Project Innovate 2012 – Meet Saundra Hadley, GET REAL Sales Coach

by | Blog News, Bride


Project Innovate Logo Project Innovate  Meet Leila Khalil of Be Inspired PR

In the hustle and bustle of the almost daily content from wedding professionals across Australia and the world, we showcase Polka Dot Wisdom (really you should subscribe, we have such great posts lined up!) posts which can sometimes can get lost in the flurry. But when it’s an event announcement, I want to make sure everybody can see!

Last year, Sarah from Girl Friday Weddings and I joined forces to create Project Innovate. We were so inspired by the response from the Australian wedding industry about the need for industry specific education, that we’re doing it all again this year! 2012 welcomes Saundra Hadley all the way from the US who will be presenting “Selling For Wedding Professionals.”

Branding your business isn’t just your logo, it’s how you do business, it’s how you market.  This session will cover:

  • Psychological Process of the Sale

Learn the tried and proven process that every sale goes through until the purchase is made.

  • The Emotions behind Buying

What is the Buyer/Potential Client feeling emotionally, especially in the wedding industry?

  • First Contact

Best practices in handling the first contact from a potential client.

  • Pre Qualifying

How to PreQualify the client, more than what you may normally do now.

  • Creative Consultations

Best practices in creating the most magical and creative of consultations.

  • Closing the Sale

Steps to use to move your potential client towards closing the sale.

  • Winning Proposals

New ideas for creative and winning proposals. Set yourself apart from the rest.

  • Top Sales Mistakes

Learn and laugh about the top sales mistakes that we all have made.

I’ve spent a great deal of time over the years with Saundra (I love the way she presents sales techniques in a no fuss, no fluff, straight down the line environment) and I am really excited about bringing her to Australia.

If you’d like to come along,the event is on the 11th of September from 5.30pm at The Ivy Sunroom in Sydney. Ticket price ($220 for early birds!) includes a presentation on the latest “Cost Of Love” survey results from Bride To Be Magazine’s beauty and features editor Amy Collins- Walker, a ninety minute workshop by Saundra Hadley, a question & answer session with Saundra, champagne upon arrival, a scrumptiously catered networking reception following the workshop (did I mention the sweet treats and cake?) and a chance to be a part of Project Innovate’s second ever event.

Click here to purchase your ticket.

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Friday Roundup

by | Blog News, Bride


Phil+Lisa 0351 550x825 Our Perth Picnic Wedding

Photo by Ruby Yeo  from Our Perth Picnic Wedding

Happy Friday Dotties! What are you up to this weekend? Any wedding related tasks at hand? Weddings to go to? Marriages to start?

This Week On Polka Dot Weddings

Polka Dot Weddings is the blog where real brides write about their weddings and share their experiences. Inspiration abounds so click on each image to read more.



1.Shoe Crush Sunday – Lavender 2.Real Wedding ~ Our Urban Melbourne Wedding 3.Real Wedding ~ Michelle and Jay’s Elegant Manila Church Wedding 4.Real Wedding ~ Our Perth Picnic Wedding 5. Ask Ms Polka Dot- The Tale Of Three Ceremonies



This Week On Polka Dot Wisdom

Polka Dot Wisdom is a treasure trove of advice, news and wedding planning tips! Written by wedding professionals you could almost plan your whole wedding by following this, the wisest of all blogs! Click on the images to read more.



1.What Would They Know? Bianca and Aja of Liana Raine Artisan Pops 2Vendor’s Favourites – The White Tree.3.Tulipomania – What Makes The Tulip Special 4.The Real Value of Wedding Photography 5. Meet Saundra Hadley, our guest for Project Innovate 2012!


This Week On Polka Dot Made

Polka Dot Made is your source for all things handmade including weekly DIY projects to make for your wedding or engagement.


1.Etsy Roundup ~ Marshmallow Sweets 2.Tuesday Type – Parfait 3.DIY Chalkboard Projects

This week on Polka Dot Honeymoons

The wedding is over, the dust has settled and now it’s time to get away from it all! Find resort reviews, inspiration and real honeymoons every week on Polka Dot Honeymoons.


1.Melissani Cave Kefalonia 2.Megan and Andrew’s Stradbroke Island Destination Wedding


This week on Polka Dot Groom

Polka Dot Groom is dedicated to all things groom. Inspiration, advice and style for the Australian groom.


