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Camilla and Phil’s Vintage Inspired Queensland Wedding

by | Australia - Queensland, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Camilla and Phil

There is something about a wedding a home that really makes me gooey – so today I found two amazing ones to share with you! Both are the most divine country weddings – ones where you just know everyone celebrated all night long under the wide open country skies.

Camilla explains how she met Phil on the other side of the world. “I was living in Dublin, working retail and living with 4 crazy Kiwi flatmates. We all lived in a tiny flat in the heart of Dublin on Bachelors Walk. We loved where we lived, it was so central and most of us could walk to work. In November 2007 Corky (Paul) had a friend coming from London to visit, another Kiwi (I’m totally outnumbered)! As you do, when living in Dublin, we went out on a work night, with Corky’s friend Phil, he wanted to enjoy Dublin so we all went out to show him what it was made of! He was cute, funny and intelligent; I never thought in a million years that I would meet someone as special as him all the way over the other side of the world. From that night we kept in touch, Phil came back again to Dublin not to see his friend but to visit me. I went to visit him in London and in March 2008 I came home to have my UK visa processed so I could live in London. From then, we have never been separated; he is my best friend, my love and my soul mate.

In 2009 we moved to Silton, Dorset to live in an old Mill. Phil being a carpenter renovated the Mill for his clients while we lived there. The scenery and people we met in Dorset we will never forget, from our first winter were the Mill Pond iced over, to the crop circles that happened just down the road, to our engagement at Stone Henge 40mins from our home. Life with Phil was romantic, hilarious, fun filled and grounding.”

Photos today are by Sam McGrath of Kellie Blinco Photography Such lovely captures of the beauty that Camilla and Phil created on their wedding day. They tie in with the feel that Camilla and Phil wanted to achieve but also capture the moments in a fresh way.

Camilla wore a gown by Justin Alexander. She remarks, ” I found this style dress online while living in the UK, for some reason I fell in love with the style and the sophistication of the high neck-lace. It strangely was the only style I ever wanted to wear.

When we came home to Australia, moving back to Thangool in Central Queensland I thought my chances of tracking down ‘the’ dress were slim, so I searched online for stores that stocked the brand ‘Justin Alexander’. The only stockist in Queensland was in Brisbane, I relayed this back to my Mum who suggested ‘maybe you should try Gladstone Bridal, you never know.’ I rang Gladstone Bridal knowing that they were only 1 hour and 15 mins away and they said ‘how about you have a look on our website, we also stock the brand!!’. They had a very detailed and concise website, and lo and behold, Justin Alexander was there, not only was he on their website but they had ‘the’ dress!!!. I rang back Gladstone Bridal and the beautiful ladies said they’d have a sample to us in 3 days!! 3 days later I received a phone call saying my dress had arrived!!”

Camilla carried a bouquet of soft dusty pink and cream roses, surround by dusty miller foliage. Camilla’s makeup was styled by Beauty Onyx.

Camilla’s bridesmaid wore a soft pink Lipsy gown. “When living in Dublin in 2007-2008 I worked for a store who sold the brand Lipsy, i fell in love with the brand whilst working there. I only had one bridesmaid to fit as my brother was my man of honour.”

The couple chose a vintage mode of transport, though it does come with a story attached! Camilla recalls “Lets not talk about it!! Ha ha….My Dad loves to have a laugh, he loves to play practical jokes, all in good meaning. My dad borrowed a 1950s style Black Singer from some family friends, old gracious, it had personality. The week of the wedding Dad drove the vehicle from home (where the reception would be) to the farm (where the ceremony would be) and put it in the shed so that no one would get a sneak peak of the vehicle, and so we knew we would make it up to the ceremony on the day.

The day came; we all elegantly drove up to the farm where the Singer was waiting for dad and I to depart. We drove following my family – Tim (man of honour), Marie (sister In-law) my mum, Dom my bridesmaid, my two nieces and my Nan, who mind you looked sensational for an 85 year old!!

