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Katrina and Ant’s Relaxed New Zealand Wedding

by | Bride, Inspired Weddings, New Zealand,


Katrina and Ant

Oh New Zealand, you never fail to make me fall a little bit more in love with you with every wedding I see! Today’s is beautifully relaxed – something New Zealander’s know how to do so gorgeously. Take a trip with me through the story of Katrina and Ant.

Katrina tells their story. “We are both accountants.  We met at work and a year later at a work function, Ant opened his mouth and I realised he could talk. The rest is history…(it’s brief, most people usually switch off at the mention of ‘accountants’, so I’ve learnt to move on quickly).

Ant proposed to me in Kensington, London.  After a delicious surprise picnic from my absolute favourite food spot, the Wholefoods Market, he whisked me to a nearby hotel and got down on one knee – with a ring box.  My heart did stop for second and my immediate thoughts were quickly flicking through when he could have possibly asked Cush (my best friend) what my exact preferences were (whilst maintaining my smile of joy – v naughty!) – hopefully I didn’t look too relieved when inside was Burger Ring and a wee note saying “As if I’d choose it without you!” I was actually pretty excited about the Burger Ring, in fact, sad to say that it might’ve hit the same excitement level had it been the ring I had wanted.

Then, he cracked open some homemade (!!) coconut ice (which I’d been having massive cravings for all year), champers, choc dipped strawbs (I can’t dispute he def knows the way to my heart!), and our fave choccies – which he’d already opened cos he’d bought them a week ago and couldn’t hold out!!  Cute (though he has been told he will need to make up for those missing ones).

I was then treated to a gourmet dinner at the hotel, topped off with a few treatments at the spa.  On top of that, when we came out of the spa, the beautiful day had turned into a massive thunder and fork lightening storm which we watched out of the gargantuan windows, very cool!”

Photography today is by WE DO Photography. I love the way they capture images – they call it “capturing images with a little bit of rock and roll” and it’s true, there’s a bit of grit to them, a bit of “I’d love to get on the dance floor with them!” a bit of “or perhaps have a martini with them too” (except they seem so cool I bet they’d drink something much cooler than a martini!)

Katrina wore jewels as her something borrowed. She says “I wore pearl earrings borrowed from my new mother in law and pearl drop necklace borrowed from my new sis in law (Bride).  The bridesmaids wore necklaces created by bridesmaid Cushla from some earrings, and pearl earrings which were given to them as a gift from me”.

The rose bouquets were styled by Katrina’s bridesmaid’s mother. They were, Katrina recalls “A mixture of Sweet Avalanche and Bianca roses, lisianthus, carnations and chrysanthemums. Karen used to be a florist, and she put together our beautiful bouquets.”

Katrina wore “A gorgeous lace Watters dress.  Spied on a trip to Melbourne – it was pretty much the only dress I liked, so was really lucky it suited me!  Strapless isn’t my thing – so that narrowed the choice down by about 95%.  It wasn’t available anywhere in NZ, so unfortunately I had the chore of taking another trip over the ditch to pick it up! The alterations were done by my new sister in law’s generous mum Barb.  She painstakingly unstitched and restitched the lace by hand!  I also wore a fascinator made by Ardern Farm.  I have always loved them and wanted to wear one – and it went perfect with the theme.”

The groom and groomsmen wore suits from Frank Casey.


Katrina and Ant saw each other before the ceremony, Katriona remembers “We didn’t want to miss out on any of the fun mingling with everyone after the ceremony, so had our photos done beforehand.  Because it wasn’t going to be our first time seeing each other when I walked down the aisle, we had a special ‘first glance’ ceremony at the photo shoot.  Ant was waiting with his back turned at the bottom of the garden steps at Erskine, and I pulled up at the top of the steps, wandered down, and tapped him on the shoulder.  It was pretty emotional when he turned around.  I had just been telling the girls in the car that I would have to tell Ant to stop crying like a baby since I never cry – and I was the one who welled up first.

The couple chose Erskine College for their ceremony and reception. Katrina says “It is a historic building that was once a Catholic girls’ school from the late 1800s. The exterior could be described as a derelict ruin (which however, I loved about it) but the interior has a grand hall furnished with ornate chandeliers, polished matai (native NZ wood) floors, and high stud ceilings.  We had the ceremony in the outdoor garden courtyard, and the reception in the grand hall.”

The bridesmaids’s gowns were “Bridesmaid Cushla’s design – she spent days in London scouring the high street shops for dresses and finally found these ones to match the vintage theme.  She then completed the look using lace found in her mum’s sewing room to make belts.

