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Claire And Chris – The Celebration

by | Australia - ACT, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


How beautifully sunny is today’s wedding? Just the thing for a cold July day! I love how Claire and Chris spent the day together – makes for an intimate and relaxed feeling!

The ceremony and reception were held in the Lavender Courtyard of the Canberra Hyatt Hotel. Claire says “We wanted to have a gourmet BBQ/garden party reception and the venue was perfect.  We wanted relaxed, good food and good company.  The courtyard enabled us to set the ceremony up in one quadrant, had bocce setup in the other and the reception/dance floor and band in the other two quadrants.”

Claire and Chris walked down the aisle together to “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol. Guests were given handmade rose petal cones, made by Claire and filled with rose petals from Simply Rose Petals to scatter down the aisle in memory of Claire’s late mother, it also was a touch of Claire’s mother bringing them down the aisle.

The ceremony was conducted by Graeme Hush From Heartlands ( and included handwritten vows – a suggestions of Claire’s aunt. During the registry signing, Claire’s sister sang “Bubbly” and “Kiss Me”. They newlyweds walked back up the aisle to “Steal My Kisses”.

Tables were decorated with white tablecloths, mirrors, old jars collected by friends tied with ribbon and plenty of pink and green blooms. In lieu of traditional placecards, Claire and Chris used chalkboard place mats. At each table were two extra places for the bride and groom, who in lieu of a head table, mingled with guests and joined each table for a different course!

The couple did away with a lot of traditions- including wedding cake and the first dance. Clare says “Chris and I are a bit shy when it comes to dancing, we did not have a first dance, we did spend some time on the dance floor (hired from Barlens) though, just not while everyone’s eyes were on us only.”

Providing a fun atmosphere for their barbecue reception was important to Claire & Chris, Claire says “We just wanted the wedding to be a party and a celebration.  We wanted it to be a continuation of our relationship rather than the beginning.” Some of the fun touches included leaving chalk on the tables for guests to use on their personal chalkboards, setup a lolly bar in pinks, browns and greens (even featuring customised M&Ms with their faces) and setting up a “crazy station” filled with props for guests to take some fun photos together!

Thank you Claire & Chris for sharing your gorgeous wedding day with us on Polka Dot Bride! Thank you also to Robeccer of Adori Studios for sharing with us today’s photographs!

Photos by Adori Studios

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Claire and Chris

by | Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Claire and Chris

Today’s wedding comes straight from the nation’s capital – Canberra! It takes place at the Canberra Hyatt Hotel and combines all the Australian elements I love – including a barbecue in the garden! Today’s couple Claire and Chris put some very special personal touches on their wedding day and I am so looking forward to sharing them with you!

Claire tells the very sweet story of how the couple met. Chris and I went to school together – but he was too smart for me!  I was going on a gap year in England after I finished year 12 so was not too sure about starting a relationship.  Chris was in England on a soccer tour just after I arrived, and rang his Dad requesting money so that he could stay a few extra weeks with me.   From then on we have been in each others pockets and still are.

Chris proposed after 10 years of being with me. We had had a few tough years, with my mum passing away from Cancer in 2005.  He proposed on my birthday, just as we woke up, in my PJ’s (where I wake up every day).  He wanted to give me some happy memories around that time of year and he has!”

Photos today are by Adori Studios

Claire’s wedding day hair and makeup was styled by Kristen Mitchell of Shoulders Up ( and her gown was from Briony Leigh Bridal. Clare loves DIY and made her own hairpiece. Chris wore a grey suit from Black Tie By Xavier.

Claire and Chris spent their whole wedding day together- including getting ready! Claire made lots of the wedding details herself, including her fan programs and a special tribute to her mother. The pink and green floral details were styled by Poetry in Flowers.

Prior to the ceremony, Claire and Chris had photos taken together around the Hotel in the garden, at Parlour Bar, and in Yarralumla.

Check back this afternoon for the heartfelt ceremony of Claire and Chris!

Photos by Adori Studios

Pretty As A Picture Frame

by | Bride, Wedding Inspiration


Photo by Elizabeth Messina via Kiss The Groom from Sasha Souza Events

Empty picture frames are a fun and simple idea for adding pizzazz to your wedding décor.

Find them at outdoor markets, garage sales, vintage shops – it doesn’t matter if they are a little the worse for wear. Collect them in all sorts of finishes and paint them in your chosen colour – all white would look stunning, or all distressed metallic. You might feel that a mix of colours would look good and fit in with your overall design. Leaving them as they are could add to a vintage, casual feel.

Hang them on a wall showcasing the various sizes and patterns of the frames. Use as they are, or tie hand stamped messages with twine onto the frame. Lie them on the tables and use as a frame for miniature pots of flowers or other natural elements for centrepieces.

Photo by Dana Grant via Green Wedding Shoes

Tiny frames could be placed at each setting with the guest’s name,  or a larger one in the middle of the tables could also look elegant. Use to put your menu in, a list of guests sitting at that table or a verse that is special to you.

A larger frame placed on the entrance table with small bags of sweet treats with the names of your guests and their table number attached could double as a favour for your guests.

Photo by Erin Hearts Court via Once Wed

Prop up a particularly pretty frame and arrange a cascading bunch of flowers, or twigs and seed pods behind it. Other elements could be included – such as vintage containers and fruit – think of the Dutch Masters paintings for inspiration.

Splendid Days Boutique Marquee Hire

by | Bride, Reception


Elegant Marquees

One of the greatest joys I have with Polka Dot Bride is getting to know businesses and the talented individual behind them.

Granine first came onto my radar last year with a different business, then she told me about her plans for a brand new exciting venture. The exciting venture launched a few weeks ago, Splendid Days, a boutique marquee and accessory hire company.

Along with business partner Tania, the Splendid Days team have over 10 years of experience in the industry. but more than that, their styling shows a sense of elegance and grace, evident in their attention to detail..

They offer two marquee sizes (the Regent and the Majestic) with chandelier lighting and 6m high canopied ceilings along with gorgeous furniture and beautifully styled interiors (right down to the last candle).

Spelndid Days Marquees


Splendid Days are located in Sydney and service the entire east coast of Australia.

Visit the Splendid Days website to find out more.

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