming back to the fact that it would be the only opportunity in our lives when we get the chance to have a massive celebration with all of our love ones. I grew up in Melbourne, Bart in Cairns. Between us, we have lived all over Australia and many of our family and friends have heard stories of one another but never had the chance to meet. Even our parents! With that in mind, we planned a wedding that not only celebrated our love but that of all those that were special to us.”

eco beach wedding0111 Kara and Barts Eco Beach Wedding

eco beach wedding0112 Kara and Barts Eco Beach Wedding

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“While decorations were minimal, I did want to create a special feel for the reception area. For the table setting I collected blue / green vintage bottles that were used as vases, the place mats were a neutral ‘beachy’ addition, I spray painted fish and other marine animals gold to use as place settings (this was an homage to our careers – we both studies marine science and work in the field), as well as lots of candlelight. We also set up the fairy light stands that we strung across the table.”

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eco beach wedding0119 Kara and Barts Eco Beach Wedding

Kara notes, “Initially, when people asked me my theme, I had no answer for them. To describe our style seemed impossible. In the end, I thought ‘chillaxed’ suited us best. All we really wanted to achieve from the day was an awesome celebration of love and friendship where everyone was relaxed (including us) and felt comfortable enough to be themselves. Minimal formalities, bare feet, lots of food and drink, a massive dancefloor, and it just so happened that we professed ‘forever’ to each other on the day.

We shied away from a number of wedding traditions which I think helped with the relaxed feel of the day. We didn’t have a bridal party, we each wrote our own vows, we had photos taken before the ceremony, my mum and dad both walked me down the aisle, we didn’t have a wedding cake, we had a no gifts policy…”

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eco beach wedding0123 Kara and Barts Eco Beach Wedding

Eco Beach Resort catered the sit down dinner, the bride noting, “The food was important to us and we wanted the meal to feel as though were sharing it with friends on our balcony at home – delicious shared platters of food, plenty of beer and wine, music to set the mood (Gurrumul and The Pigram Brothers) as well as plenty of laughs and conversation.”

eco beach wedding0124 Kara and Barts Eco Beach Wedding

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The couple served a tiered “cheese” cake from Blue Cow Cheese and handmade chocolates from Lady Bea as dessert.

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The dance floor literally lasted until the wee hours, kicking off with the newlywed’s first dances, You and Me by Penny and the Quarters and  Your Love by Saskwatch.

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The party continued until 4.30am, though the bride and groom made their exit at 2.30 am, Kara remembering, “We took some time to sit at the top of the sand dune, looking back over the reception venue and taking some time to watch and reflect. We felt an amazing sense of love and achievement.”

eco beach wedding0135 Kara and Barts Eco Beach Wedding

Congratulations on your marriage Kara and Bart! Thank you for allowing us to share it today! Thank you also to Lakshal Perera for sharing today’s wedding with us!

Photographer: Lakshal Perera / Bride’s Dress: Carla Zampatti / Bride’s Shoes: Forever Soles / Bride’s Jewelry: Samantha Wills / Groom’s Attire: Myer & Zara / Makeup Artist: Effloresce Makeup by Marika / Hairstylist: Jenna Stewart / Flowers: Broome Florist / Venue: Eco Beach Resort / Ceremony Officiant: Bea Mead 0420 946 117 / Wedding Cheese Cake: Blue Cow Cheese / Wedding Chocolates: Lady Pea / DJ: Brother / Engagement Ring: Linneys / Wedding Ring (Bride): Fidges Castaways / Wedding Ring (Groom): Jewelry by Johan

Lauren and Gerard’s Parisian Elopement

by | Honeymoons, Inspired Elopememnts, Inspired Weddings, Location Europe,

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Polka Dot Bride
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parisian elopement0037 Lauren and Gerards Parisian Elopement

Lauren & Gerard

There is nothing more romantic than a Parisian elopement and Lauren and Gerard’s secret wedding in the ultimate city of love certainly captured the complete and utter romance of their story! As studio manager of Sydney photography studio gm Photographics , Lauren chose lead photographer Graham Monro to capture her secret Paris marriage to Gerard!

Of their story, Lauren tells. “We went on a blind date set up by our mutual friends that thought we should meet. We went for dinner and quickly realised there was something very special. Within 6 months we had planned our future, bought a house within 12 months and started renovating and planned for a baby. When we met we both said we weren’t very interested in being married we were happy just to be together – what we soon realised was that it wasn’t that – we just didn’t want a big wedding. We wanted the commitment without the fuss. Mitch proposed on the 26th May that we get married in Paris – our favourite city and we kept it a secret. We had the ring made by Affinity Diamonds and I was wearing at home only until we got on the plane.”

parisian elopement0002 Lauren and Gerards Parisian Elopement

parisian elopement0003 Lauren and Gerards Parisian Elopement

parisian elopement0007 Lauren and Gerards Parisian Elopement

parisian elopement0008 Lauren and Gerards Parisian Elopement

parisian elopement0009 Lauren and Gerards Parisian Elopement

parisian elopement0010 Lauren and Gerards Parisian Elopement

Lauren wore a gown by Steven Khalil which showed off her 17 week baby bump! She accessorised with vintage Chanel gloves and jewels from Tiffany & Co.

parisian elopement0013 Lauren and Gerards Parisian Elopement

parisian elopement0014 Lauren and Gerards Parisian Elopement

parisian elopement0015 Lauren and Gerards Parisian Elopement

Lauren and Gerard were married at Hotel Raphael noting, “We wanted everything at the same place which is why we booked a hotel. The venue was a beautiful Parisian hotel with character and charm. We wanted it to be totally authentic.”  Lauren walked down the aisle to John Legend’s “All Of Me”.

parisian elopement0016 Lauren and Gerards Parisian Elopement

Lauren remembers “We wrote our own vows which were love notes to each other, we didn’t want anything religious and this was a way of us saying to each other exactly how we feel.”

parisian elopement0017 Lauren and Gerards Parisian Elopement

parisian elopement0018 Lauren and Gerards Parisian Elopement

Of their day Lauren says, “It was totally magical and self indulgent..the day was only about us and our commitment to each other. It was so emotional and special.”

parisian elopement0020 Lauren and Gerards Parisian Elopement

parisian elopement0021 Lauren and Gerards Parisian Elopement

The couple’s first dance was on the rooftop terrace to Christina Perry’s “A Thousand Years”.

