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

Sweet Like Chocolate Proposal

by | Bride, Engagements


What better way to ease into Tuesday with a beautifully sweet proposal? Today’s proposal involves one of my favourite things- chocolate! It’s the story of James Day, a Sydney wedding photographer and his proposal to his now fiancee Catherine!

Matt & Katie of Matt & Katie Photographers shot a video of the special moment.


James and Cath – Engaged! from Matt E on Vimeo.

But the beauty in any proposal of course, are the words. James wrote this story and shared it with us.

“On the 17th of January I left Armidale with a group of friends on my way to a Christian Youth Leadership conference in Katoomba called NextGen. I pulled over and bought some oil as I thought the oil was low. It was. We went on our merry way and I noticed Smoke coming from the engine and the exhaust. We pulled over & called the NRMA to help us out. 5 hours later we were back on the road. They said I put too much oil in the engine. I have no clue about cars. On the 18th of January, we finally got to Katoomba after having to stop in Sydney overnight because of the massive delay. We turned up late to the conference and I had no idea where to go for the first group meeting. I saw a beautiful young lady walking towards me and thought she looked like a friendly soul so I told her I was lost and asked whether she knew where I needed to go. She was very helpful and helped me find exactly where I needed to be. Later in the day me and a few friends decided to head into the city of Katoomba to go to a Cafe. Just as we were about to go, I saw the same girl and asked her if she would like to join us. The girls name was Catherine.

It didn’t take me long to develop an attraction to this girl especially when I kept hearing about all these guys on the same camp that liked her. I decided I’d just back off and let them go. I figured I still had unfinished business with an ex so it was probably wise not to have another girl to think about. So I did my best to ignore her.

On the last day, we were in a rush to leave as I had to come back to photograph a wedding the next day. Just as I was about to leave I saw Catherine talking to my friends. I thought, what the heck I’ll ask her if she uses facebook. She was very eager in her response to let me know how I could find her on fb. I thought, wow this girl is eager  I was happy about that.

We both went back to our home towns. Cath lived in Sydney & I lived in Armidale, but had plans to move to Sydney a month or two later.

Then we became firm friends and started communicating through Facebook.

Then Cath invited me to a church event that she had organised. It just so happened that I was going to be in Sydney that weekend that it was on. Well that’s what I told her. I was at the Central Coast for my buddy Rayne’s bucks party weekend away and would have to skip half the event to see Cath. Oh how the boys gave me crap about the decision to go. I was constantly heckled for ditching the boys for a girl I barely know.

When I got there, I purposely sat nowhere near Cath. Her identical twin sister Jane (who incidentally is dating a wedding photographer) made room for me to sit opposite Cath at this restaurant and ushered me over. I was trying to play cool. After this we kept talking on the phone & hung out a few more times.

At this point in my life I had absolutely nothing stopping me. I was single & about to move to Sydney in a few weeks and so I just asked her out. That was March 12th, 2010.

Bring it forward to June 12, 2010, exactly 3 months after we started dating. Catherine, my now girlfriend was in Canberra on her Occupational Therapy prac and I decided to go visit her. I handed her a chocolate in the shape of an M. The following day she received an A.. then an R.. then another R..and so on until it spelled out M A R R Y  M E.

At this point, it was still a statement and not a question yet. The next morning I picked her up super early and took her back to the place we went on our first date in Cronulla. I had put together a picnic basket with lots of Cath’s favourite foods. I had organised my photographer buddies Matt & Katie to come to Sydney to photograph the proposal as it happened, without Cath knowing they were there photographing us. I pointed them out to her and we ended up making up a story about who these people might be and what they were photographing. Katie became “Nikon girl with Boots” as she was shooting with a Nikon & had some pretty epic boots on.

I made it seem like I was going to propose there by Cronulla Beach, then we simply left and I started driving her home and told her it was just a big tease and that she would have to wait for the proposal.

Then I pulled over on the side of the road out the front of a small handmade chocolate shop called Nina’s that is right near Cath’s place. The time was 8:45am and the shop wasn’t due to open until 9am. I knocked on the door and had pre-organised with the owner George to be there & to let us in. He invited us in, let us taste test anything in the store and showed us around the shop. By this time, my friends Matt & Katie were standing in the factory behind the counter dressed up as though they worked in the store & putting together boxes for the chocolates to go in. Then George told us he had something special to show us. He walked out with a treasure chest made of chocolate with a ? on the top of it. He placed it in my hands & I got down on one knee and told Cath, among other things that she was my treasure & I love her and I didn’t even want to spend another day without her in my life and would she please marry me. At this point Matt & Katie have their cameras in hand taking photos & shooting video. Now we can share the story with you. ”

Congratulations James & Catherine! Best of luck planning your wedding and impending marriage together!

