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Suong and Robert’s Modern Stokehouse Wedding

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Suong and Robert

It’s not Summer in Melbourne without a visit to the Stokehouse or at least a walk along the beach in front of it. So today’s wedding of Suong and Robert and the popular St Kilda venue is such a nice one to showcase at the height of Summer.

Suong recalls how she and Robert met. “We met during University and were best friends for three years before we decided to travel around the world together for three months. I realised I had deeper feelings for Rob after he bought me an ice cream in Madrid to compensate for a terrible meal.”

Photos today are by Brent Lukey who has captured the wedding with such warmth. Clean classic shots that show the beauty, love and happiness of the day.

Suong wore a gown by Karen Willis Holmes and paired it with Mimco shoes and jewels from Christine Barro. Her one bridesmaid wore a Zimmermann gown while Robert wore a suit from Hugo Boss. Evelyn of Rouge Artists styled the girls hair & makeup.

Flower Temple styled the beautiful floral arrangements.

Suong and Robert met before the ceremony and had photographs with their bridal party in some of Melbourne’s famous laneways. Of their photographer, Suong says “Brent Lukey was the first and only photographer we met. From the beginning, it was very clear that this was someone who understood our requirements and spoke our language.  Apart from being a wonderful photographer, Brent is also an absolute pleasure to work with- he was professional, efficient and interacted very well with all our guests. There is a beautiful sense of clarity, timelessness and humour, which is so evident in his photos. ”

Suong and Robert were married at Stokehouse Melbourne. Suong explains “We held our ceremony at sunset on the deck of the Stokehouse which overlooks St Kilda beach and onto Port Philip Bay.  This allowed us to flow seamlessly onto canapés and then the reception at the same venue. The restaurant manager Joel and his kitchen and waiting staff were incredibly gracious.”

Suong walked down the aisle to “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison played by The Baker Boys who also performed during the reception.

Celebrant Janet Hussey married the couple.

A three tier wedding cake was created by Cake Face.

Suong and Robert put plenty of personal touches into the reception. Suong explains “We created the table signs on each table, which was named after a special city/country and a short description of what that place meant to us as people. “

“We also designed and printed the “Penguin book cover,” which were our post cards for guests to fill out in lieu of a guestbook and they were able to place these in a metal mail box. We also designed the “tram scroll,” canvas which was our seating chart.”

Guests received boxes of beautiful chocolates from Cacao as a wedding favor with tags handmade by Suong and Robert.


For their first dance, Suong and Robert chose “Praise You” by Fat Boy Slim. Suong recalls “We recreated the dance from the Spike Jonze video clip featuring the fictional dance group the Torrance Community dance group.  We finished with, “I want to grow old with you,” by Adam Sandler from the movie, “The Wedding Singer.”

Congratulations Suong and Robert! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to  Brent Lukey for sharing today’s photographs with us!

Photographer: Brent Lukey / Bride’s Dress: Karen Willis Holmes / Bride’s Shoes: Mimco / Bride’s Jewellery: Christine Barro / Groom’s Attire: Hugo Boss / Bridesmaid Dresses: Zimmerman / Makeup Artist: Evelyn, Rouge Artists / Hairstylist: Evelyn, Rouge Artists / Flowers & Decor: Flower Temple / Ceremony Officiant: Janet Hussey / Band: The Baker Boys / Favors: Cacao / Cake Baker: Cake Face / Venue: Stokehouse Melbourne
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Nina and Zharn’s Heartfelt Sydney Wedding

by | Australia - New South Wales, Bride,


Nina and Zharn

I never tire of the iconic location  of Sydney Harbour. Today’s couple married right between the two icons of Sydney – the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. A simply sweet day peppered with flavours of their culture and of course plenty of love.

Nina tells the story of her and Zharn’s relationship. “We met in December 2007 at “A Day On The Green” Concert for Lionel Richie down at Centennial Vineyards, Bowral.

Two girlfriends and I had booked our tickets months in advance because we were so excited to see Lionel sing (being from the UK, he is huge with our age group)… Zharn however had been at a wedding the night before in Berrima and had no intentions of going to see Lionel Richie… Truth be known he had no idea the concert was happening and even if he did, he couldn’t have cared less. Zharn you see, is actually in to Heavy Metal bands, some of them pretty hardcore like Slayer and Kyuss… both bands that I have never heard of before meeting him… so love ballads were probably far from what Zharn would usually choose to see BUT when he heard a couple of his friends from the wedding were going to see Lionel he decided to tag along and continue the party. All very impromptu!

