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Hayley and Dene

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


Hayley & Dene

It seems this is the week of Polka Dot bridette’s weddings! Today is another absolutely stunning wedding day- a garden wedding in the Kurrajong Hills outside Sydney and the wedding of a very loyal and special Polka Dot Bride reader Hayley! I had such fun emailing Hayley prior to her wedding day, hearing about her plans and brainstorming ideas with her- it was such a thrill to see her photos and see how her day had finally come together (and finally reunited with her love Dene after a long period of air force training!)  Hayley says “My whole wedding had a personal touch, with a budget in mind and my dream wedding in my heart I decided to make each and every detail special to us.”

Hayley explains how she and Dene met. “Dene and I met when we were both in High School, I was 14 at the time, We worked weekends together in the local supermarket. It was a classic case of ‘check out girl falls for her shy shelf packing crush’. After our first year together Dene moved to a new work place in Canberra which saw us complete 2.5 years long distance before moving in together and doing 3 moves in 3 years, our story is one of love that has stood the test of both time and distance, one of making each waking moment spent together count for more than you ever thought it could. Dene has always had perfect timing, this timing saw his proposal overlooking the Opera House all the more special, as it happened to be the night they were testing the fireworks for New Years Eve, a 20 minute display lit the skies as we celebrated our engagement.”

Photos today are by Mint Photography who Hayley found through Ms Polka Dot’s Directory. I love the peaceful beauty of Mint’s photographs, they’ve captured the dreaminess and whimsical nature of Hayley and Dene’s celebration so beautifully.

Hayley wore an Alex Perry gown along with drop earrings by Alex Perry and a diamond pendant given to her by Dene as a thank you for her support during his work training. She carried a bouquet of cream blooms created by Petals & Leaves. which featured a very special touch. “On my bouquet I featured a brooch that had a photo of my Grandfather that had passed and could not be with us to celebrate, it was special to me to have him with me.” Hayley and her bridesmaids had their hair and makeup done by Kristen, Mobile Hair (0411 246 363) and Vanessa Southern ( 0416 394 403 ).

The couple married in the Blue Mountains. Hayley says “Dene and I wanted for our day to be hassle free for our guests; especially as so many were traveling from overseas and interstate to be with us. Our venue at Loxley on Bellbird Hill, in the Kurrajong Hills provided the perfect option for our day, allowing us to get ready in the boutique hotel rooms on site in the morning, wander on down to our ceremony in the beautiful gardens; we had our photos taken on location while our guests mingled and enjoyed canapés and pre dinner drinks on the deck before heading upstairs to celebrate in our sit down 3 course reception for 100 guests.

After dinner, guests could move between the upstairs and downstairs, or join in the dancing under the stars. The venue boasts a beautiful view from the bottom of the Blue Mountains looking back over Sydney with the twinkling of a million lights it is just amazing. Accommodation was available onsite so guests partied late into the night and we all caught up the next morning to relive tales of the night before  over a huge buffet breakfast, the venue allowed our big day to run seamlessly and the experience is a true credit to the high quality staff they have that manage even the smallest detail.”

Hayley and Dene planned their wedding from Perth. “Most of our wedding in Sydney was planned on the internet from Perth, I put a lot of faith in my suppliers and to see it all come together on the day was simply magical, each little piece came together like a real life mood board.”

After a tiny delay with guests stuck in traffic, we were told to hold off the ceremony for 15 minutes for the last few people to arrive.  I was so excited ( and ready) it was an agonising 15 minute wait.  however it did allow me a few special moments with my father before the ceremony, where all we had to do was laugh and enjoy the extra time we had been given, I always thought I wanted to be exactly on time for my wedding, but with my 15 minute twist of fate I am so grateful for this time I had with my father to take it all in.

Hayley’s bridesmaids wore gowns in shades of nude and taupe from Forever New. Hayley says “I walked down the aisle on the arm of my father to the Feather theme song from ‘Forrest Gump’ played live on violin.  I think it is the most beautiful tune, and one that reflects a journey and life long love.”

