Back to Top
PolkaDotBride - Australia's number 1 Bridal Blog, Wedding Directory and Advice for Brides
Log In Register

Fiona and Lionel’s Urban Farm Engagement Session

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Engagements


Fiona and Lionel

Do you know more engagements happen around the festive season than any other time of year? I love the festive season myself- there is something about how happy everybody is that definitely rubs off on me. So with that, I thought I’d share the Collingwood Childrens farm engagement photos of Fiona and Lionel by Its Beautiful Here. The farm is located just a little distance from Melbourne’s CBD and is such a fun place to visit to take time out from the hustle and bustle of the city- or to have photos taken to celebrate your engagement!

Fiona tells their love story “1999. Moby’s Play was on the radio, Fight Club was in the cinemas.. and that’s when we met. We started going out a year later. Fast forward 11 years of relationship later (which seems like yesterday) and we’re finally getting married (it’s about time, our friends say). If you need a proof that high-school sweetheart does exist, look no further.”



Lionel explains “Over the 11 years, she has been a close friend, a lecturer, a sister and a girlfriend. She used to come up with my class timetables at Uni, help me revise my subjects and reminds me when assignments are due and where the exams rooms are. She knows whenever I was being untruthful (mostly trivial matter such as whether I have showered or pretended to be sober when I’m not).

I love her for the things that I’m not; an attentive, caring and loving person.”

Fiona says “Like he said, he’s like my little brother. He needs my constant attention and care. He’s lazy and a great procrastinator, but will do things rather well once he feels like it. He means well and (is) compassionate though this is never evident unless you know him very well.

He likes to read and knows a lot about mostly random things, from geography to history to cars. I could not, not mention about his automotive fetishism. He’ll go on and on about it and I have to pretend to be half interested!

I love him for his honesty, sense of humour and inner sanctum sense of care.”

“We’ve always enjoyed the simpler things in life.. nice coffee, honest food, long sleeps and simply doing nothing. The not so simple things that we enjoy are shopping and travelling (we travel every year when time and funds permit). Other than those, we keep it pretty simple.. we don’t do archery, paragliding or badger baiting together.”

“There you go.. a short story about us. We’d like to share how the next 11 years will be.. but you probably know already how it will pan out.. more food,  longer sleep-ins and not doing much at all.”

“As Noel Gallagher once said, it’s the importance of being idle. That’s what brings us together.”

Photographer: Its Beautiful Here
Visit Ms Polka Dot's Directory

Elysia and Glen’s Paper Pinwheel Wedding

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


Elysia and Glen

What do you get when you combine paper pinwheels and wedded bliss? It appears you’ll get the fun, whimsical Byron Bay celebration of Elysia and Glen. A day that was truly infused with fun, personal details and plenty of paper pinwheels! Pull up a chair, pour yourself a glass of Pimms and enjoy this splendid summer garden party!

Elysia and Glen met over their love of music. Elysia explains, “We met via our shared love of music. I’m a singer and I was seeking a saxophone and keyboard player for my band and when I heard Glen play at Good Vibrations festival I asked our mutual friends for his phone number to ask him if he could play on a demo I was recording. We became friends and wrote music together for many months before we fell in love.”

Photographs today are by You Can’t Be Serious– I love how Hailey & co capture the fun, the silly and the giggle-worthy! What a splendid recollection of a wedding day to behold. Dan Macarthur shot a film of the day.

Glen wore a suit from Matteo Di Rota from XILE Brisbane with shoes by Vero Cudio. His two groomsmen hired suits from Strictly Formal Hire.

Elysia wore a strapless gown by Hilde Heim paired with vintage jewels she found on eBay. The bridesmaids wore blue gowns from Light In The Box with shoes from Joanne Mercer.

Hair & makeup was styled by Jo Twidale.