1.The Vintage Groom ~ Style Inspiration 2 Justin’s wedding memory.3. Swish style with groom Brenton 


Around the wedding world this week….

winner winner Friday Roundup


We are finally able to announce the winner of our Dunlin Home competition! A big congratulations to Sarah C. Sarah I will be in touch today for your details!

Perth Wedding Upmarket  is on again on Saturday, August 25th! Full of creative Perth wedding vendors, the market includes everything from cake artisans, photographers to stationery!. Check out our events calender for wedding events around the country!

Delicious Sydney sweets and treats creator Loomas have launched their macaron towers, making them available for weddings! They’re such a yummy option if you still want something sweet but aren’t a cake fan! Check out their website for more.

If you love photobooths then perhaps this save the date idea is for you! Flashback Photobooths are offering a save the date special where you can create a photo strip to send to your family and friends telling them of your wedding date! Contact them for more information!

I have had this tab open for weeks and weeks and weeks and keep forgetting to share it. Jessica Hirsche is one of my favourite designers (love, love her typography) and you must check out her wedding website she created with her designer friends after her engagement. It’s awesome- see it here!

Blue Tulip Imaging have shot this really beautiful video of an Australian engagement shoot they did. I like the feeling of it!

Annie and Ash’s Rustic Australian Wedding

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


Annie and Ash

“Towards the end of 2008 I met Ash through a mutual friend of ours Ben Cotton. During this time Ash was working for Defence at the RAAF Base in Newcastle. I had recently moved to Newcastle. There’s not a whole lot to do in Newcastle – it’s very much a place where you have to make your ‘own’ fun!”

Annie tells the story of how they came to be. “Ash one day decided to go out and purchase a giant plasma Tv and surround system so he could host movie nights at his house where he was living at in Maryville near Carrington. It just so happened that I attended one of the movie nights that Ash had organised. Ash thought I was pretty good company so he got my number.

Out of the blue I received a text message from Ash asking if I would like to catch up for a coffee. I agreed and so began our friendship. Ash was not looking for anything more than friendship during this time; however he was struck at how easily we connected. We remained close friends and regularly spent time together. We very quickly became close friends even though we had not discussed our feelings or intentions of how we felt towards each other.

After a whirlwind six months in Newcastle, Ash moved to Melbourne for work. This was really difficult for me, as it was around this time I realised I had feelings for Ash!”

Photos today are by Jake Thomas. I love Jake’s rustic, earthy captures of the celebration today.

Annie wore lace covered shoes from Glitzy N Glamorous .

Annie wore the “Margaret” gown by Henry Roth from The Bridal Co. She recalls “I ordered my dress from The Bridal Co, they were the only store that stocked a sample of my dress, “ Margaret”. The owner Janine was sensational along with all her staff. Would highly recommend!!”

Annie and Ash hired Teagan Cronin TLC Design & Events to pull their wedding look together. Annie explains, “I didn’t really have a theme for our wedding, I still don’t know how you would describe it! But the day was a complete fairytale wedding. Teagan was with me every step of the planning process, her patience and creativeness blew me away. When I came down the stairs after hair and make up, to see everything set up it took my breath away. I also added my own touch to our wedding and sourced a lot of the decorations online from Etsy and Ebay.”

Annie and Ash were married at Capers Guest House Wollombi. Annie recalls “Ash and I looked at a lot of different venues in the Hunter Valley. Finding our perfect venue was done by trial and error! I stumbled across Caper’s website one evening looking through their photo’s. I didn’t want to get my hopes up so I made appointment with Jane and Michael Young, the owners of Capers and drove out to view the venue. Friends of ours Trinity and Ben Doyle had married in Wollombi the previous year, and my husband and I loved the low key reception and ceremony. When it came to planning our wedding this was a huge influence for us.

When I arrived at Capers and stepped out onto the balcony I knew instantly that I had found our venue!. It took me all of about 10 minutes to convince Ash to have our wedding at Capers!”

One of the most powerful moments of the day for Annie was “Walking down the aisle and seeing Ash standing at the altar was one of the greatest moments of my life it was incredibly emotional for me. We’ve been through a lot together and getting married was such a wonderful commitment to make in front of the people that we love the most.” Annie walked down the aisle to  “I will love you” by Fisher . Much of the music on the wedding day was performed live by Anna Weatherup . Annie explains “Anna Weatherup is a good friend of mine and has the most stunning voice, she did vocals and played the guitar acoustically which suited our venue beautifully. ”

The ceremony was performed by Patricia Anne Norris (02) 4351 3636 . Annie remarks “Amazing! Trish was beautiful to work with, Ash and I both formed a very close relationship with Trish and her husband Reg through-out the planning of the ceremony.”

