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6 Tips For Selecting Wine For Your Wedding

by | Food & Catering Wisdom, Wisdom


David Stevens-Castro


Image by Ed Sloane via Michelle & Eden’s Rustic Collingwood Children’s Farm Wedding

Next to the ceremony itself, the wedding meal is possibly the most important part of the overall wedding celebration, and there is nothing worse than finding that the synergy of your best-laid plans is ruined by vinegar masquerading as wine! To help you overcome potential disaster, I  have compiled a list of hot tips for making a successful beverage selection.

1. A selection of crowd-pleasing favourites will make for happy guests. Now is not the time for experimentation.
With a large group of people and a broad selection of tastes to satisfy, keep your selection safe and simple. Currently the most popular varieties for group occasions in Australia are sauvignon blanc in whites and shiraz in reds.

Select a sauvignon blanc that is light, fresh and crisp without being acidic and a shiraz that’s got a smooth unchallenging finish. New Zealand is famous for fantastic sauvignon blanc and Barossa in Australia for excellent shiraz.

Bubbles of course are a ‘must have’ wedding option and Tasmania can often be depended on for beautiful sparkling wine. Ideally have bubbles available throughout the celebrations, not just for the toast.

Modern Collingwood Childrens Farm Wedding | Polka Dot Bride

Image by Kitty Wursthorn via Jenny & Jared’s Modern Collingwood Childrens Farm Wedding

2. Choose a special range for the wedding table.
While the rest of the wedding party will be celebrating with your beverage package, you can treat yourself and your closest loved ones with a few very special bottles selected to remember the occasion by. For example, a genuine vintage champagne is always very highly regarded, and it’s hard to find a bad one.

Historic and iconic bottles of are plentiful and will add to the specialness of the day – for example, Penfold’s Grange 2008 or 2010, Henschke Hill of Grace 2006, or Tyrell’s Vat 1 Semillon 2005. Most venues can be persuaded to allow a select few BYO bottles once you’ve agreed to the overall budget, even if beverages are included in the overall package agreement.


Image by Adam Finch of Studio Impressions via Melissa and Marc’s Elegant Brisbane Wedding

3. Don’t assume the beverages suggested by the venue will be palatable.
When venues put together packages for large group occasions, they will generally choose ‘economy’ level wines. While there are lots of great wines available to choose from even in lower price brackets, not all venues have the expertise available to find these tasty bargains. Even wines presented as premium can still be disappointing. Request to taste the wines in advance, and if they aren’t up to scratch, negotiate some better options.

If you have organised to have a menu tasting, request to taste the wines alongside the food, because the wrong wine match can have a big effect on the taste of the meal also.

4. Make sure to consider other beverages outside of a wine selection.
The craft beer sector is booming worldwide at the moment and Australian breweries are producing some of the best. A couple of my personal favourites are the Pacific Ale from Stone & Wood, Byron Bay and the Duke Lager from Burleigh Brewing in Burleigh Heads.


Image by Little Wolf Photography via Lucy and Nathan’s Sweet Mornington Peninsula Wedding

5. Consider leaving spirits as an optional extra for guests to buy at the bar themselves.
Weddings are enormously expensive and adding spirits to your beverage package will often add a substantial hit to the budget. In general guests will find something they will enjoy drinking if you have carefully selected your wine and beers, so as long as spirits are on offer as an optional extra, there will be no complaints.


Image by The Love Jug via Hannah & Todd’s Intimate Tasmanian Garden Wedding

6. Finally, don’t forget those who aren’t drinking alcohol.
Those who are the “designated drivers”, pregnant guests and those taking medication – or even for those wanting to take it easy later in the night – should not be left out! A nice mocktail or refreshing soft drink like a fresh lemonade, or even a spritzer or sparkling water can add a special touch that can be greatly appreciated.


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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Choosing special bottles for the bridal party is a wonderful idea – and a special way to remember the day!

About David Stevens-Castro: I am a wine expert and co-author of award winning cook book ‘PAIRED: Champagne & Sparkling Wines (The food & wine matching recipe book for everyone) which is available here. With my wife, food photographer/graphic designer Fran Flynn, we are on a mission to make food and wine pairing an activity that everyone can enjoy and share with friends and family. In our first recipe book, that deliciously imparts food-and-wine-pairing techniques, beautiful visual presentation makes the process of learning about wine-and-food matching a pleasure!

Spring Fashion Week 2016 Inspiration – Unique Wedding Gowns

by | Event Reviews, Fashion Wisdom, Wisdom


Ms Fleur De Lys


Savvy, fashion-forward brides look to the runways when planning their weddings. We’ve done the hard work for you and sourced all of these amazing looks from the recent Melbourne Spring Fashion Week (MSFW) for ‘Big Day’ inspiration. In our first of four features, you’ll find a curated selection of unique wedding gowns to inspire you! Click here to view the inspiration.


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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Stunning gowns and a beautiful source of ‘on point’ inspiration for key bridal looks! 

Behind The Door With….Miss Mooi

by | Behind The Door With ..., Wisdom


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


Wedding styling is becoming a very popular service for style conscious brides, and this week on “Behind The Door With”, I’m thrilled to be chatting with Stacey Van Heurck of Miss Mooi Weddings and Events.

Of course the first thing I want to know is the story behind the name and Stacey is kind enough to explain that Miss Mooi (pronounced Moy) means “beautiful” in Dutch, and was the nickname her husband gave her when they first started seeing each other. Stacey felt that this was the perfect name for her wedding styling business as it was special and unique to them as couple – something she  believes every wedding should be.



Stacey has created a business that must be a dream come true for brides that care about the overall look and feel of their wedding. Miss Mooi specializes in event styling but also has a fantastic hire range and even an on the day setup service. Stacey is a qualified interior designer and while she has dabbled in other industries,  she always loved helping friends and family with their events and dinner parties.


Miss Mooi’s hire range includes a beautifully curated collection of furniture, props, styling items and even signage. Lots of pieces are vintage and Stacey’s husband Len restores them back to life. Len is also Miss Mooi’s secret weapon when it comes to making beautiful custom furniture for the hire range. I love the recycled pallet dry bars for a cocktail wedding! Stacey tells me that Miss Mooi is about to release a new range of stylish ceremony furniture including bamboo seating and new arches as well as a very special collaboration with The Middle Aisle.


Miss Mooi doesn’t have a traditional office; Stacey tells me that she never found the idea very interesting. Instead Stacey prefers to meet clients in great cafes. “I find my clients are quite food focused and appreciate a good coffee, so visiting an inspiring cafe is perfect!” she says.  It’s also perfect for when Stacey collaborates with other vendors which is such an important part of wedding styling. Stacey recently styled a window display with The Bridal Atelier and loves to work with other vendors to create exciting projects.


Miss Mooi is based in Melbourne but Stacey tells me they are willing to travel and love a country wedding. I imagine Miss Mooi would be perfect for turning a rustic barn or garden into a stunning wedding with their beautiful collections. “I know the right vendors to achieve the look” says Stacey. “It’s so important to match the right person for the job with the look the couple are trying to create.”

Images by Qlix Photography, Gus Reyes Photography and Miss Mooi 

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Such a wonderful eye for beautiful things; Miss Mooi’s styled celebrations are all gorgeous!

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.

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