Hayley and Dene found their celebrant through Ms Polka Dot’s Directory “Our Celebrant was Robyn Pattison, she is an advertiser on Polka Dot Bride and was the perfect choice for our day, she was bubbly, inviting and knew exactly what we wanted for our ceremony and she made it happen. Our ceremony was personal, sharing stories of our relationship together, making our guests both laugh and cry, it was focused on our love for each other and Robyn assisted us in making it flow seamlessly, she is full of excellent advice and was always so helpful, going above and beyond to assist me when it came to paperwork as I am absolutely hopeless, she is a gem.”

Moments created memories… “To take a moment just with Dene, to step back for a second and take it all in together, the day flew by so fast, I am so glad we had just a moment to ourselves to absorb just how special the day had been and to notice all the little things.”

Hayley put lots of personal touches on the wedding day by taking control of all the decor. “I  DIY’d all the decor minus the flowers, I arranged Birdcages in the trees, rose petals aisles, candles lighting the garden paths, I had vanilla scented candles on all the tables at the reception so when guests walked in it was a mix of fragrant flowers and subtle hues of vanilla.

I had a birdcage wishing well, photos of Dene and I around the reception and also above us at the reception sat wooden letters LOVE, these letters were used in our engagement shoot and it was special to us to have them carry over through our wedding (these letters also appeared in a range of photos shown to us the next morning, with random guests, in trees, by the pool and then in a range of bedrooms, it was fun to see how they got around and that the party continued long after we had left).”

Blooms were a feature and carried the feel of the garden wedding into the reception. Hayley says “Each place setting on the table had a fresh flower on the napkin, the flowers were different from table to table and was a lovely touch as the tables were narrow, and could not fit large flower arrangements, so it was the perfect way to have the floral touches I was after.

A stunning three tier cake was a gift to the newlyweds. “The cake was also made by my Aunt as her gift to us, I provided her with a photo and she worked her magic to create the masterpiece 3 tier rich chocolate mud cake, it was delicious and was served with ice cream and mixed berry coulis for dessert.”

Hayley’s loved ones surrounding her added to the magic of the day. “My husband Dene is an Air force Pilot and seeing the wedding come together after being planned under such crazy circumstances was magic in itself. Many guests had to plan months in advance to get the time off duties to celebrate with us, but it was the most, special and memorable day of our lives. I have never felt so much love and pure joy in one room.”

The first dance was a special moment. Hayley recalls “Our first dance was to Jack Johnson’s ‘Better Together’ we did our first dance on the deck below as our guests cheered us on from the balcony above. Never dancing before we amazed ourselves with our how well a few You Tube dance lessons in the living room could transform into something incredible, we did dips and spins and shared a laugh as we moved around the dance floor without tripping over each other (much to the surprise and delight of our family and friends), we were quickly joined by friend and family to dance the night away with a little bit of something for everyone.”

Thank you Hayley and Dene for sharing your wedding day (and the moments leading up to it!) with us today on Polka Dot Bride! Congratulations on your marriage! A big thank also to Mint Photography for today’s gorgeous images!

Photos by Mint Photography

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Out Now… October November 2010

by | Bride, Magazines and Books


Another two months another bunch of great wedding magazines to pour over! Here’s my favourite features from the latest round of glossies!

The Knot Australia Magazine Summer 2010/11

Lovable Bits:

– “Decoding The Table” on Page 84

– “The 10 Biggest Things Brides Forget” on page 93

– Claire and Chris’ garden tea party on page 110

– Katie and Bret’s vintage floral wedding on page 120

– “Beauty In Extremes” fashion feature on page 128

Cosmopolitan Bride Summer 2011

Lovable Bits:

– “Essential Bridal Survival Guide”on page 52

– “Wedding Wonderland” fashion feature on Page 62

– Kristy & Heath’s Tasmanian garden estate wedding on page 162

– Anli and Laura’s geek chic inspired wedding on page 166

– “Portrait Of A Lady” inspired fashion shoot on page 179

Bride to Be November- January 2010/11

– Faye Cahill’s delicious cake filled wedding on page 61

– Kate and Andy’s country fair inspired wedding on page 64

– Yvette and Dylan’s Noosa stylish Noosa wedding on page 98

– “A Stitch In Time” fashion feature on page 126

– Bridesmaids style special from page 197

White Magazine Issue 10

– “Natural Beauty” fashion feature on page 28

– “Suit Yourself” grooms style feature on page 45

– Michelle and Geoff’s winery wedding on page 53

– “Green Feet” reduce your eco footprint on page 107

– “Still The One I Love” a generational look at love on page 140

Also out this month by Modern Wedding is “Modern Wedding DIY Magazine” which is tailored just to the DIY bride! Queensland Brides also look out for your summer special magazine!

