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Amanda and Corey’s Whimsical Austin Wedding

by | Bride, Inspired Weddings, International,


Amanda and Corey

I could smell the sunshine when this beautiful yellow wedding landed in my inbox – yellow is such an amazing colour and the joyfulness is infectious throughout Amanda and Corey’s Austin wedding day.

High school sweethearts, Amanda and Corey have been together for many years, Amanda explains “We met in high school – he used to pretend to forget his glasses in another class so he could sit in the front of the room, next to me. We started dating about a year later, and we’ve been inseparable ever since! He’s an absolutely amazing husband, and I can’t imagine my life without him!”

Photos are by She N He Photography – I love, love, love the sense of fun and frivolity the She N He team put into the weddings they capture.

Corey wore yellow Converse sneakers for the day while Amanda wore yellow J.Crew heels (which she swapped for matching yellow converse sneakers on the dance floor). Amanda wore a gown from David’s Bridal and her bridesmaids wore yellow gowns by Dessy.

The floral arrangements on the day were styled by The Glass Fountain. Amanda handmade the paper flowers which hung from the ceremony chairs.

The couple married at Vintage Villas in Austin, Texas. Amanda walked down the aisle to Vitamin String Quartet’s cover of Dashboard Confessional’s “Hands Down.”

Amanda’s brother in law officiated the ceremony. Amanda remarks “My husband and I worked with my brother in law to write our ceremony ourselves, and my brother in law was the one to officiate our wedding. It was incredibly special to have someone so close to us be the one to marry us, and we’re so glad that we took the time to hand craft our ceremony so that it was personal, unique, and completely tailored to us!”

Amanda says of her wedding day to Corey, “Our wedding was bright, fun, and whimsical, and one of the most amazing days of my life so far.”

Amanda’s handmade details were complimented by stationery created by She N He. Christina Alfonso of Me So Hungry coordinated the wedding on the day.

One of Amanda’s favourite moments was her husband’s words. “I loved having my husband pull me aside and tell me how proud he was of all the work I put into planning the day and creating all of the decorations was one of the best moments of the night. I poured my heart into planning and crafting our wedding day, and it was amazing to have him recognize that.” Amanda handmade cloth napkins for every guest to use during dinner.

The cupcake tower was created by Be My Cupcake.

For their first dance, Amanda says “We danced to “The Way I Am” by Ingrid Michaelson. We had originally planned on coming up with a fancy, choreographed dance to wow our guests, but in the end we just held each other and swayed back and forth – and it was absolutely perfect!”

The photo booth was a hit, Amanda remarks “Our photo booth ended up being much more important and special to me than I had anticipated it would – it was so much fun to pull some of our guests aside to take photos with them, and looking back on all of the photos we have of our family and friends enjoying themselves in it makes me smile every time!”

Congratulations Amanda and Corey! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us on Polka Dot Bride! Thank you also to She N He Photography for sharing today’s photographs!

Photos by She N He Photography

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Belinda and Joseph’s Colourful Grafton Wedding

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


Belinda and Joseph

Sparkly shoes never fail to win me over and when paired with a bubbly bride who pours out her wedding story with such fun, well I can barely resist! This gorgeous Grafton wedding seems just right for today and with the vibrantly colourful and fun reception – it’s packed full of fun, relaxed inspiration!

Belinda and Joseph have known each other all their lives (how romantic) Belinda tells the story of their romance. “Our parents have known each other for decades, and we spent most of our childhood living around the corner from each other. We have always been friends and in a similar social circle, but Joe was really good friends with my brother, and it never occurred to us that we could be anything more than friends. I moved “home” to Yamba around six years ago after university, living abroad, working in Sydney. And Joe followed a similar pattern four years ago. We kissed for the first time Christmas Eve 2007, after hanging out as friends on Joe’s return. And that was really it. I knew instantly that it was something really special.”

Elisse Hassey is today’s photographer. Didn’t she do a lovely job of capturing the spirit of the day? The shoe photos were the first ones I saw and I love how Elisse captured those little beauties!