So as it happens we were sitting near each other on the grass… and when Lionel came on stage and started his show, Zharn spent most of the first songs videoing his friends on his mobile phone!!! I just couldn’t bare to watch him ignoring Lionel so I made him dance (little did I know that he didn’t like to dance especially when it isn’t heavy metal or rock!)… anyhow, he danced and then when I left him alone, he’d get back to taking pics with the phone.

Being a little tiddly I insisted that he put the phone away and enjoy the music – Lionel was amazing! So, we got talking and dancing and then that was pretty much that at the end of the night. Well it was until my friend who was sober and driving saw him walking out of the hectic car park in the vineyard all by himself… we thought his name was “John” so in our best British accents we called out “John” to him and lo and behold he answered… we invited him to come with us to find some food. We just made it to Chinese take-out before it shut up for the evening in a nearby town…. and during this time before dropping him back, we had a sneaky kiss, exchanged phone numbers and then dropped him off.

After dropping him off, we noticed that he had left his jacket in our car…. and being girls we all thought that this may have been a deliberate ploy to have an excuse to see me again! Well it worked, he did call and we did catch up again and the rest is history! Funny thing is that now that I know Zharn and was corrected on the John misunderstanding on our first date (!), I quickly realised that he is possibly “THE-most-forgetful” person I know. He leaves his stuff everywhere so leaving the jacket in our car was definitely not premeditated…. although it may have been a little helpful hand from cupid. He insists that regardless of forgetting one of his favourite jackets, he definitely would have called!!! 🙂 we’ll never know and I suppose it really doesn’t matter anymore.

So that is how we met. He actually quite likes Lionel Richie now and Lionel played a big part in our wedding songs… we are actually went back to Bowral to see him on 27th March 2011 for another day on the green event with the same two girlfriends as when we met, just for old time sake. I also attended my first heavy metal festival at Soundwave in Brisbane… whilst it didn’t rock my world, it’s meant to be all about give and take and sharing right?!”

Photos today are by Matthew Mead. I love the warmth and relaxed beauty Matthew has captured in today’s wedding!

Nina wore a gown with accessories by Jean Fox. She paired her look with shoes from Suna.

Nina’s bridesmaids wore blue gowns from Bridesmaids Only.

The couple held their ceremony overlooking the harbour. Nina says “Our ceremony was held at iconic Campbell’s Cove, the boardwalk in front of the Restaurant strip, The Rocks waterfront. We enjoyed looking out on the water with the Harbour Bridge to the side and facing the Opera House.” Nina walked down the aisle to ‘Annie’s Song’ by Jesse Younan.

Zharn and his groomsmen wore suits from Roger David. Nina recalls “Roger David were the friendliest, most accommodating store. We had to buy suits from measurements for our groomsmen who were not located near us. Roger David organised for the suits to be delivered to the groomsmen for us. Just fantastic and friendly people.”

The couple chose a simple theme that matched their surroundings. Nina says “Our wedding theme was nautical. We decided to keep this very simple however.The bridesmaids wore sapphire blue dresses and co-ordinated groomsmen ties, blue wedding cake ribbon, blue chair covers resonated the simple nautical theme. The location was obviously nautical, with various nautical themes inside the venue and outside (like the ship hanging off the front of the venue). We were lucky enough to have a tall ship sail in right at the end of the ceremony as well.”

Nina remarks “We only had 40 guests, so each person was very special to both of us.”

Mother Nature came up with a special plan to make the day extra magical. Nina remarks “We had not realised, but on the morning of Friday, 13th May 2011 – four planets aligned… something that hasn’t happened for a hundred years.  There had been cold and wet weather all week, but I think the planets helped bring out the best winter sunshine for the day and took the chill out of the air for us. This set the location off perfectly.”

Of their photographer, Nina says “I rated our photographer, Matt Mead, as the best supplier of my whole wedding.  Matt was generous with his time, providing a pre-wedding photo shoot as part of his package so that we get to know each other and so that we also got used to the camera. He was available by phone and email any time.

On the day, he was the most calming influence. Capturing precious moments, despite the chaos. One of my favourite shots is of Matt doing up the Groom’s tie as the Groom and his groomsmen had no idea!!! I thought this was very cute.

