Karina and David’s Elegant Melbourne Wedding

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Karina and David

Garden weddings are so elegant and beautiful don’t you think? They leave me thirsty for a champagne under the dappled shade of a tree and I can almost hear the calls of birds and feel the sun on my skin. Karina and David had such an elegant garden wedding, I know you’ll pour over the photos just like I did.

Karina and David met at a work function. Karina tells their story, “Dave and I met in 2000 at a university student convention in Adelaide. It was the first night party at Adelaide Zoo and the theme was “Jungle” – Dave was dressed in leopard skin pants, had long wild hair and carried a large animal bone! He claims he started chatting to me because he thought I looked cute, but I know it was only so he could push ahead in the long queue for drinks… At the end of the week he went back to Perth and I to Melbourne, and I thought that was the end of it. However over the years we kept in touch by email and could never quite forget one another. A few years later we both happened to be travelling in India and decided to meet up there – maybe it was the excitement of an exotic location, but we have been together ever since.”

Louisa Bailey captured Karina and David’s photographs. I love Louisa’s simple and fun photographs. They’re beautiful, but still relaxed!

Karina wore an Alberta Ferretti gown she found in David Jones. Karina recalls “I came across this dress almost by accident whilst browsing in David Jones. I was quite despondent after looking in plenty of bridal stores and knowing that I didn’t want a big traditional wedding dress. My bridesmaid spotted it and requested I try on “because I want to see what it looks like on someone” – I hadn’t even noticed it on the rack.  Once I slipped it on it looked so elegant that I stayed in the change room admiring it for half an hour – I knew then I had to get it! The dress then set the style for the rest of the wedding – the birdcage veil, vintage rhinestones and soft mushroom tones of the girls’ dresses. ”

Karina’s bridesmaids wore gowns made by a local dressmaker with fabric from D’Italia. Karina explains “We were having trouble finding bridesmaid dresses to match the vintage style and subtle champagne colour of my dress, so we decided to have them made instead. It was just as well because two of the girls fell pregnant and had to have theirs made at the last minute to fit their growing tummies! I really love the three different shades of silk – it makes them look just a little bit different to a traditional bridal party.”

Karina paired her dress with shoes from Myer and a birdcage veil from Ann Leslie Designs on Etsy. She says “I loved that this shop had a champagne coloured veil that matched my dress exactly. I also found shopping online to be cheaper and less stressful than running around bridal stores with much more variety. I never knew of Etsy before planning the wedding, but it is a treasure trove of goodies for wedding planning.”

The girls hair and makeup was styled by Style and Grace. Karina says “Liz (hair) and Julie (make-up) were excellent – soft but elegant hair and beautiful natural make-up. I got so many compliments on the day and I couldn’t recommend them highly enough. ”

Karina and David met for photographs before the ceremony. Karina says “We held our photo shoot before the ceremony – it also really helped to see each other beforehand to relax our nerves. The photo shoot was at Billilla Gardens in Brighton  – a public park with an amazing National Trust listed Art Nouveau mansion. By having photos over with, we could mingle with guests and start the reception immediately after the ceremony, which I highly recommend.”

David and his groomsmen wore suits from Hugo Boss with Florsheim shoes.

The floral arrangements were styled by Lucy McNamara Flower Design. Karina recalls “Lucy did a great job with both the bouquets and the table centrepieces at the reception.”

Karina and David held their ceremony and reception at The International Of Brighton. Karina explains “We chose the International as we wanted to hold both the ceremony and reception at the one venue so guests could settle in and have a fun time without having to drive around or wait for hours. I especially loved the black and white décor inside, and the courtyard of the Georgian Room was a beautiful sheltered outdoor place for the ceremony.”

