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Interior Design Your Wedding

by | Styling Wisdom, Wisdom


Ms Chevron

Styling your wedding has come a long long way from the standard vase and pillar candle combination. Today’s brides are seeking inspiration from all sources and walks of life – farmyards, vintage eras, Twilight – and more recently, interior and home design.

I chatted with Elisha Bryant, Director & Interior Designer of Wink and Co. about the incorporation of interior design in wedding styling. “When planning a wedding, many couples are looking to interior design for inspiration for theming and for styling. Many parallels exist between the two – both begin with large decisions such as choosing a colour theme, working within a budget, and transforming a space to fit personal tastes and styles”.

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“Interior design has broken free of the rules and regulations that have dictated the industry for decades. As a result we are now seeing more unique, casual and tailored designs that express individuality, form and function. The same transition is evident in wedding planning, couples are swapping in the overly-extravagant and formal weddings  that were evident in the 40’s and 50’s for smaller, more intimate occasions – with design themes taking the spotlight”.

“These days we are seeing couples incorporate unique interior pieces from their homes into their weddings. Living room furniture often provides a comfortable lounge area for guests, elaborate mirrors double as seating plans, crystal chandeliers take spotlight in marquees, family photos and artwork are displayed on reception tables, and various vases and vessels are often commissioned from homes and interiors stores to display anything from floral centrepieces to lolly buffets”.

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“Design isn’t necessarily about what you see, it is about what you feel. When we design our homes we design spaces that make us feel comfortable and relaxed. We incorporate furnishings and objects that are reflective of our personal styles. It is only a natural succession that couples want to emulate that feeling of comfort and expression of style into one of the biggest days of their lives”.

Think about how you could incorporate some of these ideas so that your wedding has that homely touch:

  • Seating Plans – unique mirrors and farmhouse window panes make for a fantastic base for your seating plan
  • Lounge Areas – a cluster of couches, statement chairs, coffee tables, and stools all make for a great lounge space for guests to mingle
  • Centrepieces – try to go for something that you may find in a home rather than something that is overtly wedding-centric – the “hand-picked from the garden” look is great if you want flowers
  • Room Layout – long tables laid out dinner party style are a change from the typical rounds and promote a degree of friendliness over formality
  • Personalise – framed photos of your parents or friends own weddings, or of you as a couple, is a nice visual touch
  • Cake – it doesn’t have to stop with the styling! Even your cake can be Nanna’s carrot cake with cream cheese frosting or a lemon meringue creation

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If this interior designer had to give one piece of styling advice? Elisha states that “simplicity and minimalism is the new opulence.” Here’s to less fuss and frivolity!

Images by Shane Shepherd Styled by Little Gray Station

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Vendor Favourites – The Remote Resort

by | Vendor's Favourite, Wisdom


Natasha of The Remote Resort

The Remote Resort Wedding Favourites Vendor Favourites The Remote Resort

Etsy is one of our favourite vendors for all things wedding…these are our latest loves:

1. Simple and elegant bridesmaids gift for under $30 – perfect! Bracelet by LaLaCrystal.

2. These invitations from Dallins Paperie fuel our ongoing love affair with the color turquoise.

3. This “Love Everywhere” sign sets the stage for everyone to get in the mood for romance. Sign from Wedding Signs With Love

4. For a burst of your accent color, make tissue-paper Pom Poms with Ms Polka Dot’s help or buy online.

5. We love these vintage brooch bouquets…could it pass as your “something old”? From brooch bouquets.

Swirl divider12 Vendor Favourites The Remote Resort

Ms Gingham says: Some of our favourites here too!

About The Remote Resort, Fiji Islands : Leaving his corporate job at a major hotel chain in the United States, Dan set his sights on developing his own collection of hotels.  But the likeness to a major hotel chain stops there.  In a far reaching corner of the Fiji Islands, accessible only by boat, he set up camp, employed local tradesmen, and using predominantly the materials found on site, spent three years building The Remote Resort, Fiji Islands.

It’s a long way from the 9-5 of corporate life, and that’s exactly what makes this place special.  The Remote Resort, Fiji Islands seeks to create a place where the raw environs and chic luxury meet.  Guests will discover charmed island life in villas stylishly-designed to fit into the natural tropical landscape.  But the major focus here is on food. So bountiful is the land and sea that days are a gourmet experience from beginning to end.

