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Heidi and Will’s Whimsical Balloon Wedding

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


Heidi and Will

Today’s whimsical wedding took my fancy from the word go. There’s something very special about it- the intimacy , the handmade touches, they’re all pretty but the raw love between Heidi and Will? That’s what I love the most.

Heidi recalls how she met Will. “We met at a party, almost ten years ago. We were busy catching up with friends at the party and didn’t say much more than ‘hello’ to each other. Afterwards, a friend put us in touch via email. Will was organising a ski trip in Perisher and Heidi wanted to go along. We got to know each other in the lead up to the ski trip. Then, on the trip, we realised that we really, really liked each other! As they say, the rest is history…”

Photographs today are by Tim Coulson. I love the gentleness of Tim’s captures. It’s like he was there, but not intruding, not in the way, just capturing moment to moment.

Will wore a suit from Calvin Klein and shoes from Florsheim. Family contribution was a big part of what made the wedding day special for the couple. Heidi notes, “Many of our family members and friends contributed to the wedding in some way and this made it very special for us. We were blown away by the amount of happiness and love that came our way from the moment we announced our engagement and it still hasn’t stopped. We are forever grateful to our family and friends who helped us to put all of the details in place and to ensure the day ran smoothly.”

The ceremony space was decorated with bunting (made by Heidi) from Good Will Bunting, fairy lights and giant balloons from Geronimo Balloon Troopers . Heidi says “Jihan Zencirli, the creator of Geronimo Balloon Troopers (Los Angeles) designed our amazing giant balloons suite that we dotted around the grounds and courtyard of Briar Ridge. This was the Australian debut of Geronimo balloons and they were simply magical.” Heidi was able to get ready at the venue and after a few last minute touches spent a few minutes in the garden on her own amongst the balloons.

For their wedding, Heidi and Will chose Briar Ridge Vineyard in the Hunter Valley. Heidi explains, ” To us, it was very important to be married in the Hunter Valley. Both of us were born and raised in the Hunter and still feel very connected to it. After several years spent living in Europe, we returned here to live only last year. We’re so happy to be home amongst the nature, fresh air and wide-open spaces! Briar Ridge is a place that we have visited together as a couple many times over the year.”

Heidi wore a gown by Kelsey Genna, a variation on the “Begonia” gown in a pale blush pink. It featured  a hand-cut petal skirt in Babe Pink Silk Crepe de Chine. Heidi paired it with pale pink shoes from Mimco. Heidi had her hair styled by Monique at Platinum and did her own makeup (and her mothers!).

The aisle was covered with Turkish carpets loaned from Briar Ridge and they married on a Turkish carpet of Will’s. Heidi explains, “Will spent 1999 living in Turkey and returned there to visit with me in 2010, so it’s a special place for us. ”

Heidi and Will were married by Leanne Rose. Heidi notes “We wanted a handmade and meaningful wedding. We also wanted to keep things simple and focus on our marriage and love for each other and family and friends. We didn’t want to get carried away or fuss too much. We feel that we achieved this and would love to think that our family and friends feel the same way.”

Heidi purchased and styled the flowers herself. She recalls  “I prepared them with help from friends Mel and Barb. The inspiration was springtime in my mum’s beautiful garden and also my late nanna’s garden. I sourced the flowers from Joe Nati at Nati Bros Roses and his colleagues at the Sydney Flower Markets.”

Of their photographer, Heidi says, ” Tim was brilliant. He is a superb photographer and is lovely to be around. Tim knows all the right moments to shoot. His relaxed and friendly approach to photography combined with his technical talent and emotional intelligence, resulted in natural, loving photographs that are extremely meaningful to us. Tim was perfect for us and it is without hesitation that we recommend him to other couples. ”

Heidi created most of the stationery herself and had it printed by ONA Print. Four home brewed beers (made by Will and Heidi’s brother Darren) were presented to guests and labelled with designs from Girl In Gear Studio.

Guests gathered for the reception at the Vineyard’s restaurant Briar Grillade. Heidi remarks “When we visited again earlier this year we were pleasantly surprised to learn that they had opened Briar Grillade, which meant that they could then accommodate functions. With their beautiful leafy-green grounds, picturesque vines, and typically Hunter and quintessential Australian land, we knew it was going to be perfect for our wedding.

