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Honeymoon In Portugal – Almoçageme Windmill

by | Destinations, Honeymoons


Julia of Julia's Celebrancy Services
Find me on Ms Polka Dot's Directory

When travelling through Portugal earlier this year with my partner Julian, we stayed at the most GORGEOUS place and I just HAD to share it with all the couples out there looking for the perfect honeymoon destination! I spent a lot of time researching Portugal before our trip and completely fell in love with (and got quite addicted to) Airbnb.

And that’s where I found the Almoçageme Windmill in Colares…. just under an hour drive from Lisbon.

It was just…. awesome! No words could describe how awesome it was! It was just the most romantic place to stay and we enjoyed 3 or 4 nights there and took in the amazing sights of Sintra with all of it’s historic castles and breathtaking views.
Here are some shots of the Windmill and also a few pictures from our day trips in the surrounding area.
If you’re thinking of a European Honeymoon and like the idea of a honeymoon in Portugal, or better yet, like WINDMILLS … you HAVE to stay here!!

 Images by Julia Doeven
Ms Gingham says: Added to the bucket list for sure!!!
About Julia Doeven – Julia’s Celebrancy Services : I love being a wedding celebrant because I get to be in and amongst some of life’s most beautiful, heart-warming and exciting moments on a daily basis and what I really enjoy is being in that atmosphere of where everyone is celebrating love and doing it in their own special way. It’s wonderful to be a part of!… Plus I get to sample a lot of wedding cake!

Ash & James Elegant Hayman Island Wedding

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


Polka Dot Bride

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Ash & James

A wedding on Hayman Island? How’s that for destination wedding with style? Ash and James chose  Hayman Island so they could marry in one of the greatest parts of the world – in their words “It’s just such a stunningly, naturally beautiful part of Australia, we wanted an excuse to share it with all our friends and family. The champagne boat that brings you across from Hamilton Island was also a major selling point… ” They chose Harvard Wang to capture their wedding moments!

On how they met, Ash tells, ” We met at a bar at a mutual friend’s birthday drinks. I thought he was way out of my league and he was too nervous to speak to me until he thought I was leaving…cut to the taxi home that night and I, who regularly proclaimed I was never getting married, called my best friend Kim to tell her I’d just met the man I was going to marry. Seven years later… ”

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The groom and groomsmen wore suits from Oscar Hunt.

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Ash had her gown designed and made by One Day Bridal.

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“Our Event Services Exec (wedding planner), Emma Ryall – she was unbelievable, smoothed over so many details I would have otherwise stressed about, was so beautiful, accommodating, patient, warm, kind and above all professional. She’s also really pretty (I had kind of a girl crush on her ;”

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For her walk down the aisle, Ash chose, “‘Marry You’ by Bruno Mars, adapted for the ukelele by our awesome wedding singer, Oliver Jones Frank’n’Beans . I was just trying to keep my face composed, a Joker-esque grin kept threatening to escape.”

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Sandra Rerrie performed the marriage ceremony.

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Ash notes, “We actually specifically requested not to have a formal photo shoot. Harvard grabbed us straight after the ceremony and managed to get some absolutely STUNNING shots of us and our bridal party, which is pretty impressive as we were all more interested in getting to the reception/champagne than taking photos.”

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Of their photographer, Ash tells, “We chose Harvard after seeing his work online and, more importantly, reading his blog. He’s just a really funny, cool, switched on dude who has no interest in classical, stuffy wedding photography but is all about catching those few perfect moments when nobody’s watching…”

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Pouring rain meant a shift in plans, Ash explaining, “Despite glorious blue skies, the weather was deemed too windy to have our original (amazing) outdoor settings for ceremony and reception and everything had to be moved inside. This was fairly heartbreaking for me, who’d been visualising our garden-perfect ceremony and alfresco, fairy-light-lit reception for months, but at the end of the day we were still at Hayman and James and I were the only ones who knew things hadn’t gone to plan…”

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Of their first dance, Ash tells, ” Our first dance was to Ben Folds’ ‘The Luckiest’. It’s such and incredibly beautiful piece of songwriting and, despite having a few fun casual choreography attempts prior to the wedding, I doubt we did it justice. We didn’t want to do anything to formal or structured though and I think in the end it was just fun and a bit silly – like us! Pretty sure everyone was too smashed at that point to really notice, anyway! ”

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Congratulations Ash and James! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Harvard Wang for sharing today’s wedding!

Photographer: Harvard Wang / Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Emma Ryall / Bride’s Dress: One Day Bridal / Bride’s Shoes: Nude Footwear / Groom’s Attire: Oscar Hunt / Groomsmen Attire: Oscar Hunt / Bridesmaid Dresses: Zimmermann / Hair & Makeup Artist: Sheridan Di Pietro (friend) of Hair by Sheridan / Hair & Makeup Artist: Madeleine Tudor (cousin) of Madeleine Rose Tudor / Flowers & Decor: Hayman Island / Invitations & Stationery: Marie Chang Designs / Venue: Hayman Island / Ceremony Officiant: Sandra Rerrie / Musician: Oliver Jones Frank'n'Beans / Wedding Rings: Sundari Gems

Scandinavian Campervan Adventure

by | Destinations, Honeymoons


Chloe van der Werf

It’s days like today, that are hot, dry and muggy that I think back to my Scandinavian campervan adventure. Two whole blissful weeks of exploration and beautiful scenery.

I explored destinations such as Copenhagen, Stockholm, Flåm, Bergen, Gothenburg and towns in between. A campervan can be one of the most budget friendly way to see Scandinavia. But don’t be alarmed by the word budget. Our campervan, hired through Pure Motorhomes Germany was far from drab, we hired a luxury model that was well within our budget and oh so elegant.

It had everything onboard including a shower, toilet, basin, kitchen and appliances, large queen beds, LED downlights and plently of storage for the suitcases. As well as an easy to use awning that we would wind out in the afternoons, with camping chairs and table. Wine in hand and an assortment of cheese and biscuits within reach, we would take in the amazing snowcapped mountains, waterfalls and fjord.

The best thing about campervanning through Sweden and Norway is the relaxed views on free camping or wild camping as they call it. If you find an amazing spot feel free to stay there for up to 48 hours! I also found Norway and Sweden to be fascinating in that people actually forage for food. There are berries everywhere… winning!

Wild camping is possible for to 2-3 nights depending on your van’s battery and water tank size. Short showers may be the case but the views and seclusion makes up for it. When you need a break from wild camping there’s plenty of campervan parks to choose from.

Trip highlights include:

Stockholm – old town exploring and on/off boat tour – If photography interests you Fotografiska (The Swedish Museum of Photography) is a must see. While the Tivoli Gröna Lund theme park is the oldest in Sweden built in 1880’s is great for thrill seekers.

Bergen – seafood markets for the seafood lover. Word of warning the food isn’t cheap but it is fresh and yummy!

Copenhagen – Freetown Christiania. If you want to see a whole different side to Copenhagen, Christiania is a large commune running under its own law right in the heart of Copenhagen City. Be sure to read the rules before entering.

Flam – Canoeing the fjords.

Oslo to Bergen drive via Flam – Breathtaking scenery including snow, large fjords, snowcapped mountains, wild flowers, free roaming sheep and cute stone huts.

Whether you want a romantic, adventurous or relaxing honeymoon you can make it whatever you want with a home on wheels, the possibilities are endless!

All images by Chloe van der Werf

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