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

Winter Wedding Gowns

by | Bridal Fashion, Bride


Angelina gown from Basilica

I’m going to admit that Autumn (fall) & winter are my favourite wedding seasons. There’s a lot to be said for the magic of mulled wine and open fires while saying your vows and snowflakes (being in Australia let’s put an “I Wish “onto that statement) as you take to the floor for your bridal waltz.

Unfortunately though, finding winter style wedding gowns is not an easy thing- designers favor strapless, skin exposing gowns which might not work if you’re the cold blooded type (like me) on your wedding day. So today, upon reader request, I’m  taking a look at some winter wedding gown inspiration and ways you can warm up your bridal ensemble on your wedding day!

One of the first Australian designers that always pops into my head when thinking of warm gowns is Basilica– long, elegant coats which can be taken off for dancing or kept on as an integral part of the gown make a stunning statement.

Jasmine Gown from Basilica, Sabrina Gown by Basilica

Designers favor illusion necklines, matching bolero jackets, statement beaded cover ups and bold placement of fabrics to cover up and keep you warm.

Monica gown by Badgley Mischka Bride, Gown by Pronuptia Paris. Photos & gowns from Basilica

Oscar De La Renta Gown, Jenny Packham Gown, photo from Pronovias via Brides

Gown by Jim Hjelm, Gown by Monique Lhuillier. Photos from Brides

I love this gown bride Angela designed for her own wedding day (see more here)..

Photo by DA Yates Photography

If you still want to wear a summer style wedding gown. add your own cover up to match your own style- my absolute favourite is the knitted cardigan! You can find sweet ones with bows and covered buttons in stores like Alannah Hill & Review. Keep it fitted and cropped to show off the detail on your gown while keeping you toasty warm.

Photo from Party Perfect via Bridal Survival, Photo by Shannon Nicole Smith via Ruffled

Photo by Braedon Photography via Green Wedding Shoes

Photos via Fashion Bride

Photo by Keefer Photography via Once Wed

Or how about a decadent bridal bolero or capelet in stunning silks and vivid hues?

Boleros by Bonzie on Etsy

Boleros by Mary And Angelika on Etsy

Perhaps the vintage look of feathers are more your style?

Photo of Christina from cevd by Parker J Photo

There are plenty of other cover up options too- faux fur or vintage fur stoles and pashminas come to mind! How did you keep warm (or plan to) at your winter wedding?

Visit Ms Polka Dot's Directory

Australian Wedding Country Tea Inspired Shoot

by | Bride, Inspiration Shoot, Wedding Inspiration


Good morning Tuesday! Let’s kick today off with a scrumptious Australia afternoon tea wedding shoot in a field!

There’s nothing quite like the golden waves in Australian fields and today’s team got together to create something really special! Bailie of Bailie Photography invited Alicia of Form Over Function to help his vision dancing in his head of “afternoon tea in a field”.

Form over Function styled the shoot and provided the flowers, furniture, chandelier and decor. Dresses by Pretty In White, makeup by Amy Chan and models Kaitlin Hawkins and Melissa Hanes.

Alicia told the story behind the shoot. “Shot in undulating fields in Sydney (yes, hard to believe but they exist!), I liked the idea of it looking like part of formal dining room of yesteryear magically appearing in parts, almost as if the girls were waiting for the butler to enter and serve them tea at any momednt from left of frame.

The palette was set – pinks, lemons, whites and green – but in the end the pinks, greens and whites on offer were so gorgeous, they won and lemon was left for another day (or rather to the wattle seen in bloom in some of the shots).

The other thing I like about this shoot, is that it could easily translate into real styling for a real wedding. I’m a firm believer in photo shoots being fantastical, but for brides looking for inspiration, it’s also great to be able to look at an image and say: “I want that! I can have that!”.

We’ve used this sideboards to hold arrangements of flowers just like this to create pretty along a bare wall of a venue, or flanking either side of an entry to create a sense of what lies beyond the doors. Only last week we hung nine chandeliers within a marquee to create night time magic, and the cut glass vases and bowls in our range can add a touch of vintage yesterday to any table for a lot less than brides to be might think.”

Alicia, who is a lover of blooms styled the bouquets “I designed one bouquet using a tumble of exquisite pale pink and white cymbidium orchids; the other was a field fresh posy of ranunculus, flowering vibernum, hellebore and blushing bride.

One of the best parts of styling the shoot for me was the total freedom of going to the flower markets that morning and choosing the very best of what was on the floor, rather than arriving with a prescribed must have list, which mother nature does not always deliver on.”

Alicia says “I used one of the beautiful antique timber sideboards from our hire range to set the scene, hung a crystal chandelier in the trees to add a touch of whimsy, and lay out a collection of dusty pink and pale yellow 1950s tea cups, saucers, teapot, sugar bowl and milk jug, vintage glass dessert coupes and glass spoons, an antique silver cake stand bearing macarons, and a collection of cut glass vases and bowls from our hire range – one filled with pink ranunculus, another with palest pink tulips, another with the beautiful Australian native, blushing bride, and a large tumbling arrangement of hellebore and lupins, both old fashioned cottage garden flowers.

