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From Inside The Studio: The Shaped Hem

by | Fashion Wisdom, Wisdom


Studio C Bridal
Find me on Ms Polka Dot's Directory |


Image via Monique Lhuillier

Something I’ve seen coming for a few years seems to be making a big impact at the moment. It’s Bridal Fashion Week in New York City and there’s a wonderful amount of new season trends filling my Instagram feed; one I’m in love with at Studio C Bridal is the shaped hem.

My favourite Australian bridal designers including Paolo Sebastian and Steven Khalil are doing it. Internationally, Monique Lhuillier, Ralph and Russo and Ashi Studio to name a few all have pieces with shaped hems in their bridal collections.


Image via Paolo Sebastian

Dresses with a shaped hem seem to show off the best of both worlds. Short at the front to show off your elegantly chosen shoes, pedicure and tan. Long at the back to still be stunningly bridal. Your perfect ‘short’ length might be above the knee or mid calf or ankle. Your ‘long’ length might be ankle, floor or have a train. The possibilities are endless.

I have introduced two pieces into my range that sit alongside this trend. My ‘Waterfall Dress’, and my ‘Waterfall Gown’. Both pieces have full skirts with pleats, pockets, and a sweetheart neckline. The Dress hem at the front sits just above the knee and skims the floor at the back. The Gown sits at the floor at the front, and has a train at the back. Both grade out beautifully in their shape with no awkward angles or sharp lines. The beauty here is that you can dance, you can move, you can show us your shoes whilst still suiting formal occasions.




Images by Studio C Bridal

This style of dress can be traced all the way back to the 1770’s. The ‘robe a l’anglaise’ became a huge fashion trend during Marie Antoinette’s reign in France, as walking in the gardens became a stylish, ladylike thing to do, but no one wanted their dress hems to get dirty. Gowns were lifting up in the front, though retaining their length in the back. Mind you, a ‘short’ front length was still down to the ankles!!

I excited to look forward to seeing more trends come through as we lead into the Australian Summer!

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: So pretty with a touch of modern chic; love the beautiful full skirt and pockets!

About Studio C Bridal: Hi, I’m Caitlyn and I have made gowns for award-winning, internationally recognised theatre/ film designers and actors. My expertise lies in the ability to flatter the body shape, not create a ‘standard size’ garment, through technical sewing and fabric knowledge. I have an eye for fine detail, and the ability to see the beauty in every idea. I started Studio C Bridal with a passion to create beautiful, original, one-off pieces.

What Would They Know? Shannon Fleming of Shannon Fleming Civil Celebrant

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


Polka Dot Bride


Crafting a wedding ceremony is a serious business. It has to reflect the personalities of the bridal couple, at the same time tell the guests something about the couple and their day. Shannon Fleming Civil Celebrant is careful to make each ceremony as individual as you are, never formulaic or mass produced. Of course there are the formalities, but then you can really have fun with your readings, and other aspects of your ceremony to reflect who you are. After all, it’s your day, and it should start with a ceremony that is completely ‘you’. So let’s join Shannon as she tells us her story.

How long have you been a celebrant?

7 years this year! Where has the time gone!

Why did you choose to be a wedding celebrant (over other professions)?

My Mum actually suggested it to me one day randomly, at the time, I laughed thinking it was ridiculous (not knowing what it actually was) and when I finally did look into it, I fell in love with the idea straight away. Anything else was never really an option!


Image by Steve Hughes Photography

How many ceremonies do you perform in a day?

Usually just one, I never wanted to ‘mass produce’ my ceremonies and I hate having to rush off. So unless I have enough time so I can make it from one ceremony to another with enough time that I could hitch-hike if I broke down, I won’t do two in a day!

What area of Western Australia do you cover?

Top to toe.


Image by Henderson Photographics

What is important to you when crafting the wedding ceremony with your couples?

It’s not about what’s important to me; it’s about what’s important to them. It’s about them, and their journey and all of those adventures and ups and downs that have gotten them to this point.

What do you emphasise to couples when they approach you to conduct their ceremony?

There’s no point having a champagne ceremony if your beer people, and by that I mean if you want to fist pump and discuss bug spray and cereal in the vows, do so!

It’s so easy for couples to get caught up in what they think their ceremony and vows should be, thanks to movies and rom-coms (and other people adding opinions), rather than what they want it to be about.

How long does it take to prepare each ceremony?