Belinda (owner of Belinda’s Store in Yamba and Grafton) chose glittery Kate Spade heels for her wedding day along with a Johanna Johnson gown. In the days before the wedding, Belinda spent time with close family and friends. “Spending the time with family and friends setting up the hall a few days before the day. That was such a lovely time. Drinking cups of tea, eating chocolate cake, and really just enjoying seeing everything evolve, and all the months of dreaming form into reality.”

Belinda carried a bouquet of “Baby’s Breath by Annette of Annette’s Flowerworld.”

Belinda and Joseph were married in a traditional church. Belinda recalls “The ceremony was in the Christ Church Cathedral in Grafton (where my grandparents married), and then we popped our guests on a bus and took them twenty minutes out of Grafton to a teeny tiny town called Brushgrove. Surrounded by cane fields and paddocks. Very serene and picture perfect.” Belinda walked down the aisle to ‘Arrival of the Queen of Sheba’ Georg Friedrich Handel.

Joseph wore a suit from Baubridge and Kay with Country Road shoes.

The reception was held at Tyndale Hall. Belinda says “Originally we planned a marquee on the riverbank of Joe’s parents house. Then we had a flood in January, and we were concerned that it was going to flood again, and that it would be just too stressful. So, we started hunting for an old town hall to match the style of people that Joe and I are. I always wanted it to be a formal wedding (Dad loves wearing black tie), and I think it is appropriate as this is the most special occasion in your life, so it warrants it being a black tie event. On the flip side of that, I wanted to reception to be a relaxed, warm and happy atmosphere. Not stuffy or pretentious. We drove all over Grafton, South Grafton and surrounds. Then one day my sister suggested the hall at Brushgrove and from the moment we saw it we knew it was perfect. A blank canvas for the girls and I to work with.”

Belinda’s friend and colleague helped the day come to life. Belinda explains “The personal touches that come to life with the help of Anna Andrews (she works in my Grafton store) like the invitations, the cootie catchers, the order of service, the place settings etc are a special memory.”

Belinda says “Our guests were just overwhelmed with the way the hall looked. It was really conducive to everyone having a great time. My favourite part was the ceremony. I was quite concerned that I would be really anxious, but it was just a dream walking into that church with Daddy beside himself with pride. It was so exciting to see Joe waiting for me at the end of the aisle and I could not stop smiling. I shed a few tears when my dear friend sang a song that he had written for us called “My Sweet Season”.”

Belinda loved “The joy on our guest’s faces when they realised that what they were experiencing was personal and not done by a “stylist” or wedding co-ordinator.

Many details went into making the occasion unique and not a cookie cutter wedding. Hankie bunting, cootie catchers,orange place settings (which were double sided so the person opposite knew your name), marmalade tags – different facts about love and marriage and the symbolism of oranges, each table setting having a different set of vintage plates, the stage decorations, the pumpkins, the roses , blue gingham tablecloths, the card birds strung from the market umbrellas, the hay bale seating, the oyster-man shucking fresh oysters, Cosmopolitans, wine buckets, the fragrance when you walked in the hall.”

Belinda and Joseph hired caterers from Georgie’s Restaurant. Belinda says “Our caterers were amazing. Very calm, they listened to everything that I said leading up to the day and in the end the food was spot on. Mark and Judy Hackett who own Georgie’s Restaurant in Grafton. They were amazing.”

The couple hired Luke Vasella to perform all night. For the first dance, Belinda recalls “We danced our first dance as a married couple to U2 singing ‘Everlasting Love’. After that I changed into a Carla Zampatti cream silk cocktail dress, so that I could really dance the night away. As I re-emerged from the bathroom, Luke (the singer) started playing “You’re the one that I want” from the Grease soundtrack and Joe and I really carved up the dance floor. People even asked if we had choreographed the number, but no, we were just happy and excited!”

Congratulations Belinda and Joseph! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Elisse Hassey for sharing today’s photographs!

