Back to Top
PolkaDotBride - Australia's number 1 Bridal Blog, Wedding Directory and Advice for Brides
Log In Register

Annika and Tom

by | Australia - Western Australia, Bride, Inspired Weddings,



Annika and Tom

Today’s wedding has a beautiful sense of peace about it. I love how Annika and Tom made their celebration their own, using touches that really meant something to them.

Photos today are by Angela Higgins.

Annika tells the story of how she and Tom met.  “We officially met on the first day of university (about 500 metres) from where we eventually wed 13 years later. We’d been together ever since.” Annika says, “After Tom and I got engaged, we sat down and went through every wedding we’d attended and listed our favourite part of each wedding and our less than favourite part. It was definitely an advantage getting married a little later as we had the benefit of other peoples’ experiences.

Tom and I had been together for 13 years and have lived together for a while so the idea of a stressful and formal wedding marking the start of our future didn’t appeal to us. I didn’t want to be running around on the day concerned about a million details that, six months down the track, would have meant nothing to us. We viewed the wedding as a celebration of our love and a continuation of the commitment we have made to each other over the many years we’ve been together. For that reason, we loved that the wedding never felt too formal and was about our community and not just Tom and I. We bypassed so many traditions (and the associated stresses) like formal ceremonies, churches, table settings, colour schemes, wedding cake, first dances, bonbonniere and the bouquet toss but focused on the things that were important- spending as much time with our family and friends as possible and letting each other know that we were excited about the future but that we had also loved getting to where we were. One of our friends summed up our wedding the next day when he told us that our wedding was different to anything he’d been to before and that the day ‘felt like the two of you.’

We scheduled our wedding directly after Christmas so that a lot of our friends who live overseas and interstate had the opportunity to make it back to Perth for Christmas with their families and then our wedding. It made for a wonderful atmosphere as everyone was already in a relaxed holiday mood.”


The wedding day flowers were styled by Flowers By Michelle. Annika says “Tom and I didn’t want to break up our wedding day by leaving for photos between the ceremony and reception so we organised for a ‘first look’ before the ceremony. It turned out better than we expected as we had that first moment together, completed our portraits beforehand, got to spend as much time as we wanted with our family and friends after the ceremony (and not running around trying to get photos) and didn’t lose the momentum between the ceremony and the reception. It also stopped any nerves getting in the way as we were by each other’s side most of the day. That felt much more true to ourselves as we already share a life together so to be separate for this important day seemed unnecessary. In fact, we woke up in the morning, had breakfast together, split up for a few hours to get ready and then came together again for the photos. It meant that I got to share almost all of my wedding day with my husband.”


Annika-Tom-Perth-Wedding10 Annika-Tom-Perth-Wedding11

Annika wore a (now discontinued) gown from  Brides By Design.  The bridesmaids wore gowns by Veronika Maine. Tom & his groomsmen ordered their suits online from Hong Kong.



Annika says “Angela (our photographer) was fabulous. She was like one of our guests. She was entirely unobtrusive and simply walked around capturing different little scenes from throughout the day featuring our family and friends. Angela was entirely laid back and on board with whatever we suggested which was great. For example, Tom collects (and drinks) wine so we organised to have photos in a local bar and cellar amongst racks of bottles of French wines. These have turned out to be some of his favourite photos as they are so intimate. At our engagement shoot, we asked for photos inside Tom’s vintage (aka falling apart) Alfa Romeo and they look awesome.”



Annika-Tom-Perth-Wedding31 Annika-Tom-Perth-Wedding25




Annika and Tom made the time before their ceremony a celebration “We scheduled our location shots to finish up at a local bar about an hour before the ceremony. I really loved this as we got to have a calming drink, got some great photos in the bar and received wonderful advice from some of the patrons. We also asked our parents to meet us there to toast the start of the day. It was such a special way to make sure we had quality time with our close family as the wedding day can pass by so quickly.”

Check back this afternoon- Annika and Tom held their ceremony and reception in such gorgeous venues, you’ll love what they did!

Photos by Angela Higgins.

Sign Up To The Polka Dot Circle

Eco Beautiful Weddings and Polka Dot Bride

by | Blog News, Bride, Eco Friendly Weddings



I am so excited today because I am able to open my mouth on something I have been keeping tight lipped about for months! (Does the cover give it away?)

The brand new issue of Eco Beautiful Weddings has just launched and has a very special feature inside!