A special thanks to Food and Beverage Manager Ady, Head Chef Pete, Restaurant Manager Simone and team. Heidi’s nephews were the ring bearers for the couple and also the hosts for “Love Trivia” during the reception”.

Guests were gifted homemade preserves with personalised ribbon created by The Lonely Heart. Heidi recalls “I was raised in a small town in the Upper Hunter Valley on my parents’ small farm, which, for many years, has been a small market garden. We wanted to bring a piece of the farm to our wedding and to our guests. The preserves and plants that were offered to guests as favors were made on the farm by family.

We gave Cauliflower Pickles made by my brother Darren, Orange Marmalade made by Will and I and my parents, Robyn and Warren Adnum, using fresh navel oranges from their farm, Tomato Relish made by Robyn and Warren Adnum, plants (basil, spinach, tomato, sweet corn) raised from seed by Warren Adnum, fresh flower posies made by myself and her friends Mel and Barb.”

Even the music was heartfelt. Heidi recalls. “Many of our guests live abroad, and as such, sadly, many were unable to make it.  We welcomed guests to submit ‘Love Song Dedications’. These songs, in combination with our own song picks, made up the playlists for the evening. We thought it was a way to still include those special people who couldn’t make it. In the end we had more songs than time allowed but even if a song wasn’t played/heard on the evening, we now have a very special playlist to keep and enjoy over the years. Now, when we hear each song, we think of the person who sent it to us. ”

The wedding celebrations continued on to the next day, Heidi explains “We wanted to spend time with our family and friends after the wedding, so we postponed a honeymoon/holiday. We enjoyed a BBQ the day after the wedding. There, we got to spend more time with family and friends that had traveled from afar.”

Congratulations Heidi and Will! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you to Tim Coulson for sharing today’s photographs!

Photographer: Tim Coulson / Bride’s Dress: Kelsey Genna / Bride’s Shoes: Mimco / Bride’s Jewellery: Vintage / Groom’s Attire: Calvin Klein / Groom's Shoes: Florsheim / Hairstylist: Monique at Platinum / Makeup Artist: Heidi / Flower Wholesaler: Nati Bros Roses / Stationery Printer: Peta Smith at ONA Print / Ceremony Venue: Briar Ridge Vineyard / Reception Venue: Briar Grillade At Briar Ridge Vineyard / Ceremony Officiant: Leanne Rose / Balloons: Geronimo Balloon Troopers / Bunting: Good Will Bunting / Drink Labels: Girl In Gear Studio / Personalised Ribbon: The Lonely Heart / Transport: Sid Foggs Coaches / Gift Registry: Peter's of Kensington
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Carmen and Jonny’s Vintage Style Wedding Shoot

by | Bride, Inspiration Shoot, Wedding Inspiration,


Carmen and Jonny

To kick our Tuesday off I have a scrumptious vintage inspired post wedding shoot by Tigs Macallan for you! To celebrate their two year anniversary, the couple got together, Carmen in a tea length wedding dress, (and face of pure joy), Jonny in a three piece suit and the reflection of their personality and loves and created a beautiful set of photographs.

Carmen, our newlywed tells their story. “Jonny and I both come from Cape Town, South Africa. We have many mutual friends and met a year or so before I moved to Australia. Jonny moved to Australia with his family two years later and pretty much from then on we’ve not really left each other’s side. We dated for a few years and then decided we wanted to do life together so we went on to tie the knot.

We both are lovers of the good things in life like great music and food, poetry and the outdoors and of course our relationships with our friends and family. We really wanted our wedding day to be an extension of ourselves and a moment in time that we would share together in the presence of all that we love in our life- all in one place at the same time…and we achieved this. We are coming up two years of being married and we decided to do a post-wedding shoot with Tigs Macallan. We really admire her creativity and her use of light in her work…she really gets the quirky vintage flavor we were wanting to achieve in our wedding photos. Unfortunately wedding days seem to fly by and there is just not enough time to photographically capture all that we intended to. It was a wonderful experience to take a day without any pressure to watch the clock, and be completely indulgent of each other and relive to some degree what is a beautiful memory.”