Elysia and Glen held their wedding and reception at Coorabella, Coorabel Byron Bay. Elysia recalls “We had an amazing time looking for a wedding venue. We visited many incredible private properties in the Byron Bay hinterland over many fun weekends. We had no idea how the other half lived! When we found Coorabella we knew it was for us. It’s an old farmhouse done up by 2 artists – a stylist and a jewellery designer. It’s an incredible mix of eclectic art from their world travels, over the top glamour and boho chic. It had the perfect old fig tree and gardens for us to get married and have our lawn games in, a tepee, a view of the sunset over the hinterland and a beautiful old house with wide verandahs and an interior full of treasures for the reception.”

Friends of the couple Jeff & Jill sang before the ceremony.

Elysia’s grandfather played the bagpipes as Elysia walked down the aisle. Elysia recalls “My 82 year old  grand father, Dah who I love dearly came over from New Zealand and played the bagpipes. He piped me down the aisle in his kilt and full Scottish regalia, there wasn’t a dry eye amongst us all! He chose the song – Highland Cathedral.”

Estelle Montlouis of The French Petal styled the floral arrangements.

Elysia and Glen were married by Zenith Virago. Elysia remarks “On the recommendation of our celebrant Zenith we wrote our own vows, which we kept secret from each other. She recommended that I read my vows first because I was most likely to cry. But instead of crying, I just had this crazy happy grin on my face like the cat who got the cream the whole time, I just loved the ceremony so much. Glen teared up with emotion when he read his vows to me and I felt so incredibly special because I could tell how much our relationship meant to him and how close we had become over the 8 years we’d been together. The amazing thing was, our vows were so similar even though we wrote them secretly. We both mentioned the things we loved about each other, what we were grateful to each other for and our shared dreams for the future. This made me realise what a great team we are and lucky I am to have one of my best friends as my husband.”

Elysia’s grandmother’s cameo brooch was pinned to her bouquet. Elysia recalls “My  Pop had given the brooch to her as a gift on their wedding day. In this tradition, my husband Glen gave me pearls as a wedding gift the morning of our wedding. I gave him cuff links which were handmade from Etsy with miniature vintage map of the Byron Bay region”

Elysia describes the day as “Vintage glamour meets DIY summer garden party.” Fox Lane Quartet entertained guests while they sipped mojitos and played garden games. Elysia says “Mum and my Step Dad Barry found driftwood and made signs for our lawn games Petanque, Kubb and Totem Tennis.”

Of their photographers, Elysia says “We were looking for the aesthetic we’ve seen on many creative wedding blogs like Style Me Pretty and Polka Dot Bride –  documentary style shots bursting with life, colour and quirky detail. They felt like our friends when we met them and captured our day perfectly. They also make movies and run a great project called 365 grateful and have 2 gorgeous girls. Is there anything they can’t do?”

Elysia remarks “DIY was my middle name! I had so much fun creating and planning the DIY touches for our wedding. I just wished I could have quit work and planned it full time, that’s how much fun I had. We also had so many of our friends and family help us to create our day.”

Elysia says “My incredibly talented Mum spent weeks making handmade paper pinwheels as our centrepieces. We handmade our invitations and I spend hours scouring the net for vintage crystal vases, jars, paper straws, peacock feathers, bunting and decorations. Even our table cloths and ribbon around the napkins were made from rolls of fabric we hand picked from Spotlight.”

The reception was catered by Fig Trees Catering.

The reception was styled by Estelle Monlouis from The French Petal  & Rachel Temily from Coorabella.

Elysia’s step mother made the yellow and white daisy inspired cake.

Elysia notes “Dad even made a silly power point presentation full of embarrassing childhood photos of us and silly stories. We’ve played at so many weddings as the “wedding band” and this helped us to really know what we did and didn’t like about wedding decorations, so making it as quirky, hand made and fun as possible was our aim.”

Elysia remarks “Our wedding was just a lot of fun. From our decision to sing to each other instead of a first dance, to the silly photos we have of us all laughing all day long. Everywhere we looked someone we loved had contributed to our day in a creative way. What was also special was that our whole bridal party and us hired a completely over the top rock star mansion in the hills and spent 4 nights relaxing during and after the wedding to get into the “Byron vibe.” We had a family BBQ the night before and a Sunday recovery brunch by the beach so we could spend time connecting with all our loved ones.”

