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

Mother Polka’s Musings – Creating Your New Family Unit

by | Bride, Mother Polka's Musings


Mother Polka is back again today, on the subject of families, creating a family unit and working out all the emotions that go with it! We call this series of posts, by my wonderful mother (a veteran of marriage of over 35 years) “Mother Polka’s Musings“. You can read more of her musings here.


When you enter into a marriage your allegiance needs to subtly shift from your childhood family to your partner. Oops – this may sound a little harsh at first! But bear with me!

In the excitement of ‘getting married’ we can overlook the fact that ‘being married’ means the final separation from the family unit we grew up in, to a new family unit we are in the infancy of creating. If we stop to think about it, there may be a lot of sadness in this – finally leaving behind our childhood and all that entails. But a new chapter of your life has begun and that can be scary and exciting all rolled up together!

In practical terms, what does this mean? Firstly it does not mean a cutting of ties with your family of origin (if your partner wants you to do that, it is ‘possessing’ not ‘creating’). It does not mean overtly rejecting their values, or not respecting where they are in their lives.

It does mean, that to create a unit of your own, running parallel to your original family units, will entail some give and take, some finding out what is comfortable for everyone and some compromise.

What will your family unit look like? What are the things that matter to you and your partner? What are the ‘rules’ you will live by? I believe every family has ‘rules’ even when they think they don’t – about what is acceptable to each member, what is outside their ‘comfort zone’. You might consciously or unconsciously carry on habits you felt comfortable with from your family home, or create new ones that sit well with both of you.

What are the things that are ‘not negotiable’ to you as a couple? Agreeing on these things allows you to present a united front when people try to test your resolve.

‘Non negotiables’ that you might need to ponder might include these. Your husband’s mother or your mother is interfering in your lives, criticising what you do or giving ‘helpful hints’ – how do you handle it as a united front? Will you confide in your mother about personal issues – how does your husband feel about this? Your parents are given a key to your house. They keep accessing your house without knocking at any time of day or night – how do you deal with this issue? Having celebrations that do not include your parents or siblings every time – how do you negotiate this? Creating your own family traditions – what is meaningful to you, what can you compromise on?

Re-negotiating family ‘rules’ will need grace, tact and loads of time. It means acceptance and tolerance on the part of parents and siblings to squeeze your new unit into the family circle. It means a sense of humour and a large dose of humility on both sides to negotiate this sometimes rocky path.

But standing firm is about believing that what you are doing is right for you as a couple – and that’s what is important here and now.

Sign Up To The Polka Dot Circle

Alyson and Craig Engaged

by | Bride, Engagements



Alyson and Craig

There is no place I would rather be this morning than having a picnic outside with Mr Polka. Apart from the obvious working day it is also no weather to leave the warmth of the heater, which is why I thought today’s shoot might help us drift away to summer days! It comes all the way from Austin, Texas!

Today’s shoot is by Sweet Caroline Photography. We all know I love to get the couple to do the talking so here are Alyson’s words on the engagement shoot.

“Craig and I love LOVE love the outdoors so we knew that we wanted to have our pictures taken outside in a field or in the woods but weren’t sure exactly where we wanted to do it. The weekend before our session with Caroline, we were on our way to go rock climbing out at Reimer’s Ranch, not too far from Austin. We were so busy talking with my younger sister that we completely missed our turn. We didn’t even realize it until 40 minutes down the road when we noticed that we should have already arrived. My sister looked up our location on her iphone- oops. Rather than back-tracking, we decided to take the small country roads to the park. What we found was beautiful: rolling hills and huge open fields with beautiful oak trees. Spring wildflowers covered the landscape and we saw a spot that had no fences or gates keeping us from getting out of the car and walking around. We immediately agreed that we had found our location for the engagement session.

All of the things that we brought told a little something about us – the picnic things (1920s quilt and kitchen scale) were things that I had picked up in antique shops in Vermont with my mother. One of the vases was my grandmother’s. The motorcycle was Craig’s parents from the 70s. They each had one and would ride around on them when they first got married. We brought the books which represent what we spend our days doing at work: French without Toil (this book was my father’s when he was my age) since I am a French teacher, and College Mathematics since Craig is a geophysicist.

The wooden ring: When Craig proposed, he did it with this beautiful Brazilian rosewood ring that he carved himself. He had ordered several different samples of wood and spent time here and there over a period of 4 months carving it. He said he wanted to propose with a ring, but he wanted me to get to choose what I would want as a wedding ring, so he carved this one. I love it more than anything I could have chosen myself.”


















Photos by Sweet Caroline Photography.

Stacey and Joe

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Inspired Weddings,



Stacey and Joe

A wintery Melbourne celebration is on the cards this morning! I love the beautiful celebration of Stacey and Joe. It really has such Melbourne qualities- beautiful architecture, moody weather and of course a very in love couple!

Photos this afternoon are by JD Digital Photography.


Stacey and Joe met at their work Christmas party- they didn’t fall for each other until 9 months later, but when they did….! The couple chose a black tie celebration, with flowers by Kate Hill Flowers including roses, magnolia leaves and brown berries. Stacey wore a Thai silk gown covered in Italian lace from Izaro Haute Couture while Joe scrubbed up nicely in his Spurling suit.



Stacey wanted comfort on the day and wore silver ballet flats  from Laura Benini, she says “I attached brooches which were a pewter colour with diamantes and pearls. You can see these popping out from under my dress”. For the bridesmaids, Stacey says “We had the dresses handmade. The fabric was a rich chocolate Italian Silk which I purchased from D’Italia in Malvern.”



Stacey says “My mum gave me an extra special wedding gift before we left for the Cathedral. She had spent many months making a quilt with “Memories of the Heart”. It is just gorgeous and I was very touched by her love and efforts.”



