Jacqui and James’ Modern Melbourne Wedding

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Jacqui & James

A splendid Melbourne wedding is a beautiful one. The soft, romantic colours of Jacqui’s bouquet against the modern setting set the tone for the day in which the couple paid homage to their heritage and the urban feel of Melbourne.

Jacqui explains how the couple met. “James and I met 7 years ago in a nightclub on Chapel Street (in Melbourne) called CLUB EVOLUTION! I was hanging out with my girlfriend at the time just having a “girl’s night out” when James spotted us and came over to introduce himself.  James offered to buy me a drink at the bar, to which I said YES, however once at the bar James realised he had no money in his wallet and I felt extremely sorry for him so ended up buying him the drink!

James kept asking me for my phone number but I only wanted to give him my email address; however since he was so persistent, I finally agreed so that he could leave me alone!!! James called me the very next day and was ever so persistent in pursing me…after a few months of being friends and getting to know each other, I agreed to start officially dating James.  Therefore we “officially” started being boyfriend and girlfriend after approximately two months of friendship.  The relationship bloomed and seven years later, we married!!!”

Photographs today are Stewart Leishman Photography. Stewart’s graceful photography always creates such a sense of elegance and beauty.

James and his groomsmen wore suits from Prinzi Collections.

Jacqui chose a strapless gown from Henri Josef website with shoes from Wittner Shoes  and jewels from Swarvoski and Paul Bram . Her bridesmaids wore white gowns from Witchery  and Wittner Shoes. Their makeup was styled by  Gloria Chu from Amber Freelance and hair by Helen Hair Styling.

Jacqui and James married atSt Justin’s Catholic Church . Jacqui remarks “I walked down the aisle to “Spend my life with you” By Eric Benet and Tamia.  There was no other song with these lyrics which could possibly explain the way James and I felt about each other.  It is the best love song ever!”

Jacqui says one of her favourite parts of the wedding was, “All my beloved family and friends being in the same room and smiling laughing and enjoying the day/night! It was really pleasant to look around the room and know that people you cherish made an effort to be there (especially from overseas and interstate) to share the most important day of your life with you!”

Jacqui remarks, “Neither of us cried or got too emotional during the ceremony part, because we were so focused on perfecting the kiss – when the kiss came around, we kissed  the way we have practised at home and it was perfect!  Most couples, fuss over the vows etc, we were more fussed over our kiss!”

After the ceremony, the couple and their bridal party headed off for photographs – one of Jacqui’s favourite parts of the day. Jacqui explains “I loved our photos at the Kings Domain gardens! It started raining and it was absolutely freezing, myself and my bridesmaid (being least covered up) were extremely cold and our heels dug into the mud whilst walking into the garden. However it was so much fun, as we had the umbrellas out and we were laughing and giggling the whole time! We took photos where we were huddling close – to keep warm, and they turned out fantastic! James and I had a fantastic time as we both love nature and he kept holding my hand tight, making sure I wasn’t going to slip or fall and when the wind blew, it made my veil look like it was floating in the air.  We had a lot of fun doing the location shoots. ”

Of their photographer, Jacqui says “Our photographer on the day was Stewart Leishman, he was extremely friendly and had a really warm personality that automatically made you feel comfortable and at ease around him! What we like about Stewart is that he is SO passionate about his work, which made us believe that he was a responsible photographer who will actually make us look amazing on the day due to the fact that he takes a lot of pride in his work and therefore we felt he was the right photographer to proceed with.”

Byron’s For Flowers (03) 9842 3400) created the beautiful bouquets and floral arrangements.

