Snapshot Sunday – Special Love

by | Bride, Snapshot Sundays


Image by Mint Photography

Visit Ms Polka Dot's Directory

Emma & Ryan’s Deep Forest Engagement Shoot

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Engagements,


Emma & Ryan

When it came to picking a location for their romantic engagement photos, this pair of nature lovers looked no further than the Redwood Forest in Warburton. It was the obvious choice. Armed with jackets and boots, the lush greenery and crisp air surrounding them, Emma and Ryan navigated the towering forest with photographer Catherine Forge to capture their gorgeous deep forest engagement shoot.

Of how they met, Ryan remembers, “Emma and I met in 2010 on the dance floor, and started dating the following year. Three months later, we moved in together and we have never looked back.”

“We both love the outdoors, and wanted to do our engagement shoot somewhere natural, and somewhere that showcased how beautiful the Australian landscape is. We had never actually been to the Redwood forest in Warburton before the shoot, so it was awesome to check it out! It is an absolutely stunning, hidden oasis with towering redwood trees and native ferns,” Ryan tells of their decision to trek out to the forest for their session.

Ryan proudly tells of how he proposed to his now wife. “I proposed to Emma over a massage! We were at the Peninsula Hot Springs, and I had arranged to surprise Emma while she was in the middle of having her private massage. The plan was to take over from the masseuse whilst Emma had a towel over her eyes. I massaged her face for a few minutes, and then sealed the massage with a kiss on the lips, much to Emma’s great surprise! After removing the towel from her eyes, she looked up at me with shock, and said, “What are you doing??” She looked around, and we were alone in this beautiful hut on the top of the hot springs. I stood her up, and dropped to one knee, and asked her to marry me. This was my proudest moment, as Emma is very good at finding out my secrets, and I can assure you she didn’t know this one!”

“I love Emma’s happy cheeks, and her infectious smile; the way she cares for me like no other. She is always warm when I am cold. And that we laugh every day,” Ryan gushes about his bride, and Emma says, “I love Ryan’s caring nature, his great sense of humour and positivity, and I love that we can be ourselves, and completely honest with each other.”

Cherie & Shawn’s Autumnal Marybrooke Manor Wedding

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Cherie & Shawn

Autumn is hands down my favourite season of the year and the romance of Cherie and Shawn’s Autumnal Marybrooke Manor wedding captured by Someday Somewhere Photography captured that beautiful fiery ambiance of the season – bouquets of zesty orange and marsala complemented by the scattering of autumn leaves and of course, all tied up with the most beautiful bow that is the love story of Cherie & Shawn.

The couple chose their favourite books and wove the Penguin Classics versions through every element of the day – beginning with the invitations.

Cherie chose an Anna Campbell  wedding gown noting “I wore Giselle, by Anna Campbell in latte. A week after getting engaged, I had seen this dress online and fell in love with it. I presumed that it would be a European or American designer and began her search to find something “similar to it” in Australia. It didn’t take long for me to find out that Anna Campbell was not only Australian, but she was in Melbourne! Whilst I tried on a few different dresses in similar styles, there was no trumping Giselle. It was perfect and the girls at Anna Campbell were friendly and professional throughout the entire experience.”

Family details were important to Cherie who tells “I wore my Mother’s garter and my Grandmother’s earrings which have been worn by all the women in my family at their respective weddings.”

Cherie and Shawn chose Marybrooke Manor for their wedding, remembering “Before anything else was planned for the wedding, we knew where we wanted our photos to be taken and at what time of year.

On a drive through the Mountains, Cherie turned into the driveway of Marybrooke Manor to do a U-turn and head back home. She audibly gasped when she saw the Tudor Mansion sitting so beautifully amongst manicured gardens and she knew this is where they would get married. The following weekend she took Shawn for a drive to see Marybrooke. She had told him no details about it, other than it might just be the right one for them. On turning into the driveway, through the large gates, Shawn had the exact same reaction Cherie had had the week before. They drove home and made an appointment to see the inside of the venue.

It was important to us that the guests of the wedding didn’t have to travel from venue-to-venue or “kill time” between the ceremony and the reception. The Chapel area of Marybrooke Manor is luminous with natural daylight and was able to seat the entirety of their guests during the ceremony. Then they lay eyes on PJ’s Restaurant, which looks like it has been picked up from England and placed amongst the gum trees of Sherbrooke. Roaring fire, comfortable chairs, exposed beams, exactly the place to have a drink and canapes after the ceremony on a Melbourne Autumn day.”

Cherie walked down the aisle to “One Day Like This” by Elbow.

Georgia Mills officiated the ceremony, the bride and groom remember. “We wanted their ceremony to be about us and our families. We wanted it to have laughter and a light-hearted feel, which would make everyone in the room feel as happy as we were. We met with Celebrant Georgia Mills and she was just the right fit for our big day. The first 15 minutes of their meeting was spent talking about our respective Dogs (Fur babies), and Georgia had such warmth and kindness about her that there was no need to meet with anyone else after we had found her. Her professionalism shone through, and she guided us through the entire process with such ease.”

“The only dry eyes throughout the ceremony were ours – we grinned like Cheshire Cats and laughed a lot.”

Of their photographer, the newlyweds tell “We have known Greg Briggs personally for a few years now. We have watched his natural talent for photography and an eye for detail, blossom over the years and knew we wanted him to shoot our wedding. In fact, we had chosen him to shoot our wedding before he was even told about it.”

