Be A Part Of The Polka Dot Blogs

by | Blog News, Bride


It’s been almost three years since we launched our new look site and three years since we expanded with our five specialty blogs. We said from the start these spaces were all about you. While Ms Gingham and I pop in every now and then, the content is driven by our couples, our vendors – you. We’re looking for more stories, couples and vendors who want to share their insights with us and the Australian (and international) wedding communities.

We all have stories about things that excite us, places that take our breath away, a hidden gem, a heartfelt experience – all waiting to be told. Some stories are just meant to be told – do you have one that you’d like to share?

Our content manager, Ms Gingham works steadily with our wonderful contributors to craft beautiful posts and bring your stories to life.

For Polka Dot Groom, We’re looking for grooms who would like to share their wedding days, their engagements, their stories. We’re especially interested in finding  a few grooms who are planning on marrying this year or next to share their wedding planning journeys (from engagement to planning to the wedding day story) with us and our readers. We’re also looking for real wedding stories written by grooms! Style articles, posts about great shops with male appeal that you have discovered, your proposal story or your pre wedding celebration story. Are you a best man or a father of the groom with something to say? We’d love to hear from you too!

If you’re a groom (past or present) and are interested in sharing your stories, simply fill out a contributor application and Ms Gingham will be in touch!


Polka Dot Honeymoons is the place to get away, the place we think of  when we’re a bit tired of the wedding. The part we love most about Polka Dot Honeymoons is the real life honeymoon stories (because it is one thing to see a resort’s website and quite another to read how it really was, and what that view from your over water bungalow really gave you! We’re also looking for real hotel, tour and activity reviews, mini-moons/destinations, great weekend short break places – in fact anything that makes us dream of places near and far! If you’ve been on the holiday of a lifetime or a short getaway and would like to share it (even if it wasn’t your honeymoon trip) we’d love to hear from you too!

If you’ve been on your honeymoon or a trip that you’d like to share, simply fill out a contributor application and Ms Gingham will be in touch!

Polka Dot Made is the place for wedding related tutorials with an Australian twist. We’re looking to showcase brand new ideas, tutorials and projects to inspire our couples. We’re looking mainly for step by step tutorials for beautiful projects, inspiring ideas you can make at home using craft supplies from Australian suppliers. You will need to be able to take simple photos for your tutorial and have an eye for clean, uncluttered detailing. Do you have a creative streak just waiting for the right forum to showcase it – then this is for you!

If you fancy yourself the next Martha Stewart and would like to showcase your talents, simply fill out a contributor application and Ms Gingham will be in touch!

Polka Dot Weddings has such a special place in our hearts- the stories our brides tell are raw, real and honest. We’re looking for real wedding stories, real engagement stories and we’re especially looking for a few brides who would like to share their journeys with us- from the engagement, to choosing bridesmaids, to the craft projects, the dress shopping, the trials, the fun bits, the oh so hard bits and of course- the culmination of it all, the wedding! is marrying in November and just passed her one year anniversary, so we’d love to have brides join us who are planning 2013/2014 weddings!

If you’re a bride (past or present) and are interested in sharing your stories, fill out a contributor application and Ms Gingham will be in touch!

Polka Dot Wisdom is a little like wedding university, except it’s the kind of university where you catch up for a cup of coffee with your favourite wedding vendor and learn the stuff that nobody tells you. Such as….. that it helps to have the groom wear a lapel microphone during the ceremony if you’re having it filmed, or what “load-in” means, or that photographers can literally spend 40-50 hours working on your wedding. It’s also a great place to get to know your wedding vendor with many sharing their favourite things. This is a place for all wedding vendors to pass on their advice and knowledge and get to know some of the couples that will need their services. Kind of like a meet and greet if you like!

If you’re a talented wedding vendor and are interested in giving your advice, simply fill out a contributor application and Ms Gingham will be in touch!

The Polka Dot Blogs don’t censor much, we have a certain aesthetic and work hard at providing inspiration content for all budgets, all locations (with a focus on Australia!) and honouring the stories of the couples who work with us. We strive to share heart and soul.

Unfortunately at this time we are not accepting posts with placeholder text, sales posts or posts written purely for SEO reasons. We’re not looking for a sales and marketing pitch, we’re looking for real people sharing real stories and real knowledge. Please ensure the posts you submit are original work not published elsewhere and that every image is fully credited.