Jacqui and James held their reception at  Waterfront Venues Docklands – The Harbour View Room.  Jacqui explains “The venue we used was absolutely stunning. It was located in Melbourne Docklands which was surrounded by the water and the docking harbour. Our reception venue was raised up high on level 2 and it had a balcony on which served the canapés, and overlooked the harbour itself.  The actual reception room itself had massive big windows with 180 degree views! It was so beautiful the backdrop of the city lights, as the sun went down, all you could see was the shimmering water as well as the blue neon lights on the Bolte Bridge and nearby city skyline.  The view captured our hearts from the beginning and to top it off – there was a full show of fireworks at night time, which just made our night even more special!!!!  (James said he arranged the fireworks, but then the reception venue said they did…so it was quite amusing because everyone tried to claim they arranged the fireworks! Hehe)

Purity Cake Design created the incredible layered wedding cake. Jacqui says “I loved our 7 tier wedding cake – all edible, every single layer was made from real cake! Some of the guests thought our cake was fake but when they realised it was real, they were shocked at how beautifully presented it was because it actually looked like a display cake! The flavours were coffee cream, chocolate ganache, vanilla flavour and peanut butter flavour. The outside was cream with soft chiffon sponge inside!”

Guests enjoyed a traditional banquet. Jacqui remarks, “We had an amazing 10 course degustation wedding menu, yup that’s right 10 courses! That was one of the most important criteria of our wedding was to have fantastic and good quality food. Which is exactly what we got. Our menu comprised of Japanese style teppanyaki tempura food, it ranged from Atlantic salmon to creamy lobster tail, to self grilled wagyu on hot rocks! It was so amazing and the feedback we got from every one of our guests was that they were rolling out of the doors because they were so full. Each guests gave wonderful compliments and they all said they have never been to a wedding with so much food!! It was like a culinary experience.”

There was one little DIY touch- the wedding favors! “I did make our chocolate boxes (the plastic ones) and filled them with chocolate for our wedding favours. We had alternating wedding favours and I ordered the pear soaps (caption: the perfect pear) from American website and all I had to do was undo the wrapping!  It was very nice as each guest received an alternating wedding favour! We made our own menus; we bought the paper from KW Doggets, and then printed them ourselves. (This was easy) We had our wedding invites printed and we tied a gold ribbon around it so it looked ‘pretty’.”

The speeches were a favourite for the bride who recalls, “During the reception, James totally stuffed up his speech!!! He was practising at home for weeks and weeks, he had it down pat absolutely perfect. However on the night, he was so nervous that he totally lost track of the speech and stuffed it up… The only part he got correct was the part he dedicated to me – which was the most important part, so it worked out still OK at the end.

My dad is a very private person and growing up he kept his feelings to himself and usually did not express them at all. My dad is a strong character and is the rock in the family and being the only girl in the family, I knew it was difficult for dad to make a speech in front of 150 guests about his little girl getting married and growing up! However dad’s speech was magnificent and he didn’t even need notes – he memorized the full 5 minutes of it!”

James and Jacqui hired David Galea (0418 315 042) to MC & DJ the reception. Jacqui says “Our first dance was to “Hungry Eyes” by Eric Carmen, the reason we choose this song was because my favourite movie is DIRTY DANCING!!!! James always knew I loved this movie so he was happy to dance to Hungry Eyes.  We took about 6 bridal lessons and we woww’d the audience with our spins and dips! Especially, since I changed into a purple flowing silk dress, which made the dance a lot easier to move in, rather than the wedding gown.  Our wedding singer actually sang the song “live” so it made the experience even more special. It’s such a happy and sexy, romantic song – we had so much fun doing the bridal lessons and learning the whole routine!!

My MC/DJ is David Galea, I thought he was absolutely awesome! He was funny, confident and did such a great job of undertaking the MC role as well as DJ’ing for us! We had the wedding singer at the start of the night, and once all the 10 course degustation menu was over. David started the dance music, which went from Mariah Carey, to Whitney Houston, to Michael Jackson. It got the crowd dancing – even the older guests, and it really set the tone of the night and every where I looked around, there were big smiles and laughter every corner.  I remembered the night concluded around 12.00pm (it was meant to finish at 11.00pm) and the crowd just kept hooting to David “one more song, one more song” so he agreed to play the last song…”

Congratulations James and Jacqui! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Stewart Leishman Photography for sharing today’s photographs with us!

