Stanya & Lenny’s Bohemian Forest Wedding

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


Stanya and Lenny

I just adore the feel of Stanya and Lenny’s wedding, There’s this bohemian, barefoot feel to it but it’s so very beautiful with Stanya’s gorgeous floral crown, the forest surroundings of coastal town Jervis Bay and the abundance of Australian native blooms. It makes me want to dance amongst the trees, around the beautiful big bonfire!

Stanya tells their story. “Lenny and I have known each other since we were in High School- we’ve always had groups of friends that know each other. When I moved in with one of his best friends 6 years ago, Lenny really just parked himself on our couch for weeks on end until I eventually gave in and we got together!”

The raw rich feeling of the photographs by Lara Hotz capture the true sense of the relaxed, intimate celebration.

Stanya wore an elegant gown by Soma Design with jewels from Samantha Wills. She wore a flower crown made by Kavelle Flowers.

The couple didn’t have a bridal party, instead incorporating their loved ones into their day in different ways. Stanya explains “We didn’t have any kind of bridal party but it was fantastic being able to include special people in different ways- with friends acting as MC, painting the poles for our “chuppah” (canopy that we got married under), reciting readings, singing blessings and holding the “chuppah” poles as well as my sister singing and fantastic speeches by family members. We felt very in love and loved by our friends and family on the day.”

Stanya and Lenny married at Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay. Stanya remarks “We got to share Hyams Beach, a place that we absolutely adore, with our guests. Most people rented houses and stayed the whole weekend and it was just so much fun having the whole little village packed out with our friends and family.  My family owns a house in Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay, so we have been going there for many years. It is just the most beautiful spot in NSW so we always knew we would get married in the area.”

Stanya walked down the aisle to ‘Into White’ by Cat Stevens.

Stanya loved “The fact that all of our guests were people that know us well and people with whom we both have close relationships. ” Lenny wore a custom made shirt from Shirt Bar pants from Country Road and Havaiana thongs.

As part of the ceremony, the couple planted a tree together. Stanya remembers this as one of her favourite parts of the day. She recalls “We had a magnolia tree that we watered at the ceremony and had everyone water throughout the night. We planted it my family’s garden at Hyams Beach, alongside some other trees that have been planted at significant times in my family’s life- including a Magnolia tree that they planted the day I was born.”

Of their photographer, Stanya says “Lara was absolutely amazing! A few of my friends had used her for their weddings, so I knew she produced work that was exactly what we wanted- creative, natural and unique. I warned her that Lenny absolutely hates posing for photos and that we really didn’t want overly posed and cheesy photos. She completely went with that brief and made the whole experience just fun and easy for both of us. The photos are absolutely stunning- I could not have asked for better!”

The reception was held at Paperbark Camp, Jervis Bay “Paperbark Camp was the first and last place we looked at as a venue. As Lenny and I both love nature, the bush and camping, it was the perfect setting for us. We could not have been happier with the venue- the staff and food were amazing and the fact that we could have a bonfire going all night and dance and party outside in the bush until 3am was totally unique and just made the night.”

The reception was decorated with beautiful Australian native floral arrangements.

Family and friends were so much a part of the celebration, says Stanya. “One of the absolute highlights was my sister singing at the reception. Accompanied by the guitarist and a djembe drum, she sang Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good” and wowed everyone with her amazing, soulful voice.”

The couple lit a huge bonfire as the sun set. Stanya says “The bush surrounding Paperbark camp is just so beautiful. It was particularly special being able to dance outside in the bush until the wee hours of the morning to awesome music by our DJ, accompanied by some djembe drumming.”

Thank you Stanya and Lenny for sharing your wedding day with us! Congratulations! Thank you to Lara Hotz  for sharing today’s photographs with us!

Photographer: Lara Hotz Photography / Other: John Poulakis- Cinemotive Films / Bride's Dress: Soma Design / Bride's Jewellery: Samantha Wills / Bride's Veil/Hair Accessories: Kavelle Flowers / Other: Shirt Bar / Other: Country Road / Hairstylist: Centre of Attention Hairdressing / Makeup Artist: Paula Leibowitz / Flowers & Decor: Crooby Cottages local (02) 4447 8016 / Invitations & Stationery: Print 35 / Ceremony Venue: Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay / Ceremony Officiant: Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio / Reception Venue: Paperbark Camp, Jervis Bay / Band: Rufus Federation / DJ: Dave Baskind
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Folk Wedding Inspiration

by | Bride, Inspiration Shoot, Wedding Inspiration


I thought this sweet & gorgeous folk wedding inspiration shoot by the lovely Alicia from Akimbo together with White Room Events at the Tin Cat Cafe was something different and something that could be translated to many different wedding ideas. A lover of sewing? The cotton spool place cards and embroidery hoops could be such a sweet decoration. The crochet rug is something warm, cosy and colourful and even the sweet cutlery containers could be translated with your own wedding patterns and colours.

