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5 Minutes With…Fiona From Couture Wedding Planning

by | Five Minutes With.., Wisdom


Fiona of Couture Wedding Planning
Find me on Ms Polka Dot's Directory


What is your favourite wedding theme?

I love to create luxe and glamorous weddings for my couples with crystal elements and I love to add interest to the tablescapes by adding different layers by starting with luxury linens, followed by charger plates and decorative glassware. I then add candle light and finally the stunning floral centrepiece.

I like to submerge myself in each of my couples’ wedding style and love to explore everything to do with their theme and then present ideas and mood boards to them for them to preview and get their thoughts.  Each wedding theme is completely different as each couple is different and this is want makes what I do so exciting.

We recently did a wedding with a lilac colour scheme based on the belt from the bride’s Vera Wang gown with a custom-made lilac canopy and rose petal aisle.

a. Lilac wedding

Image by Inlighten Photography

We also did a beautiful wedding with a white and blush floral scheme with gold elements and candelabras.

b. White and blush - GM photographics

Image by gm photographics

Another favourite was a stunning wedding with a gold and cream colour theme with a draped ceremony canopy with full floral header. The reception included gold Channel chairs and gold foiled menus and stunning floral centrepieces.

c. Cream and Gold - GM photographics

Image by gm photographics

What inspires you?

My couples inspire me! They all come to me with their ideas and I love working with them to bring their dreams to life and introduce them to new ideas that may have not thought about (or even knew about).

I also get inspired by fashion and interior design magazines as well store installations – sometimes you get inspired by the most curious things.

What is special about weddings to you?

The couples – it really is amazing how these two people have decided to declare their love for each other in front of all their family and friends. There is this incredible energy at each wedding which I just love being around. Each couple is just so interesting to me and I love to find out what makes them happy and what inspires them and how they interact with each other. Many of my couples now are dear friends of mine well after the wedding planning has finished.

What do you love about wedding planning?

I love the relationships you make with both your couples and also your incredibly talented suppliers. It is so wonderful to work on each wedding and then watch it unfold on the day. Elements that you have been planning and thinking about for months on end are finally real and even more amazing than you imagined. It is so incredible to think that you have helped each couple with one of the most important days of their life and made their wedding planning journey an exciting and stress free one.

What is your three favourite images of all time?

Below is one of my favourite images of all time – I just love the connection the bride and groom have in this photo as well as the perfect sunset and landscape .

1st favourite - cavanagh photography

Image by Cavanagh Photography

I also love this photo of the orchid centrepiece  – the way the glass balls are  suspended creates a stunning frame for this shot and I just adore the uniqueness of the centrepiece with the bamboo and orchid elements.

2nd favourite GM photographics

Image by gm photographics

My third favourite photo is of this ceremony canopy – I just adore the florals and draping in contrast to the landscape and how that little red velvet bag just add a little bit of luxury to the photo.

3rd Favourite - GM photographics

Image by gm photographics

What book are you reading at the moment?

I am not really a book girl – the only time I really get to read is on Holiday. I am more a movie girl and have recently fell in love with the Dress Maker with Kate Winslet and Adored the Martian with Matt Damien.

What are your top tips for brides and grooms?

Always read the contract

Always do a menu tasting

Always do a floral mock-up

Always do a final meeting with you venue, florist and photographer

What are the tools of your trade that you can’t live without?

Postit notes, Excel software and Pinterest

What is your resolution for this year?

To update our website  – which went live in March!

see through menu bg

What are you excited about right now?

For the second year in a row, we were very excited to be recently awarded the ABIA’s Designer of Dreams National Bridal Award for Independent Wedding Consultant of the Year 2016 .

What is a special personal talent you possess?

I wish I had an amazing hidden talent like opera singing or drawing or dancing but sadly not.

I have always pride myself on my ability to buy people gifts – I feel like this is a hidden talent! I like to get to know people and find out what they love and what makes them tick and then go onto find them the perfect present!!

Where is your favourite place to escape to for downtime and why?

My husband Mark and I love to escape to Bali even if it is just for a few days so you can sleep in, spend the entire day by the pool, eat at amazing restaurant and enjoy some great shopping. We love to stay in the Kayana in Seminyak which is the perfect location for restaurants and shopping. Normally all our other travels during the year to Europe and the USA are normally jammed packed with touristy things and catching up with family and friends so Bali truly give us that time to relax and unwind.


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Ms Chinoiserie Says: So lovely to chat with you Fiona; congratulations on your recent award – your weddings are beautiful, creative and unique!

About Couture Wedding Planning: Hi, I’m Fiona from Couture Wedding Planning. Your wedding is an incredible day of love, emotion and above all a celebration for you, your partner and all your guests to enjoy! I’m very passionate about every detail of your magical wedding. It is our mission to mold and shape your vision so that your wedding reflects you as a couple, without the stress of planning it yourself.

