Tehan and Mandeera’s Relaxed Engagement

by | Bride, Engagements


Tehan and Mandeera

I loved the relaxed, day to day feeling of these engagement photographs from Amy Nelson-Blain. Amy says “Tehan and Mandeera’s story is definitely incredibly romantic! They first met on New Year’s eve in 2007 at a mutual friend’s NYE party in Sri Lanka. Tehan spotted Mandeera from across the room and thought she was absolutely beautiful. They chatted away through out the evening, sharing each others’ stories and dreams. Whilst the two were in Sri Lanka for their holidays they kept in contact and met up for dates, they describe it as, “We were both feeling something special, we couldn’t explain it. We were just feeling so happy being together”.

However just as they were getting to know each other and enjoying each others’ company it was time for them to leave Sri Lanka and return home, Mandeera was to go to Toronto, Canada and Tehan to Brisbane, Australia. Knowing that they had never felt like this about anyone before they agreed to embark on a long distance relationship. After a while the distance just became too much to handle so they ended the relationship.

Two years passed and they ended up finding each other again in Sri Lanka, sparks flew and they both realised this was something very special. They made a commitment to see each other as much as possible despite the long distance. Mandeera came to see Tehan in Brisbane later that year after rekindling in Sri Lanka, and Tehan flew to Toronto in September.

They met up once again in Sri Lanka whilst visiting family and friends, and on December 26th 2010 they got engaged.
“When Tehan came to Toronto he had asked my parents for permission to marry me. They organised an engagement party. Tehan had not asked me until the day of the engagement party! We were trying to get into our hotel room before the surprise party and Tehan was fumbling for the key trying to find it, then out of his pocket whilst searching he pulled out the engagement ring and proposed!”

Mandeera describes their first kiss: “It was after our second and last date in Sri Lanka, a couple of days before we left. He walked me to where I was staying and before we said goodbye to each other, he kissed me. It was my first kiss.”

Tehan talks about Mandeera: “I love that she is very caring and easy going. She is beautiful both inside and out.”

Amy filmed this gorgeous film of the engagement session..

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Beautiful Gold Wedding Cakes

by | Bride, Cakes


I am really loving gold this year. I’m not quite sure why, but I’ve been buying so many gold accessories and I love the way it’s finding it’s way into the wedding world. Not in the avante garde, chair bows and wall decor of years ago, but in modern, elegant ways.

One of my favourite places for gold to make an appearance is via the wedding cake. What a statement and delicious way to add a bit of glitz and shine to your wedding decor.

1. Photo by  Missy Photography  Cake by  Gigi Blue Delectable Edibles via Style Me Pretty 2. Cake by Faye Cahill 3. The Hudson Cakery and Monika Broz 4.  Cake by City Sweets & Confections via Brides 5. Photo by Photography by Heather Waraksa via Style Me Pretty 6. Cake by Cake Coquette 7. Photo by Katelyn James via Wedding Chicks 8. Cake from Martha Stewart Weddings

If an all gold cake is a little much, how about these beauties with just a little gold detailing?

1. Charm City Cakes via Design*Sponge 2. Photo by Harwell Photography Cake by  Highland Bakery via 100 Layer Cake 3.Photo by Jen Huang cake by Lael Cakes 4. Photo by  Ashley Rose, cake by My Sweet & Saucy 5. Charm City Cakes via Design*Sponge 6. Cake by My Sweet & Saucy


Friday Roundup

by | Blog News, Bride


Lavender and Purple Vintage Winery Wedding Photography by Edwin Niczynski

It’s been a really fantastic week at Polka Dot headquarters this week! I feel like things are coming together in one way or another and we finally pushed the button on some big development projects! It’s all systems go for an action packed month or two!

Did you see the gorgeous posts on our specialty blogs this week? I can’t believe how many beautiful posts (and informative ones too!) are being published each week! Big flowers to Ms Gingham who manages these, despite being a little under the weather this week!