You can make so many of these elements of the shoot yourself (Alicia is even telling us how with step by step tutorials over on Polka Dot Made!)

Other: Akimbo / Other: White Room Events / Other: Tin Cat Cafe

Jennifer Regan Chic Collection

by | Bridal Fashion, Bride


Sydney designer Jennifer Regan has unveiled her 2012 collection. Simply named the “Chic Collection” the latest range takes inspiration from European architecture, history and old Hollywood glamour.

I really love the simplicity of these designs. To the eye they’re simple, silk gowns but there’s little design elements that add to the gowns for a truly beautiful effect. A beautifully low back, lace dripping down the shoulder, a barely there illusion neckline or gussets that make the skirt pool like liquid. The gowns are modern, but retain the beauty and style of yesteryear.

Images by Jennifer Regan

Vendor of the Week – Wedding Gifts Direct

by | Blog News, Bride


Happy Monday Morning Dotties! I remember last week someone asked is Happy Monday an oxymoron- is it for you? I always have mixed feelings on Mondays! I’m eager to get into work and excited, but part of me is sad the weekend is over!

Before we get into our very full week of blissful wedding inspiration, let’s spotlight Ms Polka Dot’s Directory!

We have some seriously incredible vendors in our directory (and we’ve just added a Photobooth Hire category due to popular demand!). I mean, have you seen our florists and their incredible bouquets? What about our cinematographers and their whimsical, beautiful wedding films? Perhaps you’re looking for a fantastic band for your guests to dance the night away with? We have all these and more in the pages of Ms Polka Dot’s Directory so do check it out!


I have to admit it took me a long time to come around to the idea of gift registries, but when, as a wedding guest I figured out I could get the marrieds to be a gift they really want and would definitely use (and personalise it with fun polka dot accessories.. perhaps) I soon came around. Which is why I think our vendor of the week Wedding Gifts Direct is pretty fantastic.

The first thing I love is that they price match – so guests don’t have to worry about pricing if they find the item for less elsewhere. They also offer bonuses every single month, great competitions, online, email, fax, in store and over the phone ordering,  and you? You can set up the entire registry online and even get a lifetime discount of 20% off any purchases! If you’re looking at a registry of experiences, or would like the option of a wishing well – they can help you there too.

I love the flexibility of Wedding Gifts Direct and the fact it’s not only easy for you, but easy for your guests!

To get to know the Wedding Gifts Direct team a little better, we asked Samantha from Wedding Gifts Direct five questions in five minutes –

What is your favourite after five drink?

Your favourite weekend getaway?
Hunter Valley

Favourite restaurant?
Neild Avenue

What can we find you eating for breakfast on a Sunday morning?
Eggs Benedict with Salmon, or Strawberry Pancakes!

Your favourite wedding story?
One of our lovely couples, Laura & Pater, had a very sweet story of how they got together – I have included this below:
How they met:
“Pete and I met in high school. He was quite and kept mostly to himself. I was loud and decided that he and I were going to be friends, whether he liked it or not.
6 years later, I realised that I shared the same feelings for him that he’d been secretly feeling for me for about 4 years. Problem was, it was just before I was about to move to London for up to 2 years. So, we did the long distance thing for 15 months and decided that if we could survive that together, we were destined to be together forever”.
How he proposed:
“Pete’s proposal was epic, so here’s the short, very short version…
I had been planning a cocktail party at my house and had 15 friends coming over for hors d’eouvres and drinks. That morning, Pete cooked me breakfast. I went to Pilates and came home to a clean house! We then went out for lunch at Warriewood beach. After lunch, Pete said that he was still hungry and wanted a smoothie from a particular place in Narrabeen. He tricked me and we ended up at a day spa receiving an hour long massage and an hour long pedicure! Thinking that it was a late birthday present, I suspected nothing. We got home and I was told that I had 15mins to get ready to go out for dinner somewhere nice. A taxi picked us up and took us the Opera House. We had an early dinner at Guillaume’s and I thought we’d be getting back to my cocktail party. Nup… after a quick stop off at a chocolate shop, we got a taxi to Star City where we saw Mamma Mia! We didn’t get home until 11:45 and I thought that all my friends must have gone home. Pete then took me up to a head land over looking Newport Beach where he’d had a friend set up a rug with bamboo flares all lit up. It was midnight when he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. When we got back to the house, my friends were all there to congratulate us and party on into the night! ”

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