Karina and David were married by Jason Tuazon-McChenye. Karina says “Dave researched celebrants by typing into Google “wedding celebrant + [our suburb]” and it came up with Jason. I didn’t quite approve of that method but agreed to go along to meet him anyway. It turned out he was exactly the fun, relaxed guy we were looking for – he had everyone laughing (including us) during the ceremony…”

Guests celebrated the marriage in the Georgian Room. Karina notes “The ceremony and reception were held at the Georgian Room at the International of Brighton. The staff were extremely helpful and professional, and the whole evening went smoothly. I really loved the courtyard setting and the black & white decor – simple yet sophisticated. Guests commented on how delicious the food was – but we were so busy mingling that we barely got to eat. Luckily the staff knew that, and kept aside some cake so we could eat it on our honeymoon.”

For dessert doubling as wedding favors, Karina and David made their own macaron tower with macarons from Choukette . Karina says “Dave and I came across a picture of a macaron tower, and immediately knew we wanted one! With a bit of preparation, it was not as difficult to make as it looks. The macarons were ordered from our local French Patisserie, Choukette. The day before the wedding Dave and I delicately pinned the biscuits to a polystyrene cone with toothpicks – we made one tower each and it was a competition to see whose would look better! Towards the end of the reception, the macarons were put into little organza bags for guests to take home in place of bonbonniere. ”

The couple had a simple wedding cake made by Mandees Cupcakes. Karina notes “The cake was a delicious chocolate mudcake. I bought the silver cake stand on Ebay.”

The couple bought a guestbook from Kikki K and put a twist on it. Karina explains “I really wanted to have a photo booth at the reception, but couldn’t really justify the expense. Instead we borrowed a friend’s Polaroid camera and got guests to take a self-portrait and stick it on their page of the guest book. We got some hilarious snaps and lots of comments from guests about how much they loved it.” The couple chose their  invitations from Wedding Paper Divas.

Mobydisc provided the tunes for the night, Karina explains “We really liked that we were able to choose a playlist beforehand from their list online, and give it to the DJ on the day. He then mixed it in with requests from guests.”

Congratulations Karina and David! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Louisa Bailey  for sharing today’s photographs with us!

Photographer: Louisa Bailey / Bride’s Dress: Alberta Ferretti / Bride’s Shoes: “Collection” from Myer / Bride’s Veil/Hair Accessories: Ann Leslie Designs on Etsy / Groom’s Attire: Hugo Boss / Groom's Shoes: Florsheim / Groomsmen Attire: Hugo Boss / Bridesmaid Accessories: Fabric from D’Italia / Makeup Artist: Style & Grace / Hairstylist: Style & Grace / Flowers & Decor: Lucy McNamara Flower Design / Invitations & Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas / Guestbook: Kikki K / Venue: The International of Brighton / Ceremony Officiant: Jason Tuazon-McChenye / DJ: Moby Disc / Favors: Macarons from Choukette / Cake Baker: Mandees Cupcakes
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Whitney and Rick’s Australian Kentucky Wedding

by | Bride, Inspired Weddings, International,


Whitney and Rick

A wedding with an Aussie and an American, planned in three weeks, a surprise, homemade, heartfelt, beautiful. These are only some of the words I could use to describe the wedding of Whitney and Rick, but their story? It tells oh so much more.

Whitney tells the tale of how she and Rick met. “There is a special story and it’s a long one.  Here’s the short version:  Rick and I met in July 2007 when he was in Louisville to play an Australian Rules Football game.  He was living in Tennessee at the time for work.  We chatted a bit and I was quite smitten with him.  I played it cool and asked him to be my friend on myspace 4 months later.  We wrote back and forth and got to know each other.  Then Rick came back to the US again for work and we finally had our chance to date.  When he had to move back to Tasmania I followed my heart and moved a few months later.  The rest is history!”

Photos today are by Jessica Fey Photography. I love Jessica’s fly on the wall style captures and the emotional moments she caught on camera.

Whitney and Rick pulled everything together quickly. “From the day we got engaged, we had 3 weeks to plan this wedding.  I immediately starting looking for inspiration online.  I love second-hand and antique shops so I immediately started collecting little things here and there.  My niece, Chase, made origami fortune tellers with beautiful colored paper.  Rick made me one at our 1st anniversary dinner and I thought it was so cute, so Chase wanted to make them for our wedding day.” Whitney chose an Isabella Faye gown from Timeless Elegance in Launceston, Tasmania. She paired it with a sash from David’s Bridal  and  Stuart Weitzman shoes.