Visit Ms Polka Dot's Directory

Janine and Kiel’s Quirky Country Wedding

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


Janine and Kiel

Janine and Kiel’s wedding day was nothing short of whimsical. Filled with sunshine, plenty of personality and an atmosphere of joy!

Janine tells their story. “We spotted each other while I (Janine) was working at a massage stand in a busy shopping centre in Broadbeach. A mutual friend introduced us and we had an instant connection. We went out for a few months, then spent some time apart before Kiel finally realised that this was meant to be forever (I knew all along of course).”

Photos are by Deep Grey Photography who capture beautiful moments, rich with colour and depth.

Janine and Kiel were married at Janine’s family home. Janine explains “I was fortunate enough to grow up on a beautiful property in Northern New South Wales surrounded by passionfruit vines, cane fields, and banana trees on the mountains around us. I wanted to feel as relaxed and ‘familiar’ as possible with our venue, so the choice was clear – their was no place like home.” Janine’s friend and bridesmaid made lengths of bunting to decorate the gates and entrance to the property.

Janine was sure to remember lost loved ones on the day. She notes, “My father Barry and brother Chris have both passed away and I really missed that opportunity to have them with me, and walk me down the aisle that day. We lit candles for them during the ceremony, and I had my dad’s wedding ring tied around my wrist for the day just to reinforce that sense of having him by my side on the special occasion.”

Kiel handmade much of the decor for the day. Janine remembers, “Kiel is the Creative Director at Potato Press; so his skills and access to print and laser-etching equipment made us fortunate enough to add loads of personalised touches. Firstly he designed and printing our wedding invitations. Kiel designed and made our illuminated “BAR” sign for the reception, table numbers and signs (“ceremony”, “reception”, “parking” etc) out of old ‘white picket fences’ (which I thought was very symbolic for the occasion!).”

There was so much DIY at the wedding, Janine even made Kiel’s bow tie!

Janine remembers, “We had the ceremony under a great big camphor laurel tree near the house, had drinks and platters a short walk away from there, Kiel remixed a Sol Seppy song for me. My bridesmaid Erin introduced me to Sol Seppy years ago and I fell in love with how pretty and whimsical her songs were.”

During the ceremony, Janine and Kiel lit candles for Janine’s father Barry and brother Chris.

Janine says,  “Our wedding was specifically ‘us’; using our creativity, family memorabilia, country hospitality, vintage collections, and our favourite food, music and people to create a celebration of who we are as individuals, and as a couple.”

Of their photographer, Janine says, ” Finding the right photographer for our wedding was really important to us. We love photography and creative imagery and could not risk being disappointed with how our special day was captured. So we researched loads of photographers and their portfolio’s to find the quality and style that we’d be happy looking back over for the rest of our lives. Eventually we came across Deep Grey. Their images speak for themselves. They are stunning, candid, and really capture the essence of a moment. We hated the idea of the typical, awkwardly posed wedding photo’s – it was going to be a beautiful day full of love and happiness – no posing required for that. Adam and Fiona at Deep Grey were an absolute delight to work with from date dot, and we could not be happier with the stunning album we have.”

The flowers for the day were styled by White Ivy Designs . Janine explains, ” Janine from White Ivy Designs heard our brief and executed it beautifully.”

While photographs were taken, Janine’s sister made and served mojitos to the wedding guests. The couple made the favours themselves, Janine explaining, “Together Kiel and I designed thank you cards and made our wedding favours: wooden bird brooches for her, and “K & J” embossed drink opener / key rings for him”.

Janine notes, “Kiel laser-etched the “Mr & Mrs Tillman” wood piece that sat at the front of the bridal table. Kiel also made wooden glasses and moustaches for guests to have fun with in photo opportunities. He found an old door at the tip shop which turned into our seating chart and menu board. Kiel made “K & J” monogram stickers for the back of the chairs at the reception “

The couple and their guests celebrated in an old barn on the property. Janine remembers “The dinner reception was in the large barn that was draped and transformed by fantastic friends and family into the perfect mix of rustic country charm and fairy-lit romance. It was definitely a whole lot more work, stress and organising then if we’d hired a venue – but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. A whole lot of gratitude goes to Erin, Deb, Russell and Nathan who worked their magic and transformed the barn into the stunning venue we were hoping it could be. And countless friends and family who donated their time, resources and expertise to put the day together. ”

Janine recalls, “I used my gorgeous vintage chair that I inherited from my Nana in our photo-shoot. My Nana and Pop’s old suitcases were used at the Bar to display the red wines. One of my favourite things I loved doing in preparation for the wedding was spending hours hunting through op shops for vintage china: and managed to collect enough for all 100 guests to have their dinner  and desserts from a mix-match of gorgeous old, detailed crockery – they were centre-pieces within themselves. I used my Nana’s Royal Albert china, and her lace table cloth on the bridal table. We have quite the collection of camera’s – so we had them set up on a dressing table for guests to use throughout the night. We loved looking back through the night through other peoples eyes.”