Photographer: Stewart Leishman Photography / Bride's Dress: Henry Roth / Bride's Shoes: Wittner Shoes / Bride's Jewellery: Swarvoski earrings / Bride's Jewellery: Paul Bram / Bridesmaid Dresses: Witchery / Bridesmaid Shoes: Wittner Shoes / Groom's Attire: Prinzi Collections / Groomsmen Attire: Prinzi Collections / Hairstylist: Helen hair styling / Makeup Artist: Gloria Chu from Amber Freelance / Flowers: Byron's For Flowers (03) 9842 3400) / Invitations & Stationery: Digital Printing Brunswick / Ceremony Venue: St Justin's Catholic Church / Ceremony Officiant: Father Rv. Wheeler / Reception Singer: Jennifer Sheridan / DJ: David Galea 0418 315 042 / Favors: Favors Plus / Wedding Cake: Purity Cake Design / Wedding rings: Paul Bram Diamonds / Transport: Affinity Limousines / Reception Venue: Waterfront Venues Docklands – The Harbour View Room.
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Friday Roundup

by | Blog News, Bride


Photo by  Calli B Photography from Sophisticated Country Charm Inspiration

I have a secret to tell you! I’ve snuck off for a few days away with Mr Polka so I’m writing this on Wednesday! The patterned people are still working hard behind the scenes though (which I love them for) so I’ve been able to sneak away and enjoy some sunshine for the first time in a very long time! What did you get up to this week?

On Polka Dot Groom

Grant shows off his Groom Style

Andrew shares with us his memory of watching his bride walk down the aisle

On Polka Dot Wisdom

Sydney bridal gown designer Amanda Garrett answers our questions in our Expert Interview

Broni from Love Notes shows us her favourite wedding things

Ms Floral tells us all about the wonderful wedding open day by renowned chef Luke Mangan

Ms Lace tells us all about the gorgeous-ness at  A Very Vintage Wedding Fair held in Brisbane recently

Rebecca from Petal & Pod shares a behind the scenes look at the creation of a Vintage Peach Floral Wedding Theme

On Polka Dot Weddings

Adam and Lani are married in a pretty and colourful wedding in Sydney

Emma writes about her fun hen’s night

Involving pets in your wedding –  get the tips here

Can you answer these questions for our brides?

On Polka Dot Made

Mother of Pearl accessories on Etsy Roundup

Tuesday Type is the very sweet Rosarian

Alicia from Akimbo gives us a tutorial on making cute birdseed heart favours with a free printable tag

Ms Lace shows us how to make Cosmopolitan Jelly Shots on Cocktail Friday

On Polka Dot Honeymoons

Natalie from Simply Bridal showcases five island retreats just perfect for your honeymoon

Celeste and Cristian did it their way by eloping in Tasmania

Around the wedding world this week…

Andrea of Write Weddings has launched a brand new service to help if you’re struggling for the right words for your wedding ceremony! Andrea creates readings, wedding ceremonies and wedding vows just for you! She will put her fantastic talent to use to create something special, a one off to help you make your wedding ceremony truly personal.

 Andrea is offering Polka Dot Bride readers 15% off readings and packages! Email Andrea at or visit her website and use the code word “WRITE POLKA DOT BRIDE” in your email to receive the discount! is launching their annual wedding shop on Thursday US time !   They have beautiful gowns from Carolina Herrera, Zac Posen, Temperley London, BCBGMAXAZRIA and BHLDN, as well as jewelry. Gilt City will also offer complete wedding-in-a-box packages to plan your entire wedding, indulgent spa services, options for planning your bachelor/bachelorette party, deals on stationery and wedding invitations and much more. Check out the site to register and access the sales!

Now that they have moved to Collins St, Baccini & Hill are in the final two weeks of their clearance sale at their Armadale boutique. Bridal gowns start from $500, bridesmaids gowns from $100 and flower girl dresses from $50. Check out the website for full details.

If you love Mrs Press (like I do!) you’ll want to get down to see her at the Sydney Bridal Expo this weekend in Darling Harbour. Clare will be there along with her incredible designs for bridesmaids and she would love a visit from Polka Dot Bride readers! Visit the website for details.

