Holly and Jason’s Romantic Mountain Wedding

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


Holly & Jason

I must admit, showing a couple’s engagement and then their wedding is something I really treasure. It’s like showing off the beginning and end (well I suppose another beginning) or a beautiful love story. Seeing the hopes and dreams on faces turn into something even deeper, the culmination of all the excitement, the celebration, The start of a marriage. I shared Holly and Jason’s retro inspired engagement shoot last year and today? I get to share their wedding! The couple chose the stunning Mount Warning for their wedding.

Holly tells, “We met around 12 years ago when we worked in a small accounting office and were studying at university.

We remained good friends and did some travel together when we were both in the UK in 2002.  But it wasn’t until 2007 when we were both living back in the same town that we met again and our friendship turned into more.”

Photographs of Holly and Jason’s wedding are by ngg studios. The soft, beauty of the creatures that ngg studios creates are so romantic and beautiful!

Holly made the stationery herself. Of choosing Mount Warning for their wedding, Holly says, “The area of Northern NSW means a lot to us.  The two of us have fond memories of trekking up Mt Warning in our childhood and teenage years.”

Holly wore a lace gown designed by Helena Couture Designs. She accessorised with custom and heirloom jewels. Holly recalls “I wore my grandmother’s antique brooch in my hair and carried my other nanna’s pale blue rosary beads in my clutch. I discovered a great pearl store in Melbourne where I could choose the size and colour of the pearls which they made into a sweet bracelet for me to wear with silver flower clasp.”

Jason wore a suit from Dom Bagnato, For her walk down the aisle, Holly says “It had to be John Butler – ‘All I Mind’s Losing You’. I loved having my dad walk me ‘up the hill’ (not down the aisle).”

Holly and Jason held an intimate ceremony. She explains “We asked a dear, long-time friend to do the ceremony which was so special and personal to us.  Jason and I wrote our own vows to each other, Jason’s mother did a reading and my aunty read a poem which she had written.  We felt so lucky on the day when after a week of temperamental weather, the sun came out and we were married in front of a clear and awe-inspiring view of Mt Warning.”

The couple held most of the wedding festivities at Mavis’ Kitchen, who also provided the transport! Holly explains “We hired the old black jag off Peter at Mavis’s Kitchen for the day and we were so glad for it.  We had a lovely time being driven around in it for photos and my dad had a great time driving it!”

Imbue Weddings created the floral arrangements for the day.

Of their photographers, Holly says, “We adore Kristie and Brett!  They are fun and professional.  We loved our wedding photos as well as our engagement shoot and can’t wait to have them photograph more of life’s milestones.”

For their guestbook, Holly and Jason let their guests have free reign. “We bought a Polaroid camera and designated a couple of friends to take the photos and stick them in our guest book.  Guests wrote a message next to their photo.  We love the guestbook, it’s a great reminder of people having fun on the day and a fantastic keepsake”

Holly found the reception venue, Mavis’ Kitchen, while having a glorious lunch. She explains “I had seen a photograph of the lovely Queenslander-style home named Mavis’s Kitchen a few years before and loved its’ old-world charm, not to mention the stunning view of Mt Warning.  My sister and I visited for lunch in 2010 whilst holidaying in Byron Bay and we fell in love with the whole property, it’s gorgeous.  When Jason went there 6 months later, we knew it was the venue.  We didn’t even consider looking any further!

It is  such a charming and quirky Queenslander restaurant.  We had a sit down dinner which was divine.  We appreciate the philosophy of owners’ Charlie and Peter who source local organic produce where possible and have their own organic kitchen garden for the restaurant.  The food is fresh, homemade, country-style fare.”

The favors were made by locals. Holly says “My mum found some sweet old ladies at a church fete nearby and I commissioned them to make jams for our wedding favours.  I covered them in fabric lids and tied them with brown paper tags and string.” Jason surprised Holly by singing her a Pete Murray song during the reception.

The first dance, was one that involved just about everybody. Holly explains, “I was so busy in the lead up to the wedding that I didn’t think about this much and Jason’s dad who is a drummer and singer had just gone ahead and organised a song for us so we went with it but we got the whole table up as we didn’t want to dance on our own!! Much wine flowed and plenty of dancing and merriment ensued!”

Congratulations Holly & Jason! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to ngg studios for sharing today’s photographs!

Photographer: ngg studios / Bride’s Dress: Helena Couture Designs / Flowers & Decor: Imbue Weddings / Other: Mavis’s Kitchen, Mt Warning / Groom’s Attire: Dom Bagnato / Invitations & Stationery: Handmade by Holly
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Red Carpet Style Oscars 2012

by | Bridal Fashion, Bride, Bridesmaids


For a different kind of fashion Monday I thought, with the excitement of this morning I’d do a roundup of some of my stand out gowns from The 2012 Academy Awards. So much inspiration for your own (or your bridesmaids’!) style!

Milla Jovovich looked every bit the Hollywood glamour girl in a one shouldered shimmering white gown by Ellie Saab. Rooney Mara stayed true to her own personal style in Givenchy, Gwyneth Paltrow kept her look sleek and elegant with a cape designed by Tom Ford while Octavia Spencer looked just beautiful in her embellished Tadashi Shoji gown.