Julie and Paul

by | Australia - Western Australia, Bride, Inspired Weddings, Multicultural Weddings,


Julie and Paul

If you’re a long time reader of Polka Dot Bride, you might remember a board I created last year for Bride Julie (Julie’s Nautical Jubilee). Well today I am so beyond thrilled to see her ideas and creations come to life! Julie is the biggest sweetheart and I feel honoured to have followed her wedding planning journey!

Julie lets us in on how the couple met. “We went on a blind date (well sort of blind, we had seen a photo) at Universal bar in Northbridge, shared a drink & had a great conversation and then started dating. Things initially moved very slowly, I think I waited 3 or 4 dates for a first kiss and had almost given up hope – turns out my groom was just very shy!”

Photos by Yoram Conradt Photography who captured all the details and effort Julie and Paul put into their day with such vivid colours and energy!

Julie and Paul carried the blue, red and white nautical theme throughout their entire wedding day- including the stationery. “Wren Press in Mount Hawthorn. Iantha did a fanastic job of getting the beachy feel and we got lots of positive feedback on the stationary. The invitations were inspired by Cavallo’s nautical series and the stunning location of the wedding reception on Cape Naturaliste, WA – which was the site of the proposal.”

Julie and Paul had a traditional Orthodox ceremony. Julie says, “The crowns for the service were antique crowns that on loan from a Russian church in Sydney, and bought over to the West by two of the guests.”

The flowers held a special meaning for the couple and were arranged by JVK Floral Design, Eagle Bay.  Julie tells us, “The flowers incorporated blue status flower, red and ivory roses. The heatwave that week resulted in a last minute change in flowers (spider orchids and hydrangeas were no-go due to the likelihood of wilting in the extreme heat and changed to the hardier status flower) The grooms buttonholes included silk cornflowers, to remember and honour the Groom’s dad, who died a few years ago from motor neurone disease. Cornflowers are the symbol for the motor neurone disease society.”

Julie wore a Valentino gown, ‘Deandra’ in ivory, which was imported from Europe and was sold to a girl from Dubai who only recently got married in the Middle East. Julie says “it has literally travelled around the world.”

The bridesmaids wore Shakey Love Frock in Cherry from Alannah Hill.  Julie says ” I wanted dresses with an injection of colour, and I figure that the cocktail style has more wear-ability than the matte block colour that one usually sees in bridesmaid dresses. The bridesmaids were my sister, and two of my close friends Sarah and Anne. They contain a blue rose print, replaying the motive in the wedding dress and also in the bridal flowers. My flowergirl’s dress was a sailor girl dress bought off Ebay for $10 – bargain! Poor little dear got nervous and refused to walk down the aisle but still enjoyed her day as a flowergirl.”

All the girls wore Manolo Blahnik ‘Something Blue,’ shoes.

Julie and Paul married at the Greek Orthodox Chapel in Prevelly Beach. Julie says “It was important for Paul to get married in an orthodox church. We found the Greek orthodox church, perched on the edge of where the Margaret River mouth spills into the ocean. The church has an interesting history in that it is named after Prevelli in Crete. During WW2 in the Battle of Crete, some Australian soldiers took refuge at the Prevelli monastery. The monks sheltered and fed the Australians and then helped secure their escape. Later when the Germans discovered this, they bombed the monastery. Some of the surviving Australian soldiers then re-built this monastery at Prevelly in memory of the monks.”

