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Bridal Fashion Week 2016: Our Top 10 Gowns

by | Event Reviews, Industry News, Top Ten, Wisdom


Ms Filigree

george gittany photography

Image by George Gittany

Bridal Fashion Week was extra special this year with beautiful gowns once again floating down the runway and across our screens. It was such a joy to see the exceptional creativity from both Australian and international designers at the Australian Technology Park at Eveleigh.


The event began with a media sneak peek of the gowns that would be on display. The night was a beautiful preview with mingling guests sipping on wine and being treated to a delicious selection of antipasto before the runway show began. With a selection of gowns that were positively to die for, it left the audience eagerly waiting for the complete showcase.

Two days later, media and buyers were able to view the collections whilst the day after, the doors opened for all the brides to be!  With everything from champagne bars to pamper rooms, flower crown workshops and fashion panels, this was an event to please every bride to be and her girl squad!

Bridal Fashion

Bridal Fashion Week is always full of so many stunning gowns so narrowing them down to our Top 10 is no easy feat. The runway featured 21 designers – a mixture of Australian and international brands with each gown meticulously crafted for your special day. Each and every dress was wonderfully unique and choosing our favourites was tricky but we managed to narrow them down!


Catherine R Couture

This lace and satin gown is positively stunning. With a full skirt and embellished organic lace edging, this gown accentuates the figure and is beautifully glamorous!


Lena Kasparian

What a beauty! This ornate strapless gown is ultra feminine and luxurious with sheer skirt detailing for the contemporary bride.


Shabi & Israel Haute Couture

Modern meets old world glamour. This gown is regal with its sheer overlay yet modern with the mermaid silhouette. Perfect for the bride who loves classic meets contemporary.


Image by Ellif the Artist

Holly Rose Couture

Refined elegance has never looked so perfect! This luxurious lace number is sleek, contemporary and the epitome of elegance.

briannaleeeee - Hollyrosecouture

Image by Briannaleee

Galia Lahav

Cinderella would be shrieking with joy at the sight of this gown! This romantic ball gown with flowing tulle and delicate lace detailing is fit for a princess.


Image by DFD Photography

Shabi & Israel Haute Couture

What a showstopper! This off the shoulder, lace fitted gown features a flowing A-line overlay which will be perfect for your grand entrance.

george gittany photography1

Image by George Gittany


A classic number for a winter bride. With striking bishop sleeves and a nipped waist, this elegant style is refined glamour for your special day.

george gittany photography2

Image by George Gittany

Corston Couture

This all over lace number with a beautiful train and fitted silhouette is ever so chic for your special day.


Zuhair Murad

Wow – what a statement number! This ornate lace hugs the figure beautifully and is a perfect style for the modern or fashion forward bride.


Inbal Dror

One for the modern-day brides. With a layered tulle ball gown skirt and a plunging lace bodice, you will feel every bit the sophisticated princess in this gown!


All imagery via Ms Filigree unless credited


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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Such a wonderful event showcasing stunning gowns from our favourite Australian and international designers!

Behind The Door With….Robyn Pattison

by | Behind The Door With ..., Wisdom


Amelia Waddell Of Make Your Day Wedding Styling
Find me on Ms Polka Dot's Directory


This week for ‘Behind The Door With’ I am thrilled to meet celebrant Robyn Pattison, better known as ‘The Wedding Pixie’! Celebrants are the heart and soul of any wedding and I love how more and more are redefining what a ceremony can be and making each wedding feel different and special. Robyn has been a celebrant for seven and a half years and when I chat with her, she is getting close to officiating her 1000th wedding!

Robyn meets couples in her beautiful home office in West Ryde, New South Wales and tells me it is the only way to meet with everyone during what is often outside of office hours. “The first year I was a celebrant I would visit people in their homes” she tells me. “But once I started doing over one hundred weddings per year that just wasn’t going to work.”



The office has a large desk, comfy couch and a very pretty, fun vibe. Robyn tells me that she spends so much time in there it “better feel like me”! A place for meetings as well as paperwork and writing ceremonies, it’s important clients feel at home and like it as a friendly, happy place. Robyn also loves being close to home and being around her kids and pets.