Our Favourite Bali Wedding Chapels

by | Ceremony Wisdom, Wisdom


Brisbane City Celebrants, Brisbane City Celebrants
Find me on Ms Polka Dot's Directory |


Wiwaha Chapel Image by Dominik Photography Bali 

Bali, known as the Island of the Gods and the Island of Love, has so much to offer couples looking to marry at a truly idyllic location.

At Brisbane City Celebrants, we are so intrigued by the Bali wedding industry that during a recent trip to the island, we hired a driver for the day to visit its amazing chapels; our aim –  to tell ‘Bali brides to be’ all about the unique features of each chapel.

Amanda Chapel Image by Mataphoto

The Amanda Chapel, Kuta

Guest Seating: 20

The Amanda Chapel is located just off the Kuta Jalan Bypass (the main road between Kuta and Seminyak); it isn’t visible from the road as it is tucked away behind some local shops accessible via a driveway. Take a short walk down a lane and you spot the chapel’s tall roof ; then you know you’re in the right place.

This hidden gem is well worth seeking out.

We walked up some steps where we were greeted by the most amazing chapel and we were in absolute awe to discover such a beautiful building so hidden away down a little back street.

The chapel is small but perfectly formed with a clear glass aisle over water and rows of glossy white benches that would comfortably seat up to 20 guests.

Amanda Chapel Image by Mataphoto

This chapel would be well suited to a couple planning a small intimate wedding or elopement – it’s just a short drive from the airport but still takes advantage of the signature Balinese wedding opulence.

If Amanda Chapel looks like your dream wedding venue, we would suggest arranging a mini bus or transport for guests as it could be tricky for them to find on the day.

Amanda Chapel 4

Amanda Chapel Images by Mataphoto

Infinity Chapel, The Conrad, Nusa Dua

Guest Seating: 40 Guests

The Infinity Chapel is located within the magnificent grounds of the Conrad Resort in Nusa Dua. The Conrad is a high-end expansive beachfront resort with an abundance of swimming pools sweeping through bridge walkways, bars and sun bathers.

The prestigious Infinity Chapel is located on the absolute beach front facing directly out over the ocean with two angled walls creating a towering tall roof top whilst another fully glassed wall absorbs the amazing surrounding beach and sea views.

Infinity Chapel Image by Mataphoto

The wow factor continues outside as the chapel is surrounded by water, giving the illusion that it is floating.

The Infinity Chapel is pristine and breathtaking.

Infinity Chapel Image by Mataphoto

Infinity Chapel Image by Mataphoto

Infinity Chapel Images by Mataphoto

The Blue Moon Chapel, Nusa Dua

Guest Seating: 50

Located within the Blue Ocean View Resort, with the help of directions from locals, we made our way down a very inconspicuous narrow side road. You would be mistaken for thinking we were heading down a little back street, as we passed a local traditional Balinese village on the way!  Perched on the top of a hill, and despite being inland, the prestigious resort boasts magnificent views across the hills to the Nusa Dua sea.

Blue Moon Chapel by Dominik Photography

When we expressed interest in viewing the chapel, a friendly man with a big smile arrived in a golf buggy to chauffeur us to the chapel.

With sweeping views across the hills to the mountains, the chapel is located at the hotel’s sister resort on the other side of the hill and is in the most tranquil location of all the chapels we visited.

The Blue Moon Chapel has a glass ceiling and walls, which can be decorated with ceiling drapes; when we visited, it had a creative faux floral style ceiling aisle directly over the floor aisle which was really beautiful.

From the aisle, we were amazed to see the peak of a mountain in the distance – a backdrop perfectly centered behind where the bride and groom stand.

Blue Moon Chapel by Dominik Photography

Blue Moon Chapel Images by Dominik Photography Bali

This chapel is also surrounded by water and offers couples the use of a spacious ‘getting ready’ room which is an added convenience.

We recommend guests consider staying at the resort to avoid delays in locating the chapel on the wedding day.

Wiwaha Chapel, Nikko Resort, Nusa Dua

Guest Seating: 20

Set within an expansive picturesque beach front family resort, the Wiwaha Chapel also offers the convenience of onsite accommodation and the benefit of being centrally located within Nusa Dua.

The chapel is perched on top of an ocean front cliff, with incredible panoramic views of the sea through its glass walls, making the backdrop absolutely breathtaking from any angle.

Wiwaha Chapel Images by Dominik Photography Bali

It boasts a beautiful style combining the sophistication of a glass chapel with a luxe Balinese style with its unique wooden roof.

The venue also offers couples lovely bridal rooms for getting ready and a selection of onsite areas that can be reserved for reception celebrations.



