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Eleven Fabulous Bridal Nailpolishes

by | Bride, Hair and Beauty


There are not many times in your life when your hands will be photographed more than your on your engagement. and your wedding day and it’s nice to have a manicure with a beautiful colour to enhance your nails on the day.

So I tried and tested eleven nail polishes from some of the top label’s bridal nail polish ranges.

ORLY “Kiss The Bride”

Opaque in colour, ORLY’s “Kiss The Bride” is a soft, creamy  pink (akin in some ways to liquid paper) that takes almost three coats to get looking perfect. It’s a high gloss colour that when paired with ORLY’s No Chip top coat lasted a few days and would look lovely in an English Country garden wedding paired with a bouquet of peonies and roses perhaps? The key to this polish is the application, as any imperfections show up quickly. I love the ORLY  bottles’ rubber caps too – it makes it so much easier when you’re trying to open the bottle with wet nails!


O.P.I “Hopelessly In Love”

O.P.I’s “Hopelessly In Love”s a a flesh tone pink, with peachy, coral undertones. Three coats gives an opaque coverage while two is a little more subtle. Careful application creates a nice neutral look, though it can be streaky if you rush. This colour would look perfectly at home at a beach wedding.

Sally Hansen “Shall We Dance”

Oh I love the sheer, nude pink of this colour  and it’s my top pick from Sally Hansen. The “Shall We Dance” colour from the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicare range is  gorgeous. It’s subtle enough to give a hint of colour while still being very neutral. One coat of this just gives your nails a gorgeous shine, enhancing your natural nail colour while a few coats adds a lovely soft barely there pink. Building up the layers gives a glossy pale pink. (Plus I am in love with the Sally Hansen wide brush applicator). Go slow and thin with the application though to avoid streaks. This is the varnish for someone who just wants a hint of shine and colour for their wedding day.

O.P.I “Princesses Rule”

“Princesses Rule” is one of O.P.I’s most popular bridal shades. This polish gives the trifecta – sparkle, shimmer and pearl with a candy sweet pink to match. For one or two coats it’s pure shimmer and as you build up the colour a pearly sweet pink shows up. Originally I thought the colour was a little too sparkly for me, but I grew to like it more and more as a sheer but fun option. Perfectly suited for a bride that is perhaps going for a dramatic look and wants something fun, or a casual wedding with plenty of sweet elements.

Sally Hansen Diamond Strength “Blushing Bride”

With a sheer coat, the corally pink sheerness of Sally Hansen’s “Blushing Bride” from the Diamond Strength range is a lovely neutral with a hit of colour. Building up to three coats, the sparkly coral pink becomes a bold metallic (packed with teeny tiny glitter) pink toned copper which would look right at home on a tropical island or for a bride in an over the top dramatic gown. If you’re a fan of metallic, this colour will be right up your alley.

ORLY “Lift The Veil”

ORLY’s “Lift The Veil” is a milky blue-toned pink. I actually love the softness of this pink – which is less candy pink than the bottle makes it out to be. It needs 3-4 coats to get the colour looking smooth and streak free. Definitely a lovely choice if you’re wanting a classic creamy pink on your nails for your wedding day. (I love how fast ORLY polishes dry too, it’s nice not worrying about knocks and dents!)


O.P.I “Otherwise Engaged”

O.P.I’s “Otherwise Engaged” is a sheer pearl pink with an unexpected lilac tint to it. I love the glossiness of this and even with three coats it’s still lovely and sheer. This is my pick from O.P.I as I love polishes with a hint of colour that I can build up or leave simply glossy depending on my mood. I love the unexpected lilac tone too – just for something a little different.

Sally Hansen “Honeymoon Red”

One of the weddings I remember the most was a bride who wore red lips and red nails for her wedding day – I loved the vintage vibe it gave her! Sally Hansen’s Diamond Strength “Honeymoon Red” is just the right shade of red – a classic if you will – not too dark, or orange but a clean, clear red that is  gorgeous for the bride who wants bold colour on her wedding day. Red always makes diamond rings look beautifully white too!