Joe wasn’t the only male to dress up, Stacey recounts “As we were leaving the room to head downstairs to the cars we ran into my three nephews, Kory, Jack and Charlie. They looked very handsome in their black tie suits and sunglasses” Fi Foot, Fi Fy Fo Fum Designs created the stationery. “Fi was fantastic and helped us design our invitations, RSVP cards, accommodation info and thank you card. The invitations were made using the old fashioned paper pressing and looked stunning.”




Stacey and Joe held their ceremony at St Patrick’s Cathedral in East Melbourne. Stacey walked down the aisle to the traditional  bridal march.




One of the couple’s favourite parts of their wedding day was having childhood friends involved, some of who did readings during the ceremony. Stacey says “Having our closest friends share in our day and happiness.  We love them all dearly and were thrilled when they all wanted to be part of our day.”





Stacey and Joe had photos taken all around Melbourne- including the popular Parliament House where they had to share the location with five other couples!




The couple held their reception at Melbourne’s Langham Hotel “The bridal party had about 45 minutes to relax between photos and the start of our reception. You can see us starting to chill out in photo 353 at the lifts as we headed downstairs. We returned to our room and were greeted with champagne and canapés for 6. It was fabulous and just what we needed after smiling for so many photos!”



The two tier caramel and chocolate mudcake was made by House Of Elegant Cakes with sugar pink roses (which the couple kept to decorate the baptism cake of their future children). Stacey says “We cut the cake with a Waterford crystal handled knife which Joe’s mum, Colleen gave to us for our engagement. She gave us the matching server for our wedding. I can’t wait to use it again for the next special event.” Joe is a massive Essendon Bombers football fan, so photos with the grand MCG in the background were a must.”




Stacey and Joe’s reception was filled with family, friends and lots of dancing – including their first dance! “We had 3 dance lessons at the “Secret Garden of Dance” in Camberwell. We learnt a simple rumba routine to Roy Orbison’s “You Got It”.  We nailed our routine and were very chuffed with our efforts.We prepared playlists of the music we wanted to be played during entrée, dinner, dessert and as dance music. Our DJ filled in the gaps and had everyone on the dance floor from early on until it was time to go home.”

Congratulations Stacey and Joe on your marriage! I wish you all the joy in the world in your marriage together! Thank you also to Johl of  JD Digital Photography for sharing today’s photographs!

Photos by JD Digital Photography.

Sophie and Nick

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



Sophie and Nick

Good morning Wednesday! Do you feel like a splendid wedding all the way from the Southern Highlands today? Yes? How about if I tell you it’s relaxed, quiet, simple  and completely beautiful?

Sophie and Nick are our couple this morning! They married at Peppers Craigieburn, Bowral. Sophie says “Craigieburn  is a beautiful heritage hotel, set in the stunning Southern Highlands countryside. Its been renovated so its very modern inside and very relaxing and peaceful. We married under a large oak tree on the lawns out the front of the venue. Then guests walked up the the terrace for drinks, guests also stayed in the hotel on site. It made it so much easier to have it in one place and minimal waiting time for guests.”

Photos this morning are by David Henry Photography.



A bouquet with of lavender, hydrangea, delphinium, lisianthus and dahlias in shades of mauve was created by Twigg & Blossom. Sophie wore the “Rani” gown from Elizabeth De Varga while Nick wore a suit from Matthew Lawrence Bespoke. To include all of their family in their wedding party, Sophie and Nick included Nick’s sister as a “groomsman”. Sophie says “We had Nick’s sister as a ‘groomsman’, this is so we could have all siblings in the bridal party. He only has one brother and one sister, so we broke tradition to allow for this.”




Before the ceremony, Nick had a special present delivered to his future bride. “Nick got his brother to deliver my wedding gift an hour before the ceremony. It was a photo book of our relationship & travels together so far entitled ‘Our first 7 years’. There were a lot of little comments in there that were personal jokes just between us, and a million photos of me that I didn’t even notice he had taken. He ended it with ‘I can’t wait to see what happens next!’ I cried my eyes out when I saw this. I realised how obsessed with me he was! Haha!”




A musician friend (Pierre-Eddy Santacreu) played acoustic guitar as Sophie walked down the “aisle”. To include their family, Sophie had her mother walk her down the aisle, while both Sophie and Nick’s mother signed the register as witnesses.









sophie-nick-southern-highlands-wedding040 sophie-nick-southern-highlands-wedding045




Sophie and Nick added a personal touch to the day through paper. “Being designers we did all the stationery. Invitations, placecards, bonbonniere took us days and days to do it all and we spent more money than if we went to a professional, but we wanted a personal touch. We also had Nick’s grandmother’s doilies as part of the table decorations.” The tables had groupings of glass vases & silverware varying in sizes with doilies underneath.




Another wedding tradition scrapped was the head table. “We chose to have a normal sized table at the wedding in the middle of the room rather than the raised bridal table. We wanted it to feel more relaxed and approachable.” The wedding cake? A three tier chocolate delight made by Bev Burchell and covered in many, many Cadbury “Flake” chocolate bars.


Sophie says “We danced to Queen’s ‘Crazy little thing called love’. We preferred a faster song to get all the guests onto the dance floor straight after. We ran out of time for dancing lessons, so our steps were completely made up on the spot. Which in our memory were seamless but the video says otherwise. I put a lot of time into choosing the music. I asked most guests what their favourite dance songs were and included these. My aim was to make it a huge party as I love to dance.”

Congratulations Sophie and Nick on your wedding day! Thank you for sharing it with us today! Thank you also to David Henry Photography for sharing today’s wedding with us!

Photos by David Henry Photography.

Back to Top