The cakes and desserts were all made by family and friends, Janine says, ” My mum Adele, Kiel’s mum Sue and I each made our signature cake which made up our 3 tiered wedding cake. I asked my friend Alana, sisters Louise, Belinda and Diana, and sister-in-law Leah to each make a dessert which collectively made our desserts table. My darling mum even especially crocheted hand-towels for the porter-loo’s for goodness sake! ”

For their first dance, Janine remembers, “We danced to “First Day of my Life” by Bright Eyes. It gets us welled up each time we hear it – it has such beautiful lyrics and melody. We’re not trained dancers by any stretch – but both love dancing – whether it’s to make each other laugh, or to fully embrace and celebrate our favourite music.”

Janine’s sister made small bow ties for the shoulders of the chairs at the reception which were decorated with monogram stickers made by Kiel.

Janine recalls, “We had the most horrific weather leading up to our wedding day – and much to my mum’s dismay – there was barely a half-baked back-up plan if the weather was bad. Erin (bridesmaid) took a snapshot of the weeks weather forecast: and every day was stormy: except our wedding day which was sunshine and blue skies. As one of our guests put it, “The Gods were happy this day”, and provided the weather accordingly. The night sky was so beautifully clear, the milky-way graced us over the barn, there were so many stars and my father-in-law and I witnessed a shooting star over the ‘wishing moon’. It honestly felt like the most magic day we could have hoped for, in more ways then one. A special mention would have to go to the groomsmen’s speech which had us all in stitches, and tears of laughter ruining my make-up – well done Aaron and Ry.”

Congratulations Janine and Kiel! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Deep Grey Photography for sharing today’s photographs!”

Photographer: Deep Grey Photography / Cinematographer: Salvador Cantellano / Hairstylist: Leah Wise - La Sorella / Makeup Artist: Alisha Holden 0419 778 481 / Invitations & Stationery: Designed by Kiel and Janine and produced by Potato Press / Flowers & Decor: White Ivy Designs / Venue: Janine's family property in Northern New South Wales / Catering: Savior Fare Catering / Wedding Cake: Made by the Bride, Mother of the Bride, and Mother of the Groom

Jess and Brendan’s Casual Elegance Sydney Wedding

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


jonas peterson sydney wedding

Jess & Brendan

Nobody really does casual elegance like Australians and I say that hand on heart as a proud Australian, but also because there is something in the water that makes it look so effortless. There’s a way of being that is beautifully true to oneself – the mix of a casual celebration with a beautiful dress. An impromptu dance performance, a table laden with cheese and pages of a love story being told all while there are plenty of giggles and laughter.

Photos today are by Jonas Peterson who has a heartfelt elegance to his photographs and captured the beauty of Jess and Brendan’s celebration. The coordination of the day was executed by Girl Friday Weddings who ensured everything ran smoothly and the couple’s vision came to life.

brown and yellow wedding invitations
vintage pill boxes as ring boxes

The wedding’s decor and styling elements were put together by the couple – from the stationery to the favors! Jess explains, “Brendan and I own a homeware and giftware shop in Surry Hills called shelf / life so we were keen to utilise some of our gorgeous products as well as my creative ability as an Interior Designer. As such I was really excited about DIY-ing the majority of elements for our wedding to make it a truly meaningful experience for both of us. It was so much fun to create our wedding invitation set based around our loose ‘nautical’ theme and then run with that theme in the decoration of the ceremony area and the reception space.  We ordered a couple of vintage pill boxes from Etsy and made little cushions for them to use as our ring boxes.”

bride getting ready in mirror
jubilee park glebe
nautical ceremony decor
jubilee park glebe wedding

The floral arrangements at the ceremony and reception were styled by Jess & Brendan. Jess explains, “The morning of the wedding Brendan and I drove down to Eveleigh Farmers Market at Carriageworks (where we would later pose for photographs as husband and wife) to pick up huge bunches of seasonal flowers to decorate the signing table and the sweets table at Cafe Morso using vintage glass mason jars and ceramic vases from the shop. For the ceremony we brought a couple of old timber oars from my dad’s boat for the signing table and tied jute rope around the chairs instead of flowers. My lovely mother-in-law tirelessly made hundreds of fabric poms which we then thread and draped around the branches of the tree near where we said our vows.”