With the roof on Dad and I drove through the cattle gate, drove over the erosion mounds, joked about how funny it would be if the car broke down, passed through the gates to the olive grove and came to the row in which we were to drive down. We waited at the end of the row about 50 metres away, for my bridal party to enter. The plan was as they finished entering we would drive in the Singer closer, so my shoes wouldn’t sink into the ground. As my brother and mum started to enter, the car stopped!!! I looked at dad ‘You’re joking??’…. I laughed!!??? ‘Dad are you being serious???’’, asking again ‘are you really being serious??’’ He was serious the car had broken down, Dad quickly made a mad dash to where my family had left their car 50m away and thankfully the keys were still in it!! A guest later said to me ‘I thought you paused for effect!!’ So in the end we sadly missed out on our pictures with the car, but it makes for a great story!”

For Phil’s outfit “Phil chose the colours which he would like to wear, with a little help from me, we put together a collage of pictures and styles he liked. Phil loved a vertical stripe tie, which we couldn’t get from anywhere in Australia. We found an amazing tie website in the US (sorry for not shopping locally), R&C Tie Exchange, and their range was amazing at the time; the ties were 100% silk and only cost $25 for a set which included tie, hanky and matching cuffs. The boys pants and shirt came from a Gladstone store Cavaliers Mens Wear, Michelle and her team gave us the most outstanding service. We had a few groomsmen come from UK, NZ and Sydney so we had no way of performing a pre fitting. Michelle ordered us sizes either side of the Groomsmen’s actual sizes to ensure we had the perfect fits on the day, any we didn’t use we returned to her after the wedding.”

The couple were married on the farm owned by Camilla’s parents. Camilla explains, “I was born in Biloela, and when I was 6 we moved out of town 11 kms out to Thangool. My mum and dad’s garden had always been a special place for me, my mum is an amazing gardener. We always dreamed of having our wedding overseas but realistically home was the best option. My Nan who is also an amazing gardener put together 8 peace lilies into 8 beautiful large blue Moroccan/Greek blue pots. We used these as a walk way into the garden reception area. After all the rain and floods Thangool was looking as healthy as it has ever been. Sadly my Mum and Dad’s business was affected by the floods so seeing things look as fabulous as it did on the day put a smile back on many faces.

Phil and I had seen many amazing places in the world, so our olives were a perfect fit for our ceremony. Biella, the Olive farm came about many years ago. I remember as a teenager having to plant them with mum and dad, then having to hand water from a bucket, hundreds of the olives over the weekends.

When I took Phil up there for the first time to discuss if that’s where we would have our ceremony we both new straight away it was a perfect fit. It has an amazing European feel, lush green leaves and an unkempt tidy feel which we love!!”

The processional was moving. “A family friend on the guitar at the ceremony when guests arrived, as I walked down the aisle my uncle played Amazing Grace on the bagpipes – still gives me goosebumps.”

Camilla and Phil used some special trees from the original site during their ceremony. “The area in which we had the ceremony had two trees which didn’t survive, mum and dad allowed us to pull down the trees and Phil being his creative self decided to keep one dead trunk and turn it into our signing table. He purchased a beautiful round slab of tree trunk and put it on top of the tree forks.”

Camilla describes her wedding to Phil as “Completely us, not complicated, not over done, just us.”

Camilla loved “The beautiful sign my neighbours/oldest friends family put in their drive on route to the ceremony!”

The wedding was filled with personal touches, including something Camilla lovingly restored. Camilla explains “I used my Grandad’s table. Sadly both Grandparents passed away 5 months apart. I restored the table and put all of our family wedding photos on their including our parents, grandparents and siblings.”

The couple held their reception in a marquee hired from Ace Party Hire Rockhampton. Camila explains “All of our details were DIY, from place settings to the bamboo name holders, to the flags Phil put all his time into – (idea from Glastonbury festival), table menu’s, our engagement pictures which Phil framed himself on bamboo stands which as people walked in saw a sequence of photos. We traveled through Morocco on our way home in 2010 so our idea of a Moroccan style kid’s area came into it, lots of tea lights and paper lanterns. Instead of hiring bar staff we had volunteers from Thangool school and made a donation to the school.”

Camilla loved “Having it at home, having all the help from our family and friends, my dad walking me down the aisle – it was such a happy moment, having our friends from UK, Norway and NZ be there, knowing that I have found my soul mate.” The couple danced together for their first dance to “Traveling Wilburys – Handle with Care”.