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Of their photographer, Lauren tells, “We flew Graham from gm photographics over to be with us. We wanted the natural and candid style that reflected us. To travel all that way meant we had to have the best photographs and it would be our only lasting memory. The gm photographics style is so photojournalistic and unrehearsed, which we just love.”

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parisian elopement0035 Lauren and Gerards Parisian Elopement

parisian elopement0036 Lauren and Gerards Parisian Elopement

parisian elopement0038 Lauren and Gerards Parisian Elopement

parisian elopement0039 Lauren and Gerards Parisian Elopement

parisian elopement0040 Lauren and Gerards Parisian Elopement

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After photographs, the newlyweds returned to Hotel Raphael. Lauren remembering, “We had a private lunch/dinner in our suite with our own butler – a 7 course degustation.”

Congratulations on your marriage Lauren and Gerard! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Graham Monro of GM Photographics for sharing today’s wedding!

Photographer: Graham Monro of GM Photographics / Bride’s Dress: Steven Khalil / Bride’s Shoes: Prada / Bride’s Jewelry: Affinity Diamonds (Rings) / Bride’s Jewelry: Tiffany & Co (Bracelet, dress ring and earrings) / Bride's Gloves: Chanel (Vintage) / Bride's Bag: Louis Vuitton / Groom’s Attire: Soho / Hairstylist: James / Makeup Artist: James / Flowers: Hotel Raphael / Venue: Hotel Raphael

48 Hours In Broome

by | Destinations, Honeymoons, Location Australia

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Polka Dot Bride
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Broome Sunset 48 Hours In Broome

In September, Mr Polka and I were lucky enough to head over to Broome to experience the romance and beauty of this West Australian town. You can read all the details over on the Expedia blog today, but I thought I’d give you a quick rundown of my way of spending 48 hours!

Day One:

Upon arriving at Broome airport, take a taxi or arrange a bus pickup with your hotek.

We stayed at Bali Hai Resort & Spa, an Indonesian inspired oasis on Cable Beach. There are two areas to stay in Broome – one more near Broome’s town centre and the Cable Beach area (which is all within ten minutes walk of the beach). Make sure you’ve pre booked a spa treatment at the resort’s onsite spa – it will be just the relaxation kick-start you need for your honeymoon break!

Cable Beach 48 Hours In Broome

After a quick lunch at the resort’s onsite café, await your pickup for Intombi Sunset Cruise. This historic pearl lugger cruises along Cable Beach with a plentiful food and drink to make sure you enjoy the sunset in only the most romantic of ways. I have to admit, this was my favourite Broome sunset and quite possibly my favourite Broome experience. Nothing says romance like watching the sun drop into the ocean with a gin and tonic in hand, a cheese platter at your feet and the sails above your head.

For dinner, ask Amy (from Intombi) to drop you in town! There are plenty of restaurants to enjoy in Broome. 18 Degrees has become a local favourite for their delicious tapas inspired menu.

Day Two:

There is no time in Broome for sleep ins, rather the town seems to wake up early to beat the heat so book the 8am pickup for the Willie Creek Pearl Farm Tour 38km north of Broome.

Willie Creek Pearl Farm0002 48 Hours In Broome

After enjoying a brief education session about just how a pearl is created (including plenty of hands on action!) enjoy a damper morning snack before heading out on the boat to the pearl farm for more education and possible crocodile sightings. End your time at Willie Creek with a shop around the pearl showroom – which features some of the best and most beautiful of Broome’s pearl collections.

Willie Creek Pearl Farm0005 48 Hours In Broome

After the drive back to Broome, ask the bus driver to drop you at local brewery Matsos for a beer flight tasting (our damper earlier that day had been made with their Mango beer), an icy cold (non alcoholic) ginger beer and an award winning steak sandwich.

There will be just enough time to explore the beautiful Cable Beach and get some serious sun time in before heading to Cable Beach for your next must do – a sunset camel ride with Broome Camel Safaris. After you meet your camel and hop “onboard” the gentle rocking motion lulls you into a deep sense of peace as the golden sun drops into the ocean. As the sun says its final farewell, the camels stand to attention allowing you to really take it all in.

Broome Camels0003 48 Hours In Broome

Head up the beach to the Sunset Bar (Part of Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa)- it’s said to be the best place in Broome to watch the sunset and is always bustling once that golden hour hits. Cocktails and food are well deserved (even if you probably do smell a little like camel, I’m sure it’s something the staff are used to!).

Day Three:

Pack up early and head to Broome’s Dampier Terrace. Pearl shop after pearl shop – Willie Creek Pearls, Kailis Pearls, Galwey Pearls and Allure South Sea Pearls (formerly Linneys), to the loose pearl hub of Cygnet Bay (which also houses Broome’s largest South Sea Pearl at a massive 22.24mm in diameter).

A wander along Broome’s main shopping strip before you bid adieu and head to the airport.

 

Read my top five romantic adventures in Broome with the full reviews over on Expedia today!

 

The Polkas traveled to Broome courtesy of Expedia and Australia’s North West Tourism.

 

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