O.P.I “Altar Ego”

O.P.I tells me “Altar Ego” is Kate Middleton’s favourite nail colour. The soft iridescent pink has a blue pearl to it. Altar Ego is almost clear, but has a unique lilac sheen as you build the colour up. There’s a very fine sparkle which just adds to the lovely glossy finish of this polish. Lovely for winter weddings or if you’re heading towards cooler colour tones.

Sally Hansen Diamond Strength “Fairytale Ivory”

In the bottle, this polish looks like a champagne glitter and for girls that want a neutral sparkle on their wedding day this one is gorgeous – it shines white, shimmery glitter with the smallest amount of flesh tone to enhance your nail colour. I loved the subtlety of this colour (it’s my second pick from Sally Hansen). It gave just enough sparkle to feel like I’d gone to an effort with my nails but the sheer white of the colour looked understated. Plus it makes diamonds look incredibly sparkly!

ORLY “Toast The Couple”

A soft neutral metallic, ORLY’s “Toast the Couple” can be worn sheer or opaque. This one was my top pick from the polishes I tried from ORLY as I loved the sheer skin tone of the one to two layers – a hint of sheen without being too bold. Building up it becomes more of a neutral metallic frosty colour which is still subtle while giving a lovely colour. If you want a nude, pink shimmer on your wedding day – this is your one.

What nail polish is your favourite? What shade will you be wearing on your wedding day?

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Fiona and Stew’s Fitzroy Island Wedding

by | Australia - Queensland, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Fiona and Stew

This marks a little announcement – we’re now going to be showcasing these amazing destination weddings on our specialty title Polka Dot Honeymoons. With much discussion with the lovely Ms Gingham, we figured our honeymoons blog is the perfect place – you go there to dream of your time away after the wedding and I must admit, probably during the wedding preparations, you dream of eloping to a tropical island! For a little bit of sunshine today, the wedding of Fiona and Stew who married on a little piece of paradise called Fitzroy Island.

Fiona and Stew met through a mutual friend –  “we clicked” Fiona recalls.

Today’s photographs are by Steven Elmer. Not only does Steven take spectacular photographs which envelope the atmosphere of the day but he’s the kind of guy you know would make a fantastic friend, which is something that is pretty important for a wedding photographer!

The newlyweds-to-be had an impromptu engagement shoot on the island the day before the wedding.

Fiona wore a strapless gown called ‘Chanel” by Ronald Joyce.

The bridesmaids wore coloured gowns from Works of Heart by Eleanor Jane while the groom and groomsmen wore shirts and pants from Ed HarryI Do Flowers Cairns styled the floral arrangements.

Fiona walked down the aisle to an acoustic version of Powderfinger’s ‘Burn Your Name.’

Fiona recalls “We got married on the coral beach in front of a lovely little beach shack with the Great Barrier Reef surrounding us then headed over to Foxy’s Bar to eat drink and dance the night away.”

Fiona says “All we wanted was to have a fun, relaxed and colourful wedding surrounded by people we love and we got exactly that, Steve captured all this in his beautiful photos.”

After their photographs, the newlyweds celebrated with their guests at Foxy’s Bar.

The colourful wedding cake was made by Lorraine Murray of Passion for Cakes. Music for the day was provided by Vikarious and Foxy’s Bar DJ.

Fiona says “Our first dance was to The Waifs ‘Beautiful Night’, very fun! Later, my new husband and I snuck off  down to the beach with a cocktail to watch the sunset and surprisingly all our guests followed us and we all sat there and watched the sunset together, it was really beautiful.”

Congratulations Fiona and Stew! Thank you for sharing your wedding day on Polka Dot Bride! Thank you also to by Steven Elmer for sharing today’s photographs!

Photos by Steven Elmer

Katrina and Ant’s Relaxed New Zealand Wedding

by | Bride, Inspired Weddings, New Zealand,


Katrina and Ant

Oh New Zealand, you never fail to make me fall a little bit more in love with you with every wedding I see! Today’s is beautifully relaxed – something New Zealander’s know how to do so gorgeously. Take a trip with me through the story of Katrina and Ant.

