Romantic Outdoor Winery Ideas With Marsala

by | Bride, Inspiration Shoot, Styling, Wedding Inspiration


The magic of the outdoors is always a favourite setting for a wedding. This incredibly beautiful shoot of outdoor winery wedding ideas with marsala brings together lush green foliage (including the most stunning  sweeping willow tree) with glam bold tones of black and gold to create the most romantic setting for a celebration.

Photographer Amanda Afton Photography tells “This shoot is close to my heart because it’s the first collaborative shoot I’ve done where the whole look and feel of it originated with me. It’s quite a terrifying experience as someone who can’t really credit herself with any sort of talent in design or an eye for the big picture. But the theme of this shoot also came quite naturally after visiting the location. Brookside is designed to remind visitors of strolling through a European garden and I envisioned the wedding styling in a place like this to complement the lush vines and deep greens without being too overpowering.”

At the beautiful Brookside Vineyard, Amanda teamed up with stylist & floral designer Marielle Studio, with rentals from A La Table and Her Hand Picked Harvest and a glam wedding cake by Petit Poh.

Our models Chris and Pip were “married” by Belinda Clinton – Love Your Way. The bride dressed in Madeleine Ruth with hair and makeup by Hollie Shara MUA and The One Hair and Body and sparkled with jewels from Luca Jouel

Photographer: Amanda Afton Photography / Makeup Artist: Hollie Shara MUA / Hairstylist: The One Hair and Body / Venue: Brookside Vineyard / Ceremony Officiant: Belinda Clinton - Love Your Way / Bride's Jewellery: Luca Jouel / Rentals: A La Table / Wedding Cake: Petit Poh / Styling: Marielle Studio / Rental Furniture: Her Hand Picked Harvest / Bride's Dress: Madeleine Ruth
Visit Ms Polka Dot's Directory

Beautiful Bouquets with Australian Native Flowers

by | Bride, Flowers



Around the Polka Dot Bride offices we are in love with flowers – any colour and any type makes our hearts sing. Bouquets with Australian native flowers are a blooming beautiful way to add Australian style to your bouquet.

Flowers and leaves indigenous to Australia look beautiful in a bouquet using all Australian flowers or mixed in with other flowers – they add something a little different and unexpected. Click to view our roundup of beautiful bouquets with Australian native flowers.

Zoe & Toby’s Elegant Hopewood House Wedding

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


Zoe & Toby

If chic elegance was a wedding, then the celebration of Zoe and Toby would be it. This elegant Hopewood House wedding with its beautifully manicured gardens and stunning setting held the most beautifully sacred space for the stories that were to unfold. It was, as Zoe says “such a magical day, a big party for all!” Alma Photography was there to capture it all.

Of how their love story began, Zoe tells “We met when Toby was just 13 and I had only just turned 12. Toby’s friend asked for my number and shortly after (literally 1 min after) I had little curly haired Toby texting me. The pre-teen romance lasted only 6 months before we went our separate ways. I was in a long term relationship throughout high-school, and as awful as it sounds I would always find myself wondering about the curly-haired boy from the park. I later found out from Toby’s friends that he would always talk about me, and they would joke that I was the “one that got away”. Clearly, Toby had other plans, he really wasn’t letting me get away!

Once I broke it off with my long term boyfriend, Toby quickly came back into the picture and the rest is history! He swept me off my feet, loved me and my family hard from the get go, and after 5 years together we fell pregnant with our darling daughter, Heidi Rae, and soon after that we were engaged and then married not even a year later on the 19 November 2016. It was the most magical of days – second to only Heidi’s birthday!

I thank my lucky stars every day for having such an incredibly generous and giving life partner. What I did to deserve such a magical man, is beyond me. I fall more and more in love with him every day.”

Inbal Dror designed Zoe’s long sleeve gown, she tells “My dress was INCREDIBLE! It was an Inbal Dror, and I really did feel like a princess on the day. A real life princess! I went to the first dress fitting with my Mum, Dad, two sisters and my newborn baby girl. They all thought I picked another dress than the one I chose. My Dad and Mum cried with every dress I tried on so I knew any of the dresses I picked would be perfect. I chose the dress I did, as I just felt at ease, I felt entirely me in the dress. The experience was all it’s cracked up to be – highly emotional!!!”