My bridesmaids were my best friend Cushla (who I’ve known for 21 years) and my good friend and old flatmate Anita.  Groomsmen were Liam (who Ant has known since he visited him at age 1 month in hospital when Liam was born) and Adrian, an old school friend.”

Katrina walked down the aisle to “November Rain (instrumental version).  We are big Guns ‘n Roses fans (we’ve even fancy dressed as them before).”

For their reception at Erskine College, Katrina says “We used the garden courtyard area for our ceremony – which was beaming with sun and a romantic atmosphere complete with chirping cicadas and a man in one of the surrounding houses above who decided it was a good time to beat the dust out of his rug.  When reading our vows we both immediately got the waterworks again (I absolutely had no idea I was such a softie!) and Ant set the crowd giggling (I also heard a snort) when he offered up his hankie which I promptly refused (he is well known as an obsessive hankie user)”

It was the perfect day weather wise. “We had perfect weather – sunshine, heat and no wind – Wellington barely ever has days like this (even in summer) – but after some crazy unseasonal low fog covering the city all morning, she pulled out a winner.  As the saying goes – you can’t beat Wellington on a good day!”

Their guests’ enjoyment was paramount for Katrina and Ant. “We wanted to create an informal, ‘party’ style atmosphere so we tried to create a recipe for success.  Main ingredients – a brilliant sunny day, a large selection of canapes instead of a sit down dinner, an over stocked bar, an amazingly talented piano man, dim lighting and a huge dance floor.  They mixed perfectly!”

Katrina decorated the reception herself. She explains “The venue was a stand alone hire, so I was in charge of all the decorations.  I spent months trawling the 2nd hand shops, the back cupboards of many relative’s houses, and Trash Palace (a shop next to the dump which rescues junk from ultimate death) for vintage style glass bottles and jars.  I ended up with over 200 in the end – filled them with clusters of flower stems and candles, tied them with a pretty ribbon, and scattered them in random clusters around the various tables in the grand hall.  There were also several wee rustic ‘bird cage’ candle holders around the room.  It was so pretty!”

The reception was filled with sweet treats explains Katrina. “I also had a dessert bar, which had a selection of large glass jars filled with different lollies, fortune cookies and chocolates; several vintage tiered cake stands laden with homemade rocky road, Russian fudge and meringues; and a giant cake stand in the middle – absolutely packed with 150 different flavoured cupcakes.  On the side there were wee noodle takeaway boxes, and a sprinkling of the flower and candle jars.  By the end of the night the whole table had been demolished!” The cupcake wedding cake was made by Cheeky Mouthful Cupcakes.

The speeches were a highlight for the newlyweds. Katrina explains “The best man brought the house down during his speech when he pulled out a life sized cardboard cut-out of a character from Ant’s secret shame TV programs – Beverly Hills 90210.  Steve Sanders (Ian Ziering) stole the show…and the dance floor, and probably got snapped more times than us. ”


The first dance? “It was to Dakota by the Stereophonics – obviously a big fave of ours.”

Piano man Shaun Preston kept guests entertained all night long.

Congratulations Katrina & Ant! Thank you for sharing your wedding day on Polka Dot Bride! Thank you also to  WE DO Photography for today’s images!

Photos by WE DO Photography.

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Kim and Christopher’s Multicultural Sydney Wedding

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


Kim and Christopher

I’m quite taken with the splendid wedding I have to share with you today – regular readers know I am never worried about rain on a wedding day. I think it makes for the most wonderful atmosphere. We haven’t had many wedding days where the rain becomes such an integral part of the story though, so today you’ll have to read how Kim & Christopher turned their rainy day wedding into something even more beautiful. If that doesn’t stop you in your tracks, perhaps Kim’s gorgeous style will, or the way they incorporate their own cultural heritage into their wedding day!

Kim recalls how she met her husband, Chris. “The first time we met was through a work friend when I was actually leaving the company. I remember a classic moment on my  last day, when Chris got out of the building lift and said ‘Well, see you…never.’ Cue lift doors closing. The funny thing is that he has no recollection of this!

A couple of years later we ended up working together and were friends for a while before we got together. So depending on who you ask, we’ve known each other for either 6 or 8 years!”

Photography today is by Matt Reed. I love Matt’s candid work and the way he tells the story so wonderfully through his lens – the mood and energy and the moments of today’s wedding were so important and Matt captured them all!