rope wedding ceremony decor

groom awaiting the bride

Jess and Brendan chose Jubilee Park in Glebe for their ceremony. Jess explains, “We wanted a fairly casual outdoorsy wedding with a party feel so we picked the perfect location for our ceremony in amongst the trees at Jubilee Park in Glebe. We were so lucky to have perfect weather on our wedding day – the sun shining with a light breeze.”

bride getting out of wedding car

Jess wore a Lisa Ho gown and added a belt from Alannah Hill My beautiful life clip.

park wedding sign
bride walking down park aisle

Phil Stormer provided the music for the ceremony. Jess remembers “The lovely Phil Stormer played an acoustic guitar version of The Beatles ‘All you need is Love’ as I walked down the aisle. While signing our lives away Phil played ‘Sea of Love’ by Cat Power (originally by John Fahey) and our recessional was ‘Nantes’ by Beirut.”

groom and groomsmen
glebe park wedding

Jess and Brendan were married by Tracey Armstrong, Lets Celebrant, Jess remarks, “Our ceremony was led by celebrant Tracey Armstrong who seemed to understand us completely and really helped to keep us calm through the whole thing.”

sydney wedding ceremony
champagne glasses at ceremony
bride in industrial setting
modern bride and bridesmaid0000

The couple chose Carriageworks for their post ceremony photographs. Jess explains “After the ceremony the bridal party went on to have some photos taken at Carriageworks in Eveleigh – a favourite spot of ours for its weekend farmers’ market and beautiful old industrial buildings.”

jonas peterson bride and groom

Of their photographer, Jess says “We were lucky enough to have the amazing Jonas Peterson as photographer for our wedding. I (Jess) had swooned over his beautiful imagery well before any talk of a wedding and knew immediately once we decided to get married that he would be the one to document the day.”

modern bouquet with pink roses

The bridal party floral arrangements were styled by My Violet. Jess recalls My bridesmaid and I received the most stunning bouquets from My Violet that arrived in a gorgeous box along with the men’s buttonholes.”

sydney wharf wedding

The reception kicked off at Café Morso, Jones Bay Wharf . Jess recalls “We met up with all our friends and family for the reception at Cafe Morso on Jones Bay Wharf in Pyrmont. This was the perfect location for us, away from the crowds, but right on the water with beautiful views. Cafe Morso provided us with the most amazing canapés and drinks whilst we danced the night away to music by Slide McBride.”

wedding cake table

Wedding coordinators Girl Friday Weddings made sure everything ran smoothly. Jess recalls, “We had the help of the amazing ladies from Girl Friday who probably thought I was completely obsessive when I sent over instructions for the exact layout of vases and trays for our sweets table with a Photoshopped image of what it should all look like. They did an awesome job of reconstructing my little vision, with the result being a table packed to the brim with gorgeous flowers, baskets of macarons, jars of colourful pate de fruit, trays of mini biscuits (all by Sweetness), our cheese tower, wedding favours and a few nautical objects thrown in for good measure.

We wanted to thank our guests with a gift that they would be able to get enjoyment from. We hand stamped muslin bags with a custom stamp made from a drawing I did and filled each with a sachet of loose leaf tea and 2 sugar sticks.”

paper flag cake topper
fun wedding timeline

Indulging their loves was a focus of the wedding, says Jess. “Instead of a traditional wedding cake we decided to indulge our love of cheese and have a cheese tower. We saved a huge amount of money by choosing the cheeses ourselves at David Jones the week before and assembling the tower ourselves on the day. I loved all the little personal touches that we’d added to the day made it really special for both of us. We wanted to keep the whole event true to our personalities as we knew we’d have the perfect day if we did so.”

musical instrument wedding decor
guests at cafe morso

Jess and Brendan remember “Having Jonas capture our day was really very special. We’re not big into taking photographs of ourselves so it is great to have so many beautiful natural shots of all our friends and family as well as some lovely ones of ourselves.

