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Carly and Gary

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


Carly & Gary

Today’s Cronulla wedding is so full of style- from the bride Carly’s gorgeous gown, to the pink champagne served after the ceremony. It’s quintessentially Sydney and Carly’s laughing face? Why, that’s the icing on the (wedding) cake. I can’t get enough of couples who look so happy on their wedding day they just might burst.

Carly says “I know it’s cliché but we were inseparable from the day we met. Things moved pretty fast for us, spending every day together, living together from 5 months, engaged at 13 months and husband and wife 6 months after that. There was never a doubt so why wait ?”

Photos are by Matt Reed of Matt Reed Photography who has captured this day with such a candid, relaxed nature. The no posing really suited Carly & Gary and the atmosphere they created on their wedding day- it captures just how they wanted their wedding to be!

Carly wore a white gown from Nicola Finetti. She recalls “I came across my gown online and hunted it down throughout Melbourne and Sydney. Originally I tried it on in Black and fell in love. I ended up in the Nicola Finetti Sydney warehouse where I tried it on amongst boxes and samples. I knew it was “The Dress” instantly.

I was lucky enough to have my close girlfriend, Amy Hawkins (0404183694) do my hair and makeup on the day. She also styled the bridesmaids and was an important part in creating the exact look we were hoping for on the day.” Carly accessoried her gown with earrings from Mimco, bracelets by Swarovski and Oroton with Siren shoes.

Carly and Gary were married at Shelley Beach Rock Pools, Cronulla .Carly says “A close friend was honoured to sing an acoustic version of “You’ve got the Love” by Florence and the machine as I walked down the aisle. The opening line is what made me choose this song “Sometimes I feel like throwing my hands up in the air, I know I can count on you”. I have an image of Gary’s face etched into my mind that I will never forget as the song started and I began my stride on my dad’s arm. For many it was an unexpected choice, but for us it  was perfect.”

One of Carly’s favourite memories is the heavy involvement of her family in the day. “Both of our siblings were a part of the bridal party and said readings for us throughout the ceremony. My husband sister in law was our MC and my father’s best mate and uncle were our drivers allowing our family to be a big part of our day.

The weather was absolutely perfect blue sky, beautiful sun shinning, yellow spring flowers had popped up through the grass and then  we even had sail boats in the distant make the day picturesque. Because we chose to have a small, intimate wedding, we sent personalised invited our extended family and friends to be a part of our ceremony in the park with us.  I am a preschool teacher and so amongst our guests were my kindergarten children and their families. They defiantly enjoyed the park atmosphere and watching their teacher get married!”

Post ceremony guests enjoyed a feast with the backdrop of Shelley Beach behind them- cheese, dips, champagne, french fries in Chinese takeaway boxes were all served to kick off the celebration of Carly and Gary’s wedding.

After the ceremony, Carly and Gary headed off for photos with their bridal party. Carly’s bridesmaids wore black gowns from Review which were altered to match Carly’s gown. Carly says “My bridesmaids had handmade hairpieces from my sisters company ‘Eliza Do Little’ which she made from the left over dress material. I loved that they were so unique to us.

Having my sister an ex wedding planner certainly helped us to DIY most things and also using family and friend connections for different things. My amazing sister in-law designed our invites, ceremony name tags, place cards, menu’s, guest list and thank you cards. These were all printed from home. I even used my grandfathers old typewriter to address every single envelope!”

The black and white bouquets were styled by Harperwood Floral Design. “Recommended by the reception venue, Harperwood were amazing to work with. They saw the vision we had and I could not have been happier on the day.”

The reception was held at The Nun’s Pool Restaurant in Cronulla. Carly recalls “We were blessed with a gorgeous sunny day for our outdoors ceremony by the rock pools at Shelley Beach, Cronulla. Following the ceremony we celebrated in the park with champagne and finger food with all our friends and extended family before heading off for photos in various spots around the Port Hacking coast line.

Our reception was intimate with 70 of our closest friend and family held at, The Nun’s Pool restaurant, just across the road from the park also at Shelley beach.

We chose this location as this is where we started our life together, we live in an apartment which looks over our ceremony spot and we frequent The Nun’s Pool for breakfast or coffee every weekend. It made sense for us to start our lives as husband and wife right there.”

The stationery was all kept in the family. Carly says “My talented sister in-law, Emma, designed our invites, ceremony name tags, place cards, menu’s, guest list and thank you cards. These were all printed from home and we used an old love heart stamp with read ink to personalise each one.  Emma created our own wedding stationary using our names to make the design that was simple and unique.

We purchased our own glass vases used to decorate the tables in Nuns Pool and we gave these to my guests to take home and keep. My sister and I purchased handmade white lace handkerchiefs from Venice with our initials embroidered on them, we said that we would have them for when we got married, they were kept in reach due to the many tears shared on that day.”

Carly and Gary kept the music low key “We hired a local musician CJ Wilson, a local singer/songwriter who sang an assortment of songs to suit our guests and had our own Ipod for the later part of the reception will a tailored ‘Wedding‘ playlist.

We didn’t want to dance to a traditional romantic song and Gary was very nervous about his moves on the dancefloor. We chose Sweet Disposition by The Temper Trap because it was a song that we loved and had that special feeling about it making it an unforgettable song.”

In lieu of a traditional wedding cake, Carly and Gary had a handmade White Chocolate Smash Cake from Nina’s Chocolates. The cake was white chocolate casing with the centre filled with hundreds of petit fours and miniature chocolate hearts. It was decorated with white roses and white organza bow.

