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.”

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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!

Sara & Adolfo’s Glamorous Gunners Barracks Wedding

by | Australia - New South Wales, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Sara & Adolfo 

For Sara and Adolfo, who by the time they were married had been together for ten years, having a big wedding or a a set theme weren’t high on their list of requirements when it came to creating their perfect wedding day. The couple wanted an intimate, relaxed day, with all of their nearest and dearest there to celebrate their love and commitment to each other. Their glamorous Gunners Barracks wedding was captured beautifully by Alex Carlyle, and their obvious adoration for each other, and the stunning images, will absolutely sweep you off your feet.

Of how they met, and came to be, Sara remembers fondly, “It was many years ago now when Adolfo gate-crashed one of my friend’s parties! I was still in high school at the time. If Adolfo is telling the story, he will always be sure to add that I was tipsy the first time we met, and that I tried hitting on him! We met a few more times over the years, but it was at a mutual friends birthday, three years after our first meeting, when we really connected. We exchanged numbers, started talking and never stopped. We’ve now been together for ten years!”

Sara wore an exquisitely beaded gown from Theia Couture, purchased through The Bridal Atelier. “To be honest, I was really dreading wedding dress shopping,” she remarks. “The big white wedding dress was just never something I pictured myself wearing, and I didn’t know where to begin. I had seen some of The Bridal Atelier’s stock online and really loved the relaxed, yet whimsical and ethereal style of the dresses they stocked. It was the first dress store I visited, and where I eventually found my dress. The moment I put it on, I knew it was the one, because I didn’t want to take it off! It felt like me.”

Adolfo chose his wedding day attire, from Mister Mister, fairly early on, and quite easily! “I always preferred navy suits and wanted one that I could wear again after the wedding. It had to be a traditional, two button dinner suit. I really liked the modern twist this suit had with the slanted pockets!” We do love a man who knows what he wants in a dapper suit!

Sara and Adolfo decided to have their wedding photos taken before the ceremony, Sara explaining that it was nice to see each other for the first time alone, and that it definitely helped to calm their nerves before the ceremony. Alex Carlyle captured their stunning portraits against a backdrop of lush, old world greenery and the harbour. Sara’s bridesmaids wore heavenly beaded, blush gowns from Bridesmaids Only, and Adolfo’s groomsmen looked sharp in dapper in suits from M.J. Bale.

“I walked down the aisle to an acoustic version of “Kissing You” by Des’ree, played by our wonderful musicians from Tillee Music,” remembers the bride. “I’ve loved that song for such a long time, and it was very emotional walking down the aisle with the song playing in the background.”

For the couple, the ceremony was their favourite part of the whole day! “We wanted it to be very personal, but not too over the top. In the end it was the perfect mix of light hearted and funny, yet still very touching. Our celebrant, Kathryn Breusch, did a fantastic job of helping us create a very personal ceremony. We chose two readings that we really loved – one of them being “Sonnet 17″ by Pablo Neruda. It’s not your usual wedding reading – it’s beautiful, but a little dark. Pablo Neruda is a renowned Chilean poet, so it was paying respect to Adolfo’s Chilean heritage.” The couple also chose to write their own wedding vows, which they did together.

For Sara, an absolute highlight in all of the wedding planning and process was choosing the flowers that would adorn the day. “Our florist, Annie from Francis Floristry, was a magician!” the bride gushes. “I really wanted a messier, wild flower bouquet, with beautiful reds, pinks and maroons. I also wanted the rest of the florals to be full and lush, without being too matched; I wanted it all to look a little wild. Annie made us the most perfect archway to get married under, and our bridal table and backdrop were better than we could have ever imagined. It was magical!”

The couple chose to have their ceremony and reception at Gunners Barracks in Sydney. They adored the the sandstone building and courtyard, as well as the chandeliers inside the building and the ornate mirrors. “It was the first venue we visited, and we fell in love with it the moment we saw it,” Sara tells. “The water views are beautiful, and the property is gorgeous just as it is, which meant that we didn’t have to add much to it. Another reason why we chose our venue was because we liked the idea of our guests not having to travel between the ceremony and reception. It was just one continuous celebration.”

“We danced our first dance in the sandstone courtyard, underneath a canopy of fairy lights, to “Baby, I’m Yours” by the Arctic Monkeys,” remembers the bride. “It was truly the best day of our lives, and having a fantastic photographer and our videographer, Untitled Images, meant that the day was captured perfectly, and we can continue to relive it.”

Congratulations Sara and Adolfo! Thank you to the gorgeous couple, and to Alex Carlyle, for sharing their stunning day with us!

Photographer: Alex Carlyle / Videographer: Untitled Images / Bride's Dress: Theia Couture / Bridal Salon: The Bridal Atelier / Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bride's Jewellery: Samantha Wills / Groom's Attire: Mister Mister / Groom's Shoes: Amo Store / Groomsmen Attire: MJ Bale / Bridesmaid Dresses: Bridesmaids Only / Hairstylist: Grace Roby Hair / Makeup Artist: Eloise Proust / Flowers: Francis Floristry / Invitations and Welcome Sign: Groom / Place Cards and Table Numbers: Little Confetti Love / Seating Chart: Couture Press / Guest Book: Paper Bound Love / Venue and Catering: Gunners Barracks / Ceremony Officiant: Kathryn Breusch / Ceremony Musicians: Tillee Music / Reception Music: Richard Lucano - Friend / Favors: Green Heart Boulevard / Wedding Cake: Harry Black - Friend / Photo Booth: Amusing Photo Booths / Rings: Grew & Co / Transport: Sydney Vehicle Services