Of course Robyn has a second office that changes all the time when she is standing up the front of a wedding ceremony with a microphone in her hand. “I could pitch a tent at the Royal Botanic Gardens, I spend so much time there” she jokes. Making everyone feel comfortable is a part of the job, even though I imagine that must be tricky when things like weather come into play. Robyn often has to move guests to the backup plan but says she could conduct a ceremony next to a rubbish bin if she has to!


When I ask about the challenges of her job, Robyn tells me it is these weather and logistical issues that are the trickiest. “I try to get couples to remember that their guests really are their guests from the moment they arrive at the ceremony” she says. “And no, they don’t like being out in the cold and rain, especially if there’s a drier option just nearby.”


Of course then I want to know what Robyn’s favourite type of weddings are and she tells me the best bit is when she changes couples’ minds about what a wedding “should be” to what a wedding “can be”. Robyn also loves to cross cultural and language barriers and bring the different families and friends together. What an awesome job!


Images by We are Origami , Mathew Mead Photography & The Salty Shutter


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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Congratulations Robyn on your wonderfully rewarding and successful career – 1000 weddings is such a well deserved accomplishment!

About Amelia Waddell of Make Your Day Wedding Styling: I’m a wedding stylist and proud store owner who loves to chat weddings with everyone and anyone! I love to talk shop with other business owners (particularly over some chocolate cake!) and am the first to try and have a sticky beak behind the scenes of any event. My free time is spent ‘investigating’ new cafes, stores and events.

What Would They Know? Dan Brannan of Daniel Brannan

by | Photography Wisdom, What Would They Know?, Wisdom


Polka Dot Bride

Dan Brannan

What is the magic you see in an image? What is it that touches your heartstrings? Is it people captured in the moment being well…..human? The feeling that you’re actually in amongst the crowd at the wedding experiencing the joy? For me, when I see Daniel Brannan’s photos it is all of these things. It’s all those fleeting moments that make up an occasion, that you glance at and never remember unless you’re reminded. Moments of real people celebrating new beginnings, documented forever. Yes, that’s simply magic.

What led you to decide on photography as a profession?

It was an easy decision for me, after years commuting up and down the freeway to sit at a desk and try sell unhealthy goods to people. I decided that I wanted to work with something more meaningful like actual ‘happiness’ and I wanted to love what I do. Being a wedding photographer allows me to do both these things and affords me the flexibility to spend more time at home with my little family.

What influences your photography style? Do you find it is changing over time?

I studied and worked as a graphic designer for 10 years and I think my design background definitely influences what I do with my camera. I think a lot about layout/composition and like my images to have a clear narrative thread. Funnily enough, I have more recently been influenced by some of my son’s illustrated story books: ‘We’re Going On A Bear Hunt’ and ‘Where The Wild Things Are’! The illustrators have to use their art to tell a story and much like photography this is both challenging and fun.  At the core of my photography is the story I hope to tell.

Dan Brannan 1

Would you describe your style as relaxed (with very little direction and posing of the bridal party)?

Yes, absolutely! I am big on keeping things really casual and fun. My major mission is to make sure that my couples have the BEST day possible – the last thing any couple needs on their wedding day is more stress so I make sure that I am always a solution and never a problem. I’ve given lifts to bridal parties, fixed button holes and ironed shirts before. I love being part of the day and meeting the families – it’s always such a warm and inviting environment which makes for happy vibes all ‘round. What an awesome office to work in!

Is remaining unobtrusive as a photographer (and not imposing yourself on the situation) important to capturing the best shots?

For me that is 100% what it is all about. Being photographed is not an easy for most people – myself included. I have a terrible ‘Are you taking a photo?’ face – so for me I much prefer using my ninja skills to blend in so that people forget that I’m there. I guess if I was to call it anything I would say that I’m a documentary style wedding photographer. There are obviously times where I need to step in so that we get the best shot – locations, portraits etc – but even then I try to give minimal direction to allow my couples to be themselves and, more importantly, have fun!

