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Claire and John’s Intimate Hunter Valley Wedding

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


Claire and John

A windy, beautiful Hunter Valley wedding is the flavour of today on Polka Dot Bride. It’s intimate, very special and the magic of Mother Nature made for some beautiful memories.

Claire explains how she met John. “We met in November 2008 in London while I (Clare) was traveling back to see friends in London. I can honestly say that it was love at first sight for the both of us. For the first year of our relationship we traveled to see each other (I’m Australian and John is Danish) and in November 2009 I moved to London.”

Photos today are by Tom Greenwood. I love how Tom embraced the conditions and created beautiful photographs for Claire and John!

Claire and John were married at La Toscane at Sweetwater Vineyard in the Hunter Valley. Claire explains “We used a venue called La Toscane that resembled a Tuscan hall. It was wonderful. We hired the venue empty, bar a few rustic features and so had to organise for all the elements to be brought in for the day (chairs, tables etc). It looked out over Sweetwater vineyard and a lake.” For her walk down the aisle Claire recalls “We had a string duo playing, but I honestly can’t remember the song as I was very nervous!.”

Claire wore a Jenny Packham gown and hairpiece with her mother’s earrings. Peter Herd Florist styled the floral arrangements for the day.

Claire remarks “The special part about our wedding day is that it was intimate and Tom did a great job at capturing that. I think the photos reflect all the love that was radiating between everyone, which is the most important and special part of any wedding.”

The day went just as the couple planned. Claire recalls “Luckily it all went quite smoothly. I did manage to slam my finger in a car door two days before the wedding (hence the photos where my finger has a mighty band-aid!) and my father got my birthday wrong by one day, but nothing outrageous to share.”

Claire remembers her wedding day as “a beautiful day filled with lots of love, laughter, wonderful friends and family, good food and great wine.”

Joanne Norrish made a cupcake wedding cake for the couple.

The first dance was all about fun. Clare remembers “Our first dance was to ‘You’re just too good to be true (can’t take my eyes off you)’ by Frank Valli and the Four Seasons. It was just fun with everyone getting involved.”

Congratulations Claire and John! Thank you for sharing your wedding photographs with us today on Polka Dot Bride! Thank you also to Tom Greenwood for sharing today’s photographs!

Photos  by Tom Greenwood

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Mariana Hardwick Ballerine Militare Collection

by | Bridal Fashion, Bride


Melbourne bridal designer Mariana Hardwick has released her new collection and it’s inspired by one of my own loves – ballet.

Called the  “Ballerine Militare” collection, Mariana’s Luxe Collection is reflective of a ballerina – their strength and control blended with delicate and fragile elegance.

There’s touches of dramatic black lace  are an exploration of different textures, embellishments and combinations to create unique and beautiful wedding gowns.

Mariana’s classic silhouette and feminine style remains, but the drama of this new collection is beautiful without being overwhelming.

Photos by Mariana Hardwick

Vendor of the Week – Mark Doggett – Celebrant

by | Blog News, Bride


Good morning Dotties! What did you get up to this weekend? Are you ready for another week full to the brim of wedding inspiration? I certainly am!

First things first though, our Monday morning tradition of telling you about our fantastic vendors in Ms Polka Dot’s Directory is underway! We’re constantly impressed by the talent of our advertisers here at Polka Dot Bride- the amazing cakes, the stunning bouquets, the gowns- and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! We’re lucky to be working with some of best wedding professionals in not only Australia but the world and with a little patriotic spirit and a yellow and green scarf around our neck – we could not be more proud to be Australian!  Visit Ms Polka Dot’s Directory and check out our members to find the ‘polkadotrific’ vendors who will help your wedding day be wonderfully you.

One of the most interesting vendor categories I love to learn about are wedding celebrants – they’re such fascinating people doing such an important job!

Today’s vendor of the week is Melbourne wedding celebrant Mark Doggett. Every photo of Mark’s wedded couples looks like they’re having a blast – they’re giggling, smiling or looking so in love they might burst! With a wedding ceremony, you need it to take care of the important parts but also to be personal to who you are as a couple and Mark does exactly that. He’s professionally trained but is also an actor (so no stage nerves!). Mark’s commitment is to create a ceremony that reflects what you want and his sense of humor? That’s just an added bonus!

To learn a little more about Mark Doggett Celebrant we asked Mark five questions in five minutes!

What is your favourite after five drink?


Your favourite weekend getaway?

Anywhere near, on or in the ocean.

Favourite restaurant?

Gingerboy (when I want to splurge)

What can we find you eating for breakfast on a Sunday morning?

I am not much of a breakfast eater (terrible I know.. I know) definitely good coffee !!!

Your favourite wedding story?

Too many to choose from…..but….  I recently married a couple from Germany who are Cycling around the world and just decided to get married in Melbourne so we found a nice quiet beach and had a simple ceremony some champagne, sushi and a real Aussie BBQ to follow. It was really honest and lots of fun. Check out their blog if you like (if you can read German) There are also some fun photos on my website.

Visit Mark Doggett’s page to find out more about our Vendor Of The Week! Mark Doggett is a member of Ms Polka Dot’s Directory

Snapshot Sunday – Take Me By Surprise

by | Bride, Snapshot Sundays


Photo by Pixel Magix

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