Our video of the week is this fun stop motion video sent by Shannon of Willow Art Company who shot the wedding alongside Sarah from Mint Photography.

Heidi and Richard’s Cedar Creek Falls Wedding

by | Australia - Queensland, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Heidi and Richard

Heidi and Richard held their boho inspired celebration in their backyard. Living right near Cedar Creek Falls meant their backyard was pretty gorgeous in the first place and lent itself to the calm and nature inspired feel that Heidi and Richard wanted for their wedding day.

Heidi tells of how they met. “We met at a college party back when we were both at University. After our first meeting Richard and his friend cooked up an elaborate plan to get me to their college ball, sitting at their table and yes you guessed it…right next to Richard.”

Photographs are by Tanya of Love Bytes who has captured the softness and relaxed nature of Heidi and Richard’s day so beautifully.

Heidi explains the reasons the the style of the day. She says “I have never been one to fantasize about my wedding day but I did always know that I wanted something personal, small and not to ‘weddingy’. I am quite passionate about sustainability and everything retro and antique so that is where I started and the ideas grew from there. Nearly everything you see is either a family heirloom or was hand picked over months from various different op shops and peoples living rooms. Having a DIY theme and a newborn baby also created many opportunities for people to lend a hand. The memory of how much our friends and family helped make this wedding happen will be with us always. When I looked around at the guests and at everything we had achieved by the end of that day it wasn’t just our wedding but everyone owned a little part of the day. To know we are so loved and have so many special people in our lives definitely made it for us.”

Amanda wore a gown from Ultra Suite  and shoes from Whittmans (where the scarf tie was replaced with ribbon). Heidi says ” We have lots of beautiful stories but I am going to have to go with a funny one.

At around 10am I receive a phone call from my Mum asking what time the ceremony started, to which I replied 2pm. She then went on to say that my sister in law was sure the invite said 2:30pm and that maybe I should check. I then had to turn the study upside down looking for a spare invite which much to my amusement had the ceremony starting at 2:30pm. I then had to ring Richard to notify him that we the start time wrong and to tell the celebrant that she would have to wait around an extra half an hour. We both had a good laugh which I think was great for those pre-wedding nerves. At least we were early!”

Emma from Bossy Hair Windsor (0401916236) did the girls hair while Carla from Project Bombshell styled the makeup.

Heidi and Richard chose Andy Williams Park in Yugar for their wedding ceremony.  ” Once we decided to get married we agreed that where we got married and hold the reception needed to be somewhere that felt special to us. We both grew up in the country and love being surrounded by nature so when we went out to Yugar one afternoon to ‘get away from it all’ we decided it would do the job perfectly. We also wanted to be able to include the 4th member of our family ‘Layla’ and this place was dog friendly. ”

Heidi walked down the aisle to Bon Iver’s “Perth”. She recalls ” This decision I left entirely up to Richard. It was a beautiful surprise and funnily enough the song was on the one CD I chose to play while I was getting ready that morning! ”

Heidi and Richard were married by Margaret McLeod.

The bridesmaids wore gowns created by Jaye from Fabled and True. Richard and his groomsmen were outfitted by Always Habit.

Heidi remarks “My vision for the wedding wasn’t always the easiest concept to get your head around but Richard just trusted me and chipped away at the massive ‘to do list’. I feel extremely lucky that I can say the wedding was a team effort where we both put in as much as each other.  ”

Of their photographer, Heidi says “She is absolutely awesome! Tanya has photographed many important events for us now and I continue to be blown away at how she manages to just ‘get it’, who we are and what we love. Apart from requesting at least one nice family photo I left the rest up to her so as you can see she has some amazing ideas.  She is also a pro at creating a comfortable environment where you don’t feel like you have to pose. Which was really important for me as I am not too fond of things being staged and fake.

The only instructions we had to take was ‘just keep doing what you’re doing’. Loved the whole experience and am now having the tough job of choosing which photos to put up on the walls.” The couple’s son Archer was very much present on the wedding day.