Of their photographer, Annie says “Amazing couldn’t praise Jake Thomas and his staff more! Jake really went above and beyond we are blown away with our wedding photos, they are amazing.

When we met Jake in the studio, I was struck by how easy going he was, which I liked, Ash and I are pretty laid back!  Jake had also photographed some friends of mine and their wedding. Which was another tick in my box!. Most of all I’m creative myself and just loved the photographs that were in the studio.”

Of their vendor choices, Annie notes, “It was really important for me to have people on board that were bubbly and most of all easy going who I could click with. I spent a lot of time researching and trying different suppliers out. The people that I chose were so incredibly talented and inspiring they really helped to make our wedding day so beautiful and relaxed. For me I really wanted to build a personal rapport with the people working on our wedding.

It really helps to take the stress out of the day! When our wedding day arrived, and everyone started coming in to set up and say their hello’s they weren’t strangers, they were friends.  It was so very special for me to see everyone on the day and marvel at the atmosphere and celebrate with all our dear friends and family.”

Favors were hessian bags decorated with chalk labels. Annie remarks “I bought the favour bags from etsy and filled them with heart chocolates and got my mum and bridesmaids to help me as there were so many!”

Congratulations Annie & Ash! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Jake Thomas for sharing today’s images.

Photographer: Jake Thomas / Wedding Planner: Teagan Cronin TLC Design & Events / Bride's Dress: Henry Roth / Bridal Salon: The Bridal Co / Bride's Shoes: Glitzy N Glamorous / Bride's Jewellery: Lovisa / Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Ruben & Scarf Kotara / Bridesmaid Dresses: Henry Roth / Bridesmaid Shoes: Betts / Hairstylist: Diane, Blush Brides Australia / Makeup Artist: Diane, Blush Brides Australia / Flowers & Decor: Jade McIntosh Flowers / Invitations & Stationery: Huetopia Design / Venue: Capers Guest House Wollombi / Ceremony Officiant: Patricia Norris (02) 4351 3636 / Musicians: Anna Weatherup / Catering: Exclusive Event Catering / Wedding Cake: Cakes To Dream

Sally and Garnett’s Beautiful Backyard Wedding

by | Australia - Queensland, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Sally & Garnett

I honestly have the most delightful backyard Brisbane wedding for you today. It just has this utter sweetness to it that is beautiful to watch as the story unfolds.

Sally tells their story. “Garnett and I had actually been friends for almost 9 years before we started dating.  We both met in first year university at the University of Queensland.  We then studied Veterinary science together for 5 years.  We were both in a very close friendship group throughout university and continued to keep in touch a few times a year after that finished.  I then went on to study Medicine and finally started dating Garnett towards the end of this degree.  It was a surprisingly easy transition from friendship to a relationship.

Nobody was surprised that we had started dating.  The response we usually got was ‘about time’.”

Unfortunately we had been dating for 24hrs before Garnett got offered a deployment to East Timor with the Army, (he is in the Army reserve).  He said yes, and as a result we spent one month together before he went overseas for 6 months.  We kept in touch over the phone and via Skype. I took my first job in Cairns, so we moved up here together.  We have now bought a house and plan on staying up here for the next few years at least.  As a result the whole wedding was organised over the phone! Thank goodness for picture messages! He proposed on Christmas Day with a ring that he had specially designed with a Jeweller in Rockhampton that had been recommended to him by a friend of his.  I really love my ring, it’s quite unique.

On their wedding night, Sally’s sister Gillian made the following speech. ” They found each other after a long friendship together. Everybody saw it coming”.

Sally’s feelings for Garnett took a sharp turn and in the words of Sally’s favourite Jane Austin novel…. “She began now to comprehend that he was exactly the man, who, in disposition and talents, would most suit her.””

Photos today are by Natalie McComas who has such a sweet elegance to her photographs.

Sally and Garnett were married at Garnett’s family home. Sally remarks “It’s a very large, three storey white Queenslander house that was initially built in the 1800’s. Garnett’s mother Liz decorated the entire house and garden on her own with a French influence with a little help by my mother Robyn.”

Green & Bloom  styled the floral arrangements. Sally remembers “My flowers were really unique and exactly what I had imagined.  I really wanted to include gum leaves and gum nuts, mixed berries and freesias.  I let Roberta from Green & Bloom do the rest – and they looked and smelled amazing.  We had a large wreath on the front gate and large arrangements of flowers tied onto the rotunda.  The reception flowers were large bunches of individual flower types from the bouquet.”