The evening was topped off with a decadent dessert – otherwise known as a wedding cake! Camilla recalls “My mum’s best friend who we grew up with is the most amazing cook, she put together a magnificent profiterole stack (Phil’s Favourite- I made him a mini version for his first birthday we were together). We ordered 150 profiteroles from the cheesecake shop and a massive chocolate cake for them to be stacked onto- Thanks SUZIE!!”

Congratulations Camilla and Phil! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us on Polka Dot Bride! Thank you also to Kellie Blinco Photography for sharing today’s images!

Photo by Kellie Blinco Photography

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Michelle and David’s Splendid Sydney Wedding

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


Michelle & David

I want to kick off the week with a deliciously splendid wedding and I think I have the perfect one – Michelle and David married in Sydney with a wedding that completely reflected them – full of colour, tradition and plenty of music!

Michelle explains how she and David met. “We met through friends when we were both 18, and quickly became amazing friends. We were both in other relationships at the time but became quite inseparable. Then when we were 21 something just clicked – and here we are. We knew from quite early on we would get married, and in April last year (8 years later!!) David popped the question while we were having a picnic at Vaucluse lighthouse – all very romantic.”

Len of I Love Wednesdays photographed today’s wedding. Len’s work always makes me smile – it’s so quirky and captures the atmosphere of the wedding day with a little bit of humor, a little bit of glamour and a lot of individuality.

Michelle (also known as Mish!) wore a one shouldered gown from Bridal Reflections. Her bridesmaids wore red and white floor length gowns from Kookai.

Michelle created the paper goods herself. She recalls “I designed the invitations & RSVP postcards, we worked together on the wording, we picked our own paper from Eckersleys and printed them ourselves. We also ordered our own stamps with a cute photo of us from Australia Post“.

Family and friends pitched in right from the start, hair and makeup included! Michelle remarks “Marina Hickey (sister in law) and Jacqueline Newman (awesome friend & bridesmaid) did the Brides, Mother of Bride, Flowergirls, and Bridesmaid’s hair. They did an incredible job!!”  The girl’s makeup was by Donna Nehme at Glamoureyez 0413 115 582 and Michelle wore a hair comb from GlamaDonna.

Michelle says “Another friend of ours: Belinda Wincote (of Zing Flowers) created our amazing centrepieces, bouquets, boutonniere, and flowers for the reception… I trusted her 200% so was pretty open to her picking the best flowers of the season, and she came up with the best flowers I have ever seen.”

Michelle and David held their wedding ceremony at – St Augustines Catholic Church, Balmain. Michelle explains “St Augustine’s was very special to us as this is where David’s parents were married 37 years ago, and also where David was christened.”

The bridal party were transported throughout the day in blue and red Kombi vans. Michelle says “We used Kombi vans as we have both loved them forever and dream of one day owning one and taking it around Australia. (Red – Michael Taylor 0407 935 597, Blue – Matt Chapman 0414 681 672).”

Michelle walked down the aisle to Canon in D played by The O’Neill Brothers.

Michelle remembers, “The cheers, yells, and applause of all our friends and family as we kissed and read our vows was heartwarming – everyone was just so happy for us, as were we.”

Michelle describes the wedding day as “Magical, full of Love and Laughter – absolutely everything we could have ever hoped & wished for, just wish it was a week long affair.”

Of I Love Wednesdays, the couple’s choice of wedding photographer, Michelle remarks, “I found Milena through Polka Dot Bride and she has been incredible to work with throughout the whole planning, day, and post wedding process – you can tell she is so incredibly passionate about what she does through every single photo she takes. When we ran out of daylight after the ceremony – she didn’t hesitate to offer to catch up with us the day after the wedding for some intimate shots, all of which have turned out amazingly and will be treasured by us forever as photo’s from the first day of married togetherness. We both can’t speak high enough of her professionalism, enthusiasm and all round awesomeness.”

