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Marie and Jan’s Secret Forest Sunset Engagement Photos

by | Bride, Engagements

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secret forest sunset engagement0001 Marie and Jans Secret Forest Sunset Engagement Photos

Marie & Jan

I don’t think there is a more romantic time of day than sunset and with a love of  European forests (Jan is from Germany and Marie from France). Jan chose the Secret Forest in Sherwood, outside of Brisbane for their engagement photographs. They joined Love Is A Place Photography to capture the romantic moments of their engagement and it was literally their engagement with Jan having proposed earlier that day, a complete surprise to Marie!

Jan tells, “It was our 11 month anniversary, so I told her I had planned a surprise day for her. I took her for a picnic at the Secret Forest in Oxley. After eating, Marie was really tired and she had a nap while I was nervously drinking all the champagne. When she finally woke up, we had a glass together and then I popped the question. I had booked the engagement photo shoot for later that day, because Marie once mentioned that she would love to have professional pictures taken for her engagement. I didn’t plan anything for the night because I knew that Marie would want to skype her friends and family in France.”

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Jan & Marie tell the story of how they met. “We met an Italian pasta dinner party of a mutual friend. We instantly liked each other and didn’t stop talking until all guests were gone. Then our friend Elena offered us to stay the night. The next morning, we went to the West End Markets together and despite a hangover had a wonderful day. We still love going to the markets because it reminds us of how we met.”

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On what he loves about Marie, “Marie is intelligent, funny, creative, caring, and just the right amount of crazy. She has a strong character, knows what she wants and doesn’t shy away from an argument. I love living with her and spending as much time together as possible because it never gets boring.”

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On what she loves about Jan, Marie notes, “Jan is loving, and my first supporter in whatever I do. When I decided to change the decoration of the living room and to make the couch and the pillows covers (I didn’t know how to sew) he came with me to the shop to choose the fabric. He accepts the ‘no man’s land’ chaos on my side of the bed while I want everything tidy elsewhere. I’m a contradiction but he loves me the way I am anyway.”

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Marie and Jan tell some of the funnier stories of their relationship “Both of us are not native speakers, so there are some miscommunications once in a while. Two especially stick out. Jan: One day, shortly after we started dating, Marie picked me up from work and we talked about former relationships. At some point, Marie casually asked me if I have ever been shitted on. Being quite puzzled I tried to formulate an answer. After a while, I managed to say a “What”? while Marie kept driving. After a bit of awkward silence, I realised that “shitted” and “cheated” sound the same if pronounced with a French accent. We had a good laugh!”

Marie adds, “The other one happened after we moved in together. Jan told me that he wanted to sleep around. When I reacted angrily, Jan looked really confused about my reaction until he realised that the German expression “to sleep a round”, meaning to sleep a bit, does not translate one-to-one into English. One of the qualities that I like about Jan is that is a perfect gentleman, however I wasn’t quite used to this. The first time he opened the door of the taxi for me I walked around it and sat on the other side…same thing for our first date in a restaurant…”

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Farewell Oscar De La Renta

by | Blog News, Bridal Fashion, Bride

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Oscar De La Renta0016 Farewell Oscar De La Renta

It was sad this week, to hear the news of designer Oscar De La Renta passing. As someone who was inspired greatly by his beautiful gowns, I wanted to create a little post today that shared some of my favourites, along with some of the words he shared about fashion and life.

Oscar De La Renta was born in the Dominian Republic in 1932, his love of art and fashion began with studying painting in Spain where he realised his love of fashion. He spent much time working with ready to wear and couture designers Cristóbal Balenciaga, Lanvin, and Antonio del Castillo. He began his own ready to wear label in 1963. Bridal wear soon followed along with homewares, fragrance, jewellery  and even shoes.

His iconic, beautiful gowns have always made a statement when they’ve graced the red carpet (who can forget the Oscar De La Renta frock Carrie wore while eating french fries in Paris?). The feminine detail and  the sophisticated glamour always winning red carpet favourites.

The label will live on through the brand’s creative director Peter Copping, but I will miss the wisdom and grace of Oscar De La Renta himself. What a legacy and a piece of beauty he has left the world.