Sally wore a gown by Ella Bridal from Divine Bridal Cairns.

Sally recalls “The ceremony was held at the house on the lower rotunda.  We had guests arrive half an hour early so that Garnett could welcome them all as they arrived.  This was really lovely for him to be able to do as we had not seen some of them for years.  The photos from some of these moments show so much emotion.”

The wedding has one very special four legged guest Sally remembers. “Our dog Bob traveled down from Cairns with us on the plane.  He is a very special part of our lives and just had to be a part of the wedding.  He was waiting with Garnett for me at the end of the aisle in a very dashing black bow-tie.  He is a cream coloured Australian Kelpie who is 8 years old.”

Fiona walked down the aisle to “Down the Aisle (Wedding March 2)” by Fiona Joy Hawkins.

The couple were married in the lower rotunda, Sally says “We were married above a sea of friends. Nicole Evans, our wedding celebrant was fantastic.  She was a tutor of mine during Medical School.  She will also marry my sister Gillian in October this year!”

Of their photographer, Sally notes, “She was recommended to me by my sister Gillian who is getting married later this year. I loved her style of photography, I really wanted candid, sneaky photos that captured the moment and she did this perfectly.  Best decision that I made with regards to my Wedding.  I was able to completely relax and the photos that we ended up with are so beautiful that I actually have not got around to printing any yet because I don’t know which ones to choose!” Garnett wore a Hugo Boss tuxedo.

Sally says “The photos taken of Garnett and I are really amazing. They were taken in private gardens near the house.  I actually don’t have a one favourite, they are all favourites! Natalie gave us great direction.”

Sally wore shoes from Tony Bianco which she customised. She explains “My Aunty Julie, up here in Cairns, had the idea of removing the motif from my dress and sewing it onto my shoes.”

Guests celebrated with a cocktail style reception in the backyard of the house. Sally explains “We hired a large clear marquee, dance floor and lighting from Southern Cross Party Hire.  They were really great, I let the owner of the business make all the decisions about the placement of the marquee and lighting and he did an amazing job.”

Sally remembers “All of our speeches were amazing, and Natalie got some photos of the crowd laughing and really enjoying themselves.  These are some of my favourite reception photos.”

One of Sally’s fondest memories is a funny moment. She explains, “There was a noise complaint from the police quite early in the evening.  They were welcomed at the front gate by about 10 children under the age of 10.  I believe that this was a huge highlight for them all! The fact that we were able to have my dog, and all my cousin’s children running around like crazy during the night. It was described by one of them who is 5 years old as ‘The best night of my life’.  The whole day was just filled with joy and laughter.”

The evening had a surprise performance. Sally says, “Our friends from Veterinary School had a very big surprise for us on the night.  They had choreographed and learned the words to a song for each of us that they performed with the help of the band.  They sang ‘Smooth Operator’ for Garnett, wearing feather boas – to represent his single University years.  Later in the evening they sang ‘She’s got the look’ by Roxette for me, dressing in leather with mullet wigs.  There is photographic evidence which is hilarious!  It’s certainly not something that I have ever seen at a wedding before!”

The food was catered by family, technically! Sally recalls “The reception was a cocktail style function and was catered by The Kookaburra Cafe, which is actually Garnett’s family’s restaurant.  It is an Italian restaurant in Paddington.  We had lots of canapés and gourmet pizza to eat.  Our Croquembouche was also made by the restaurant.  We actually had to cut the cake early, as the kids had started to dismantle it and eat it.  Bob also got a profiterole.”

Congratulations Sally & Garnett! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Natalie McComas for sharing today’s images!

Photographer: Natalie McComas / Bride's Dress: Ella Bridal / Bridal Salon: Divine Bridal Cairns / Bride's Shoes: Tony Bianco / Bride's Jewellery: Thousand Island Dressing / Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss / Hairstylist: Latisha, Nut Salon / Makeup Artist: Chloe Turner, MAC Brisbane / Flowers & Decor: Green & Bloom / Invitations & Stationery: Handmade / Venue: Private Home / Ceremony Officiant: Nicole Evans / Band: Casey Barnes and Band / Catering: Kookaburra Cafe / Wedding Cake: Kookaburra Cafe / Wedding Ring: Ess-Jay Jewellery / Wedding Registry: Wedding Gifts Direct / Rentals: Southern Cross Party Hire