The couple held their wedding reception at The Deckhouse, Woolwich. Michelle explains “We found the Deckhouse, while it was still under construction and booked on the spot when we saw how great it was going to be. Co-incidentally, a new co-ordinator (Kate Richardson) came on board half way through planning andturned out to be a friend of David’s from his days of working in hospitality! Dealing with Kate was fantastic, she got us very well and made sure the day ran smoothly. The food tasting day in the lead up to the reception was a very enjoyable and memorable day, and really relaxed. The tasting was very thorough, and we got to enjoy some of the best tasting dishes and combinations we have ever eaten. The day ran exactly as planned and the food, drinks and staff were all wonderful!”

Favors were a favourite of David’s. Michelle says “The groom had an idea to have mini Jagermeister bottles as bonbonniere (as it’s a drink we’re both known for – part of my Slovakian heritage, and because we both love them to get the party started), we designed and printed little labels with a range of different photos of us so everyone on the table had a different photo, with 2 random guests receiving ones with a photo upside down, meaning the MC called them out and they had to make a quick speech about their funniest memory of the couple.” The miniature bottles were specially ordered from Callaghan Street Liquor Shop, East Ryde.

The two tier wedding cake was made by Something Blue Cakes.

Michelle remarks “I also designed & printed the order of service booklet, the seating charts, the framed pictures to be hung at the venue, bought all of the vases, wishing well & decorations for the venue from various shops in Sydney, eBay and Etsy. We ordered the pom poms from a vendor in the US (via Etsy) in our choice of colours – these were hung on the church pews and also from the railings at the reception.”

Little, personal touches created special moment sat the reception. Michelle explains “We bought mini Paris photo postcards from Typo, and printed and stuck name tags to them in the same font and colours used in our stationary – these were then affixed to wine glasses with mini pegs and acted as place cards – everyone loved them and ended up sticking them to their ties and dresses for the rest of the night. I’ve since visited friends and they have still kept them as mementos from the day!”

There were plenty of cultural traditions added to the day, including a traditional breaking of the plate. Michelle explains, “We wanted the day to be one big fun party with all of our closest friends and family. We entered the reception straight into a Slovak “Breaking Plate” tradition – where a member of the Bride’s family smashes a plate and the newlyweds have to work together to clean it up – symbolising their mutual respect for each other and sharing future workloads. This was very special to me as a lot of my overseas family could not make the wedding, and we wanted to do something to honour them and my heritage.”

More traditions followed. Michelle remarks, “We had a welcome shot of Jagermeister & Becherovka (Slovakian herbal liquer – similar to Jagermeister) – which is a ritual at all of our Slovak family gatherings – and really makes for a quick speedy ‘get the party started’ atmosphere :)”

The speeches were a favourite memory for the newlyweds, says Michelle. “We had many very funny & heartfelt speeches, and once the formalities were over, we both spent the rest of the night on the dance floor and chatting with everyone.”

For their first dance, the couple couldn’t decide! Michelle says “We’re both huge music lovers and as such don’t have “our” song, as we have about a thousand we both love and adore that remind us of special moments shared, some not ideal/appropriate for a first dance. The night before we were still um-ing and ah-ing over the first dance song – we had a list of about 10 we both loved. But we managed to cull it down to 3 and had a little boogie in the lounge room to work out which one suited our dance style (which is a mash up of waltzing, twirling and dips – no real structure, just going with the flow), long story short – we ended up dancing to Maroon 5’s version of Frank Sinatra’s ‘The Way You Look Tonight’.”

The littlest members of the bridal party were kept amused by a pre planned table from the bride and groom. Michelle explains ,”We created a kids table with a party bag of goodies to keep them entertained (crafts, toys, textas/pencils, and activity books) – this went down a treat with the parents as it kept them busy so their parents could party the night away….wearing funny costume sunglasses (which were also on the presents table – made for some awesome photos!).”

The final memory that made Michelle’s night? Nothing but a little serenade! “A big shout out goes to our MC (again another friend) Steve “Lower”… he had the whole place in stitches for most of the night and it made it so special for us to have a friend overseeing things…. the 3 way serenade of Steve, David and best man Rob singing to me “You’ve lost that loving feeling” (maybe not that appropriate but I felt very loved anyway) was hilarious and awesome all at the same time.”