Photos by Elisse Hassey

Gorgeous Gift Registries

by | Bride, Wedding Gifts


So Polka Dotties, what do you think about gift registries? I never used to be a big fan until it came to friends telling tales and reading posts like this one from Miss T. I’m always a fan of not being too strict about it and appreciating what happens – because there really should not be an expectation on guests to buy you a gift. (I’m also quite a weird gift receiver, it can’t be electronic because if it is, I will hold onto that thing for years because I am too sentimental, even when it slows down and can barely operate!) (Mr Polka that one is aimed at you which is why I am never getting rid of that computer you bought me as a birthday present once!).

To make life easier, there are so many fantastic registries online which give your guests easy access to your preferred gift choices and make it stress free – not only for you, but for them. This morning’s post is a bit of a round up of sorts of the great online gift registries I’ve found, that should hopefully help you decide which way to go.

Country Road

Country Road’s brand new gift registry features

  • All the latest, stylish Country Road stock to choose from
  • Easy online setup
  • Guests can choose to have gifts delivered to themselves or to you
  • All gift wraps in Country Road’s signature gift wrapping
  • Receive a 10% of the total purchases made on your registry as a Country Road gift card

Peters Of Kensington

The Peters of Kensington Wedding Registry features

  • Easy online setup
  • Online, telephone, fax and in store ordering
  • Brands such as Kitchenaid, Wedgewood, Kate Spade and Alessi
  • Fantastic prices
  • Access to free gifts on purchases

Orson & Blake

The Orson & Blake Wedding Registry features

  • Brands such as Diptyque, Jonathan Adler, John Derian and Villeroy & Boch
  • Stylish gift wrapping
  • National delivery

Wedding Gifts Direct


Wedding Gifts Direct Wedding Registry features

  • Easy online setup
  • Free gift on registry setup
  • Free delivery for your guests
  • Price matching
  • Special discount for family members plus a lifetime discount on all products for you
  • Brands such as Vera Wang, Kitchen Aid, Alessi, Le Creuset, Donna Hay and Sony
  • Ability for guests to contribute to not just “products” but experiences such as your honeymoon, a fine dining experience or a wishing well

Wedding List Co

The Wedding List Co wedding registry features

  • Easy online or in store setup
  • Online, telephone or in store purchasing
  • Brands including Coco Republic, have Your Met Miss Jones, Missoni, Waterford Crystal and Otto
  • Extended gift options including a contribution registry, experiences, photography vouchers and Red Balloon Day vouchers
  • Access to free products on brand promotions
  • Gift wrap or eco friendly bags available

The Gift Table

The Gift Table online registry features

  • Ability to purchase online or over the phone
  • Customised home page for you and your guests allowing you to not only manage your registry but also your guest list
  • Easy online setup
  • Extended registry options including “The giving tree” and a charity registry
  • Ability to order customised invitations
  • Purchase remaining gifts off your registry after the wedding with a 15% discount

Wheel & Barrow



The Wheel & Barrow Wedding Registry features

  • Set your registry up in-store
  • Allow guests to purchase in store or over the phone
  • Access to Wheel & Barrow’s classic and extensive range of home goods
  • Additional brands such as Bodum, Kitchenaid, Schott Zwiesel and Masterchef
  • Choice of delivery to your or to your guests homes

The Melbourne Wedding Registry (also check out The Sydney Wedding Registry)

The Melbourne Wedding Registry features

  • Choose gifts instore at their showroom or online
  • Guests can purchase online, instore or over the phone
  • Brands including Mark Tuckey, Georg Jensen, Alessi, Scanpan and Kitchenaid
  • Low delivery fee
  • Access to free products from a brand’s special offers
  • Lifetime 10% discount on all products

This is just the start of gift registry options – there are a myriad of different registries out there including honeymoon registries and furniture store registries. What option did you choose and if not what are your thoughts?

Benay and Peter’s Stradbroke Island Wedding

by | Australia - Queensland, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Benay and Peter

Oh I do love a wedding by the water, especially one like today’s where the sunshine isn’t out but the moody clouds make for a romantic atmosphere. Benay and Peter married on South Stradbroke Island and had the most beautiful waterside wedding. It’s got a serenity to it that eases us into a crazy week.