On Polka Dot Groom

Create a DIY Cigar Bar with Ms Gingham’s suggestions

Maeve and Stefan got married and Stefan shares his memories of the day

Lynden shows off his groom style

On Polka Dot Wisdom

Our Expert Interview this week is from Sandra de Ovando a talented floral and event designer from the USA

Clare of Providence Gully lets us take a peek at her favourite things

Photographers, Sarah and Andrew Follan  of The Follans take us through the steps of their re-branding

It doesn’t take much to say thank you to your wedding team – Sharon shows us how

Jenna shows us how to start a handy wedding Style File

On Polka Dot Weddings

Check out a new Sunday feature by Ms Gingham  – Shoe Crush Sunday

Serena and Andy’s elegant black and white winery wedding to drool over

A fun rock ‘n roll engagement shoot held in Sydney

This Gold Coast wedding was a dream day for bride Jilly and groom Austin

Love lace dresses and ombre cakes? Check out this pretty lavender wedding

It’s Polka Dot Sneak peek time! Dish the dirt on your wedding venue!

On Polka Dot Made

 Etsy Roundup with gold filigree bracelets to tempt you

Tuesday Type is an Art Deco style font – Grafika

Our Ms Lace shows us how to make the cutest ruffled belt

Mix up an Italian cocktail, Negroni for your Friday night drinks

On Polka Dot Honeymoons

Gabi and Julio share their gorgeous Fijian wedding with us

Ms Gingham shares six things to love about Fiji

Around the wedding world this week…

Shannon Fleming, a Perth civil celebrant has teamed up with a group of Western Australian wedding professionals to hold a wedding workshop. A different way of meeting vendors and other engaged couples the workshop is all about sharing knowledge rather than selling. The workshop will be held on Wednesday 18th July 2012 at 347 Cambridge St, Wembley. Tickets are $125 or $200 for a pair and a notebook, finger food, champagne, soft drinks and wine are included in the price.

Find out more information and book your place on their Facebook page.


Melbourne photographers Love, Katie & Sarah are holding a May giveaway! The dynamic duo are giving away a wedding photography packaged valued at $4,500! Check out their blog for details on how to enter.

Smitten Magazine are holding a competition to find the cover models for their Spring 2012 issue! Entrants have the opportunity to grace the cover of Australia’s first wedding emag! Check out their website for details.

SugarLove Pictures are presenting their first ever masterclass with photographer Bradley Patrick. The inaugural Masterclass will be on July 7th and 8th at The Royal Automobile Club of Australia on Macquarie Street Sydney, with ‘red carpet’ opening night drinks on July 6th. Tuition includes both practical and theory with shooting indoors and out  and topics covering lighting (studio and natural), equipment, research and marketing. amongst others. Check out the website for more details


Film Your Own Wedding Videography is a new concept for couples looking for a different route to capture their wedding on video. The company is offering a discount to Brisbane Polka Dot Bride readers. They’re offering half price on their wedding video package from $995 to $495 for two Brisbane based weddings booked in the months of June/July (2012) quoting ‘Polkadot Bride’ when booking. Check out the website for more.

TV show Don’t Tell The Bride is casting for it’s Australian series. Here’s the gist- the groom gets the money to plan the wedding and the bride doesn’t find out a thing until the wedding day. Sounds like something you might be interested in? Visit the website to apply

Finally for our video of the week- this round the world trip turned marriage proposal. Beautifully written and fascinating to watch!






Simone and Rhys’ Vintage Wedding

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Simone and Rhys

This gorgeous Phillip Island vintage style wedding of Simone and Rhys is packed to the rafters with beautiful details and beautiful stories. What a special day to share with you!

The couple told their story in their wedding ceremony which they shared with me. “Whilst Rhys & Simone have been together now for 6 or so years, their history extends more than double that amount of time. First meeting in the nineties on University wake boarding trips on the river in Deniliquen. Simone remembers Rhys being “The quiet achiever who was a hit with the ladies with a combination of good looks, modesty and athletic prowess. Someone who didn’t say much, but when he spoke, people listened”.

A few years later, their friendship was sealed with a kiss at Mt Buller after a night at a bar their snowboarding friends will affectionately know as “The Hoo Haa”. Both of their sights set for overseas, they parted ways for almost 5 years. Rhys’s professional snowboarding career saw him follow the winters. Simone travelled the world, following the surf and the snow on a series of work assignments that defy belief.