Dan Brannan 2

Central to a lot of your images are family and loved ones being themselves – capturing the intimacy of their relationships. What is most important to you when shooting a wedding?

Anticipation is key for capturing those moments – you almost have to see them before they happen and be ready in position. Knowing ‘who’s who in the zoo’ is also vital; whether a family member has travelled a long way or if it has been a while since the bride saw their friend etc. If you can time those details right then you’re really telling a beautiful and personal story.

How important is it to get to know the couple?  Do you have to feel a connection to them?

I’m spending a really intimate day with two people and their closest friends and family and that’s a big deal.  So, I always meet with my couples to make sure we’re a good fit, whether that’s over a coffee or over facetime. I want each couple to be comfortable and confident with me so that I can blend in effortlessly and I want to ensure I am the best fit for them and how they want their story captured. When I rock up at the door on their wedding day whilst they’re getting ready I want them to feel completely at ease – I’m not just some guy they hired but ‘Dan’, who knows the ins and outs of how we want to see our wedding in.

I notice that photographers tend to ‘see’ things that we ordinary folks do not. Apart from the technicalities, what makes a ‘good’ photographer – is it curiosity about life, or other subtle qualities?

For me, being able to read and manipulate light is a huge skill as a photographer. It is the most beautiful and natural tool we have to create images and is often what sets you apart from the pack. Many of the photographers I admire are real wizards with their use of light. I remember back when I was starting out, I had an ‘ahhhh’ moment of watching the sunlight come through our window and lighting up the back of my wife’s hair – it was game on after that.

How do life experiences shape you as a photographer?

Becoming a father has definitely altered my perspective and I find myself relating more to parents now. I definitely get kicked in the ‘feels’ more often during a father’s speech these days and I’m lucky that I have the camera to hide my man tears. Also, I’m well into my thirties now and I feel like I have more of a handle on what’s important in life; to me, it’s about time and documenting moments in life that we want to remember.

Dan Brannan 3

What are the three biggest ideas you have learned about photography over your career?

  • ‘Moments’ are more important than setting up some ‘epic’ shot
  • Trust the process – hard work pays off
  • Have fun with it – try new things and don’t worry if it doesn’t work out

Do you have a personal philosophy that you live by (in relation to your photography)?

‘Keep it real’ – It’s not just a phrase from 90’s hip hop, it’s totally true. My photography is always better when I’m not trying to be anything or anyone that I’m not. Honesty conveys in my work and it keeps it simple and true.

Dan Brannan 4

Do you always have a camera in your hand to capture life’s moments?

Actually no – I find if I have my camera on me I tend to put pressure on myself to document what I’m doing which often takes me out of the action.  Since my little ones have come along, I’ve learned that it’s just as important to unplug and enjoy the moment without a lens in front of my eyes. In saying that, the power of a phone camera can not be understated!

In trying to get the perfect shot, do you have any funny/unusual stories to tell?

It was 40 degrees and was in the middle of an outdoor courtyard at the Prahran Hotel at 11:50pm on New Year’s Eve photographing Sophie & Matt’s beautiful ‘Old Hollywood’ themed wedding. They were about to countdown and see in 2016 and I wanted to be somewhere where I could capture everyone and their reactions. There was a tree in the middle of the courtyard so I put all my childhood practice to good use and climbed it! I got some awesome shots and Matt (the Groom) even got a good one of me up the tree!

Dan Brannan 5

What would you tell your younger self – knowing what you know now?

So much but mainly I’d tell him to back himself, go after what makes him happy and not to worry about a few bumps and u-turns along the way; it’s all part of the journey.

What are your favourite things to do in your spare time?

Other than coffee, craft beer and Game of Thrones I love being outside – getting to the beach or the woods with my little guy – even on wintry days.  He loves it and I love it more because of that.

Thank you Dan for sharing your story. Gorgeous images to immerse yourself in the memories of your day – even years from now. To find out more about Daniel Brannan visit the website.

All images by Daniel Brannan.

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