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Friday Roundup

by | Blog News, Bride


I am so happy it’s Friday and hopefully it’s going to have some sun for all the fun  things I have planned! But in the meantime, here’s a little Friday roundup for you with a peek at one of the brand new Polka Dot Bride features!

Weddings By Joanna chose their winner for our competition! Congratulations to Rina on winning a wedding day management package!

Have you started your entry to win your Henry Roth dream wedding gown yet? The entries are rolling in and I’m already blown away by the creativity! For full details on entering the Henry Roth competition click here.

Thursday Throwdown for wedding professions is on again this month! Thurst Throw Down is a networking event organised by Girl Friday Weddings for wedding professionals! November dates are as follows. You can also follow along on Twitter by searching #thurstthrowdown


11 November
7pm Honey Bar

18 November
7pm Union Hotel


Victorian florist Blooming Brides have launched their brand new website. it’s chock full of beautiful images to pour over and just the thing to kick off Spring!

For our USA friends & vendors, if you haven’t already heard about the amazing work that the organisation Wish Upon A Wedding does, now is the time to take a moment!

Wish Upon A Wedding is a not for profit organisation that helps couples affected by terminal illness or other serious life altering circumstances marry- they have sixteen active chapters across the States filled with wedding professionals. To date they’ve granted eight couples a wedding and by the end of the year, 12 will be married.

During the month of November, Wish Upon A Wedding are holding a number of galas, balls and auctions across America to help raise funds and want you to participate!

Firstly, they’re holding The Blissful Wishes Ball! The event will be held in Chicago – November 1, LA –  November 4, San Francisco –  November 10, Houston – November 11, Charlotte –  November 12, Orlando –  November 14, St. Louis –  November 14, Baltimore –  November 17, Portland – November 18 and Atlanta –  November 21. You can buy tickets to The Blissful Wishes Ball here.

You can also take part in their online auction and bid on items & services for your wedding (as well as honeymoons, entertainment and other fun things)- while helping raise funds (every cent earned goes to help grant wedding wishes).

One of my favourite things (and we’re doing a site tour soon to show off all our favourite bits!) of the new Polka Dot Bride site are our specialty blogs- Polka Dot Groom, Polka Dot Wisdom, Polka Dot Weddings, Polka Dot Made & Polka Dot Honeymoons. You can access these just under our header and you can always see what’s going on on the other blogs by looking at this box in our right hand sidebar (it randomly changes to show you the latest is entries on each blog, each of which is clickable!

You can also subscribe to each blog individually (click the Subscribe tab) so if you’re not a DIY kind of girl, you don’t have to read the Made blog and if perhaps you’re planning your honeymoon, you can subscribe to that one instead!

We’ve been slowly opening up our contributor functionality and we would love you to come on board! Brides, vendors, grooms, families- these are your spaces! We’re a little strict in the content (we won’t post pure sales pitches, because we want to get to know you!) All you need to do is register for a personalised collection and fill out a contributor application which you’ll see on your page and we’ll send over more information!

In the meantime we’ve been gathering up some amazing entries from lots of fantastic writers (and some by just me!) so here’s a snapshot of them!

On Polka Dot Groom……

A little groom style from Mark

Emerson Made for the groom

Groom Style with Craig

On Polka Dot Wisdom…..

Culture Bridal takes us behind the scenes of the latest collection shoot

Last month, our Sydney features editor Ms Floral visited the Ultimate Wedding Planning Party and dished out the expert advice

Ms Floral also visited the Trippas White Open Day and saw some of Sydney’s beautiful venues.

I share one of my favourite business reads

Julian & Steven enlightened us on the power of being creative with video blogging

On Polka Dot Weddings….

Miss T introduces herself and told us about how Mr B proposed (complete tear jerker, you’ve been warned!)

Paul proposed to Aimee! and they had a beautiful Melbourne style engagement party!

One of the things I’ve been doing on Polka Dot Wedding sis posting real advice from brides, last week I shared Kaylene’s wise words!

Kahiwa went to the Luxury Wedding Soiree a few months ago as a Polka Dot Reporter and shared her review!

Another Polka Dot Reporter, Maria went to The Wedding Workshop and shared her review too!