Benay explains their love story. “We met through my sister.  She always spoke of this ‘hot computer guy’ that one of her friends worked with. They used to hope that one of their computers would break so he would come around and fix it.  Pete went to my sister’s house one day and saw a photograph of my sister and I and asked who I was, I was living overseas at the time but when I came home Pete and I met in passing one day.  Pete then called my sister to ask if it was OK to email me and ask me out.  It was the first time I’d ever been asked out via email!”

Today’s photographs (making her Polka Dot debut, hooray!) are by Sheila Higgins. I love the calm nature Sheila has to her work. It’s modern and stylish but keeps the classic elements of wedding photography that we all know and love.

Blush Artistry styled the girls hair and makeup. Benay says “I just loved our hair and makeup and the ladies here were so lovely and really knew what they were doing.”

Benay wore a gown by Leonard Derecourt with stylish peeptoes from Novo. Her bridesmaids wore watermelon coloured strapless gowns from Bari Jay from Hills In Hollywood.

Guests traveled to the island by boat, including the groom and his groomsmen who arrived on the ‘September Song’. Benay remembers it as one of her favourite memories. “The boys traveling to the wedding on the ‘September Song’. Boating is a big part of Pete’s family and it was so nice to be able to include the September Song in our wedding day, not to mention it is the most beautiful boat and was a fantastic backdrop for our photos.”

Benay walked down the aisle to ‘Sea Of Love’ by Cat Power.

Benay and Peter held their ceremony at As Island Hideaway, South Stradbroke Island and had it conducted by celebrant Diane Rainnie.  Benay recalls “Our ceremony was in the beach side chapel which was the reason I liked this venue.  It was nice to be right beside the beach but not on the beach which worked out well on our wedding day because there was a little bit of rain around.

Our Star Wars Vows I think this was my favourite part.  We kept this a secret from everyone and everyone laughed and cheered when they heard them knowing how much of a fan Pete is of Star Wars.”

Peter pledged “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I was drawn to you like The Millenium Falcon caught in The Death Stars tractor beam. Whether it be Tusken Raiders or Imperial Forces, nothing can break The Force that joins us together. I would never trade you to the Jawas even if they were doing a really good deal on a couple of astromech droids, even with an extended warranty.” I can tell you there were some great big smiles and lots of joyous peals of laughter. Benay’s response included this little gem “Even if you were frozen in carbonite, and stolen by Boba Fett, I would find you, dress in a gold bikini slave outfit, then strangle Jabba the Hutt to be by your side. I would follow you through the desert wastelands of Tatooine, the Ice fields of Hoth, and the Jungles of Endor, just to be with you.”


Guests continued to celebrate with a reception on the island.

Peter and Benay made the invitations themselves. “We made our invitations which were DVD’s.  The DVD was a kind of slideshow of photographs of us made into Polaroids with details of the wedding written under each photograph.  I made the images in Photoshop and Pete put it all together with music for the DVD’s.”

Benay also made clear boxes filled with Skittles for guests (one of Pete’s favourite treats) and made place cards for each guest. She explains “The images on the place cards were all photographs that I had taken from around the world where Pete and I had travelled.  I had a lot of fun selecting the images I would use and made sure no two place cards had the same image.  On the back of the place cards I had another image (the same image on all place cards) with the quote “love isn’t the person you can see yourself with, it’s the person you can’t see yourself without” I did this because I wondered how many people would look at the back of the place cards and the ones who did I wanted them to see something nice.”

On top of their wedding cake was another nod to Peter’s love of Star Wars. Benay recalls “We loved The Han Solo and Princes Leia cake toppers, I thought these were a cute and subtle way to include another Star Wars reference into our wedding.”

Hiring band Nuthin Betta, for their first dance Benay remarks, “We danced to ‘Hold You in My Arms’ by Ray LaMontagne.  We have quite different taste in music so it took a while to find a song but Pete being the wonderful man that he is let me give him a heap of songs that I liked and then he chose one that he liked from that.”


Congratulations Benay and Peter! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us on Polka Dot Bride! Thank you also to Sheila Higgins. for sharing today’s photographs!

Photos by Sheila Higgins.

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