The entire wedding was a surprise. Whitney explains “The wedding was disguised as an engagement party, so it was a very fun surprise.  Rick and I got engaged in June and decided to marry while we were traveling through the US…in 4 weeks!  It was hectic but great getting everything together from the other side of the world.  My parents, sister, and 2 best friends knew about the wedding, but everyone else thought it was an engagement party (except for the suspicious few).  I’m not sure how it all came together in the end, but it was such a perfect day.  Little things went wrong, like losing the special white pen for the guest book and the guests arriving while I was still setting up, but you just have to let those things go and enjoy every second of it – it goes by so fast!!! ” Whitney’s hair and makeup was styled by Tiffany Hampton at Joseph’s Salon.

The flowers were put together by friends, save for a few special arrangements, Whitney explains “We bought most of the flowers at a wholesale florists and my friends arranged them in vases and tins I bought at second-hand and antique shops.  My bouquet, Rick’s boutonniere, and the arrangement in the entry hall are from All Seasons Florist in Morehead, Kentucky.”

Whitney says ” I loved surprising my best friends as they came up the stairs, one by one, to find me in my wedding dress.  Their reactions were priceless and so special to me. “

Whitney and Rick held their ceremony and reception at The Hunt Morgan House. Whitney says “The Hunt Morgan House is an historic home in downtown Lexington.  The house had a beautiful garden and we had access to the inside as well which was already decorated with lovely antiques.”

Whitney walked down the aisle to a song suggested by Rick’s sister, Whitney explains. ” I chose “The One You Love” by Passenger featuring Kate Miller Heidke.  Rick’s sister Jen was able to make it to our wedding, much to our surprise and delight, and she introduced us to this song a few days before the wedding.  We loved it!  We knew it was the perfect song for us.”. Rick wore a suit from Studio Italia and shoes from Julius Marlow.

A family surprise meant even more to the couple, says Whitney. “Rick’s mom, dad, and sister were able to travel to the wedding with such short notice.  And Rick’s dad married us.”

There were even last minute vows. Whitney recalls “I loved writing our own vows.  We wrote them 30 minutes before guests started to arrive.  I locked us in a room where no one could find us and we just sat and wrote. They came so easily.  Writing our vows together and reciting them in that room together was very special to us both.”

Guests were served appropriate beverages as they soaked in the wedding celebrations. Whitney explains “I really wanted to have details from Kentucky and Australia.  I had a few maps around because everyone always asked me where Tasmania was.  We had a ginger ale from Kentucky, Ale8one, and Bundaberg ginger beer from Australia.”

Of their photographer, Whitney says “Jessica was amazing.  We wanted someone to capture the emotions of the evening – the surprise, being reunited with friends and family after being away for almost a year, the ceremony, etc.  Jessica did an amazing job at capturing this.  She only took us away for a few minutes to get some posed photos and spent the rest of the time taking the candid shots we hoped for.”

Whitney and Rick served delicious cupcakes on a cupcake table  from Gigi’s Cupcakes in Lexington, Kentucky.   The rest of the event was catered by DaRae and Friends Catering . Whitney remarks “They are amazing!  The food is always delicious, they do a fantastic job decorating their tables, and the service is spot-on.  “

The favors were carried from Australia. Whitney explains “We had little jars of leatherwood honey from The Tasmanian Honey Company and tea from The Art of Tea in Kingston, Tasmania.  We carried these all the way from Tasmania to Kentucky in our luggage but it was well worth the extra weight.  They made great favours and it was nice to have something from Rick’s hometown.”

Whitney and Rick stayed simple with their decorations. Whitney remarks “We bought a Polaroid camera so people could take their photos to include in the guest book.  I love flowers and lots of color, so I just made sure there were flowers everywhere.  Nothing formal or fancy, just bright, beautiful flowers.”

The first dance was intimate and special. Whitney says “We danced to I Like the Way You Hung the Moon by Drew Holcombe and the Neighbours.  We danced in the garden, nothing too formal.”