On Polka Dot Made….

Alicia shared her Old School engagement party invitations with free downloadable extras!

I shared my essential item

The perfect thankyou card for your bridesmaids (and a free downloadable template)

On Polka Dot Honeymoons

A honeymoon on a private island perhaps?

Check out where Bonnie of Amour Amour honeymooned!

Visit Ms Polka Dot's Directory

Olena and David

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


Olena and David

As much as you think it’s the best job in the world looking at beautiful wedding photos all day, it really isn’t easy. Sometimes I get so swept up in a wedding, not including any photo feels like I’m doing the couple a disservice. I want to inspired you with their love, their choices and the way they shared their day and I want to do it by telling the couple’s story.

Olena and David who married in Pokolbin,  particularly touched my heart as I put their wedding together today. The thing I look at most with weddings is how they make me feel, do they make me sigh? Do they give me butterflies in my stomach? Is there something about the way they look at each other that makes me lose my breath?

Well it happened with Olena and David. I’m not sure if it was Olena’s incredible smile in every photo, especially the photos where she can feel David near her, or whether it’s her sassy gown and bouncing brown curls. I’m not sure if it hit me when I saw the photo of the flower-girls twirling as the sun went down, or the glittering candlelight to which guests dined. This was a wedding of joy, beauty and pure deliciousness.

Olena and David married in winter in the Hunter Valley, NSW. Olena says, ‘The location and season played a big part in the colours and styling of our day – we chose a country theme with earthy colours and simple and warm tones.’”

SugarLove Weddings are our photographers- never a wedding goes by where SugarLove doesn’t cook up something dreamy and beautiful, I know it’s going to be a treat for the eyes whenever they email me!

Olena wore a stunning asymmetrical gown with a black waistband from Carla Zampatti and carried a bouquet of burgundy cymbidium orchids, cordoline leaves, red roses and spider orchids styled by Susan Avery.

Olena and David married at Peppers Creek Winery using the onsite sandstone chapel for their ceremony. The couple decided to marry in the Hunter Valley so they could celebrate all weekend with their guests and enjoy a weekend getaway.

To take the chill off the air, Olena wore a fur capelet as the sun set. Her bridesmaid wore a burgundy gown from Harry Who. David wore a Marcs suit with thin black tie. Olena recounts, ‘We are both fans of the two-button slim-fit suit, paired with a skinny tie, David just came home one day with his suit. He had picked it up on his lunch break – I loved it.’

Guests gathered for cocktail hour outside the Peppers Creek Barrel Room.

The Barrel Room was decorated simply, tables were topped with mirrors, candles and heart shaped chocolates. Olena says “The Barrel Room is so beautiful we didn’t want to distract from its features, like the massive sandstone fire place, the beautiful dripping candelabras or the huge doors made originally for elephant stables in India, so we kept decorations to a minimum”. The tables were named after special moments in the couple’s life. The bridal table was named ‘Barcelona Beach’. Olena explains “‘We decided to get married after the birth of our son, Max, it was coming towards the end of our European stay – we were on a Christmas holiday in Spain, it was definitely a surprise – I hadn’t suspected a thing.’”

A three tier cake made by Vanessa Anderson of Sugar Rush was topped with orchids and roses by Susan Avery Flowers & Event Styling. The flavours were Red Velvet with Cream Cheese Frosting, Fuzzy Navel (orange and peach cake with French peach jam and orange buttercream), and Milk Chocolate Mud with Cookies and Cream filling.

The couple hired a band from Sydney Jazz Collective to entertain their guests.  Olena says “The sax player was fantastic, as he played he moved in and around ourselves and our guests on the dance floor – we loved his enthusiasm and could tell he had almost as much fun as we did!’

Thank you to Olena and David for sharing your wedding day today on Polka Dot Bride and thank you also to SugarLove Weddings for sharing today’s photographs with us!

White Designs also shot the wedding video of Olena and David and kindly shared it with us

Olena & David – Hunter Valley from White Designs on Vimeo.

Photos by SugarLove Weddings. Contacts and stories via Bride To be Magazine.