Kim and Christopher held their ceremony and reception at Flying Fish. Kim says “Holly and the whole team at Flying Fish were absolutely wonderful up to and on the day.  They were an absolute joy to deal with, and flexible to accommodate our needs. The overwhelming feedback we got from the guests was the high quality level of service, friendliness of the staff, and impeccable food and wine. There were several instances where they went over and above to make our day special and we are just so appreciative.”

Check out that storm cloud…

Kim wore a strapless ballgown from White One. Simone Cozens did the girls hair and makeup, Kim says “She was a joy to have around on the morning of the wedding and as you can see from the photos, she did a fantastic job!” The bouquets and buttonholes were styled by Vicki and Kikki at The Flower Store. “Lovely to deal with and delivered wonderful flowers.”

The ceremony was planned to be held outside but Mother Nature had other ideas. Kim says “The heavens opened up as the kids were walking down the aisle, just before the bridesmaids were set to go. The girls and I just looked at each other and burst out laughing. We ended up running for cover and sheltering under the wharf building while the guys moved the wedding party under cover. The girls and my Dad ended up getting into the restaurant via the kitchen so they got to inspect the produce on the way in! 😉 It just goes to show, some of the most unexpected thing can make for a fun twist of events.”

Music was carefully chosen, Kim walked down the aisle to ‘Hoppipolla’ by Sigur Ros, the register was signed to a John Lennon cover of ‘Real Love’ by Regina Spektor and ‘I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever)’ by Stevie Wonder. When the couple was presented as husband and wife, ‘Touch the Sky’ (instrumental) – Kanye West and Lupe Fiasco was played.

The ring cushion embroidery was done by Kim based on an old French embroidery book she had. Kim’s mum in law sewed the cushion together with cording and ribbon.

Kim loved working with celebrant Robyn Pattison “I loved our fantastic celebrant who put the personality and organisation into our ceremony, especially in adverse circumstances! For all the wedding planning we stewed on, we never worried about the ceremony as Robyn put us at ease that whatever happened, it would be a success. And she more than delivered.” One final accessory completed Kim’s look. She explains “We spied a stunning Chanel brooch on a trip to Melbourne last year. I customised the brooch as a hair comb to wear on the day.”

Kim’s walk down the aisle was one of her favourite memories. “After such a chilled morning, the nerves just hit me for six walking down the aisle. As soon as I saw Chris, I burst into tears. Hearing the words of our vows that we’d carefully thought about and written in months before, reaffirmed in person, was a favourite memory. That and seeing Chris’ best mate, his brother and my brother grinning at me over Chris’ shoulder the whole time was wonderful.”

Kim made and styled many of the elements of the day. She remarks “I had the best time doing DIY. When else do you get to plan such a big party and go nuts with the styling? We planned the wedding over the course of a year and for the first 6 months I let my imagination go, scouring the web, looking at pretty pictures, gathering lots of ideas and playing around with them. At about the 6 month mark, I drastically culled and refined these ideas to a few key ones that were achievable and within a reasonable budget.

The flowers for (the little) girls were a Martha Stewart tutorial I saw on her show once. They are made from crepe paper, floral tape and wire, and doubled in size for a fun effect.”

Chris’s favourite memory also included the aisle. He recalls “I figured I was doing fine, I was saying my vows loudly – just like Robyn, our celebrant, had told me to do. It was only when we exchanged rings that it was pointed out to me (again by Robyn) that my hands were shaking. Favourite memory was seeing Kim walking up the aisle, and having her blubbering through most of the vows. It was also great to have my nieces and nephews as the flower girls and page boys. Funniest memory was seeing my eight year old nephew lounging about on a couch during the ceremony, like he was watching the Sunday football.”

Kim’s bridesmaids wore their own gowns and accessorised with earrings from Samantha Wills. The groom and groomsmen wore suits from Roger David with bow ties from Beau Ties Ltd.

Kim wore earrings from Samantha Wills with a purple crystal to match her stunning shoes.

After photographs, the bridal party joined the guests for a relaxed luncheon. Kim explains “Seeing the guests enjoy a relaxing time over great food and company was gratifying for us – that had been the intention for their wedding experience all along. We also got to enjoy time with them which was wonderful for us.”

The reception was styled simply but beautifully by Kim. “The table decorations were a mix of milk bottles, glass Chinese tea pots. We filled these with fresh white chrysanthemums from the markets. Table numbers were old wine bottles with letter pressed number tags tied around the neck using thick twine.

For the kids’ table, I had fake grass with flowers, fairies and dinosaurs strewn throughout, and activity books and crayons to keep them occupied.”