“There is something quite breath taking about the contrast of delicate fabric and the ruggedness of the forest. The forest holds beautiful meaning for Jonny and I for many reasons and has always been on the list of photographic venues. We enjoy the playfulness that the forest adds and how we are almost ‘not-fitting’ as if superimposed in the

I guess these photos will forever remind us of this unique space that we are in in our lives. Jonny and I op-shopped our entire wedding – we love making things our own. Our wedding was a picnic under BIG Elm trees…the picnic props pay tribute to this memory.”

“Both our wedding outfits are from Circa Vintage Clothing in the wonderful Fitzroy. My dress is 1950s vintage which I altered by giving it an open back, cap-sleeves and the sweet-heart neckline. The original was wonderfully modest. In the post-wedding shoot we changed our outfits slightly to differentiate from the actual wedding day. Jonny chose a darker pin-striped waste-coat and added the tweed hat. I went for a more natural hair-do with an earthy bouquet and my red shoes were a gift from my mum a while back and have been a bit of a ‘Carmen signature’.”

“Brunswick Street in Fitzroy we have come to adore for many reasons too. It is wonderfully edgy, inspiringly creative and it is the place we have breakfast almost every weekend as we watch the interesting characters walk by and hope that one day we might get to live here. We have our few favourite pieces of street art scattered around the place that make interesting backdrops to our photos that hold special meaning for us”

Arpie and Maral Bridal Couture

by | Bridal Fashion, Bride


I get seriously excited when I get the chance to show off a new bridal designer, it’s like being a kid in a candy store! So many beautiful things to look at, so many designs to get inspired by! Melbourne based designers Arpie and Maral popped up on my radar last year and I was delighted to hear from them recently.

With a clean, structured designed sense, the girls take inspiration from the finest fabrics and embroidery techniques to create unique gowns tailored to each bride’s style and sensibilities. I love the solid beauty of the fabrics they’ve chosen in this collection, they look clean and sophisticated but still lend themselves to unexpected beading and detailing to take the gown from something plain to something really customised and beautiful.

Each gown is custom made for it’s wearer with a four step process- including five fittings to ensure your gown fits like a glove.

The Arpie & Maral girls don’t just make gowns either, with their techniques in french beading they’ve designed their own range of beautiful veils, hairbands, hair flowers and jewels. Made using Swarovski crystals, the hair accessories range is available to purchase through Arpie and Maral’s online store.

Photos by Arpie & Maral

Vendor of the Week – Fiorenza Bridal

by | Blog News, Bride


It’s another Monday morning and I am glad to be back! There is something a little gleeful about Mondays after a fantastic weekend isn’t there? It gives you just a bit of oomph for the week ahead!

We can’t, of course, start our Monday without a showcase of  Ms Polka Dot’s Directory

Every week we’re adding more new vendors to the pages of our directory- from wedding gown designers, to wedding florists, wedding celebrants and event stylists. Our pages are filled with so many fantastic, talented venues that make me feel so honoured to show up and write for you each day. So many talented people that can help make your wedding vision come to life!

One thing about weddings is the ability to wear the most amazing gown of your life. So the vendor of the week I introduce to you today just might help you out on that front! Fiorenza Bridal is a label started by Brisbane designer Pina Fiorenza. Pina has had over twenty years of designing beautiful gowns  and has created her own ready to wear label. With her gowns available in stores across Australia, Pina’s latest collection is filed with the silhouettes of the 1940’s and 1950’s. Each gown is named after a beautiful woman who influenced Pina’s life.

We asked Pina of Fiorenza Bridal five questions in five minutes.

What is your favourite after five drink?

Dry martini with an olive – ‘that’s amore’

Your favourite weekend getaway?

Fishing with my son in law. He is very confident in the water and I am not! Secure, tranquil bliss!

Favourite restaurant?

I have a favourite in every city; in Brisbane it is Ecco

What can we find you eating for breakfast on a Sunday morning?

When I get up on Sunday it’s almost noon – so it could be pizza…or scrambled pizza!

Your favourite wedding story?

A survivor of cancer designing and creating her wedding gown during chemotherapy; and then seeing her recently with 3 beautiful children.

Visit Fiorenza Bridal’s page to find out more about our Vendor Of The Week. Fiorenza Bridal is a member of Ms Polka Dot’s Directory

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