After photographs, the couple and their guests returned to their own backyard for the reception. “Even though I have never been much of a ‘wedding dreamer’ I always pictured myself getting married at my childhood farm. We no longer have this property so having the reception in the backyard of our first family home was a wonderful alternative”. Heidi and Richard had their dinner catered by their favourite local Thai restaurant Siam Garden The Gap .

They chose a rainbow wedding cake from Cake on Bleu. Heidi and Richard kept their guest list small explaining, “We were really strict with the guest list which was really hard but having a smaller more intimate group of people was key to the atmosphere of our wedding. It is also great to be able to say that we absolutely enjoyed every person on that list. ”

The reception decorations were handmade. Heidi says “This was a DIY wedding so nearly everything you see was made by ourselves, family and friends. The napkins were sewn by my Mum, the candle jars were collected by friends and washed by myself and best friend with our then 4 month old babies on our laps, beautiful wooden signs were made by my Pop and painted the day before the wedding by myself. Those are only a couple of examples but I don’t want to go on and on!”

Heidi says “I feel so proud at what a small impact our wedding had on the environment. It also made it that much more special to look around and know that you either made that, recycled it or adopted it. Very little was new and if it was, it was hired. ”

Heidi and Richard decided to have a “familymoon” instead of the traditional honeymoon. Heidi explains, “We invited all our guests to Coolum the week after the wedding. This was where we had booked our ‘familymoon’. It was a fantastic idea as it really reduced the stress of having to spend quality time with everyone on the day of the wedding. ”

Congratulations Heidi and Richard! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Tanya of Love Bytes for sharing today’s images!

Photographer: Love Bytes / Styling & Hire: Samford Hire / Bride's Dress: Ultra Suite / Bride's Shoes: Whittmans / Bride's Jewellery: Handmade / Groom's Attire: Always Habit / Groomsmen Attire: Always Habit / Bridesmaid Dresses: Jaye from Fabled and True / Bridesmaid Shoes: Whittmans / Hairstylist: – Emma from Bossy Hair Windsor 0401916236 / Makeup Artist: Carla from Project Bombshell / Ceremony Venue: Andy Williams Park, Yugar / Reception Venue: Private Home / Catering: Siam Garden The Gap / Wedding Cake: Cake on Bleu / Ceremony Officiant: Margaret McLeod

This Old Love

by | Blog News, Bride


I wanted to share something completely different this morning. Something, that although we haven’t shared anything similar before, is relevant to a wedding blog. Photographer  Sandra Henri shared these very special photographs of her grandparents who this year, will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.

I suppose it touched me because this is what we build by having a wedding, A relationship that stands the test of time, that exists when our grandchildren arrive, that love, that is still as strong as it was on the day we married, showing so clearly sixty years later. A life built together.

Sandra’s grandmother tells their story (in German, Sandra so kindly translated it for us). John and Karla are known by their family as Oma and Opa.


“We met in 1944 in the school holidays as children. Opa was 12 and I was 13 years old. We got along well right from the start. Due to our house being bombed we needed to find somewhere to live, and so moved to East Germany upstairs from Opa’s apartment for 6 months. After the war ended we moved back to West Germany and didn’t see each other for several years. When Opa was a bit older he asked an aunt “which girl should I marry?”. She answered straight away “the only girl for you is Karla”.

“Then at 18 years old Opa managed to move to West Germany too and we met up again. One day we were cleaning up a garden shed for a gentleman we knew and when we’d finished the job we sat together on the garden bench to have a rest and have some grape juice. Opa put his arm around me and asked “would you like to become my wife?”. I answered “yes, but how will we let my mother know?” (as she was not overly happy that as the youngest in the family, I would be the first to marry!). We already got along well as children and realised more and more that we were inseparable. That’s how we got together!”

“On 7.3.52 we were married, I was 21 and Opa was 20. We have been through highs and lows together, which brought us even closer. Both of us kept our own personality throughout our marriage. We accept and respect each other the way we are without trying to change each other. We appreciate each other more and more as we get older and that is like heaven on earth for us. Our faith has also helped us a lot in our marriage, and we’ve experienced His help many times. We’ve been married 60 years and hope we can be together a lot longer.”