A vintage cane and leather picnic basket was placed alongside the sideboard as a play on the inside/outside nature of the shoot, and lovely wicker arm chairs, also from our hire range, completed the lazy afternoon picture.”

Photos by Bailie Photography

Treasury Luxury Showcase Giveaway

by | Bride, Competitions


Don’t forget if you want to win one of ten double passes to the The Luxury Wedding Showcase held by The Wedding Establishment along with the Treasury Restaurant on Thursday 25 November 2010 from 5.30pm until 9pm at Treasury, 394 Collins Street, Melbourne. To follow the instructions on this post

Anna and Rich

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


Anna & Rich

Do you remember A Country Practice? Fatso the wombat, when Molly died, Cookie, Shirley, Dr Terence and Lucy- that theme song will never be forgotten and the memories don’t fade too easily either!

So today’s wedding of Anna and Rich is a little special in that respect- it took place in Wandin Valley, the home of A Country Practice, or to be specific Wandin Valley Estate, Lovedale, Hunter Valley. The wedding is so completely rich with Australiana- from the landscape, to the subtle cricket theme Anna and Rich wove throughout their day, I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!

Anna says, “We met playing hockey in a charity tournament in the UK. Anna had just come out of ambulance having been injured on the pitch and Rich was the only guy not to show any sympathy but to wind her up over it which began a day of sledging. Over 5 years later, the laughter continues…”

Photographs today are by Welsch Photography who have managed to captured the Australian landscape, the details, the moments but most of all the love of Anna and Rich!

Anna and Rich planned a wedding weekend for their guests. “As many guests had flown in from the UK (both of us are English), we planned a weekend wedding, organising transport and accommodation for all guests. We hired 3 vineyards, WVE, Adina and Tatler, all in Lovedale. We had activities planned all weekend with wine tastings and a hog roast on Friday evening, a trip to Aqua Golf and the Hunter Valley Gardens the morning of the wedding and then a cricket recovery brunch BBQ on the Sunday. All our guests were on fantastic form when it came to our wedding and reception which made the day so much fun!”

Anna wore a gown from Elizabeth De Varga while her bridesmaids wore emerald green gowns from Dessy. Hair and makeup was styled by Rachel and her team at Sublime in the Hunter Valley Gardens.

Anna and Rich placed a great importance on the music for their day. “Music is very important to us and so we spent a lot of time preparing playlists for each section of our day. This worked really well, kept everyone in high spirits and amused guests during the ceremony.

Our aisle song was ‘Industrial Revolution Part 2’ by Jean-Michel Jarre. We spent our holiday in 2007 following the England team round the Rugby World Cup in France and this was the song that teams entered the stadium to, which created such an electric atmosphere at the time and did so on our day.”

Jade McIntosh Flowers arranged the blooms for the day.

Anna and Rich had many special treats for their guests. Anna says “We had thought about every detail in advance and so the guests were constantly surprised and entertained and we didn’t worry about a thing on the day, e.g. song choices at the ceremony (including ‘Signed, Sealed and Delivered’ for the signing), the cake made of cheese with our figurines, the English cricket theme (particularly the first dance) and the engraved port bottles as favours (filled with sweets for the kids).”  The stationery was by by Huetopia Design.

In lieu of a traditional wedding cake, Anna and Rich chose a stack of cheese and apples from Jay Power of Imagine Cakes with hockey playing figurines to represent themselves.

Although their wedding was at the one venue, Anna and Rich made elements of the day feel very different. “We had our ceremony on the lawn in front of the winery and had a champagne bar at the back for post ceremony drinks. Our guests then followed the driveway through the vines down to the reception venue which was held in the cricket pavilion with the cricket pitch one side and a view of the vineyard the other. It is a beautiful, remote, relaxed setting and although both the ceremony and the reception were held on the same venue, it felt as though they were two different places.”

The importance of music flowed through to the reception. “To keep with the cricket theme of our reception (in a cricket pavilion, table names of 2005 Ashes Winning Heroes with a cricket recovery brunch planned for the Sunday), we choreographed a short salsa routine to ‘Soul Limbo’ by Booker T and The MGs (1968) which is the music that introduces BBC cricket coverage and is the theme tune for Test Match Special on Radio 4.”

Duck and Cover kept guests on the dance floor all night long. Anna says “Our guests were incredible. They went with everything we planned with such enthusiasm which is something you can’t plan for. They made our wedding day perfect.”

Congratulations Anna and Rich! Thank you for sharing your wedding day on Polka Dot Bride! Thank you also to Welsch Photography for sharing today’s images!

Photos by Welsch Photography

Back to Top