What Would They Know? Catherine Stephens of Lake House

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


Polka Dot Bride

Catherine Stephens of Lake House What Would They Know? Catherine Stephens of Lake House

Today’s Expert is Catherine Stephens, Events Manager, of the iconic Lake House. Daylesford is a popular place for Victorians to flock to on the weekend, but to actually live and work there would be heaven! Lucky Catherine and other Lake House staff get to call this town ‘home’, and the icing on the cake must be to work at Lake House, the creation and vision of this gorgeous place belonging to Alla and Allan Wolf-Tasker. So with just the slightest touch of envy, I invite you to read all about this exciting wedding and events venue.

Where is Lake House situated?
Lake House is located in the beautiful town of Daylesford, which is known as the Spa Capital of Australia. Daylesford is about an 80 minute drive from Melbourne, and is an increasingly popular haunt for seasoned travellers.  In the town itself there is an eclectic mix of artist’s studios, cafes, award winning restaurants, boutique day spas, holistic healing centers, bookshops and nature walks in the surrounding Wombat State Forrest.

Lake House is set right on the edge of Lake Daylesford, spread across six acres off gardens which extend down to the lake shore. On the property guests can have a hit of tennis followed by tea tennis pavilion, a glass of wine by the open fire in the Lounge. There is also the Kitchen Garden planted out with edible shoots and flowers, extensive outdoor terraces overlooking the lake and gardens with everything from koala loved stringy barks to lilac, Daphne, quince, plum and apple trees.

Across the Lake LR RS What Would They Know? Catherine Stephens of Lake House

 We love Daylesford because….

The team at Lake House really is lucky to live and work in such a rich, beautiful and diverse town. Daylesford has a strong history wound between the settlement of Swiss Italians, the Gold Rush and the discovery of the natural mineral springs in the area.

All of these things play a huge part in what the town has become today – there are beautiful old Swiss / Italian buildings, olive farms and even a macaroni factory because of the original settlers. There are day spas galore because of the mineral springs; so on days off the staff are never far away from a relaxing massage.

But it’s probably the food and wine that area producers that our team love the most (not surprising, we are all foodies at heart!) Including our own restaurant, there are now a number of places to eat around Daylesford, all of which have a strong focus on regional and seasonal produce. Daylesford is lucky enough to experience all 4 seasons, so the produce ranges from mushrooms galore and chestnuts in Autumn, to lamb, garlic, kale and a heaps of baby vegetables in Spring!

DSF0528RS What Would They Know? Catherine Stephens of Lake House

Lake House is special because….

At Lake House we like to ‘create memories’ for our guests. Our team is made up of true professionals, who truly love what they do. Having substance and being very down to earth is also very important to us – there are always reasons to our philosophies. We are also very lucky enough to work in one of the most beautiful places in the world!

Do you have wedding packages available?

Yes everything from cocktails and roaming banquets, 3 course menus, or Degustation Menus for the ultimate foodies. We like to tailor make our wedding packages depending on the couples’ desires.

You have a spa and hotel on the property.  What are the services they offer the bridal party and their guests?

Having accommodation and our own Spa on the property means we can offer our wedding couple and their guests most things without them having to leave! The Spa has wonderful Hen’s Day packages where the ‘hens’ can float from treatment room to treatment room getting prettied and primped sipping champagne! We also have 35 rooms and suites, so wedding guest can really relax by staying with us. Our Retreat accommodation is the ‘ultimate’ when it comes to the special night for the happy couple – it’s a large country house set in private garden on the Lake House property. It has two beautifully furnished bedrooms with fireside lounging areas, two luxury bathroom and dressing rooms, and to top it all off there is an outside Jacuzzi!

Atrium Villa LoungeRS What Would They Know? Catherine Stephens of Lake House

What items can/should a bride source herself when using the Lake House wedding resources?

We can really arrange pretty much everything for our Bride’s to be! On top of our beautiful ceremony sites and reception venues we have a floral and décor stylist and a very skilled pastry team who can work directly with couples to come up with the visions. Also having been in the wedding industry for over 20 years we have a very extensive list of our favourite suppliers – ranging from wedding photographers, celebrants, car hire,  bands & DJ’s even the odd butterfly wrangler for couples that want to go that extra mile!

Do you have an in-house wedding planner? 