It entirely depends on the couple; some ceremonies take weeks of backing and forthing, others we get in the first go. But there is no rush, it takes as long as it takes, and I say to my couples if they don’t absolutely LOVE the ceremony, they have to tell me and we start again!


Image by Angela Higgins

How much input into writing the ceremony are couples choosing to have?

As much as they want to, the more input they have the better!

If a couple doesn’t have the time (or chooses not to) are you able to craft the ceremony for them? Absolutely! Sometimes people just have no idea what they want, especially if they haven’t been to many weddings themselves, so quite often I’ll write a ‘starting point’ and then they’ll let me know if they want to add or change anything and we work on it together until it’s perfect.

What do you encourage a couple to prepare for the ceremony?

I send my couples a link to readings, poems, vows, rituals and all sorts – far more than most of them actually end up reading I’m sure. But it helps them get some ideas and plants the seed for possibility!

What is your favourite time of the year for wedding ceremonies?

Weddings all year round are my favourite! But I do love a winter wedding, it can be so beautiful and brings some excitement to people at a dreary time of year, plus also means people aren’t battling the heat.


Image by Through The Woods We Ran

Are you able to recommend some readings to us?

  1. “I like you” by Sandol Stoddard
  2. “Love” by Roy Croft
  3. “Perfect Penguin” Sandra Boynton
  4. “How falling in love is like owning a dog” Taylor Mali
  5. “All I really needed to know I learned in Kindergarten” Robert Fulghum

As you conduct more ceremonies over the years, what do you consider the most important five tips to get the most out of your wedding ceremony?

  1. Why do you want to marry them?
  2. When did you know you wanted to marry the other?
  3. What do you just absolutely love about them?
  4. Where do you see yourself in 1, 10, 50 years?
  5. Is there something that you absolutely must say during your wedding ceremony?

Do you feel that wedding rehearsals are important? How much guidance do you give the wedding party just before the ceremony?

Again, it’s not about what’s important to me – while I usually don’t do a rehearsal, some couples find it more comforting to have one. Real, genuine wedding fun is the best way to do it, then it doesn’t feel so ‘been here done that’ (as some people have commented in the past).

I’m there early enough on the day to make sure everything is in order, to check all the little things like making sure the boys ties are straight and flies are done up. I also have a sidekick with me, that means all bases are covered, she will wait at the car, do all the final ‘jooshing’ with the girls, help Dad stay calm and I won’t start until I’ve been given the ‘all clear’ from her that the girls are relaxed and read to roll. She is a huge part of my business and its success, and I love hearing afterwards how much calmer they felt having her there.


Image by Dave & Charlotte

My favourite short break destination in WA is….

I don’t think I have one! I rarely have a weekend free, but every wedding is a new adventure and I especially love the weddings that are inland in far out places.

But at the moment if I do have a break I’ve just built a house so it’s nice to be able to have a ‘staycation’ and enjoy my new home.

Why do you love living and working in Western Australia?

I love that one week I’m on beautiful beaches, and the next I’m on a farm 600km from Perth really ‘bush bashing’. There are so many amazing and relatively undiscovered places across WA and stumbling upon them on my travels is one of my favourite things to do!

Thank you Shannon for sharing your story. Make your ceremony one to remember with Shannon to assist you.   To find out more about Shannon Fleming Civil Celebrant visit the website.

Headshot courtesy of Shannon Fleming Civil Celebrant.

Kristen & Kris’ Captured Memories – Marry Me Movies

by | Cinematography Wisdom, Wisdom


Marry Me Movies
Find me on Ms Polka Dot's Directory

There are aspects of every wedding film that stand out as our favourite moments at Marry Me Movies. In this case, we loved capturing the fun of Kristen and Kris’ wedding.  Kristen almost had a ‘dance’ in her step during key moments, whilst Kris who is a keen cyclist, rode his bike into the reception!

Our cinematic wedding films tell a story, and Kristen and Kris’s wedding was a most exciting one!

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: What a fun day; I love Kristen’s recessional dance down the aisle; she was so happy!

About Marry Me Movies: As wedding cinematographers we don’t just ‘video your wedding’, we capture priceless moments and memories. We use cinematic quality imagery combined with a documentary style of storytelling to create a spellbinding wedding film. A ‘forever film’ that will ignite memories and infuse magic into any moment of any day, for the rest of your days – allowing you to fall in love again and again.

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