We were able to share our day with our closest friends and family and have some fun together. We all lead such busy lives these days that it was just so nice to be able to kick back and enjoy everyone’s company.” Slide McBride kicked off the entertainment for the evening.

sydney wedding sunset
cafe morso wedding
first dance under chandelier

There was one tradition the couple held onto. Jess explains “We weren’t too fussed with many traditional details on our wedding day. We had already decided not to do a formal entrance to the reception or a cake cutting, but we could tell that our families wanted to see a first dance. We happily obliged with a lovely Nina Simmone tune called ‘Trouble in Mind’ and had a blast dancing together for the first time as husband and wife. Our first dance really kicked things off and the dance floor was packed for the rest of the evening.”

Congratulations Jess & Brendan! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Jonas Peterson and Girl Friday Weddings for sharing today’s wedding with us!

Photographer: Jonas Peterson / Wedding Planner: Girl Friday Weddings / Styling & hire: Shelf/Life / Bride's Dress: Lisa Ho / Bride's Belt: Alannah Hill / Bride's Shoes: Lisa Ho / Bride's Jewellery: Robert Alan / Groom's Attire: The Cloakroom / Groomsmen Attire: The Cloakroom / Bridesmaid Dresses: David Marcs Suit Hire / Hairstylist: Kam Huckins from Gallo Hair / Makeup Artist: Cat Smith 0415283013 / Flowers & Decor: My Violet / Invitations & Stationery: Shelf/Life / Ceremony Venue: Jubilee Park, Glebe / Ceremony Officiant: Tracey Armstrong, Lets Celebrant / Ceremony Musicians: Phil Stormer / Reception Venue: Café Morso, Jones Bay Wharf / Band: Slide McBride / Favors: Shelf/Life / Dessert Catering: Sweetness / Transport: Australia's Own Bridal Car Co.

Tori and Brett’s Black and White Deckhouse Wedding

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


Tori & Brett

Tori and Brett’s wedding is all about classic glamour. The black and white colour palette. The simple and beautiful locations and the love story that had to be told.

Tori tells their childhood love story. “We went to the same kindergarten, and then met again when we were 24 & 25 years old when we recognised each other at a work event.”

Photographs are by Milk and Honey Photography whose classic style of photography lent itself to the atmosphere and classic feel of the day.

Tori wore strapless gown from AIRE Barcelona and added a black sash made by her mother. The floral arrangements were styled by Sweet Violets.

Tori explains “The ceremony was at Clarkes Point Reserve which is a beautiful park just next to the Deckhouse that overlooked Sydney Harbour. We had an acoustic guitarist, white chairs, beautiful flowers and rose petals on the aisle.”

Tori walked down the aisle to Pachelbel’s Canon in D played on an acoustic guitar.

Brett and his groomsmen wore outfits from Rhodes and Beckett while Tori’s bridesmaids wore black gowns from Carla Zampatti.

Of their photographer, Tori says, “Our photographer was great, they knew exactly the kind of shots that we were after. They captured the day beautifully. They were very discreet and never got in the way.”

While the bridal party had photographs, guests walked over to the nearby Deckhouse Woolwich for drinks and canapes before the reception.

The black and white styled wedding cake was created by Distinctive Cakes.

The speeches were a highlight, Tori recalls, “One great part of the night was the show game that the two best men setup during their speech, James had this game played on him at his wedding in Denmark 5 years earlier. We had to sit facing away from each other with one of each of our shoes in our hands answering questions about each other by raising the appropriate shoe. It was a great game with plenty of funny and embarrassing questions that got everyone laughing.”

Music for the day was performed by Grover Music. Tori says, “We danced to our favourite song (All I need by Air) which was played by the band in their own style, very groovy! We both love to dance but didn’t have a rehearsed routine, so we just danced in each others arms to the music and enjoying every second.”

Tori recalls, “We organised the most amazing departure from our wedding – an Italian speed boat that picked us up from the Deckhouse wharf and sailed us onto Sydney Harbour in the moonlight.”

Congratulations Tori and Brett! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Milk and Honey Photography for sharing today’s images!

Photographer: Milk & Honey Photography / Bride's Dress: AIRE Barcelona / Bride's Jewellery: Kandi / Groom's Attire: Rhodes & Beckett / Bridesmaid Dresses: Carla Zampatti / Bridesmaid Accessories: Kandi / Makeup Artist: Marta / Flowers & Decor: Sweet Violets, Lindfield / Invitations & Stationery: Anthony Newman / Ceremony Venue: Clarkes Park Reserve / Ceremony Officiant: Phil Stead / Ceremony Musicians: Grover / Reception Venue: Deckhouse Woolwich / Band: Grover / Wedding Cake: Distinctive Cakes / Wedding Registry: Wedding Gifts Direct