There’s serendipity you see, and it’s something I believe in – especially when it comes to New Zealand designer Kelsey Genna, First an email from her popped into my inbox, then someone tweeted me about her, then I stumbled across another gown of hers on Etsy. When the universe comes knocking on my door I listen, and aren’t you glad I did?
Kelsey’s story inspires me – she sold her first dress on Etsy when she was 16. Which makes her only 21 today. She’s based in New Zealand and this beautiful collection marks her debut into the wedding world. I really loved the thought out, almost architectural designs – the gowns, most of which are named after flowers, were inspired by A Flower Fairies Treasury’ by Cicely Mary Barker, a book Kelsey was given as a child which influences her work daily.
Each of Kelsey’s gowns is handmade in her studio and each is available to purchase online. Kelsey takes her gowns regularly on the road to Australia and around New Zealand so there are plenty of chances to see them. (oh and as for the images, her campaign shots are equally as stunning, but today I wanted to show the gowns in their simple glory).
Happy Monday Dotties! It’s the start of another week of jam packed wedding stories, inspiration and ideas!
First up, as is Monday morning tradition, I’m going to start with a shout out to the members of Ms Polka Dot’s Directory
Please take a moment and check out our awesome directory members. We have talented artists who create beautiful bouquets of Flowers, gorgeous Bridal Gowns, stunning Hair & Beauty looks and can even whip up epic Catering.
We want vendors on our site who embody what we believe in- doing work which you are passionate about, having a wedding which is true to what you want, that ignites your inspiration.
Introducing today’s vendor of the week! A virtual gift registry called Wed & Wish. Wed & Wish allows you to set up a custom website which rather than material goods, allows guests to purchase “wishes” for you. Add items, experiences, honeymoons adventures to your list and guests can log on and purcahse your first dinner on your honeymoon, or that lamp you always wanted. They can even create their own gifts. Each dollar is deposited securely into a PayPal account avoiding multiple department stores!
We asked Jaime from Wed & Wish five questions in five minutes –
What is your favourite after five drink?
It’s a special Mexican drink called “Michelada”. Its absolutely delicious and a great reward after a long day of work – J. To fix this drink you first need to rim a glass with salt, then add lots of ice, lime and a mixture of sauces like Tabasco and Cholula. At last comes the beer. It’s so delicious!
Your favourite weekend getaway?
Las Vegas! Can’t say too much because what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!
Koi Sushi in Los Angeles.
What can we find you eating for breakfast on a Sunday morning?
Huevos Rancheros (Mexican food)
Your favourite wedding story?
My favourite wedding story is also the story of how I launched Wed&Wish. My aunt was getting married and because she was 49 at the time, didn’t want to register for the traditional registry gifts. Her family and friends pulled together to help her and her fiancé take their dream honeymoon to Bali. Seeing the difficulty she had with finding an international online honeymoon registry service inspired me to start Wed&Wish.
This casual and pretty engagement photo shoot from Tigs Macallan is such a lovely one to share this Saturday. Abbotsford Convent is such an amazing location- with the juxtaposition of beautiful gardens and urban backdrops set the most beautiful flavour for Joanne and Josh’s engagement photographs.
Joanne tells their story. “A mutual friend introduced me to Josh 8 years ago at her birthday party when we were both 19 years old. Josh and I instantly got along like a house on fire and we developed a friendship that lasted over the next couple of years. Life began pulling us in different directions and it was only a matter of time before Josh and I began to drift apart. There was a two year absence before Josh decided to make contact with me for my 25th birthday and suggested we catch up. And so we did. It was like no time had passed at all and I was amazed at how naturally we connected again. Fun, laughter and a good chat was always guaranteed in Josh’s company. We vowed to never lose contact again and grew closer than we had ever been before. Sharing everything with each other and becoming the closest of friends.”
“Last winter I decided to go to Europe for three months. We really missed each other and I believe this is what changed the dynamics of our friendship, as we both realised that we wanted more. In some cases distance does make the heart grow fonder and that was true for us. We became an item upon my return.”
“Josh and I had been dating six months before he proposed. It was like a normal day, I was at lunch with a girlfriend and as we asked for the bill, but the waitress came back with a letter addressed to me. It was from Josh. It stated that over the next couple of hours he was going to take me on adventure where we could reminisce over the past six months of our relationship and what that time had meant to him. And boy was it an adventure. He left me a series of letters across different destinations that held sentimental value to us both, such as where our first kiss was or where our first date was. Then at the last destination at Flagstaff Gardens, I got to see him face to face where he had a picnic prepared and proposed next to our love seat.”