For a twist on the first dance, Elysia and Glen sang it – to their guests! Elysia recalls “As we are musicians we decided the first dance just wasn’t for us, so we played everyone a song. Glen’s groomsmen Gav and Wil both played guitar, Glen played keys and we both sang to each other. It was “Home” by Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros. A duet about how home is wherever I’m with you.”

Congratulations on the next stage of your lives together Elysia and Glen! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us on Polka Dot Bride! Thank you also to You Can’t Be Serious for today’s photographs!

Photographer: You Can't Be Serious / Cinematographer: Dan Macarthur / Bride’s Dress: Hilde Heim / Groom’s Attire: Matteo Di Rota from XILE Brisbane / Groomsmens Attire: Strictly Formal Hire / Officiant: Zenith Virago / Bridesmaid Dresses: Light In The Box / Flowers: Estelle Montlouis – The French Petal / Venue: Coorabella – Coorabel Byron Bay / Hair and Makeup: Jo Twidale / Catering: Fig Trees Catering Byron Bay

Teresa and Paul’s Gold Coast DIY Wedding

by | Australia - Queensland, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Teresa and Paul

What a stunning wedding Teresa and Paul had! A morning celebration so they could eat, drink and mingle with their guests before spending the sunset in a beautiful forest having photographs taken to commemorate their day,

Teresa recalls how she and Paul met. “We met while playing a friendly game of Ultimate Frisbee on the Gold Coast. We quickly became good friends through our love of spending quality time together and thrashing out the deeper questions of life. Paul helped me through many tough times and we bonded very quickly and deeply. After we were friends for a year, we realised our bond was stronger than just mere friendship. We started dating and Paul proposed on our year and a half anniversary.”

Paul Bamford shot the photographs today and oh my gosh- his forest captures are completely stunning! What a way with light he has! I think he has made really beautiful images for Teresa and Paul today!

The girl’s hair was styled by Tony Walker with their makeup by Amy Jones.

The bride bought her dress on Ebay, her shoes were ones she’d wore as a bridesmaid for a friend’s weddings and she made the bouquets with her bridesmaids the night before the wedding.

Paul designed the stationery himself. Teresa and Paul were married at Hinterland Baptist Church, Worongary. Teresa walked down the aisle to “Just The Way You Are”  a Boyce Avenue cover, the same song that was playing when Paul proposed to Teresa.

The groom wore a suit custom made by a Thailand tailor and the groom and groomsmen wore ties from David Jones.

Teresa remarks “Our whole day was injected with love and laughter. At our ceremony, the vows which included traditional and modern vows were written by us which had some funny and personal details of our relationship. Both of us love God and we imitated Jesus by washing each other’s feet, which is a demonstration of love and laying down our lives to serve each other all the days of our lives. When I took Paul’s socks off, he wrote ‘I love you’ on it!”

Guests had s surprise in store for them at the end of the ceremony, Teresa recalls “At the end of the ceremony, we made up a surprise dance with our bridal party to exit out the door, with moves from Michael Jackson’s thriller, the movie Hitch and we congo out of the church. We had some hilarious moves that got the crowd laughing to tears and created a great atmosphere to start the reception.”

The couple held their reception in a downstairs events room of the church and decorated it themselves. Theresa says “I really enjoyed being able to add my creativity to our wedding. I loved the process and we were blessed to have so many people helping us bring our creativity to life. We loved the spring theme, with lots of fresh flowers and touches of pale yellow.”

Of their timing for the day, Teresa explains “We had the ceremony at 11:30am, reception straight after at 12:30pm, photos at 3:30pm, and the bridal party and I were back at our house by 6pm. We didn’t want a long drawn out day and wanted to spend the evening with the closest people to us. We decided to have the photos taken after the reception and many of our guests commented that they appreciated not having to wait for a long time while we got our photos taken.”

So many details were handmade, Teresa remarks “We made origami hearts to decorate the reception area, props for the photobooth, a photo wall that was made in the shape of a heart and gingerbread men with each guests’ names and a personalised note attached as favours. Since our wedding, many of our guests have commented how much they liked the attention to detail and beautiful decorations that really demonstrated our personalities. Zoe, who is studying to be a wedding planner, also added her creative touches to the ceremony that came together beautifully.”