Kim added beautiful elements herself. “For the wishing well, we decided on a beautiful glass jar that we could reuse for other things post wedding. Once again, I pulled out the recipe for crepe paper flowers that we had used for the flower girls, halved the size of the flowers and this time taped them together in an arrangement that wrapped around the lid.

As a surprise for Chris, I also had a digital portrait done from a photo of one of our favourite moments on our last holiday. The style lent itself well to the clean look of our wedding. I contracted Jennifer Schell on Etsy to do this portrait, then stuck it in an Ikea frame. Too easy. We now have it hanging up at home.”

Kim also made the invitations (and had them letterpress printed by Anay Bravo in Mexico) and the seating chart with the help of her brother. “The seating chart was a labour of love by my brother who took up the challenge of learning calligraphy and painstakingly hand wrote each name – we were so chuffed with the end result. I slapped on a simple bentwood graphic, reused the invitation font and we were done! The seating chart was presented in an Ikea frame on an easel kindly lent by a friend.”

The bride wore purple heels from Alexander McQueen. For the reception, Kim changed into a short Willow gown.

Kim says “My approach to DIY was DIY styling rather than make everything from scratch. Still, we ended up doing some crazy stuff – we had items and materials shipped in from Mexico, the US, China and locally. For sustainability purposes, items we purchased where possible were to be reusable post wedding.”

Kim wore jewels from her family. She explains “In traditional Chinese culture, the bride receives gold jewellery from close family on her wedding day. We twisted this and borrowed my Mum’s wedding jewellery and a watch that Dad had given Mum in the 80’s.”

The multicultural aspect of the wedding day was incorporated in a way that suited Kim and Chris. Kim explains “One of the traditions we decided to keep was the Chinese Tea Ceremony. We did away with the traditional garb and kept the essence of this ritual – the kneeling and pouring of tea as a showing of respect to close family elders. In all the inevitable madness of a wedding, this was a nice relaxed moment with each of our close family.”

Following the tea ceremony, cake and desserts were served. The couple cut a cheese wedding cake by Sogna at Formaggi Occello.  Kim remarks “The cake platters were from Chris’s mum.The cheese wedding cake was presented on a large cheese board for the cutting of the cake. We borrowed a bunch of beautiful cake platters from Chris’ Mum to present the cheese and accompanying fruit and bread on.”

Later in the afternoon, everyone relaxed on the deck in the Autumn sun with dessert canapes and wedding cheese.

Congratulations Kim and Christopher! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us on Polka Dot Bride! Thank you also to by Matt Reed for sharing today’s photographs!

Photos by Matt Reed

Kristi Bonnici “Moments Of Trespass” Bridal Accessories

by | Accessories, Bride


I almost can’t believe it’s only been eight months since I first came across the gorgeous bridal accessories of Sydney designer Kristi Bonnici. I fell for Kristi’s gorgeous inspired hair pieces, capes and polka dot veils. Now she’s back with two brand new collections which are filled with beautiful details and give a stunning selection of options for your bridal head wear. No veil? No problem, how about a beautiful headband? A silk flower? Or a crystal embellished clip?

First up is Kristi’s new bridal collection “Moments of Trespass” which is “inspired by thoughts of love, both good and bad and depicts the endless recollecting for the lucky and eternal lamenting for the broken hearted”. I love the softness of this range and that Kristi has included her divine Swiss dots again!

Along with her gorgeous bridal designs, Kristi has also launched Sugar & Spice – a collection for the bridesmaids, mother of the bride or even for a fun touch for your day at the races. This collection comes in blush, black & metallic colour ways.

Which is your favourite?

Images via Kristi Bonnici

Badgley Mischka Bridesmaids

by | Bride, Bridesmaids


As much as I love shorter gowns, floral gowns and gowns with a bit of a twist, there is something to be said for a floor length, classically elegant bridesmaid’s gown. The new collection of Badgley Mischka bridesmaids gowns have just landed in Australia and I love their classic style – from asymmetrical necklines to cinched in waists and a light ruffle. They’re stylish and elegant and look like they’re straight off the red carpet.

I really love the strapless pink and strapless mint floor length gowns – such a beautiful option for upcoming Spring weddings!

Badgley Mischka bridesmaids gowns are stocked at Basilica Couture in Sydney (interstate orders are welcome). Each gown is available in 10 to 12 colour options and can made in sizes from 6 to 26. Gowns may take up top 12 weeks to be made and delivered to Sydney but can arrive faster with a rush fee.

Photos by Badgley Mischka via Basilica Couture

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