“We pretty much started planning the wedding straight away because we didn’t want a long engagement. All we knew is that we didn’t want the glitz and glam that most weddings have. We simply wanted a day that was filled with joy, love and happiness and we knew that didn’t come from what colour table runners or invites we chose. We fell in love with Immerse in the Yarra Valley for its serenity, beautiful landscapes and for its little chapel situated in the vineyard. We just love the way we felt there and knew we had to get married at this place. Luckily enough they had one vacancy left for this coming summer….Australia Day!!!”
Katie and Julian’s wedding is such a beautiful warm occasion. It’s filled with the chicest of stories, the whimsicality of details (balloons!) and as the story unfolds, not unlike many wedding stories, it captures your senses and leaves you feeling just a little happier and a little more joyous that this special event occurred.
Katie tells of how they met. “We met on St Patrick’s Day, thanks to a netball forfeit! I was supposed to play that night, but our opposition forfeited, so the girls and I hit the pub instead! My husband walked in about half way through the night and I fell for him the moment I laid eyes on him. I was operating on a little dutch courage, and didn’t realise until some time later that he was actually at the pub with his whole family!”
Photos by Louisa Bailey today who never captures a wedding with anything less than fresh, beautiful images which invite you in.
Katie recalls “I walked down the aisle to ‘Stand by Me’ – John Lennon (reminds me of when dad used to get the record player pumping in my childhood home!)”
Katie and Julian married at Terindah Estate. Katie explains “We had our ceremony and reception at Terindah Estate. Our reception was held in a brand new building – construction hadn’t even completely finished (which caused a smidge of stress in the lead-up!) Our ceremony was held on the grass, overlooking the vines and water – it was magic. We loved Terindah for its down-to-earth feel – it was far from pretentious which was perfect.”
Katie chose an elegant gown from Gwendolynne while the groom and groomsmen wore suits from Formal Red . Katie’s bridesmaids wore floor length evening gowns from Matthew Eager.
The bouquets and floral arrangements, which included baby’s breath for the bridesmaids, were created by Georgie Stanton.
Katie’s family made sure they honoured Katie’s late father. Katie remembers, “My uncle is a keen poet and penned a beautiful poem to me, in the words of my dad who passed away almost five years ago. He surprised us by reading this during our reception, which was a beautiful touch. I thought I was going to struggle without my beloved dad there on the day, but it was filled with so much happiness that I didn’t have a spare second to feel sad (which is exactly what he would have wanted!)”
Of their photographer, Katie says, “Louisa Bailey was our photographer and we couldn’t be happier with how she captured the day. She was so friendly and unobtrusive – an absolute pleasure to be around and undeniably amazing at what she does. We had so many comments about how lovely she was – my mum fell in love with her! We had no idea Louisa was even shooting some of our most treasured moments (which is excellent given we both hate having our photo taken!) She was fabulous; we would recommend her to the moon and back.”
There was even custom artwork created! Katie remarks, “Jules’ best man (Mark Miller) creates beautiful pieces with recycled wood and he made us a gorgeous bespoke malibu, featuring our names, to be displayed in the carpark of our venue, along with several matching arrows that guided our guests down the pathway. This added a really personal touch and was particularly special to Jules who has surfed since he was a little boy.”
Katie says, ” Our wedding was fresh, comfortable, elegant and (most importantly) full of love.”
Katie and Julian made the place cards for each guest which sat upon the custom stationery designed by Katie’s matron of honour Kristy Tull.
Truffleduck catered the wedding and also created a two tier wedding cake.
Katie remarks, “Our wedding was all about having fun. Champagne and beer was served as we were signing the registry and guests moved straight on to the deck to enjoy acoustic music, canapés and drinks while we were having our photos taken. Our guests enjoyed a sit-down meal and then spilled out on to the deck and dancefloor to kick on afterwards. We couldn’t wipe the smiles off our faces – our photos perfectly reflect the genuine happiness of the day”
For their first dance, Katie recalls “We had our first dance to ‘Right by Your Side’ by Hawaiian musician Donovan Frankenreiter. We listen to his music when we’re heading for relaxing weekends down the coast, so his songs bring happy memories to both of us.”
Congratulations Katie and Julian! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Louisa Bailey for sharing today’s photographs!