The wedding cake was made by Teresa’s sister in law Jenny.

Teresa describes the day as “Personal, fun, creative, casual, authentic and is a great representation of our personalities.”

Music was a big part of the reception says Teresa. “We have many musicians among our friends and a few of them played and sang us songs that were dedicated to us. One good friend of ours changed the words to a song that told the story of our relationship… It was a very special moment!” Michael Eotvos was just one of the artists.

The spontaneous first dance turned into one of Teresa’s favourite memories. She recalls “We didn’t have any intention of doing the first dance as we didn’t value that tradition in weddings. But after a bridesmaid’s prompting, my husband grabbed my hands and asked me to dance. I’m glad we did because it turned out to be a memorable moment for us, and the photos really captured it too.”

Even leaving the reception was fun. “At the end of the reception, all the guests made an archway for us to leave, it was a great way to let everyone see us off.”

Teresa says “Having our ceremony and reception at the same venue was a real blessing, so that the guests didn’t have to travel to the reception. We decided to have the photos taken after the reception and many of our guests commented that they appreciated not having to wait for a long time while we got our photos taken. We wanted our photos to be real, fun and relaxed, just like us. So lawn bowls was a great option for our photos. Paul captured some fantastic facial expressions from our bridal party. And we loved the park and rainforest theme from our engagement shoot, so we really loved the photos taken at the tree forest near our house, the afternoon gave the photos such a beautiful glow also.”

Of their photographer, Teresa says “We did a shoot with him for our engagement a few months before the wedding, so we felt very comfortable with him and loved his creative style. We wanted our wedding photos to tell a story of the day, with a variety of creative input from us. Paul was always encouraging and supportive of our creative ways, and loved that we think outside the box, like he did. We loved bouncing off ideas with him. He is always calm, friendly, and professional. He totally captured our day to the T. We are a big fan of his work and would happily recommend him to anybody for any event.”

The bridesmaids wore black gowns from Events.

The photographs were just right to end the day, Teresa says. “We played lawn bowls for the first part of our photos, which captured some great moments of us being silly. Then we went to this beautiful rainforest with long tree trunks, the afternoon rays were just shining through, which created beautiful photos.”

The hungry bride and groom devoured a treat on their wedding night. Teresa recalls “On the way home from the photos, Paul and I picked up pizza at our local pizza shop in our wedding dress and suit. Unbeknownst to me, one of my students that I teach was working behind the counter!”

Congratulations Teresa and Paul! Thank you for sharing your wedding day on Polka Dot Bride! Thank you also to Paul Bamford for sharing today’s photographs with us!

Photographer: Paul Bamford / Bride’s Dress: Ebay / Groom and Groomsmens Ties: David Jones / Hair: Tony Walker / Makeup: Amy Jones / Venue: Hinterland Baptist Church, Worongary / Bridesmaid Dresses: Events / Catering: Budget Gourmet / Reception Music: Michael Eotvos / Wedding Rings: JWG Palm Beach

Annalies and Simon’s Whimsical Brisbane Wedding

by | Australia - Queensland, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Annalies and Simon

With ruby red lips, sparkling ruby slippers, black and white tartan bridesmaids gowns and a surprise of twinkle lights. this enchanting wedding, with plenty of opulent glamour was the most beautiful way for Annalies and Simon to share their vow to marry, with their loved ones.

Annalies recalls how she and Simon came to be. “While we knew of each other in high school, it wasn’t until we met again, 1800 kilometres away in Brisbane that we started dating.”

Photographs today are by Beth Cater Photography. I really loved Beth’s way of capturing the depth and details of the day – her candid moments of Annalies and Simon’s joy, the little details like those ruby red slippers and the breathtaking beauty of Annalies walking down the aisle to her beloved. Playback Films shot a film of the day.

The bride and bridesmaid’s makeup was styled by  Nic Makeup while Catherine Cheesman of Bogarts styled their hair.