Katrina tells their story. “We are both accountants.  We met at work and a year later at a work function, Ant opened his mouth and I realised he could talk. The rest is history…(it’s brief, most people usually switch off at the mention of ‘accountants’, so I’ve learnt to move on quickly).

Ant proposed to me in Kensington, London.  After a delicious surprise picnic from my absolute favourite food spot, the Wholefoods Market, he whisked me to a nearby hotel and got down on one knee – with a ring box.  My heart did stop for second and my immediate thoughts were quickly flicking through when he could have possibly asked Cush (my best friend) what my exact preferences were (whilst maintaining my smile of joy – v naughty!) – hopefully I didn’t look too relieved when inside was Burger Ring and a wee note saying “As if I’d choose it without you!” I was actually pretty excited about the Burger Ring, in fact, sad to say that it might’ve hit the same excitement level had it been the ring I had wanted.

Then, he cracked open some homemade (!!) coconut ice (which I’d been having massive cravings for all year), champers, choc dipped strawbs (I can’t dispute he def knows the way to my heart!), and our fave choccies – which he’d already opened cos he’d bought them a week ago and couldn’t hold out!!  Cute (though he has been told he will need to make up for those missing ones).

I was then treated to a gourmet dinner at the hotel, topped off with a few treatments at the spa.  On top of that, when we came out of the spa, the beautiful day had turned into a massive thunder and fork lightening storm which we watched out of the gargantuan windows, very cool!”

Photography today is by WE DO Photography. I love the way they capture images – they call it “capturing images with a little bit of rock and roll” and it’s true, there’s a bit of grit to them, a bit of “I’d love to get on the dance floor with them!” a bit of “or perhaps have a martini with them too” (except they seem so cool I bet they’d drink something much cooler than a martini!)

Katrina wore jewels as her something borrowed. She says “I wore pearl earrings borrowed from my new mother in law and pearl drop necklace borrowed from my new sis in law (Bride).  The bridesmaids wore necklaces created by bridesmaid Cushla from some earrings, and pearl earrings which were given to them as a gift from me”.

The rose bouquets were styled by Katrina’s bridesmaid’s mother. They were, Katrina recalls “A mixture of Sweet Avalanche and Bianca roses, lisianthus, carnations and chrysanthemums. Karen used to be a florist, and she put together our beautiful bouquets.”

Katrina wore “A gorgeous lace Watters dress.  Spied on a trip to Melbourne – it was pretty much the only dress I liked, so was really lucky it suited me!  Strapless isn’t my thing – so that narrowed the choice down by about 95%.  It wasn’t available anywhere in NZ, so unfortunately I had the chore of taking another trip over the ditch to pick it up! The alterations were done by my new sister in law’s generous mum Barb.  She painstakingly unstitched and restitched the lace by hand!  I also wore a fascinator made by Ardern Farm.  I have always loved them and wanted to wear one – and it went perfect with the theme.”

The groom and groomsmen wore suits from Frank Casey.


Katrina and Ant saw each other before the ceremony, Katriona remembers “We didn’t want to miss out on any of the fun mingling with everyone after the ceremony, so had our photos done beforehand.  Because it wasn’t going to be our first time seeing each other when I walked down the aisle, we had a special ‘first glance’ ceremony at the photo shoot.  Ant was waiting with his back turned at the bottom of the garden steps at Erskine, and I pulled up at the top of the steps, wandered down, and tapped him on the shoulder.  It was pretty emotional when he turned around.  I had just been telling the girls in the car that I would have to tell Ant to stop crying like a baby since I never cry – and I was the one who welled up first.

The couple chose Erskine College for their ceremony and reception. Katrina says “It is a historic building that was once a Catholic girls’ school from the late 1800s. The exterior could be described as a derelict ruin (which however, I loved about it) but the interior has a grand hall furnished with ornate chandeliers, polished matai (native NZ wood) floors, and high stud ceilings.  We had the ceremony in the outdoor garden courtyard, and the reception in the grand hall.”

