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What Would They Know? Julian Gerner of Morgan’s Beach Shack

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


Polka Dot Bride

Morgan's Beach Shack

Morgan’s Beach Shack in Sorrento (Victoria) is the perfect combination of beach casual, fresh sea breezes, salty air and an indoor/outdoor vibe. Now catering for couples who want a wedding without “formality or pretense” co-owner Julian emphasizes the relaxed feel of the ‘Shack’ with lobster pot lampshades, oars and lifebuoys with a seaside menu to match.  Veg Enchiladas or Scotch Fillets vie for attention with fish and chips – just add bare feet, board shorts and a Mojito or three and it sets the scene for “all day sun, all day fun, all night long”.

You operate the Royal Saxon in Richmond (Melbourne). What led you to open your newest venue, Morgan’s Beach Shack in Sorrento?

I was looking for a sea change and a site to operate a bar by the beach.  I came across the site and fell in love with the location.  I signed the lease, bought a house and bought a boat.  Now I’m happy spending most of my time in Sorrento.

Where is it situated? 

1 Esplanade Sorrento.  On the water, near the ferry terminal.

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What was behind the idea of opening up the ‘Shack’ for weddings?

The location on the water is beautiful and very romantic.  Sorrento is also famous for its moon which seems bigger and brighter for some reason and reflects on the water;  Shooting stars are guaranteed!  There is an increasing demand for casual weddings without the pretence and price tag.

How would you describe the atmosphere/style of your venue?

Informal beach bar/eatery with nautical references.

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Who would your (wedding) venue appeal to?

Any couple who doesn’t want to go down the formal traditional wedding path and is looking for an alternative.

Are bridal couples able to hold the wedding ceremony close by?

Sorrento Historic Park, Sorrento Foreshore.

Once the bridal couple have booked Morgan’s Beach Shack for a wedding, do they have exclusive use of the venue?

It depends on the size of the wedding, but in most instances it is exclusive use.

How would you describe the style of food you serve?

The food is casual and draws inspiration from Southern California with its Latin influences.  Think tacos, ceviche, salads, seafood and meats.

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Are bridal couples able to bring their own ideas to you re the food ?

The menus can be customised according to particular needs depending on budget.

Please describe briefly a menu you would recommend for a wedding.

I would choose a seafood menu with alternatives for non-seafood eaters:





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Which vendors do the bridal couple have to bring in?

We can recommend local vendors and can coordinate everything.  Wedding planners are welcomed but are more suited to formal weddings.

How many guests does Morgan’s Beach Shack hold?

350 for a cocktail function (subject to license extension) and up to 100 seated (depending on floor plan).

Is there room for a dance floor?


Is there plenty of accommodation nearby?


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How can couples contact you to come and view your venue and discuss their wedding ideas?

5984 3121 or

What is there to love about Sorrento……

The water, the boats, the beaches, the sunrises/sunsets, the moon, the gardens, the walking paths, the nature, the history and Morgan’s Beach Shack 😉

Thank you Julian for sharing your story with us. To find out more about Morgan’s Beach Shack visit the website or use the contact details above.

Headshot and images by David Cook Photography


Why The Getting Ready Photos On Your Wedding Day Really Matter

by | Photography Wisdom, Wisdom


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You might already be well underway with the planning for your big day. Or maybe you’ve just started to discuss the picture perfect place for your ceremony or reception. Either way, one thing you’re probably certain of is that you’ll want a photographer there to capture all the magic.

You may have already chosen the photographer to capture your memories, or perhaps you are still looking for that person that suits you and your style. Regardless, one important decision that you will have to make is “what time should they start?”

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I’ve found that many brides are unsure of exactly what they want or need from their photographer. As the professionals who have (more often than not!) been to many more weddings than these brides, we’re relied upon to share information about what we can offer and what is likely to happen on their big day.

The one thing I encourage brides to do, above all else, is to have the photographer there from the start of the day for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, the earlier your photographer is with you, the more comfortable you will be with having them around! This means you will relax. If you’re not so comfortable being in front of the camera, getting to know your photographer better early on will soon make you forget they’re even there.

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Secondly, early in the day is when your photographer can capture the nervous excitement every bride feels. The moments you spend with your bridesmaids, Mum, kids and family prior to your ceremony are filled with emotion. Looking back on photographs of these moments will take you back to that moment; the anticipation, excitement and love you felt on your big day.

We photographed a bride recently who, as a hairdresser, decided to do her bridesmaids’ hair for her wedding. Stressful you might think? Well, for her it was a natural, personal touch, and it produced some very special photographs. Her father, who is also a hairdresser, helped with the finishing touches of her hair and secured her veil in place – a special memory that they will cherish together forever.

Being relaxed (as well as a little nervous!) and surrounded by those people who are close to you combine to create the most beautiful memories of your day. It’s so important that your photographer is there to capture those moments.

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All images courtesy of Snowflake Creations

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Ms Chinoiserie says: Asking your photographer to capture these special moments ensures they become treasured memories to look back on in years to come!

About Snowflake Creations: Vicki and Jacques from Snowflake Creations are a fun creative Sydney-based wedding photography duo who work together to capture special moments and turn them into memories.

Destination Weddings & Traveling with Your Gown – Tips & Tricks

by | Fashion Wisdom, Wedding Planning Wisdom, Wisdom


Wedding Gown Specialists
Find me on Ms Polka Dot's Directory


Image by The White Tree via Claire and Shane’s Beautiful Winter Wedding

The Maldives, Paris, Hayman Island, even boutique vineyards or rustic rural barns, are becoming increasingly popular destinations for couples to say “I do”.  Whether you’re going halfway around the world or just out of town, getting your wedding gown there safely without it getting too crushed is high on the priority list.

Traveling by Car

Bridal boutiques often support your gown with a bust form made from lots of tissue paper to keep it from being crushed in the garment bag they provide. If you do not receive a bag, fill the bodice yourself with as much tissue paper as possible and buffer the folds of the gown’s skirt with still more tissue. Also use one large bedsheet (fitted sheet works best) to cover the front of the gown and another one to cover the back. Then pin the sheets together.

Traveling by Ship

Pretty much the same advice applies to water travel because you can carry your gown with you when you go on board. And cruise lines offer pressing services – very handy! Just make sure it doesn’t get wet or splashed as you disembark – particularly if you are traveling on a small speedboat!

Traveling by Plane

Most airlines insist you check your gown in with your other luggage unless it is packed so that it fits into the overhead lockers. Lost luggage is challenging at the best of times, but a lost gown is truly catastrophic so plan on packing so that your gown travels with you onto the plane.

  • TIP: Ask your bridal salon if they will pack it for travel
  • TIP: Do it yourself using directions you can find at Wedding Gown Specialists

The Wrinkle Problem…

No matter how you pack your gown, especially if you preparing for airplane travel, wrinkles are almost inevitable. Have your gown professionally pressed once you arrive at your destination or try these tricks:

1. Hang your gown in the bathroom, turn the shower to hot, close the door, and let the shower run until the room is filled with steam; this seems to ‘relax’ most creases.

2. Invest in a portable hand steamer and check whether you will need a plug adapter if you are traveling to a foreign country. The steamer will be useful again at home or whenever you travel, but guard again spotting water-sensitive fabrics such as silk by wrapping the head of the steamer in a small towel.

P.S. No need to worry about wrinkles after your wedding! But if you get married on the beach, do let your gown dry out before you pack to go home!

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Ms Chinoiserie says: Thanks for the tips Wedding Gown Specialists, particularly the one about taking your gown on board the plane with you; imagine the stress of having to look for it in lost luggage!

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