Glenda and James

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


Glenda and James

Is that sunshine I see? As much as I adore winter and Autumn I do have to say a wedding like this morning’s makes me excited about the prospect of sun on my skin. Especially with a venue overlooking Sydney Harbour!

Glenda and James are our newlyweds and Glenda explains how they met. “James and I met at work. I was James’ apprentice. I was in my 2nd year of my Engineering apprenticeship and James had just finished his apprenticeship. He had just been permanently placed in the section that I was working in. We started to work with each other, and when we fought like brother and sister we knew there was something special.”

Nerida McMurray is the photographer and I always see sunshine in her work- from crisp, clean captures in a natural, fresh style. I love seeing how Nerida captures a wedding!

Glenda wore a gown from Wendy Makin and her hair was styled by Olivera Cirillo. The bridesmaids wore tea length gowns from Dusk. One of Glenda’s bridesmaids Susana Derrin is also an event planner and helped James plan the wedding – Glenda didn’t have to do a thing!

Sydney Wedding Flowers created the bouquets. Glenda and James had their stationery made by Glenda’s brother. Glenda recounts, “My brother (Andrew Homan, Process Creative) designed the invite and we came up with a great idea to have white printing on recycled brown paper. It sounded good but what I didn’t know was that you can’t do white on normal printers. After a lot of looking we started to think that we would have to dismiss the idea. But then we found that we could get them screen printed. This worked out really well. The invites, name cards, RSVP and envelopes all together only cost about $4.50. I also did all the place cards by just printing on the paper we used for the invites and cutting and scoring them. We printed the orders of service ourselves.

Andrew designed us a family symbol.  The family symbol was printed on invites, name cards, and orders of service. Invitations were all sealed with wax featuring the family symbol.”

The wedding was at the Gap Bluff Centre, The Armoury. Glenda says, “We wanted a place with a view because we had family and friends flying in from Ireland, Canada & Sweden. We wanted to give them a taste of Sydney. We liked the idea of having the whole wedding at the same place so that our guests didn’t have to move, and could simply enjoy themselves. The venue was very simple and you can dress it up or down to suit the party.”

Glenda and James’ nephews acted as page boys.

Glenda’s brother played a special role in the wedding. She says “I think we were the first wedding to have a 28 year old male as a flower girl. My brother and I had always been close and we have made a pact that if I ever got married he would be my flower girl. It was a very funny moment when Susana (my brother’s girlfriend, a bridesmaid and my wedding planner) and I were at the florist and she asked: ‘what age is the flower girl?’ and we looked at each other and said ‘28 and not so girly – he is male’. The florist then said ‘ok if you are having a male flower girl I guess you want a neutral ribbon?’ Susana and I looked at each other and said ‘no – we were thinking hot pink!”

Glenda walked down the aisle with her mum and dad to ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ by Israel Kamakawiwoole.

There were many special moments for the bride during the wedding day including the alter ego of the groom ‘Jacque de Clemont’ being recognised in the wedding ceremony. James’ speech he gave during the wedding reception was another Glenda recounts “In a touching moment in his speech, James shared some of the reasons that he loved me:

There are so many things I love about you
I love your childlike quality,
Your sense of wonder,

Especially with the little things.
Your enthusiasm for life and love,

Excluding the mornings of course.
I love the way you sing my alter ego’s song,

Even when you are asleep.

I love the way you understand me,
better than anyone ever has.
I love the fun we have together
The way you can always make me laugh
Just when I need it most.
And I love the way I am when I’m with you
I see things differently through your eyes and your touch.
I love discovering the you that others rarely see
And the more I discover, the more I find to love
I love you simply because you are you
That’s why I know for the rest of my life I will always be in love with only you.”

After photographs and cocktail hour, guests headed inside The Armoury for a sit down reception.

Glenda and James chose a cupcake wedding cake from Baby Cakes iced in pinks and browns. The tables were decorated with pink blooms, succulents, mirrors and plenty of tea lights.

Each place card featured the family crest designed by Glenda’s brother. Glenda explains “The family symbol has about six concepts wrapped up in it including; Three key elements Me / James and a life together.  Rising sun – new beginning. Mobius Strip – infinity. Celtic styling – Irish Heritage of us both. Three lines: me, James and children.”