Myself and my team are the combined ‘Wedding Planning Team’ working with brides from the very first meeting and show around of the property all the way until the final day. I would describe our service as being personal, professional and intuitive. We really into tailor making our experience for each individual. We work very closely with all of the departments on the property to ensure that the guest’s needs are met whatever they might be. Taking a lot of pride in what we do – being part of a couple’s day is such a bonus for us! We are very lucky to be able to see a couple and their nearest and dearest on such a happy day, it makes what we do easy! It also creates a real relationship with us and the family, seeing couples come back for anniversary then with little ones is rewarding in itself!

A dream wedding at Lake House would include…..

We have a lot of couples that choose a date in the summer for their date, which is always lovely. But for me one of the most beautiful times of the year is in autumn/winter. The leaves on the trees have turned flame oranges and reds, the mornings are crisp with lots of mist rising on the lake – and the days are blue skied and fresh.
The perfect day would probably start a couple of days before – the bride and their bridesmaids would spend a day in our spa pampering themselves, while the groomsmen could have a round of golf (or have some treatments of their own) in the evenings the bride & groom would have an intimate dinner in our cellar room surrounded by wine, candelabras and their closest friends and family.

On the day itself – the Bride & Groom would stay at separate ends of the property with their chosen few, spending the morning sipping some celebratory champagne while getting ready.

The ceremony would be held on the lake shore and they would take their vows underneath the coloured leaves of the birch trees, followed by photos on the lake jetty, on the terrace overlooking the lake and amongst the gardens. The reception would be held in our Terrace room, guests would have cocktails and canapés around a roaring open fire, then move to be seated in a room with soaring ceilings, full length windows overlooking lush gardens, colourful sails that gently part their way through the space, the heady scent of fabulous flowers and the golden glow of three majestic black frosted chandeliers – it’s the most magical of locations for a party!

After a night of love, good food and wine, and laughter the happy couple would be farewelled to spend the night in their wedding room – the Retreat, with open fires, double ensuite and dressing room, lounge area and outside Jacuzzi.


2461 06ARS What Would They Know? Catherine Stephens of Lake House

What is the Lake House food philosophy?

At the head of the Lake House kitchen is our Executive Chef and owner Alla Wolf-Tasker. Alla and her husband Allan opened Lake House as a restaurant in 1984 based around Alla’s philosophy of “Creating a restaurant worthy of a journey”. Today the team in the kitchen work from the ground up producing modern Australian cuisine with an emphasis on seasonal and regional ingredients. They create most items on the daily menu from the ground up – ranging from bread, charcuterie, preserves, smoked goods, chocolates and more.

Our favorite dish of the moment for autumn is….

At the moment on our Autumn menu we have Guinea fowl – which is butter poached, and served with barley and locally foraged wild mushrooms. So good with a glass of Pinot Noir from Passing Clouds winery down the road!

cellar horizontalRS What Would They Know? Catherine Stephens of Lake House

The most beautiful time of the year at Lake House for a wedding is…..

Definitely autumn. When the region was settled by the Swiss-Italian’s they planted a whole heap of trees that reminded them of home. So there are Poplars, Birch, Olive and Swiss Pines, which in Autumn turn magnificent canary yellow, fire-engine red and flame orange. Top the beautiful scenery off with open fires, glasses of wine, cheese plates, nurturing body treatments, walks through the pine forest, misty mornings…should I go on?!

A guilty pleasure for Lake House staff is…..

Being in hospitality means we can all work pretty crazy hours so we try and make sure our team is looked after on their days off with treatments in our Salus Spa, the odd wine tasting as a group and some really great staff parties. The last get together we had was an 80’s theme – Rubicks cubes, old movie posters of the Breakfast Club and The Terminator, and some great 80’s classic music. Everyone dressed up as an 80’s personalilty and there was a prize for the best dressed – was a great night for everyone!

What do you love about your job at Lake House?

Wow. How to put it into words?! I’ve been working at Lake House for nearly 10 years now, so it’s become more like my family than just somewhere I work. I love the environment that we are lucky to work in, and the people. Our jobs are also pretty diverse – so there are always different things going on on the property. Its never boring!

I also really enjoy the ongoing relationships that our team has made with our brides, seeing them so happy on their special day is very very rewarding!

Balinese Sails NightRS What Would They Know? Catherine Stephens of Lake House

 Thank you Catherine for sharing your story with us today. To find out more about Lake House and their wedding services visit their website.

You can also find Lake House in Ms Polka Dot’s Directory

 All images courtesy of Lake House

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