Matt has great ideas and really listened to what sort of photos we wanted, the important shots and then used his creativity to deliver what can only be described as breathtaking photos which we both feel truly capture the essence of the day.  From the emotion of the ceremony, to fun& iconic pics with the bridal party, staying on till the bitter end to get heartfelt emotional photos from the speeches as well as hilarious shots from the fun on the dancefloor. Every guest is represented.”

Nina and Zharn celebrated with guests at Trawler & Heritage Rooms, Wolfies Restaurant, The Rocks (Dockside Group). Nina explains “We booked a Winter Package deal which made the reception one of the most affordable parts of the day without compromising quality or ambience. The wedding team at Dockside were very accommodating to our needs, including a back-up, indoor wet weather option (which thankfully we didn’t need), ceremony set up of chairs and champagne after for free.”

The stationery was designed by Paper Candy. Nina sealed each invitation envelope with a red wax stamp featuring an anchor.

The speeches were a brilliant highlight, Nina explains. “One of the most memorable and special moments was the father of the groom speech which was undertaken by the groom’s grandfather. Instead of  a speech, Pa had spent months re-writing the lyrics to Frank Sinatra’s – I did it my way… he changed each verse especially for us with the chorus – “you’ll do it your way”. He didn’t read it BUT sang it…. Providing copies for guests so that everyone could join in and sing to us….. absolutely magical. I don’t think there was one person, male or female that didn’t have a tear in their eye at this gesture. He then presented us with a framed copy of the song as a keepsake! Ingenious, personal and special and totally in-keeping with the intimacy of the whole day.

For their first dance, Nina and Zharn chose ‘Kiss Kiss’ – Tarkan. Nina explains “Our first dance was something that we had overlooked in the hectic-ness leading up to the big day, so we chose a song that we could improvise to and have a bit of fun with. It was a Turkish song which incorporates a bit of my Persian heritage.”

Nina says “Our wedding was heartfelt (vows), intimate (in number) and iconic (in setting), eclectic (in music) but fun for all.”

Congratulations Nina and Zharn! Thank you for sharing your wedding with us ion Polka Dot Bride! Thank you also to Matthew Mead. for sharing today’s photographs with us!

Photographer: Matthew Mead / Bride’s Dress: Jean Fox / Bride’s Shoes: Suna / Flowers: Best Buds / Venue: Trawler & Heritage Rooms, Wolfies, The Rocks / Music: Maestro Ent / Groom's and Groomsmen's Attire: Roger David / Bridesmaid Dresses: Bridesmaids Only / Invitations & Stationery: Paper Candy / Wedding Cake: Sparkle Cupcakery / Bride’s Jewellery: Jean Fox

PULLED – Marina and Andy’s Vintage Melbourne Wedding

by | Bride, Inspired Weddings,



Marina and Andy

A wedding of vintage splendor for you today- vintage fur coats, tea length dresses, sweet hats and bouquets made of brooches. A sparkly, splendid Melbourne affair!

Marina recalls how she met Andy. “We met snowboarding in Japan, Andrew (groom) made a lovely speech likening his bride to the snow – every time you think you know it all you rediscover it anew with each snowfall, a new, beautiful layer on top of the last, each one stunning you with complexity and variety. It brought us all to tears.”

Photos today are by Bayley and Moore who not only captured the vintage beauty of the day but also turned it into a stop motion video! I’m going to save that one for the end!

Candice DeVille styled the girl’s hair & makeup.

Marina and Andy used the Morris Minor Club of Victoria for transport.

Marina and Andy had a first look before the ceremony and were able to enjoy each other’s company .

Marina wore a gown made by Kristy Coakley at House of Snowball. Marina says “I made the brooch bouquets from brooches collected by the groom’s parents at UK flea markets. They inspired the colours for the vintage hats. The grooms boutonnière’s were also handmade.”

Of their photographer, Marina says “Sophia and Simon work seamlessly as an incredible team. Sophia is a great planner and attends to the details; she has a fantastic eye for style and beauty and creates really memorable pictures. Simon is outgoing and funny and makes people feel at ease bringing out their best. They are a breeze to work with prior to and on the day (see their PDF attached in the email, it’s all true!). Their work could best be described as storytelling. They do this through stills and stop motion movies, which is what they do better than anyone in the world in my opinion.”