The bridesmaids’s gowns were “Bridesmaid Cushla’s design – she spent days in London scouring the high street shops for dresses and finally found these ones to match the vintage theme.  She then completed the look using lace found in her mum’s sewing room to make belts.

My bridesmaids were my best friend Cushla (who I’ve known for 21 years) and my good friend and old flatmate Anita.  Groomsmen were Liam (who Ant has known since he visited him at age 1 month in hospital when Liam was born) and Adrian, an old school friend.”

Katrina walked down the aisle to “November Rain (instrumental version).  We are big Guns ‘n Roses fans (we’ve even fancy dressed as them before).”

For their reception at Erskine College, Katrina says “We used the garden courtyard area for our ceremony – which was beaming with sun and a romantic atmosphere complete with chirping cicadas and a man in one of the surrounding houses above who decided it was a good time to beat the dust out of his rug.  When reading our vows we both immediately got the waterworks again (I absolutely had no idea I was such a softie!) and Ant set the crowd giggling (I also heard a snort) when he offered up his hankie which I promptly refused (he is well known as an obsessive hankie user)”

It was the perfect day weather wise. “We had perfect weather – sunshine, heat and no wind – Wellington barely ever has days like this (even in summer) – but after some crazy unseasonal low fog covering the city all morning, she pulled out a winner.  As the saying goes – you can’t beat Wellington on a good day!”

Their guests’ enjoyment was paramount for Katrina and Ant. “We wanted to create an informal, ‘party’ style atmosphere so we tried to create a recipe for success.  Main ingredients – a brilliant sunny day, a large selection of canapes instead of a sit down dinner, an over stocked bar, an amazingly talented piano man, dim lighting and a huge dance floor.  They mixed perfectly!”

Katrina decorated the reception herself. She explains “The venue was a stand alone hire, so I was in charge of all the decorations.  I spent months trawling the 2nd hand shops, the back cupboards of many relative’s houses, and Trash Palace (a shop next to the dump which rescues junk from ultimate death) for vintage style glass bottles and jars.  I ended up with over 200 in the end – filled them with clusters of flower stems and candles, tied them with a pretty ribbon, and scattered them in random clusters around the various tables in the grand hall.  There were also several wee rustic ‘bird cage’ candle holders around the room.  It was so pretty!”

The reception was filled with sweet treats explains Katrina. “I also had a dessert bar, which had a selection of large glass jars filled with different lollies, fortune cookies and chocolates; several vintage tiered cake stands laden with homemade rocky road, Russian fudge and meringues; and a giant cake stand in the middle – absolutely packed with 150 different flavoured cupcakes.  On the side there were wee noodle takeaway boxes, and a sprinkling of the flower and candle jars.  By the end of the night the whole table had been demolished!” The cupcake wedding cake was made by Cheeky Mouthful Cupcakes.

The speeches were a highlight for the newlyweds. Katrina explains “The best man brought the house down during his speech when he pulled out a life sized cardboard cut-out of a character from Ant’s secret shame TV programs – Beverly Hills 90210.  Steve Sanders (Ian Ziering) stole the show…and the dance floor, and probably got snapped more times than us. ”


The first dance? “It was to Dakota by the Stereophonics – obviously a big fave of ours.”

Piano man Shaun Preston kept guests entertained all night long.

Congratulations Katrina & Ant! Thank you for sharing your wedding day on Polka Dot Bride! Thank you also to  WE DO Photography for today’s images!

Photos by WE DO Photography.

Kim and Christopher’s Multicultural Sydney Wedding

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


Kim and Christopher

I’m quite taken with the splendid wedding I have to share with you today – regular readers know I am never worried about rain on a wedding day. I think it makes for the most wonderful atmosphere. We haven’t had many wedding days where the rain becomes such an integral part of the story though, so today you’ll have to read how Kim & Christopher turned their rainy day wedding into something even more beautiful. If that doesn’t stop you in your tracks, perhaps Kim’s gorgeous style will, or the way they incorporate their own cultural heritage into their wedding day!