The service was one of the more memorable parts of the day, not just for the “marriage” part! Julie recounts “The service was filled with a few dramas. The church had accidentally made a double-booking for the day, which meant our wedding was to be held immediately straight after another party. The timing was going to be tight, but should have been workable.

There were hiccups when we arrived at the church and we saw all of the cars from the other wedding were still there – another guest ran out and we were told their groom had passed out from the heat and they were trying to revive him! We did laps of Prevelly Beach and our wedding eventually started about 15 minutes later. I kept a close eye on my groom, who was sweating profusely in the heat, to make sure he didn’t hit the deck!

We also have the rare privilege of being one of the few couples who can actually boast that they were married by two priests! The service was conducted by, a Greek priest from Perth and was jointly undertaken by Paul’s aging family priest, who is suffering from Parkinson’s and has retired. He was coaxed out of retirement to undertake one last wedding though!”

Julie says “We hired lovely old FJ Holdens for the transport and arranged a ‘just married,’ sign on a lifebuoy that was attached to the back of one of the cars. A gust of wind blew the sign off half way down Caves Road.”

Julie and Paul held their reception at Bunkers Beach Cafe which held significance for them. “A bit over half an hours drive away from the reception up Caves Road to the Bunker Bay Cafe, right on the beach overlooking the bay, and Cape Naturaliste was also the site of the proposal. This point was chosen because it is one of my favourite beaches in Western Australia and because it enabled fantastic views, a relaxed beach party feel to the reception and being next door Bunker Bay resort enabled guests to walk back to their rooms afterwards.”

The cake was a delectable tart tower created by Edible Art in Margaret River.  Julie describes it “We went with the grapevine inspired design because it seemed fitting for the location being in the Margaret River Wine region. Carmello is truly an artist! He wasn’t satisfied with the mould of the grape bunches, and individually hand rolled every single marzipan grape on our cake. The wedding cake was an assortment of 3 different styles – Margaret River chocolate truffle cake (gluten free) covered in ivory marzipan and a bunch of grapes and grape leaves on each one, and then blueberry and strawberry tarts to get the red and the blue.”

The dessert bar featured plenty of delicious treats including jam kisses made by Julie’s mum, strawberries & cream, raspberries, blue clouds, Max Brenner bride & groom chocolate & Sarah’s lollipops. Julie says “The dessert bar was raided throughout the night. When we arrived the next morning to collect our things the staff advised us one of the glass candy jars containing blue clouds had disappeared & they couldn’t find it anywhere. Turns out, one of our guests was so enamored with these lollies that he took the jar to have some for the walk back to the rooms, and he was found by his wife the next morning, passed out,  outside the villa, hugging the jar with his silk white shirt ruined from stains of blue cloud lollies!”

Guest favors were wrapped in red and blue and featured shell bottle openers or shell candles.

Traditional speeches were done away with. “No formal speeches were made, vodka shots were drunk, upon arrival in honour of my husband’s Russian heritage and cocktail food was served throughout the night.”

Julie changed into a short gown for the reception- so she had plenty of room for dancing! The couple used their ipod for music, playing a selection of swing music to 1920s to classic and modern day tunes.

Congratulations Julie and Paul on your marriage! I am so thrilled for you both! Thank you also to Yoram Conradt Photography for today’s photographs!

Photos by Yoram Conradt Photography

Jaime and Ben In Paris

by | Bride, Wedding Inspiration


Jamie and Ben

Do you remember these two? Our show loving couple who we followed from engagement to wedding  (part one and two)? Well today I am beyond excited to bring you their first year anniversary photos- all the way from Paris! That’s right, Jaime and Ben flew to Paris!

Jaime has this crazy (but very cool) idea to have each anniversary documented by a photographer in a different part of the world. In Jaime’s words, “I believe the love keeps on growing after the wedding and there’s nothing more lovely than celebrating our anniversary in such a way. We plan to fill a wall in our house with framed pictures from every year that will tell a story of us growing old together.”

My One & Only Paris Photography who sent this shoot over as a surprise to Jaime (Surprise Jaime!). They’ve done such a beautiful job capturing the magic of Paris and the love of Jamie and Ben- Congratulations on your first anniversary!

Photos by One & Only Paris Photography

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