Photos by James Day of Three Words By James Day and Matt & Katie Photographers.

Visit Ms Polka Dot's Directory

Karen Willis Holmes

by | Bridal Fashion, Bride, Polka Dots


I’m delighted to share these new gowns with you from Karen Willis Holmes today. My favourite? Betsey who takes centre stage in this post. She’s covered in polka dots and we all know that I can’t really ignore anything with such a sweet twist on it! Karen’s classic English is almost a nod back to her English heritage. Her philosophy of classic, vintage style gowns with a modern edge is reflected in her gowns through fluffy, elegantly draped skirts, a nipped in waist or beautiful lace detailing. Beautiful. Elegant. Bliss!

Photos from Karen Willis Holmes

Vendor Of The Week – Baker Boys Band

by | Blog News, Bride


Spring is certainly in the air at Polka Dot Bride! There are photos full of pastel coloured flowers and sunshine landing in our inbox and everyone seems to have a little more pink in their cheeks!

Monday mornings are the one time of the week we pay special homage to those that support us and allow Polka Dot Bride to continue every day. Without their support, well it wouldn’t be the site it is today! So please support our vendors whenever you can!

This week’s vendor of the week is Melbourne musicians Baker Boys Band!

The Baker Boys Band may be based in Melbourne but they travel to Sydney and worldwide- not only that but they have a special discount for couples who marry in “exotic places”. They’ve just returned from a glorious wedding in Papua New Guinea where not only did they help a bride who was dying to have a  “Frank Sinatra style band” at her destination wedding at a 5 star resort, but they got to have a fantastic two week trekking holiday afterwards. So their policy? The guys in the band are guys who love nothing more than the idea of a seeking holiday in a country filled with head-hunting cannibals, surfing, incredible wildlife, and the promise of trouble.  So after playing their hearts our at the brides PNG wedding, the Baker Boys Band plan on hiking into the highlands of PNG for 2 weeks for a holiday.  It is a great deal for everyone!! The newlyweds gets the Baker Boys Band for a fraction of the cost, and the boys in the band get a crazy holiday!”

The Baker Boys band play a mix of Jazz, Swing, Rock, Gypsy music, Afro-Celtic, 80s and Top 40 and their musicians are some of Australia’s best- one just recorded with Crowded House on their new CD, another is a key member of amazing Australian band Cat Empire while yet another won an ARIA award for “Best Male Artist”. These guys are the cream of the crop! With combinations ranging from 3-14 band members, you can check them out at their regular Sydney (once a month) & Melbourne (once a fortnight) showing nights.

To learn a little more about the Baker Boys Band, we asked Baker Boys Band member Michael five questions in five minutes!

What is your favourite after five drink?

Vodka Martini. Yep – I always wanted to be James Bond.

Your favourite weekend getaway?

Weekend?! For a musician?! I don’t know the meaning of the word.

Favourite restaurant?

Spice Market in Melbourne.

What can we find you eating for breakfast on a Sunday morning?

Ummm… Sunday morning? As I said, I’m a musician. I don’t see mornings on a Sunday.

Your favourite wedding story?

That is easy. A huge 1000 person wedding in Melbourne – the bride was a professional dancer. The groom was a professional ice skater. The bridal waltz was performed on roller blades, with full 12 piece band playing high energy swing. This was a complete surprise to EVERYONE at the wedding – they didn’t warn their parents, co-ordinator, band, or bridal party. The most amazing thing: they NAILED it!!! It looked like Olympic ice skating – full scale aerial acrobatics, lifts, swing moves – EVERYTHING. The couple wore their formal wedding dress throughout, black tie, and a beautiful wedding dress, specially designed to allow movement.

Everyone’s jaws dropped as we watched – and the band had serious trouble playing – we were so in awe of the dance routine. At first the crowd was dubious. By the end, 1000 people were cheering, applauding, going absolutely crazy!

Since the wedding, the band and bride have become great friends, and we regularly ask her and her dance friends to perform with us.

Visit the Baker Boys Band to find out more about our Vendor Of The Week! Baker Boys Band are a member of Ms Polka Dot’s Directory

Snapshot Sunday – Please Turn Around

by | Bride, Snapshot Sundays


I fell in love with this wedding and this photo not only because the bride, Lisa wore an amazing red and white polka dot wedding gown but also because I love her expression in this photo. (See more of Tom & Lisa getting married here)

Photographer Anna Hardy, who took the shot says, “It was my friends’ Tom and Lisa’s wedding, and Tom was adamant that he wasn’t going to turn round to look at Lisa until she was right next to him.

I love that his best man Matt is smiling watching him do it and that Lisa had to prod him to make him turn round! On the previous picture you can see in their faces how hard they were trying not to look!”

Photo by Anna Hardy

Back to Top