Kim recalls how she met her husband, Chris. “The first time we met was through a work friend when I was actually leaving the company. I remember a classic moment on my  last day, when Chris got out of the building lift and said ‘Well, see you…never.’ Cue lift doors closing. The funny thing is that he has no recollection of this!

A couple of years later we ended up working together and were friends for a while before we got together. So depending on who you ask, we’ve known each other for either 6 or 8 years!”

Photography today is by Matt Reed. I love Matt’s candid work and the way he tells the story so wonderfully through his lens – the mood and energy and the moments of today’s wedding were so important and Matt captured them all!

Kim and Christopher held their ceremony and reception at Flying Fish. Kim says “Holly and the whole team at Flying Fish were absolutely wonderful up to and on the day.  They were an absolute joy to deal with, and flexible to accommodate our needs. The overwhelming feedback we got from the guests was the high quality level of service, friendliness of the staff, and impeccable food and wine. There were several instances where they went over and above to make our day special and we are just so appreciative.”

Check out that storm cloud…

Kim wore a strapless ballgown from White One. Simone Cozens did the girls hair and makeup, Kim says “She was a joy to have around on the morning of the wedding and as you can see from the photos, she did a fantastic job!” The bouquets and buttonholes were styled by Vicki and Kikki at The Flower Store. “Lovely to deal with and delivered wonderful flowers.”

The ceremony was planned to be held outside but Mother Nature had other ideas. Kim says “The heavens opened up as the kids were walking down the aisle, just before the bridesmaids were set to go. The girls and I just looked at each other and burst out laughing. We ended up running for cover and sheltering under the wharf building while the guys moved the wedding party under cover. The girls and my Dad ended up getting into the restaurant via the kitchen so they got to inspect the produce on the way in! 😉 It just goes to show, some of the most unexpected thing can make for a fun twist of events.”

Music was carefully chosen, Kim walked down the aisle to ‘Hoppipolla’ by Sigur Ros, the register was signed to a John Lennon cover of ‘Real Love’ by Regina Spektor and ‘I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever)’ by Stevie Wonder. When the couple was presented as husband and wife, ‘Touch the Sky’ (instrumental) – Kanye West and Lupe Fiasco was played.

The ring cushion embroidery was done by Kim based on an old French embroidery book she had. Kim’s mum in law sewed the cushion together with cording and ribbon.

Kim loved working with celebrant Robyn Pattison “I loved our fantastic celebrant who put the personality and organisation into our ceremony, especially in adverse circumstances! For all the wedding planning we stewed on, we never worried about the ceremony as Robyn put us at ease that whatever happened, it would be a success. And she more than delivered.” One final accessory completed Kim’s look. She explains “We spied a stunning Chanel brooch on a trip to Melbourne last year. I customised the brooch as a hair comb to wear on the day.”

Kim’s walk down the aisle was one of her favourite memories. “After such a chilled morning, the nerves just hit me for six walking down the aisle. As soon as I saw Chris, I burst into tears. Hearing the words of our vows that we’d carefully thought about and written in months before, reaffirmed in person, was a favourite memory. That and seeing Chris’ best mate, his brother and my brother grinning at me over Chris’ shoulder the whole time was wonderful.”

Kim made and styled many of the elements of the day. She remarks “I had the best time doing DIY. When else do you get to plan such a big party and go nuts with the styling? We planned the wedding over the course of a year and for the first 6 months I let my imagination go, scouring the web, looking at pretty pictures, gathering lots of ideas and playing around with them. At about the 6 month mark, I drastically culled and refined these ideas to a few key ones that were achievable and within a reasonable budget.

The flowers for (the little) girls were a Martha Stewart tutorial I saw on her show once. They are made from crepe paper, floral tape and wire, and doubled in size for a fun effect.”