The bride’s bouquet, featuring crystals and black feathers along with deep red roses was created by Bloomberry Flowers.

The bridesmaids wore black and white tartan gowns from Alyce Designs via Tj Formal and paired them with ruby red shoes from Schuh. Annalies wore Christian Louboutin heels paired with custom shoe clips from Feathers & Frills.

Of their photographer, Annalies says “Beth was absolutely fantastic.  She immediately recognised that we wanted something a little different for our photos and didn’t try to force us into unnatural situations in order to get her shot.  Beth really captured us as we are, and we are just thrilled with the result.”

Annlies wore a gown by Wendy Makin.

“Oh, also, the bridesmaids surprised me on the day by wearing stockings with different patterns.  They definitely know my preferred aesthetic and I loved it!”

Annalies walked down the aisle to Pachabel’s Canon In D. She remarks ” We wanted to have a traditional ceremony and this felt like the perfect piece to set the tone.” The couple held their wedding ceremony at St Stephens Cathedral, Annalies explains “We were married in St Stephens Cathedral which is beautiful, as always, and possibly the only church in Brisbane that could accommodate our gowns!”

Annalies describes the day as “Equal parts lux couture and traditional family affair.”

One of Annalies’ favourite memories is the photographs. “One of my favourite moments was arriving at our photo location to see the festoon lighting strung across the blooming honeysuckle that Simon had organised.  It was absolutely beautiful.”

Annalies and Simon held their reception at The Greek Club, Annalies remarks “Katherine, The Greek Club’s wedding coordinator was an absolute dream to work with.  As a bride who had no concept of what I wanted, Katherine had all of the answers.  She looked after every request and change right up to the event itself so well that it put us both completely at ease.”

Annalies recalls “I discovered that sites like etsy were fantastic for sourcing the kind of things that would normally be handmade – often for less than it would cost to make! – but one thing that we did together was, rather than have a band or DJ, we put together our wedding music into playlists.  We spent a lot of time choosing music for the dinner, dancing and other special points that included songs dear to us and our guests.  It was a huge hit and really made the reception a celebration of us and our loved ones.  Quite a few of the guests commented on it and a few asked for the list!” A three tier black and white cake was created by Cake That!

For their first dance, Annalies says “We danced to ‘Beautiful Girl’ by INXS.  It took us a while to pick a song – we both love music and have very strong opinions!  When we first moved in together, Simon would play this on guitar a lot.  It reminds us of each other while being familiar to most of our guests which were our two requirements.  One of a few Italian customs we included occurred during the bridal waltz where our families wrapped us in ribbons while we danced.”

Blender Design created the table menus, order of service books and engagement invitations. Each of the table settings featured song lyrics that were special to Annalies and Simon.

The reception was full of beautiful memories for the newlyweds, just some of which Annalies lists. “Most of our family and friends had to fly in to attend and seeing how many of them made the trip was really special – having everyone together happens so rarely it was lovely.

My father gave a beautiful and touching speech that I will always remember.  He is a man of few words so seeing him up there in front of everyone made me really proud.

Spending the morning getting ready with my bridesmaids and Mum was incredibly fun.  We nearly forgot what we were there for!

Seeing everyone get involved in the photobooth was fantastic.  It made for a fun night and a very memorable guestbook.

During my hens festivities, my bridesmaids taught us all a traditional Italian tarantella that they had learnt in secret.  We then danced this at the reception.  I had truly amazing bridesmaids – they made the whole planning process an event”

Before we end the tale of Annalies and Simon, I want to share their gorgeous wedding video shot by Playback Films

Congratulations Annalies and Simon! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Beth Cater Photography. for sharing the photographs this afternoon!

Photographer: Beth Carter Photography / Bride’s Dress: Wendy Makin / Bridesmaid Dresses: Alyce Designs / Flowers: Bloomberry Flowers / Cinematographer: Playback Films / Makeup: Nic Makeup / Reception Venue: The Greek Club / Bridesmaids Shoes: Schuh / Hair: Catherine Cheesman of Bogarts / Stationery: Just Embossed / Cake: Cake That!
Back to Top