Red Earth Flowers styled the autumnal toned floral arrangements for the day, the bride and groom telling “As well as some gorgeous flower centrepieces from Red Earth Flowers, we wanted an individual spin on the styling. Antique books in burgundy and burnt orange with the table names coming from the title of a Penguin Classic, which sat upon the antique books on each table. Some of the titles had special significance to the guests on that table and others contained tongue-in-cheek references such as “My Family and Other Animals”.

The bonbonniere were also handmade. We ordered organic Gluhwein Wine Spices from Germany, wrote a recipe and bundled them up for use in muslin cloth, presented in a kraft paper box and sealed with a seal of our own design. Instead of confetti or rose petals, we gathered up the Autumn leaves from the trees at Cherie’s parents’ home and filled cones made from the pages of antique books.”

A nod to the bride’s family’s Scottish heritage, a piper greeted guests before the ceremony and led the newly married couple into the reception.

One very special guest made a mammoth journey. “We were very lucky with all our  vendors. All were professional throughout the process and made it as stress free as possible. It would be difficult to highlight just the one. Not a vendor, but an important part of the day – the Master of Ceremonies was Cherie’s brother Jonathan and he flew in from London just for that evening to play this special role, and then headed back the very next day. 48hr round trip for less than 24hrs on the ground!”

Of their first dance, the newlyweds remember “I can dance and Shawn has rhythm, so that was a good place to start. The week before the wedding (after the music had been chosen), I taught Shawn how to waltz. After a few sore toes, a couple of steps in the wrong direction and a lot of laughter, he picked it up well and we danced this waltz on our wedding night to ‘The Ship Song’ by Nick Cave and the Badseeds.”

Congratulations on your marriage Cherie and Shawn! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Someday Somewhere Photography for sharing today’s celebration with us!

Photographer: Someday Somewhere Photography / Bride's Dress: Anna Campbell / Bride's Shoes: Jeanette Maree / Bride's Jewellery: Family Heirloom / Groom's Attire: Briggins / Groomsmen Attire: Briggins / Bridesmaid Dresses: Made of Honour / Bridesmaid Shoes: Hugo Sheppard / Hairstylist: Patricia Saunders / Makeup Artist: Rebecca Vaughan / Flowers: Red Earth Flowers / Invitations & Stationery: Feel Good Invites / Venue: Marybrooke Manor / Ceremony Officiant: Georgia Mills / Wedding Cake: Creme de la Cakes / Wedding Ring: Ringwood Jewellers / Wedding Ring: MDT Design / Transport: Dee Decker

Friday Roundup

by | Blog News, Bride


Photo by Qlix Photography via  Viktoriia and Jason’s Elegant Substation Wedding

Happy Friday Dotties! Although this is one of my very favourite weeks of the year (hello Autumn!), it has been rather brutally hot! It’s a big weekend of celebrations in the Polka Dot team – birthdays, babymoons, seaside escapes, even a dinner of white! I can’t wait to check in on Monday and see how the weekend unfolded. What have you got planned?

Before we head away for our fun and frivolity, let’s acknowledge the week that was, let’s round it up!


Dreaming of weddings in the Whitsundays after we sat down for a chat with Janet Hogan of Villa Botanica & Botanica Weddings

A gorgeous DIY Watercolour Seating Cards Tutorial

Sandra shares her post wedding Inspired Words

Style It Up: Before-Wedding Grooming Tips

A green tea cocktail? Whip up this Cup Above Tea’s Pomegranate Greenteani

Head somewhere different as we kick off Honeymoon Hidden Gems: Slovenia

Love the fun retro vibe of the PhotoWall font

We go Behind The Door With….Jasmine Fraser and check out her gorgeous jewellery and workspace

Love Anthony’s  Groom Style for his Yarra Valley garden wedding.

Puppies! Top 10 Tips for Including Dogs In Weddings

We share Liu and Hang’s Captured Memories by Marry Me Movies

Dreaming of a Bahamas wedding? Let us introduce you to Aisle Society Weddings At Abaco Beach Resort

Lovely memories from Adam in his Inspired Memories

Gorgeous modern glam in this Elegant Substation Wedding


First Comes Love is back Perthies! On Sunday, April 2nd, Mosarts will be hosting the much-loved wedding fair (now in its seventh year!), which will showcase beautiful wedding inspiration from incredible vendors. Head to the website to book your place (and tickets are free!).

The beautiful Yarra Valley Lodge is offering up a very special package for weddings booked prior to March 31st, 2017.  Book the special Summer wedding package to receive a bunch of fabulous additions – including Chef ’s selection of pre-dinner canapés, Wedding night accommodation for the Bride & Groom including full breakfast & valet car parking, 3-course menu and even discount accommodation for guests! Visit their website to book! * Minimum of 50 guests. For weddings confirmed and booked prior to 31st March 2017. Conditions apply.

Canberra couples will want to lock Bespoke Bride into their calendars on  Sunday the 26th of March will show off beautiful handmade, personalised items for your wedding da in one curated space! The Bespoke bride fair, at Check out our events calendar for more fun in your area!

Our film of the week comes from the friendly folk at Memento Films. Keith and Gabi chose a day that was personal and the ceremony? It’s my favourite part of the film!