Chris’s favourite memory also included the aisle. He recalls “I figured I was doing fine, I was saying my vows loudly – just like Robyn, our celebrant, had told me to do. It was only when we exchanged rings that it was pointed out to me (again by Robyn) that my hands were shaking. Favourite memory was seeing Kim walking up the aisle, and having her blubbering through most of the vows. It was also great to have my nieces and nephews as the flower girls and page boys. Funniest memory was seeing my eight year old nephew lounging about on a couch during the ceremony, like he was watching the Sunday football.”

Kim’s bridesmaids wore their own gowns and accessorised with earrings from Samantha Wills. The groom and groomsmen wore suits from Roger David with bow ties from Beau Ties Ltd.

Kim wore earrings from Samantha Wills with a purple crystal to match her stunning shoes.

After photographs, the bridal party joined the guests for a relaxed luncheon. Kim explains “Seeing the guests enjoy a relaxing time over great food and company was gratifying for us – that had been the intention for their wedding experience all along. We also got to enjoy time with them which was wonderful for us.”

The reception was styled simply but beautifully by Kim. “The table decorations were a mix of milk bottles, glass Chinese tea pots. We filled these with fresh white chrysanthemums from the markets. Table numbers were old wine bottles with letter pressed number tags tied around the neck using thick twine.

For the kids’ table, I had fake grass with flowers, fairies and dinosaurs strewn throughout, and activity books and crayons to keep them occupied.”

Kim added beautiful elements herself. “For the wishing well, we decided on a beautiful glass jar that we could reuse for other things post wedding. Once again, I pulled out the recipe for crepe paper flowers that we had used for the flower girls, halved the size of the flowers and this time taped them together in an arrangement that wrapped around the lid.

As a surprise for Chris, I also had a digital portrait done from a photo of one of our favourite moments on our last holiday. The style lent itself well to the clean look of our wedding. I contracted Jennifer Schell on Etsy to do this portrait, then stuck it in an Ikea frame. Too easy. We now have it hanging up at home.”

Kim also made the invitations (and had them letterpress printed by Anay Bravo in Mexico) and the seating chart with the help of her brother. “The seating chart was a labour of love by my brother who took up the challenge of learning calligraphy and painstakingly hand wrote each name – we were so chuffed with the end result. I slapped on a simple bentwood graphic, reused the invitation font and we were done! The seating chart was presented in an Ikea frame on an easel kindly lent by a friend.”

The bride wore purple heels from Alexander McQueen. For the reception, Kim changed into a short Willow gown.

Kim says “My approach to DIY was DIY styling rather than make everything from scratch. Still, we ended up doing some crazy stuff – we had items and materials shipped in from Mexico, the US, China and locally. For sustainability purposes, items we purchased where possible were to be reusable post wedding.”

Kim wore jewels from her family. She explains “In traditional Chinese culture, the bride receives gold jewellery from close family on her wedding day. We twisted this and borrowed my Mum’s wedding jewellery and a watch that Dad had given Mum in the 80’s.”

The multicultural aspect of the wedding day was incorporated in a way that suited Kim and Chris. Kim explains “One of the traditions we decided to keep was the Chinese Tea Ceremony. We did away with the traditional garb and kept the essence of this ritual – the kneeling and pouring of tea as a showing of respect to close family elders. In all the inevitable madness of a wedding, this was a nice relaxed moment with each of our close family.”

Following the tea ceremony, cake and desserts were served. The couple cut a cheese wedding cake by Sogna at Formaggi Occello.  Kim remarks “The cake platters were from Chris’s mum.The cheese wedding cake was presented on a large cheese board for the cutting of the cake. We borrowed a bunch of beautiful cake platters from Chris’ Mum to present the cheese and accompanying fruit and bread on.”

Later in the afternoon, everyone relaxed on the deck in the Autumn sun with dessert canapes and wedding cheese.

Congratulations Kim and Christopher! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us on Polka Dot Bride! Thank you also to by Matt Reed for sharing today’s photographs!

Photos by Matt Reed

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