In a very modern love story, paths crossed with a bit of help from the Internet. In the years following, Rhys and Simone have renovated together, travelled together, surfed together and snowboarded together, notably the latest trip to Utah where Rhys popped the question, only after making Simone hike Pioneer ridge 3 times, proving that one had to climb mountains to get to Rhys’s heart.”

Photographs are by Goldsmith & Co who have passed on their vintage style to capture the wedding in a beautiful way.

Simone wore a gown from Caroline Seikaly “The dress is made from a very delicate Solstiss French Leavers Lace with vintage trim inserts.  Lined with silk georgette. The train is made from silk chiffon which has been sunray pleated, supported by a piece of silk tulle to give volume. The dress has an antique, rustic feel to it with raw edges at both neck and arm holes. It comes with a separate nude coloured slip made from silk charmeuse”. She paired it with shoes from Versace. Although Simone didn’t have typical bridesmaids, she did have special friends with her on the day to help.  Simone explains ” Whilst we didn’t have a wedding party as such – special mention has to go to Fashion Stylist Kristin Todd who helped dress me. She left her husband and baby boy in Newcastle, and was such a soothing gentle soul to be around. She looked incredible in her Manning Cartel dress and red suede Kate Spade heels. ”

Flowers were a focal point of the team and a big team effort. Simone explains “There was a combined team on the floral approach. My mother in law was previously a florist so she and fellow florist friend Sally Gibson did all of the reception flowers and wreaths with flowers courtesy of Camberwell Market. Florist extraordinaire Fleur McHarg of Fleur did my bouquet, the corsages, the chapel flowers and the jasmine filled wreaths that were suspended over each table. The floral approach generally was David Austin roses, jasmine & hydrangeas.”

Simone recalls “The ceremony was at Trenavin Chapel  – a quintessential white chapel on the Clifftops. It can be seen from the waves we surf, so I am sure I will be look at it and smile for many years to come.

Kirstie Cohen looks after Trenavin Chapel and was the backbone of our wedding. She introduced us the owners of Sunset Hill farm who shared their property with us for the reception. Kirstie was a calm, intriguing and enthusiastic ally who was there to the end  – and I mean to the end – she was even helping serve coffees at the recovery breakfast.”

The gorgeous invitations were a mix of letterpress and calligraphy. Simone says “Blackbird Letterpress did the invites which featured an embossed map of Phillip Island with topographical lines surrounding it. Cursive  words written in the shape of waves was done by Calligrapher Betsey Dunlap. Order of service booklet and place cards rolled out by the same team.  It was a running joke (and featured in Father of Groom’s speech) as to how hard invites were to read and how lucky we were that everyone made it to the wedding at all. I loved the way people had to ponder over them for just that little bit longer.”

Music was an important decision for the couple. Simone says “I walked down the aisle ‘Dream’ by Timmy Curran. A song by a  surfer for a couple of surfers. The song was all of a minute long which suited perfectly to the very small aisle. Rhys walked in to ‘Wild Horses’ by The Rolling Stones, songs throughout ceremony included ‘Sea of Love” by Cat Power, ‘Sister’ by Jamie MacDowell, ‘I Remember’ by Whitley and ‘This Sweet Love’ by James Yuill.”

Simone explains “The reception was at a private farm called ‘Sunset Hill’ owned by Annabelle & Ray Pobjoy. They very kindly let me run wild in their shed in the weeks preceding the wedding.  And Annabelle was always there with a cup of tea and a home made cake as poor Ray watched his “man land” turn into anything but.” On an antique window, the tale of Simone and Rhy’s relationship was written.

Simone says ” All Styling done by me!  (Interior Stylist at Interior Design Firm Hecker Guthrie).  Items sourced included hay bails, wine barrels, bunting, vintage objects in glass, white ceramic, copper & brass stories, woven hammock, heart shaped blackboards, vintage photo gallery wall, anything birch or galvanised, grey candles from France, vintage drink dispensers, umbrellas (intended for sun use – but came in handy when there was a sprinkling of rain) , antique window sills, and the list goes on!”

