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Anne Marie and John – Arabian Nights Engagement

by | Bride, Engagements


Anne-Marie & John

The engagement shoot of Anne-Marie & John is a truly special one and I knew it would be when the words of inspiration rolled onto my screen. Anne-Marie and John are marrying next month at the QVB Tea Rooms in Sydney. For their engagement shoot, they did something a little different and worked with their photographer for an “Arabian Nights” style shoot. Full of amazing food, flowers, lanterns and lights, it was full of beautiful touches.

Their photography Cathy Crawley of Beautiful Moments Photography “The inspiration for the shoot came about because I used to watch I Dream of Jeannie as a little girl and I always fantasised about having a room in my home when I grew up that was just like the inside of her bottle.  LOL.  I haven’t got that room yet sadly!  I came up with the concept for the shoot over a year ago but I was waiting for the right couple to come my way, when I found out that John and Anne-Marie had visited the Middle East I knew they were the perfect clients for the shoot.  I really wanted to do something that was unique and visionary, I love to push the boundaries and try to come up with new ideas – mostly for myself as I’m a frustrated stylist, designer, artist. But also because I hope that if I show different content on my blog my clients who book me will ‘think outside the box’ when it comes to choosing details for their weddings.  I don’t want to be the photographer who is stuck with boring details, I’m ALL about details as you may have noticed with Benny’s party 😉

Now for the details! Jeannie Tent:  I made myself, I had no idea how to do it so I just winged it and went with the flow – thankfully it worked out!
Pillows:  I made most of them and bought 2 at a nursery.
The Rug:  I bought 20 years ago and had sitting in the garage,  had totally forgotten I had it until we were cleaning it out a few weeks back!
The Lamps, Tea Lights and Lanterns:  I bought at a client’s store (actually she doesn’t stock them but ordered them in specifically for me)  Yay for great clients right?!?!
The Flowers:  Were made at the last minute by a new florist who opened up the day before the shoot “Blushing Blooms” Flowers by Sally Thompson.  I gave Sally images of the flowers I was after and she made them exactly to match, she’s a legend and I can’t wait to work with her again!  )
The Jeannie Bottles:  Are mine, again with the Jeannie obsession :)
The Platters & Tea Pot: Anne-Marie’s mums.
The Drum & Pipe:  From a friend of Anne-Marie’s.

My husband helped me erect the tent (he’s quite the handy man) and my friend Victoria (who will be teaching at my upcoming Nuts & Bolts Workshop) helped with putting the set together while my son Ben played in the sand and dug holes with the shovel :)  Te he he”.

Cathy is such a passionate photographer. She has this zest for life and excitement that floods through her words…and her words are full of raw honesty, passion, pain and wanting more. I love seeing the work Cathy produces- it’s a joy to witness!

Photos by Beautiful Moments Photography

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GIVEAWAY: Letter Bird Lane Stationery

by | Bride, Competitions


Paper paper everywhere! I love nothing more than beautiful paper and today we have a fantastic competition from stationer Letter Bird Lane!

Started by designer Eliza Silva, Letter Bird Lane specialises in unique personalised stationery for all occasions. Letter Bird Lane’s online store is full of fun, colourful designs with a modern edge and reflects Eliza’s background in design.

Letter Bird Lane has a great giveaway for Polka Dot Bride readers today!

To win a set of 50 shimmer invitations & envelopes plus 50 shimmer reply cards and envelopes valued at AU$420 simply leave a comment on this entry letting me know what is inspiring you for your wedding day.

The winner will be able to select any of Letter Bird Lane’s online designs and up to two colour swatches to suit their wedding palette.

Competition closes 17th September 2010 5pm Australian EST. Entrants must be residents of Australia and aged 18 years or older. The winner will be chosen by Letter Bird Lane and will be informed by Polka Dot Bride by email and announced on the Polka Dot Bride site. This prize is not redeemable for cash. This competition is a game of skill; no chance enters into deciding the winner. No late entries will be considered. Stationery will have standard corners (not rounded) and will not be personalised (without guest names). Prize must be claimed and used within six months.

Olivia and Nathan

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


Olivia & Nathan

I’m always excited to have a venue or a photographer we’ve never featured before on Polka Dot Bride and today’s is a double header because we have a fresh venue and a fresh photographer making their first wedding appearances!

Today’s wedding is the beautiful Autumn celebration of Olivia and Nathan- it has everything I love about Australian weddings- lots of smiles and laughter, elegance and the laid back beautiful style that Australians know how to execute so perfectly!

Olivia shared the story of how she & Nathan came to be. “Eight years ago as nineteen year olds we met at a dinner date through friends – my girlfriend was asked out by Nathan’s best friend and we went along with other friends to break the ice between the new lovers – lucky for us it was love at first sight and we have been together ever since.”