Dancing was an important part of the wedding for Glenda. “I though it would be fun to get the whole bridal party to do a choreographed dance. They were not too happy at first. One of our friends Sher Manu is one of the choreographers for ‘So You Think You Can Dance’. We were so pleased when she agreed to teach our very uncoordinated bridal party to dance. We were very lucky to have someone so talented…and patient to coach us.

We started seriously with a slow dance – just the 2 of us. Then the music changed to the rap version of ‘these are a few of my favourite things’ and the whole bridal party got in on the action. We had lifts, turns, jumps, leaps, catches, spinney bits and the dance ended with the boys bench pressing me into the air. They almost dropped me but we pulled it off with no broken bones.

We had two dance classes over the two Saturdays leading up to the wedding, and some last minute practice the night before. It was a great way to bring the bridal party together before the day and have some fun.”

Glenda says “We had a photo booth instead of doing bonbonniere. Best idea ever! It printed two strips – one the person took home the other went in a guest book where they could write a message next to their picture. The photo booth did not stop all night every time I looked there was a line. The photos are some of the funniest of the night and every time we go to a friend’s house they have them up on the fridge or beside their beds. It’s great that they have a fun reminder of the day – a bonbonniere that people actually like and use!”

A big thank you to Glenda and James for sharing their wedding day on Polka Dot Bride! Thank you also to Nerida McMurray for sharing today’s photographs!

Photos by Nerida McMurray

Caroline and Brent

by | Australia - Queensland, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Caroline and Brent

Can colour, leopard print and the sassiest Brisbane couple you’ve seen in a long time perk up your Wednesday afternoon? In a rainforest? Today is the gorgeous and fun wedding of Caroline and Brent!

‘Stolen’ from their wedding vows here’s the story of how Caroline and Brent met. “For those of you that don’t know the story so far Brent and Caroline first met in 1998 when they were both attending Film College.  Brent was 17, just out of school and had high hopes to become the next Quentin Tarentino.  Caroline was 19 and had high hopes, about what it was unknown, but high hopes nonetheless.  While working together on a short film called ‘A SCIENCE FICTION’ they found more interest in each other than the poor story line and became fast friends.  Their weekends quickly turned into movie marathons accompanied by home-made calzones, pavlova, and cask wine.

By the end of the year they were living together in a share house at Woolloongabba and in the following six months their relationship survived their unruly flatmates.  They moved to Fairfield in a Townhouse with their cat Iolaus (pronounced yol-us), who ended up being the downfall of the townhouse thanks to a crazy neighbour.  In 2004 they moved to Kenmore and Zappa the crazy Labrador joined the family.  Since then Caroline and Brent have undergone some amazing changes in their lives, had varied jobs and education, and met some wonderful people, all the while growing in their love for each other.”

Today’s photographs are by Little Mick Photography who has a talent for capturing the quirky, unique moments and details! Oh these photos are a joy to look at!

Caroline wore a custom designed 50’s style gown made by Sew Formal (ph: (07) 3389 8355).  It featured an eggplant purple and blue petticoat and matching fascinator from The Hat Box. Her bridesmaids wore peachy pink gowns from Tiger Rag, The multicoloured bouquets were styled by Brisbane Bouquets.

Caroline and Brent were married at the Bundaleer Rainforest Park. Caroline walked down the aisle to “This Old Love” by Lior, performed by her sister Maree.

The beautiful green surrounds were no accident, Caroline says. “It absolutely poured the day before but the sun was shining on the day making all of the surrounding rainforest setting very lush and green.”

Caroline held their reception in a marquee at Bundaleer Rainforest Gardens.

Caroline and Brent had a special first dance, she says, ” We had dancing lessons for 8 weeks to learn the triple swing as our bridal waltz.  The band was one of the most important features of the wedding (my favourite band) so we wanted to make sure it was something a bit unique.” The couple hired Mojo Webb to keep their guests on the dance floor all night long.

A big thank you to Caroline and Brent for allowing us to share their wedding day today on Polka Dot Bride! Thank also to Little Mick Photography for sharing today’s photographs!

Photos by Little Mick Photography

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