Congratulations on your marriage Whitney and Rick! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Jessica Fey Photography for today’s photographs!

Photographer: Jessica Fey / Bride’s Dress: Isabella Faye / Bridal Salon: Timeless Elegance / Bride’s Shoes: Stuart Weitzman / Bride's Sash: David's Bridal / Groom’s Attire: Studio Italia / Groom's Shoes: Julius Marlow / Hair & Makeup Stylist: Tiffany Hampton at Joseph's Salon / Venue: Hunt Morgan House / Favors: The Tasmanian Honey Company / Favors: The Art of Tea / Catering: DaRae and Friends Catering / Wedding Cake: Gigi's Cupcakes / Flowers: All Seasons Flowers

Mid Century Floral Fete

by | Bride, Inspiration Boards


I was incredibly inspired by this mid century style chair in the top left corner for this in inspiration board. It’s covered in fabric designed by Rifle Paper Co (Rifle for Villa Nova) and looks so modern and colourful.

I picture this wedding taking place in a beautiful mid century home, the bride keeping her style sleek and modern, but plenty of colour and life drawn from the bold print.

Chair from Rifle for Villa Nova via Oh Joy! , dress from BHLDN, Tie and suit photo by Sara Gray Photography via Brooklyn Bride, floral heart print from Rifle Paper Co, floral wreath photo by Caught the Light, via 100 Layer Cake, chair photo by  Our Labor of Love via Green Wedding Shoes, Photo from the wedding of Louise & Ross by Louisa Bailey,  green beads from beadsnsupplies

Styled Engagement Photoshoot Giveaway

by | Bride, Competitions


With engagements happening everywhere you look it is the perfect time for a competition celebrating what can often be one of the most momentous times of life!

Engagement photo-shoots are nothing new. They’re a wonderful way to celebrate your engagement and relax with your photographer. But the styling? Well that’s a little added extra, a little something special to make it come to life. The photo shoots I love best are when a couple has included elements that really showcase who they are, what they love and how they came to be.

Sydney photographer Nerida from Nerida McMurray Photography has teamed up with event stylist Jessica from Oscar & Ruby to bring to life one very special Polka Dot Bride reader’s engagement session!

The duo want to create a personal engagement shoot, so not only do you get to meet with the team who will style and photograph you, but you’ll have it planned so it’s personalised to you (if you love motorbikes and heavy metal? They’re up for that! If you’re a couple who stays at home and watches funny movies? That’s perfect!)

The prize includes:

Oscar & Ruby

– Initial meeting with the couple to discuss ideas/concepts/locations (along with Nerida)

– Sourcing of props and styling elements

– Cost of flowers and styling elements (to the value of $200)

– Set up and styling of shoot on the day

Approx value $1000

Nerida McMurray Photography

– Initial meeting with the couple to discuss ideas/concepts/locations (along with Jessica)

– 1-2 hour shoot in a Sydney location.

– 1 x 40 page guest book

– 1 x disc with high res files from the shoot.

Approx value $1200


To win the styled engagement shoot valued at $2200 create a moodboard in jpeg or pdf format with 6-10 images showcasing your favourite thing to do with your beloved (make sure you credit the images back to their original source and include them). Send to with your name, postal address and phone number.

We’ll showcase our favourite entries on Polka Dot Bride and then we’ll show how the winner’s inspiration became reality!


The winner will be chosen by Nerida McMurray Photography, Oscar & Ruby and Polka Dot Bride and will be informed by Polka Dot Bride. The engagement shoot will be held within the Sydney metropolitan area and travel fees are not included. The winner will pay for costs above the prize inclusions. Photo shoot will be published on Polka Dot Bride and used in promotion by the respective businesses involved. The prize must be redeemed within one year. If no contact is made within one month, the prize will become null and void. This prize is not redeemable for cash. Entrants must be aged 18 or older. This competition is a game of skill; no chance enters into deciding the winner. No late entries will be considered. This Competition closes 16th March 2011 at 5.00 pm (Australian Eastern Standard time).