Marina’s bridesmaids wore gowns bought on Etsy and at Lost and Found vintage clothing store in Fitzroy then altered in length and for fit by Victoria Ingram a friend and costume designer.

Marina and Andy wed at The Russian Cultural House in Fitzroy, Marina says “The Russian House was a perfect ceremony venue. Alex Abramoff was super lovely and really excited about having such a special event in his room. We were allowed to decorate it ourselves with whatever we wanted. Our friends and family helped with this. Here is what we wrote in our ceremony program “Andrew and Marina like the notions expressed in Alain de Botton’s Architecture of Happiness – that WHERE we are and the spaces we create for ourselves heavily influence who we can be, our aspirations and our happiness.

Fitzroy for Andrew and Marina represents a change in trajectory for both their lives. It was here that they spent their first week getting to know each other during the Easter break of 2008 and later when Andrew made trips down to Melbourne. It was here that Marina lived with Andrew’s cousin Ed for 2 years getting to know Andrew’s family and childhood stories.

Fitzroy with its rich history, colonial bluestone and old oak trees is also home to a bohemian, free-spirited, creative  and very multi-cultural community.  A community that is fostered by high density living, parks and easy access to public transport. These elements are what Marina and Andrew love about their soon to be new home, New York city. Over its 120 years of existence,Fitzroy has driven social change in Melbourne due to the pressures of housing ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’. For Andrew and Marina it represents open mindedness and accepting of difference. Qualities which lead to dynamic, exciting and harmonious relationships. It also represents forced adaptation and new beginnings.

The Russian House was built in 1884, and is a fine example of Victorian Boom-era architecture with its arched windows and classical features.  It formerly housed The Collingwood and Fitzroy United Friendly Society Dispensary, which provided heath care and medicines. In 1968 it was occupied by Russian community groups. The Russian House came to mind when Andrew and Marina were looking for a place to get married because Marina had spent many a time sitting on its steps, which get the winter sun, to eat lunch and listen to piano recitals – “a lovely thinking space”.”

Marina describes the wedding as “A heartfelt and nostalgic vintage and handmade Melbourne wedding amongst close family and friends with oodles of love, elegance and frivolity.

Marina walked down the aisle to “Lakme Flower Duet”. She recalls “It was sung by Hannah Pelva-Caven and Belinda Dalton, who are friends from Melbourne Uni.”

Nicole DeBono of Cookes Food planned the day and Cookes Food also catered the wedding.

The wedding cake was made by Marina’s mother and grandmother. Marina put her own handmade touch on the reception “I made the table cloths from natural calico and the napkins which were rolled up with handmade napkin rings with a button. I became very intimate with my sewing machine!Having to sew 120!”

Marina and Andy held their reception at Fitzroy Town Hall. Marina recalls “The Fitzroy Town Hall was chosen based on it’s central city location as we wanted to keep transport to a minimum. It was big enough for a sit down dinner and dancing. An attractive blank canvas to style with our vintage furniture, DIY details and flowers. The staff were easy to work with and the costs were reasonable. It’s also a grand and nostalgic building on a village-like inner city suburb street, which is bike friendly and lacking in traffic. The steps made a perfect place to do family and group photos. The venue was hip, fun and vintage”

The flowers were styled by Mr Lincoln.

When asked what made the day special, Marina recalls “My brother singing, Andrew’s speech, friend’s and family helping out with decoration of the ceremony venue, brooch bouquets, OUR PHOTOGRAPHERS! They were amazing and have created such special memories for us and were so easy to work with in the lead up. A home-made photobooth. ”

The first dance was gorgeous to watch.  Marina explains “We learnt a foxtrot combined with swing dance to Fly Me To The Moon by Frank Sinatra. It was great for showing off my dress. I loved our dance for the practice it required, it was a really special activity we could do together as a couple prior to the wedding and I learnt a lot about following the lead of my now husband in dance and in life.Good for all modern brides as wedding planning and the day can sometimes be a little too much about the bride. It’s the groom’s day too!”

The last treat.. Bayley & Moore put together this fun stop motion video of the day!

Congratulations Marina and Andy! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Bayley & Moore for sharing the images and stop motion video today!