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“There is always an emotional element to anything that you make.”

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“My designs are known for their beautiful ornamentation, details, fabrics, and embroideries – which are never more important than on a wedding dress.”

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“Being well dressed hasn’t much to do with having good clothes. It’s a question of good balance and good common sense.”

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“I like light, color, luminosity. I like things full of color and vibrant.”

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“Any girl from any walk of life dreams of that special dress, and I try to make that dream a reality for her.”

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“My job as a designer is to make a woman feel her very best.”

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“Style begins by looking good naked. It’s a discipline. And if you don’t dress well every day, you lose the habit. It’s not about what you wear, but about how you live your life.”

Images from Oscar De La Renta, Backstage images by Nina Garcia via Oscar De La Renta

Friday Roundup

by | Bride

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Rosa Clara Wedding Gown Friday Roundup

Photo by Dominique Felicity Chapman | Sam Hughes from 1950s Vintage Wedding In Perth

Happy Friday Dotties! What a busy week it has been at Polka Dot HQ. With weddings on my mind (we have a few coming up so soon!) holidays on our minds and Christmas (!) just around the corner the week has certainly has had it’s twists and turns. I’m looking forward to a warm and sunny weekend and even a few little fun outings (Are you following along with our adventures on Instagram?)

So as we do every Friday morning, let’s catch up on the posts and news of the week.

 This Week On Polka Dot Weddings

Polka Dot Weddings is the blog where real brides write about their weddings and share their experiences. Inspiration abounds so click on each image to read more.

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1. Thao and Vanessa’s Traditional Vietnamese Wedding

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This Week On Polka Dot Wisdom

Polka Dot Wisdom is a treasure trove of advice, news and wedding planning tips! Written by wedding professionals you could almost plan your whole wedding by following this, the wisest of all blogs! Click on the images to read more.


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1.What Would They Know? Melissa Kuti of Oak & Linden 2. Planning your Wedding Car Hire – Part 2

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This Week On Polka Dot Made

Polka Dot Made is your source for all things handmade including weekly DIY projects to make for your wedding or engagement. 

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1. Etsy Roundup ~ Gold Hair Combs 2. Tuesday Type - Garden

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This week on Polka Dot Honeymoons

The wedding is over, the dust has settled and now it’s time to get away from it all! Find resort reviews, inspiration and real honeymoons every week on Polka Dot Honeymoons.

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1.  Five Soul Changing Experiences At Eco Beach Broome 2. Real Destination Wedding – Kathleen and James’ New York Destination Wedding

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This week on Polka Dot Groom

Polka Dot Groom is dedicated to all things groom. Inspiration, advice and style for the Australian groom.

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1. Groom Fashion Watch – Wooden Bow Ties From Two Guys Bow Ties

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EPICURE Catering will be launching their brand new venue- the refurbished Hawthorn Arts Centre this weekend on Sunday 26th of October from 11am to 1pm at an exciting showcase event! The venue, located at 360 Burwood Road, Hawthorn is a stunning venue that blends contemporary design with art deco details. Enjoy a glass of bubbles as you enjoy the beautifully restored venue which can hold up to 300 guests, including the stunning Chandelier Room which can hold 90 guests.

Bookings are essential so call 03 9290 9400 or Christie.Knox@epicure.com.au

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Australian online gown store Runway Dream is offering Polka Dot Bride readers an exclusive discount! Whether you want to hire that special occasion dress, or purchase it for your very own Runway Dream offers dresses from some of your favourite labels- including Grace & Hart, Nicola Finetti, Talulah, LIFEwithBIRD and Lucid!

To receive 20% discount on any purchase, just use the code POLKADOTBRIDE20 upon checkout! This offer expires on the 17th of November 2014.

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The InterContinental Sydney Double Bay in collaboration with the Double Bay Wedding Collective and wedding partners are hosting their first ever Double Bay wedding showcase! To be held in the grand ballroom of the hotel on Sunday 2nd of November from 10:00am – 1:00pm and 1.30pm – 4:00pm the showcase will be filled with talented local vendors – including florists, bridal wear, photographers and even hair and makeup! Plus you’ll go into the draw to win a huge array of prizes!