Luisa Brimble of Serendipity Corner Photography is today’s photographer. I’ve been dreaming over Luisa’s work for a little while now, because there is well – a dreaminess to it that captures the mood and feeling of her events with such beauty.

Olivia carried a dusty pink and white bouquet by GrandiFlora. Her makeup was by Stoj and her gown by Sydney designer, Helen English. She says “I had never had a dress made before so I was anxious about choosing a style and hoping that it would look great without trying it on but Helen was so calming and confident about our ideas that I felt completely at ease and had the most fun dancing around her beautiful terrace studio in a calico dress full of pins! Helen loved the new design so much that it is now part of her collection as the Olivia dress”.

Olivia styled the event herself and has now launched her own event styling business Mrs Bentwood.  She created the stationery herself along with the decorations with her essential elements of, ” The Bentwood chair + Linen fabric + Brown paper + Natural timber + Huge balloons”. The ceremony was decorated with a welcome sign (made by Olivia’s sister and husband from a fallen down tree on their farm), a rose petal aisle, pails of roses and masses of white balloons.

Olivia’s bridesmaids wore blush pink gowns from (now closed) Rose & Ruby while Nathan and his groomsmen wore suits from Hugo Boss.

Olivia & Nathan married in the rose gardens at Sydney’s Centennial Park. Olivia says “A park not far from home, we spend many Sundays reading the paper in the shade of the trees we got married under. And in the days to come it will be here for our family to enjoy and for us to visit when we’re feeling sentimental.” Olivia walked down the aisle with her best friend, her sister and arm in arm with her little brother to “”Down to the River to Pray” by Paris Wells  from Brother Where Art Thou?

After a glass of champagne and some photos in the gardens, Olivia and Nathan joined their guests in the park’s restaurant. Olivia put her own special touch on the reception held at Centennial Parklands Dining. Olivia says “With the creative direction of my sister (matron of honour), my sister-in-law  (who flew in from Boston) and my best friend (who flew in from Paris) we crafted invitations, ceremony booklets, menus, cute blackboard signs around the venue, cootie catchers for the tables and the most beautiful seating plan using screen printed linen that I bought extra meters of to upholster a chair or bed head or cushions in our new home one day.”

Simmone Logue made a two tier white cake which was topped with metallic birds. Olivia loved that somehow Nathan got the most “kisses” from the cootie catcher.

For their guestbook, Olivia worked with Luisa to create a Polaroid booth where guests snapped their photos and wrote heartfelt messages. Olivia decorated the reception with her favourite things “The relaxed rose and snow-berry arrangements, masses of festoon lights, long linen table runners, and my favourite bentwood chairs made to restaurant look so dreamy – it was just perfect.”

The first dance was a particularly memorable moment for Olivia “Nathan chose Coldplay’s ‘Til Kingdom Come” and as he asked his new wife to dance after his speech and as the guitar strums started my tears started rolling  – I was a hopeless dancer but loved every second, shuffling around the dance floor laughing and crying together.”

Family made the day so very special to the newlyweds. “All my family are from Perth and they flew into Sydney for us all to be together – it was like Christmas having everyone in the same place – so we went on a harbour cruise the day before the wedding and I think that was the best thing – to just get some sun, relax and not worry about anything – whatever we didn’t get finished was not a big deal – it was just so great to have all the family together in our beautiful city Sydney!”

Guests danced all night to music by The Secondhand Band- Olivia remembers thinking it was almost over but looking at the clock and realising it was only 10pm! She says “I loved dancing the night away with my 80 year old Nan & Pop there until the last song and then hitching a ride home with us in the wedding car”.

A big thank you to Olivia and Nathan for sharing their wedding day with us on Polka Dot Bride! Wonderful wishes to you both! Thank you also to Jessica of Silk Truffle (do you remember Jessica and her fabulous eco-friendly wedding dress design?) who gave me the heads up on the beautiful work of Luisa Brimble of Serendipity Corner Photography who allowed us to share today’s stunning wedding!

Photos by Serendipity Corner

The Stylebook By Tealily Photography

by | Bride, Magazines and Books, Photography


Today, in Australia we herald the first day of Spring! Of beautiful sun light streaming in, the return of brightly coloured blooms and the start of wedding season!

A little treat for you on this fine day from our lovely friend Trish at Tealily Photography. Trish used her beautiful eye for style and created “The Stylebook”, a beautiful online magazine full of tips and tricks to get the most out of your engagement & wedding photography, special deals & giveaways from wedding vendors, real weddings and interviews with some of her favourite industry peers.

Trish’s Stylebook was inspired by a bride, together they brainstormed with sketch books full of ideas. The magazine took on a life of it’s own- it’s dotted throughout with stunning images and is definitely worthy of your morning coffee today!

Do leave Trish your feedback- I’d love to see a Summer issue hit our screens!

You can view the entire magazine above or by clicking here. (The magazine is best viewed in full screen so wait a little while to ensure it has completely loaded!) You can also download a PDF version here.

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