Photographer: Bayly & Moore / Bride’s Dress: Kisty Coakley at House of Snowball / Flowers & Decor: Mr Lincoln / Ceremony Venue: Russian Cultural House / Wedding Planner: Nicole deBono at Cookes Food / Reception Venue: Fitzroy Town Hall / Catering: Cookes Food / Hair & Makeup Stylist: Candice DeVille

Marlinna and Josh’s Multicultural Sydney Wedding

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


Marlinna and Josh

One of the things I love most about weddings, is when cultures meet and merge and melt together. Marlinna and Josh are both Latter Day Saints and Marlinna’s background is Cambodian. Both cultural elements played a big role in their beautiful wedding day.

Marlinna recalls how she met Josh. “It’s quite a funny story really. We are both members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day saints also known as Mormon’s. At that time we were apart of the Young single adult (YSA) program. Apparently Joshua and I have met a few times but didn’t really take notice of each other, until a LDS musical fireside where us members of the church get together as a congregation in a chapel to listen to a musical scriptural presentation. I was in Liverpool stake and was apart of this musical fireside. We were rehearsing for our musical fireside and choir. At every practice I would see Joshua there watching his cousin Andrew practice with us.

While taking time out from practicing my best friend notice him sitting at back, she turns around and whispers to me “ don’t you think he’s hot? Like different but hot?” I said “ umm yeah I guess so” I didn’t care to pay any attention. One night we had practice, Joshua didn’t turn up and that’s when I realised I was missing his presence and agreed that he was hot. After that, we would see each other at YSA dances and activities, started talking and texting each other and a couple of months later it was official.”

Photos today are by Alma Photography. I love the fun, relaxed nature of the photographs this afternoon.

For the ceremony, Marlinna wore a gown made by Josh’s mother (Sherri Simon) who also made the bridesmaid’s gowns. Sotheary Nget styled the girl’s hair while  Jenny Truong from Canvas Book styled the makeup.

Marlinna and Josh were married at The Church Of Latter Day Saints Sydney Temple in Carlingford by Adrian Hoesli. Marlinna says ” I was in tears at my ceremony in the LDS Sydney temple it was the most beautiful place to have started my day!”


Of their photographer, Marlinna explains “Alma photography is fabulous at what they do. I knew about them from an event we were both at in 2010. Since then I’ve had friends who were getting married referring me to them, I’ve never looked back they were a tremendous choice.”

 The groom and groomsmen wore suits from Indochino Italy.

Lusila Macgregor from Flowers By Arrangement styled the bouquets.

The day turned out to be a scorcher with tempratures breaking 48 degrees. Marlinna recalls “It was the best most, happiest, unforgettable HOT day of my life. I believe that day was the hottest day since years. Started at 35 degrees and by midday it reached to 48 degrees. It felt like we were standing in a sauna and just couldn’t escape the heat no matter where we stood. We kept our bodies hydrated with water and loads of slurpees’.  We had the best bridal party who just ignored the heat and just had fun. It was definitely a day to remember.”

Marlinna sums up the day as “A very hot, hyperactive, magical and colourful day.”

Marlinna and Josh held their reception at Golden Star Palace at the Sunnybrook Hotel. Marlinna remarks “We ended with a lot of dancing and food at the Chinese Golden Palace.”

The couple dressed in traditional Cambodian costume for a traditional Cambodian ceremony.

When asked about her favourite parts of the day, Marlinna remarks “My husband of course, my family, our bridal party, family and friends having fun on the dance floor and dancing with my husband.”

The reception venue provided the cake, catering and transport.

For reception entertainment, Marlinna explains “My father hired a Cambodian band from Cambodia and famous Cambodian singers”.

For their first dance, Marlinna recalls ” It was very overwhelming, I’m quite a shy person and don’t really like being in the spotlight. Unfortunately I didn’t know what the song was because tt was sung in Cambodian, all I know is that it was about never-ending love.”

Marlinna says “I totally think the photos taken by Alma Photography illustrates the day of my wedding very very well. Colourful, original, funky happiness and FUN!”

Thank you Marlinna & Josh for sharing your wedding day with us and also to Alma Photography for sharing today’s photographs!

Photographer: Alma Photography / Bride’s Dress: Handmade / Bride’s Shoes: London Rebel / Groom’s Attire: Indochino Italy / Bridesmaid Dresses: Handmade / Bridesmaid Shoes: London Rebel / Hairstylist: Sotheary Nget / Makeup Artist: Jenny Truong from Canvas Book / Flowers & Decor: Lusila Macgregor from Flowers By Arrangement / Reception Venue: Chinese Golden Palace Sunny Brook
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