One I did miss who wore the most stunning white gown by Basil Soda was Giuliana Rancic- the back of her gown was incredible!

Michelle Williams was one of my favourites in a stunning burnt orange Louis Vuitton  gown- I loved the detailing (which reportedly took 300 hours!) and the pairing with a pink clutch. Emma Stone pulled off a bow feature of her Giambattista Valli gown and Natalie Portman may have won my heart with this vintage red with black polka dot Christian Dior dress.

Pastels are always such a feminine choice on the red carpet (and if you feel like wearing a subtle colour on your wedding day, a great place to turn for inspiration!) Berenice Bejo wore a mint green Ellie Saab gown with full length lace sleeves while Kate Mara was pretty in pink in a strapless Jack Guisso Couture frock.Wendi McLendon-Covey also went for soft pink with nude, glittering detail by Simin Haute Couture. Penelope Cruz wore the most beautiful blue Amani Prive gown that sat off the shoulders and draped so elegantly.

If there is ever an occasion to wear sparkles it’s the red carpet (or .. your wedding day!) What a lovely surprise to see Maya Rudolph in Australian designer Johanna Johnson (the back of this gown is a stunning jewel encrusted feature). Sandra Bullock went for a glittering waist band in a design from Marchesa. Rose Byrne went for classic black with a twist, she shimmered in Vivienne Westwood.  Judy Greer styled up a dramatic Monique L’huillier silver and black gown while Ellie Kemper gave colour to her sparkling look with a fire coloured strapless Armani Prive gown.


Who were your favourites from this year’s Oscars?


Photos from Instyle

Vendor of the Week – Photography by Brent Lukey and Donna Bennetts

by | Blog News, Bride


Happy Monday dotties! Did you have a lovely weekend? February is almost at an end which means, we’re almost headed into Autumn weddings!

So let’s start our week of with a fantastical, talented vendor, a spotlight on a member of Ms Polka Dot’s Directory

Kicking off our Monday with our shout out to our Ms Polka Dot’s Directory Members! We have wedding caterers, wedding photographers, wedding hair & makeup artists, wedding florists, wedding entertainers and so so many more. We’re just so happy to work with advertisers who really understand the polka dot vision and want our readers to have the kind of wedding they really want!

Victorian couples! Photography by Brent Lukey and Donna Bennetts is proudly our vendor of the week! Photographers Brent & Donna have a wide range of photography experience- including editorial and they’re incredibly familiar with iconic Melbourne venues like Circa, The Prince (so they know all the best locations!). They have a background in film making and have been working in the industry for 10 years. The images they produce are clean, no fuss shots and with their editorial background- there’s plenty of giggles and unexpected moments!

To get to know Brent a little more, we asked him five questions in five minutes.

What is your favourite after five drink?

Pinot Noir, but before 5 I don’t mind a Mountain Goat Pale Ale.

Your favourite weekend getaway?

The beach – usually the Bellarine Coast, Victoria.

Favourite restaurant?

Recently I had a great meal with my family at a cute Italian restaurant called the ‘Little Red Kitchen’ in Bellingen, NSW. I wish I lived closer.

What can we find you eating for breakfast on a Sunday morning?


Your favourite wedding story?

Recently, I shot a wedding on a farm in Gippsland in Victoria. Amazingly, the ceremony was on an island, in a lake, and the reception was in the adjacent goat paddock. The farm was stunning with generous rural vistas, haysheds and tree lined dirt roads. The weather was sunny, maybe too bright and sunny but I like full sun in wedding photos, it has a great Australian look.
So, the sun was out, the bridal party were on the island, it’s gorgeous, they kiss and exit over a little bridge and there are people all over them, it’s beautiful madness and I’m busy. This is a great time to take photos, it’s full of life and moments, and life and moments work best in wedding photos. I notice it’s getting dark, I look up, see the darkest clouds ever and think ‘it’s going to rain big time’! I grab the couple, explain the situation, we make some shots in the field with the rural view and then it rains, and rains, and rains. It’s so wet and windy that the band stops playing and everyone has run for cover and is sheltering in tight groups.
Sounds like a disaster, but it’s not, it actually brings people together. The guests are forced to interact, they are talking and making friends. Eventually we squelch our way to the marquee, it’s muddy under foot, we are dressed up and damp, hair has frizzed, but the energy is electric – everyone is smiling, chatting, drinking and making the most of the situation, the festivities rage all night. A great and memorable wedding for all. I love this story because it proves that a great wedding doesn’t have to be a ‘perfect’ wedding. On the day, go with the flow, and make the most of whatever happens.

Visit Photography by Brent Lukey and Donna Bennetts’ page to find out more about our Vendor Of The Week.  Photography by Brent Lukey and Donna Bennetts is a member of Ms Polka Dot’s Directory

Snapshot Sunday – Hold The Flowers

by | Bride, Snapshot Sundays


Photo by Anna Rose