Carly says “Due to my allergies we couldn’t have a traditional cake,  we went to our family friends who own Ninas Chocolates who suggested a Smash cake (see above).  My Father (who is a builder) provided the hammer to us to ‘smash’ the cake made out of chocolates and then the guests were able to help themselves and we provide little bags to take some home.”

Congratulations Carly & Gary! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us on Polka Dot Bride! Thank you also to Matt Reed Photography for sharing today’s photographs!

Photos by Matt Reed Photography

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Friday Roundup

by | Blog News, Bride


It’s time for the final roundup of 2010! So many exciting things to finish off the year with, though I can barely believe we’re here!

Firstly some posts around the specialty blogs

Wanting a gorgeous Australian produced shirt? Check out Polka Dot Groom for my latest find

Real bride Aimee decides on her reception location on Polka Dot Weddings

Whitney gives time saving wedding planning tips on Polka Dot Wisdom.

We’re winding down the new posts until 2011, but we’re still taking contributors! So if you’d like to sign up and contribute to one of our specialty blogs, just register for a personalised collection and fill out the contributor application!

The anniversary issue of Eco Beautiful Weddings has launched! Along with some amazing giveaways for our US brides! Not only can you win a chevy for a week (cruising honeymoon anyone?) you can also win an eco friendly cotton wedding gown from The Cotton Bride!

Online mega store Pink Frosting is having a sale to end off 2010! They’ve discounted over 160 products by 60% of more including wedding favors and bomboniere, wedding decorations, party supplies, Christmas decorations and more. I always love to look over the party goods at Pink Frosting so it’s worth a look for a last minute treat!

Sydney wedding coordinators Paper, Lace & Confetti launched their brand new website this week. To celebrate, they’re holding a launch party like no other! The launch is on February 3rd 2011 and will feature live entertainment and a showcase of some of Sydney’s favourite wedding vendors! There’ll be champagne and canapes as well as plenty of giveaways (including an event planning package from the girls) Register here for your ticket.

Sydney bridal designer Clarissa Grace are sadly shutting their doors. From January 8th they’re having a sample sale and all stock is heavily reduced until sold! Call 02 9531 2407 to make an appointment.

Have you entered our Belcanto Designs giveaway yet? As a treat, Belcanto Designs is offering Polka Dot Bride readers 20% off their best selling rhinestone and pearl chandelier earrings.

Have you voted for your favourite entry in our Henry Roth “Win Your Dream Wedding Gown” competition yet? Voting closes next week!

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service is holding their Christmas appeal – we all know how vital this service is to our health and by supporting it you’re helping to save so many lives. It’s worth considering pre (and post really!) Christmas. They’ve even come up with a printable “Perfect Gift” box you can give to family and friends to encourage them to donate blood over Christmas. Visit the ARCBS website to learn more.

I have ten double passes to the new movie ‘Heartbreaker’ for Polka Dot Bride readers to GIVE AWAY! To win a double pass for some time out with your girl friends or loved ones over Christmas just leave a comment on the entry telling me your favourite way to mend a broken heart. Entrants must live in Australia and be aged 18 or older and competition closes December 23rd 5pm 2010.

I love this Save The Date video sent over by Adam- he’s a producer and she’s an actress in Hollywood- I love that the video reflects their personalities while also being a lot of fun!

Emma and Nick’s Bohemian Wedding

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


Emma and Nick

I can never get over  how incredibly lucky we are to be able to showcase such an amazing array of weddings- each is beautiful, each is personal and each is so very very different. A beautiful clear day in Grafton dawned for Emma & Nick’s ceremony which had a Bohemian feel.

Emma describes how they met. “Nick and I met at a religious convention. We were both very shy but we knew we had something special from the beginning.”

Today’s photographs are by Mike & Amy Photographers – a husband and wife team based out of Coffs Harbour, Mike & Amy capture such a relaxed joy with their photographs.

Emma wore a gown from Bride To Bride in Coffs Harbour and hairpiece from Melanie Jane Bridal. Park Avenue Florist arranged Emma’s bouquet.

Emma and Nick were married in Grafton at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses on a beautiful winter’s day. “The weather was amazing,” says Emma.

After their ceremony, Emma and Nick celebrated with guests at the Grafton Art Gallery. Emma says “The reception venue was gorgeous. The art gallery is very classy and intimate. It really suited the type of wedding we had.”

Thank you Emma and Nick for allowing us to share your wedding day on Polka Dot Bride! Thank you also to Mike & Amy Photographers for sharing today’s images!

Photos by Mike & Amy Photographers

Where Do I Get It?

by | Bride, Events and Resources, Favors and Decor


I get lots of “where do I get” emails and questions and I thought a little roundup post would be the perfect post for today. There are so many amazing supply stores popping up online that it’s really easy to find beautiful products that you might want to use for your wedding day. I need your help though – let me know of online stores that I have missed!

All of these places are Australian based or ship to Australia.

Where Do I Get Stylish Cake Stands?

Donna Hay

Sweet & Saucy Supply Store

Sharnel Dollar Designs


Where Do I Get Glass Drink Dispensers?

Sharnel Dollar Designs

Where Do I Get Paper Straws?

Ada & Darcy

Also at

Prior Engagement

Brown Button Trading

Details, Details

Where Do I Get Candy & Lolly Buffet jars?

Brown Button Trading

Sharnel Dollar Designs

Where Do I Get Pretty Cupcake Holders?

The Cupcake Wrapper Co

Emerald and Ella

Where Do I Get Bakers Twine?

The Twinery

Emerald and Ella

Where Do I Get Wooden Cutlery?

Donna Hay

Emerald and Ella

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