Wiwaha Chapel Images by Dominik Photography Bali

Santi Chapel, Seminyak

Guest Seating: 80 Guests

Meaning ‘Peace’, the Santi Chapel is one of the most centrally located chapels, conveniently located in a quieter part of the trendy and popular Seminyak area. The chapel is nestled at the rear of the luxurious Kunja Villa Hotel and Spavilla complex and provides privacy and, as the name suggests, an instant sense of tranquility and peace.

The chapel boasts a unique floor plan with up to 60 guests sitting on either side of the chapel, facing up towards the elevated altar with a tall ceiling .


The contemporary chapel boasts floor to ceiling glass and is surrounded by water which can be decorated with floating candles and flower arrangements to enhance a sunset ceremony.


Santi Chapel Images by Dominik Photography Bali

With a total of 18 luxury private pool villas, this chapel would be well suited to a couple that love the vibe and convenience of Seminyak and the added convenience of a short stroll (or golf buggy ride) up the driveway to the chapel.  The luxury of the spacious modern pool villas allows guests the option to stay on site and meet at the water-surrounded glass chapel to say your ‘I Do’s’.

We were so blown away by all the beautiful chapels we visited, and there are many more chapels in Bali that we didn’t get a chance to see. Where ever you choose to wed, we wish you every happiness for your magical day.


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Ms Chinoiserie Says: With so many beautiful wedding chapels to choose from, no wonder Bali is known as the Island of Love!

About Brisbane City Celebrants: Hi, I’m Ciara from Brisbane City Celebrants; we specialise in modern, simple and meaningful, short, sweet and happy weddings.  With your choice of a female or male Wedding Celebrant, our brides and grooms describe us as warm, friendly and calming. We love being Marriage Celebrants and we LOVE celebrating love!

Picking The Right Live Band For Your Wedding

by | Entertainment Wisdom, Wisdom


Funkified Entertainment, Funkified Entertainment Pty Ltd
Find me on Ms Polka Dot's Directory |


Congratulations, you’ve made the decision to go with a live band for your wedding day! Not only will a live band provide an infectious energy, they’ll take song requests, interact with the audience and will do everything to ensure that you and your guests have a night you will never forget!

Not only that, live entertainment can dedicate songs to special people in the audience, bringing an excellent combination of warmth, energy, and just a bit of traditionalism to ensure everyone has a good time. The energy of the band members can also bring about a positive change in people, such as encourage guests to get up and get dancing! This is because they are there to perform and can be seen, not just heard. They’re up there to entertain everyone. They show it in their bodies, their movements, attire, equipment and props.

So how do you pick the right live band to play at your wedding? Here are some good points to consider:

1.What genres are you interested in? Think of what kind of audience they’ll have, the space, location, and theme of your wedding and reception. The music should be an accommodating sound that amplifies the good vibes and romance that is filling the air.


2. What is their practiced repertoire? Do you have certain songs you’d like them to play? Do they have enough time to rehearse these songs? If you have any specific songs in mind for your wedding but aren’t sure your band can play them, go ahead and ask! If you give them enough notice they are likely to be able to learn them for your big day.

3. Have you heard them play before? It’s best to ask for a sample of their music so you can get a feel of their sound to see if they will work well with the audience and what you want.

4. What do you need them to play for? Is it just the wedding, or also the reception?


5. How long can you book them for? Do they have another event that same day that may interfere or hinder their performance for your wedding?

6. How much equipment will they bring? What is the space needed to fit this equipment? Do you have enough space to accommodate it all? Have they practiced in the space allocated to them?

7. Will they also MC the reception? Are they willing to MC? Do they have MC experience? Do they have the right humour, professionalism, and charisma that you’re looking for in an MC to keep your wedding entertaining?

8. Will you be hiring one live band, or a couple on rotation?

Once you have picked the right live band for you, start thinking of the songs you would like played throughout your big day and start writing them down so you don’t forget! Closer to the wedding you will be asked to create a schedule or a running order for you day (your event or venue planner will likely be able to help you with this). Once complete, ensure you get a copy over to your band members so they can clearly see how the day is planned to unfold.

At the end of the day, booking a band is one of the best decisions you can make for your wedding. Just ensure that you follow the steps above and preferably see the band live before you book; you can then enjoy watching your guests dance until their feet hurt on your big day!

Images via Funkified Entertainment


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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Really helpful advice to ensure you book the band that’s right for your wedding; seeing the band before you book is an absolute must!

About Funkified Entertainment: Your wedding is a once in a lifetime event, so naturally you want everything to be perfect. When it comes to finding the right music for your special day, Funkified Entertainment can take care of everything, eliminating the stress so you can simply enjoy the celebration. Whether you want people on their feet dancing, laid back grooves, or sophisticated strings, we can match you and your partner with the perfect wedding entertainment.

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