The typewriter acted as a guestbook and a talking point! Simone remembers, “What was quite funny is that I did intend on bringing out the old typewriter trick and the typewriter I purchased from Ebay was a bit of a dud. When testing it out I typed “I was going to do one of those cool typewriter things, but this one is crap and will therefore remain display only”. And I forgot to pull the sheet of paper out – so that got a few giggles.”

The favors were, “Tin cans lovingly painted by my Dad and planted with Thyme by my mother in law. They had little swing tags saying ‘thanks for making our wedding such a great thyme’. ”

Simone says “A special thanks must also go to fashion Designer Kristen Hyder who took a hiatus from designing the week prior the wedding and being my styling associate. Kristen helped me make sense of the boxes and boxes of things I had collected over the preceding 12 months. When it came time for me to walk away, Kristen became the number one “go to girl” and made sure everyone stayed true to the vision – it was hilarious as people were too scared to do anything without checking with her first! What was even more hilarious was that at 4.26pm (and the wedding started at 4.30pm down the road) she had to be dragged kicking and screaming from the set up. Now that’s commitment!”

Of their photographer, Simone says “I was introduced to Brett as he is the brother of a client of mine. He and partner Jane were fantastic to work with. Everyone commented on “the cool photographer”  who in all honesty I don’t remember seeing a lot of throughout the day and night. I think that means he did a really good job.”

The styling of the wedding was a true team effort “Special thanks must also go to the Groom’s best mate Scott Round who got roped into signage and astounded us all with the results. Among others we had a little sign saying ‘All you need is love…Love is all you need” and that was the song by the Beatles that we left the wedding to. Everyone joined into a guard of honour and we kissed everyone on the way to our waiting car.

My parents deserve the greatest praise. Dad was assigned tasks and carried them out without so much as a question. My mum was there every step of the way and in the absence of a bridal party, she was the Matron of Honour!

Finally, friends Lauren Robertson & TJ Carroll from event company “The Greatest Show On Earth” who as well as having a great time, made sure everything ran to plan.”

The classic three tier cake was filled with delicious flavours. Simone says “Addicted To Cake ((03) 5968 2502 ) made the coconut mud cake, layered with coconut Swiss meringue buttercream, covered with vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream and coconut chips. Ed Dixon Food Design catered for both the dinner and the recovery breakfast. Dinner was a “posh BBQ” and the guests all raved about the food and the shared nature of the offer.  I myself was too excited to eat, so didn’t get to enjoy the fruits of their labour. ”

Simone remembers “When during his speech Rhys said “a wise person once said that if you have to invite your best friend to your wedding you are marrying the wrong girl.”

Simone recalls “Nic Romney from Top Dog was the DJ and by the state of the dance floor from about 8pm onwards, I would say he did a damn fine job! One of the best songs for me was  “Shout” by Jonnie O’Keefe. It bought the house down. ”

The first dance, was a romantic choice underneath the star lit sky .”The song was to the acoustic version of ‘Miles Away’ by Years around the sun. We had practiced moves in our lounge room, but I think we both got a little stage fright and not too many of the rehearsed moves made it to the dance floor (with the exception of the dip which was “non negotiable”.)
The rain had cleared, the full moon was rising in the sky and lit up the ocean. The festoon lights above the dance floor were swaying in the breeze and it was such a special moment that it makes my heart hurt when I hear the song.”

Congratulations Simone and Rhys! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Goldsmith & Co for sharing today’s images!

Photographer: Goldsmith & Co / Bride's Dress: Caroline Seikaly / Bride's Shoes: Versace / Bride's Jewellery: Lara Bohinc / Groom's Attire: Ralph Lauren / Bridesmaid Dresses: Manning Cartel / Hair & makeup artist: Trudy Joyce / Invitations & Stationery: Blackbird Letterpress / Lighiting & Furniture Rental: Island Marquees / Flowers for bridal party: Fleur / Decor flowers: Rhy's mother and Sally Gibson / Calligraphy: Betsey Dunlap / Ceremony Venue: Trenavin Chapel / Reception Venue: Sunset Hill Farm / Ceremony Officiant: John Murphy / DJ: Nic Romney from Top Dog / Catering: Ed Dixon Food Design / Wedding Registry: My Wedding Registry / Wedding Cake: Addicted To Cake (03) 5968 2502