“I wore my mother’s bracelet that my Dad gifted her on their wedding day. That was pretty special!”

Zoe and Toby chose Hopewood House for their celebration, noting “We chose Hopewood as it’s not an overly popular wedding destination. The venue only takes on a select few weddings each year to keep it quite sacred. We loved the historical feeling the estate gave, its powerful presence and simplistic elegance. I felt like I had stepped into a magical fairy world when we inspected the venue – I then knew it was where I wanted to be married.”

“My darling father walked me down the aisle and boy, was that special. I have always been a Daddy’s girl. We walked down to Canon by Pachelbel.”

Alexandra Lollback officiated the ceremony, Zoe tells “The ceremony wasn’t overly religious as neither Toby or I are. We kept it short and sweet, however, both wrote our own vows. Our celebrant was amazing, she had everyone laughing!”

“I put my trust in so many people around me. My amazing Mother planned most of the day, and we really did just trust the suppliers! I wanted the day to be as stress-free as possible – for everyone!! I really do believe that if you pick your vendors correctly then you don’t have to do too much work!”

“I loved that our sweet baby girl was able to be a part of the entire day. Although she was so very young, just having her there made the day that much more special.”

Emma Blake Floral created the beautiful white floral arrangements for the day, Zoe remarking “We went extremely simple – white orchids, white David Austin roses, and pale pink peonies. Emma Blake Floral is an INCREDIBLE florist and would you believe I put my entire trust in her hands and never ever actually met with her prior to the day. I had seen her work and knew she would bring to life the most magical florals and she did!”

Of their photographer, Zoe notes “Alma was so amazing. I run some of the biggest events in Australia and have worked with hundreds of photographers and Alma is by far the best. You didn’t even know he was there! He captured the day perfectly. You can look at the photos and get a feel for the overall day – that’s not an easy feat. Alma, you are beyond words!”

“There is one photo I love, and it’s Toby and I looking into each other’s eyes. We had no idea the photo was being taken – a very candid moment.”

Guests took home custom candles from Hunter Candles, the bride noting “Toby and I handpicked a scent, that we turned into a candle and gifted to every guest. Each candle had the guest’s name on it, along with a little message from Toby and I.”

“We had lost Toby’s father quite suddenly in 2015 so we were sure we paid tribute to his life. He loved a drink, so plenty of cheers were had!”

Of their first dance, Zoe remembers “Toby is the music master! He had always envisioned our first dance would be to Our Love by Gary Clark Jr, and it was!!”

Congratulations on your marriage Zoe and Toby! Thank you for telling us the stories of your day! Thank you to Alma Photography for sharing the photos of the day.

Photographer: Alma Photography / Cinematographer: Ripple Film / Bride's Dress: Inbal Dror / Bride's Jewellery: Armans / Groom's Attire: MJ Bale / Groomsmen Attire: MJ Bale / Bridesmaid Dresses: Bronx and Banco / Hairstylist: Fiona Diamond / Makeup Artist: Ash Quinn / Flowers: Emma Blake Floral / Ceremony Officiant: Alexandra Lollback / Venue: Hopewood House / Band: Lily Road / Favors: Hunter Candles / Catering: Simon Ekas Catering / Wedding Ring: Armans

Jenna & Lawrence’s Luxurious Industrial Jewish Wedding

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


Jenna & Lawrence

There is no doubt that this luxurious industrial Jewish wedding has got it all, from dancing to romance to florals hanging from the ceiling – and all with a stunning Sydney Harbour backdrop! Todd Hunter Mcgaw captured every beautiful moment.

Jenna tells of how true love can overcome the unlikeliest of beginnings! She remembers, ”Lawrence and I met on our gap year in Israel in 2007. During the first few weeks Lawrence and I were both allocated the job of looking after the chickens. This proved to be the least romantic setting to fall in love but somehow it happened! After spending an incredible year together in Israel we parted ways as I returned to Sydney and he returned to Auckland. After 4 years of long distance with countless trips to visit each other, Lawrence made the move over to Sydney.”