Sydney was the location chosen for this issue’s “Green City Wedding Guide” and I was lucky enough to be asked to put it together! After scouring the web, going through my trusty resources and talking to many industry professionals we found some fantastic eco-friendly businesses perfect for greening your wedding!

I was lucky enough to work with the superbly talented Trish of Tea Lily Photography to bring the guide to life. Trish took what was in my head and captured the most stunning images of the vendors we worked with for this feature (Trish trekked all around Sydney and even got up bright and early to catch the gorgeous image you see above at sunrise, how amazing is she?) Check the guide out from Page 47.

Eco Beautiful Weddings didn’t stop there- they’ve also included eco-friendly weddings from Milk & Honey Photography (Page 53) and Samm Blake (Page 111). I have to say I feel just a little patriotic today!

Congratulations to the Eco Beautiful Weddings team on another gorgeous issue and a big thank you for asking us to be a part of it!

Ashlea and Rowan – The Celebration

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Inspired Weddings,




Ashlea and her bridesmaids carried bouquets of Bounty coloured roses.





The reception was held in The Conservatory at the All Seasons Hotel in Bendigo. The room was filled with candles.



Ashlea performed a song she’d written just after Rowan proposed.




Photographer Jonathan Ong set up a “smile booth” for guests to make their own photos. Double Take kept guests on the dance floor all night. Ashlea and Rowan left the wedding to a tunnel of sparklers lit by guests. Ashlea says ” It was so much fun, complete with confetti, goodbyes, hugs and kisses.”

Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us Ashlea and Rowan! Thank you also to Jonathan Ong for send over today’s gorgeous, glowy wedding!

Photos by Jonathan Ong.

Ashlea and Rowan

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Inspired Weddings,



Ashlea and Rowan

The thing that struck me most about today’s Bendigo wedding was the pure glow of the bride and groom. They’re so happy and so in love it completely radiates through every photo!

Ashlea says, “Rowan and I first met in high school, during year 12 we both applied for the same College on the Northern beaches of Sydney, unaware each other had applied for the same campus. During our first year there, we become best friends. My mum and dad referred to Rowan as my guardian angel. It become increasingly obvious our friendship was developing into something more. Practically when Rowan surprised me for her birthday with tickets to the Australian Ballet company at the Sydney Opera house. Although I remained unaware that my best friend was in fact the love of my life!”

Today’s photographs are by Jonathan Ong.


Ashlea shares how Rowan proposed. “On the week of my 21 st Rowan requested I keep the Thursday free for a special birthday surprise.  He picked me up early that morning, I had no idea what was going on. We traveled south of Sydney to Wollongong arriving at a beautiful beach.  As I stepped out of the car I saw a sign saying Sky Diving. I was full of mixed emotion, a combination of excitement mixed with fear. Neither of us had ever jumped out of a plane before.  It was so exhilarating, one of the best things I have ever done.

At this point I still did not suspect anything that was to come. We then headed back, so I thought, but soon we arrived at an incredible waterfall.  As we walked down the hill, arrows pointing the way, I soon became aware of music playing. This lead to a cove, and there in front of me was a picnic all set up with wine and a banquet for two. This is when I started to squeal with excitement. Then all of a sudden Rowan was on his knee asking me to marry him. He opened the box and in it was a note saying ‘look up’. There above me hanging from the roof of the cove was the most stunning ring glistening in the sun. Of course I said YES!!”



Ashlea says of her gown, “My dress was made with French lace fitted to the body to below the waist. I had a long train and veil with a sweetheart neckline. I designed my gown and knew exactly what I wanted. Joan Hooper quickly embraced my ideas and developed a couture gown spending over 80 hours to create. My gown fitted so perfectly and was everything I have ever wanted and more.”


The ceremony was held at St John’s Church in Bendigo. Ashlea says “Having God as the center piece of our marriage is very important to us. That being, we decided to have a church wedding ceremony to symbolize our devotion to him as a married couple. St John’s church is a beautiful and ideal since it allowed us to have our pastor Russell Harper conduct the wedding service.

The mood was set by a string trio playing as guests arrive.  I arrived in a stretch limousine with my family. I was very excited but had trouble holding back the tears.  Walking down the aisle seeing the man I love at the other end was one of the best moments in my life.”









More love filled photos of Ashlea and Rowan’s coming up this afternoon!

Photos by Jonathan Ong.

Back to Top