Tickets are free and can be booked online through their ticket website.

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To finish off your week, this week’s film comes from the talented duo of Humdrum Films! It poured with rain on the couple’s wedding day but somehow, just as it always does, things worked out and became even more atmospheric and magical and Humdrum were there to capture it all!

Jo and Al’s Spring Garden Party Wedding

by | Australia - Queensland, Bride, Inspired Weddings,

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spring garden party wedding0019 Jo and Als Spring Garden Party Wedding

Jo & Al

If there is one thing that warmer weather makes me excited for, it’s garden party weddings! The wedding of Jo and Al was set in the most beautiful of gardens, the ceremony under a magnificent fig tree casting dappled light over the vows, a sit down luncheon for guests on the grass under the shade of a marquee and in between? Plenty of mingling on the lawns with drinks from glass decanters and dancing as the sun set behind the hills. Jo and Al chose Chloe of White Images to take their photos.

Jo kicks us off with their story. “We met at University in Sydney through Alister’s cousin Ruth. Ruth warned me about Alister’s terrible cooking – and his wild side – so when he asked me out I said no. He was heart broken and left Sydney. It wasn’t until 8 years later that we actually started dating. We fell in love instantly after meeting up again after a Reds football match at the Caxton in Brisbane.”

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Bec Willis of Willis Designs created the Spring inspired floral arrangements for the wedding.

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Jo chose a gown from Bertossi Brides- Paddington Weddings with her bridesmaids each choosing a different dress from Sami & Sita.

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Jo and Al married at Velleron House, Jo remarking, “Velleron House is an amazing private property. A gorgeous old fig tree was where the ceremony was held, and the rest of the day was spent in the garden and then a sit down lunch in the marquee.” Little Gray Station provided the rental furniture.

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Jo walked down the aisle to Pachelbel’s Canon In D.

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Jo notes, “Everything was so much fun! We had a great time planning the wedding. The day went too quickly but we were so happy with the way everything turned out.”

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Of their photographer, Jo tells, “Chloe from White Images was fantastic. Her photos are beautiful images and they really tell the story about our day. We were really lucky to have Chloe photograph our wedding. We are extremely happy with all the images. She has captured every detail perfectly.”

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The sit down lunch was exactly what the bride and groom wanted. Jo remarking, “The food was just perfect for a garden wedding. There was plenty of canapés and the grazing table was exactly what we wanted. The sit down lunch was delicious! The caterer put so much effort and love into the food which was evident. Everyone raved about the food!”

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Jo notes, “We did not need much to make this venue look amazing! We did all the planning ourselves with the help of the owners of Velleron House who directed us to the suppliers. We are extremely grateful to the owners of Velleron House who worked so hard in the lead up to the wedding and also over the weekend of the wedding. We made all the small decorations, and the table runners came from Majestic DIY.”

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Guests were gifted jars of mints as favors.

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Of their first dance, Jo remembers, “We chose Tim McGraw’s My Best Friend. We hadn’t practiced anything – but we managed to sway along for the duration of the song!! We did well….”

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Congratulations on your marriage Jo and Al! Thank you for sharing your special day with us! Thank you also to White Images  for sharing today’s wedding photographs!

Photographer: Chloe Jones of White Images / Styling/Hire: Little Gray Station / Bride’s Dress: Bertossi Brides- Paddington Weddings / Bride’s Shoes: Milana / Bride’s Jewelry: Girls Love Pearls / Groom’s Attire: New England / Groomsmen Attire: New England / Bridesmaid Dresses: Sami & Sita / Bridesmaid Shoes: Milana / Bridesmaid Accessories: Toowoomba Pearls (07) 4638 8727 / Hairstylist: Luciana Rose / Makeup Artist: Luciana Rose / Flowers: Bec Willis of Willis Designs / Invitations & Stationery: Cracker Print and Paper Toowoomba / Venue: Velleron House / Ceremony Officiant: Fr Ken Spreadborough / Ceremony Musicians: Golden Child Entertainment / Band: Golden Child Entertainment / Table Runners: Majestic DIY / Favors: Jars from Just Jars Filled With Mints
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