Getting ready on the day with her bridal party, Jenna shares of special traditions in the week leading up to the wedding that she took part in. She tells, ”We all got together to bake ‘Challah’ a special (and delicious) bread used on the Sabbath. This was a really beautiful evening to share with my closest friends and family where they all gave me blessings for my marriage and life ahead. On another night I went to the Mikvah with my sisters, mum, mother-in-law and sister-in-law. This is a ritual cleansing experience that a bride completes before her wedding. It was an extremely emotional and spiritual experience which I will never forget.” Choosing a stunning Karen Willis Holmes gown, the bride shares, ”I wanted a dress that reflected my personality, and something comfortable and practical. I absolutely loved my dress and wish I didn’t have to ever take it off!” The bridesmaids wore gowns from different stores, including ReformationShona Joy and Stone Cold Fox .

Choosing Doltone House at Jones Bay Wharf was easy for the bride and groom, with Jenna telling, ”We chose this venue as it is aesthetically so beautiful! We also wanted somewhere convenient for our guests so that they didn’t have to travel between locations, worry about getting home at the end of the night, or wait around between the ceremony and the reception. We also wanted the incredible energy from the ceremony to flow over directly into the reception!”

Remembering her favourite part of the day, Jenna recalls, ”I think it was the first moment that Lawrence and I saw each other. We had observed the Jewish custom of not seeing or speaking to one another for a whole week before the wedding. So the moment I saw him I was totally overwhelmed with emotion and have never felt so electrified.”

There is no doubt that Jenna and Lawrence were thrilled with their photographer Todd Hunter Mcgaw, sharing, ”I loved how authentically he captured what was happening and how much emotion was in all of his photographs. I also loved his creativity and quirkiness, and once we Skyped with him I knew it was a definite yes! He delivered everything and more on the day, he was so much fun and super relaxed. His photographs are something I will treasure forever!” The couple also chose Love Storm Films to capture their day.

The venue was draped with gorgeous blooms, and Jenna tells, ”My brief for the florals was to have a lot of lush greenery with pops of rich burgundy, red and some pink. I loved the smell of the greenery in the room and how romantic and modern the feel of the flowers were throughout!” The flowers for the bridesmaids, ceremony and reception were created by Neat Floral, with the bride’s close friend Ellen from Pearsons Florist creating her bouquet.

As favours for their guests, the bride and groom enlisted family help. with Jenna sharing, ”Lawrence’s aunty is an incredible ceramicist! She made 300 individual tea light holders which were absolutely beautiful. They were set up on the tables during the evening and guests were able to take them home at the end of the night.”

There were many beautiful touches on the day, with Jenna and Lawrence both involved in the planning. Jenna remembers, ”I planned with Isser that he would sing a traditional Jewish wedding song to the tune of Elton John’s ‘Your Song’ when I walked down the aisle.” Jenna also painted the invitation artwork herself, and Lawrence chose Jenna’s engagement ring setting, using his Mother’s engagement diamond.

Jenna and Lawrence loved the work of Stephanie at Styled by Sting, saying, ”She helped to plan the wedding every step of the way. She was extremely organised and took all the stress away as she was on top of everything. She helped me to source decor items based on my brief and she delivered above and beyond. When I saw the reception hall on the day of the wedding I was absolutely blown away. She achieved the brief even better than I could have imagined it!”

And for their first dance, Jenna recalls, ”Lawrence’s brother sang the song ‘Kiss Me’ by Ed Sheeran. He sang this song to Lawrence and I just after our engagement and so it was a really meaningful moment for our first dance.”

Thank you to our stunning bride and groom on sharing your wedding day, and congratulations! And an extra special thank you to Todd Hunter Mcgaw photography for your magnificent photos!

Photographer: Todd Hunter Mcgaw / Bride's Dress: Karen Willis Holmes / Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bride's Jewellery: Midas Jewellery / Bridesmaid Dresses: Reformation / Bridesmaid Dresses: Shona Joy / Bridesmaid Dresses: Stone Cold Fox / Groom's Attire: MJ Bale / Musicians: Furnace and the Fundamentals / Makeup Artist: Cassy Avraham / Hairstylist: Intershape / Flowers: Neat Floral / Flowers: Pearsons Florist / Ceremony Venue: Doltone House at Jones Bay Wharf / Ceremony Musicians: Isser / Wedding Planner: Styled by Sting / Reception Venue: Doltone House at Jones Bay Wharf / Catering: Amaze In Taste / Cinematographer: Love Storm Films / Rental Furniture: Décor of Distinction