Congratulations Michelle and David! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thanks also to Len of I Love Wednesdays for today’s photographs!

Photos by I Love Wednesdays

Welcome To Polka Dot Bride 4.0

by | Blog News, Bride


This is one of those posts where you write it for ages in your head, and then as you start to type (as I am doing so hopefully a week or so before you see it) you realise, there is so much more to say!

Polka Dot Bride 4.0 (Click through if you’re reading this in a feed reader or via email!)

This post, I’d like to say is 14 months in the making, but it’s probably a little bit more like 18 months from my first dreams to now. While the site looks very similar to the old one – it’s not! We rebuilt the entire thing, every single category page, every single directory listing, every single dot so that you could have a better, friendlier, more integrated Polka Dot Bride experience. We’re still fixing a few little things around the place so bear with us as we tweak the new site into perfection!

For the past year I’ve been meaning to walk you through the new features of the site, but many were never quite the way I wanted them to be. Now they are and I can’t wait for you to discover them!

What we’ve done:

We threw out the personalised collection!

This never ran quite the way we wanted it to and with some  great sites like and Pinterest out there, we decided to leave it to them to make the ‘favouriting’ experience fantastic while we focus on making Polka Dot Bride even better for you.

We cleaned up our navigation



All of our navigation options are located right at the top of the site, so you can easily log-in if you’re a vendor or contributor, check out the latest events, find our latest competitions, contact the Polka Dot Bride team and even find us on Pinterest! You can even search more easily for what you want on the site.

We made it even easier to find inspired weddings


All our inspired weddings are now searchable by colour, theme and location. Simply select what you want to search for from the drop down menus to see all weddings fitting your criteria. We’re still adding weddings into this system and tweaking things, so keep checking back!

It’s even pretty to leave a comment

We know that comments are the heart and soul of the site, because they’re all about you! So they’re finally looking pretty gorgeous (if I do say so and I possibly can seeing as the gorgeous Prue designed them, and Felicity styled them not me!). The Polka Dot team can be easily seen in pink (except Mr Polka Dot, he scored blue!) the authors of posts can be easily found in the comments and event Ms Polka Dot’s Directory members stand out! We’d love to see your smiling faces next to your comment, so do head over to Gravatar and upload a photo (ht best part is the gravatar system works on most blogs, so you only have to sign up once for your pic to appear!)

We created individual image galleries for contributors

We love our contributors and now we have an easier to use system. We flicked Flickr to the kerb (so long Flickr, you were good to us!) and now you can directly upload images into your entries. If you want to become a contributor to Polka Dot Bride, it’s even easier than before! Just click the link on any of our specialty blogs’ introduction, fill out the application form and the lovely Ms Gingham will email you!

Find a contributor’s posts easily and simply

Want to find all the posts by a certain contributor? Maybe you want to look back on Miss T’s journey or find all the posts by a photographer or celebrant you love. Just click on their name underneath their post and all will be revealed!

Share the posts you love easily!



We added Google+, Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon & email buttons so you can share our posts quickly and easily with your friends & family. Just click the buttons!

The big one!

We started fresh with Ms Polka Dot’s Directory

We completely moved off our old system into a more integrated, easy to use, solution. For our readers, this means easier navigation around the directory! You can easily use the drop down menu to find the vendors in the categories you want and easily check out images of their work, their contact details and even find them on twitter, Facebook or their blog. You’ll also be able to find our Directory members easily around the site as they have special green comments and brown and red buttons that link straight back to their listing (no more figuring out who they are!)

For our advertisers – it means an easy (and this time when we say easy we mean it!) system for you to not only see month by month statistics, but also change your listing and figure out what works best. We’ll be rolling you onto the system very shortly!

We’re starting a newsletter!

We have so much news to share with you all the time, that we want to create yet another place for you to get it straight to your inbox! So now, you can subscribe to our newsletter (it’s free) and in a little while when we’ve settled into our new home, you can receive exclusive offers, special content and Polka Dot curated goodness straight into your inbox. Make sure you sign up here to receive it!

The Dream Team

A website is nothing without the team supporting it and not only does the Polka Dot Bride team deserve a medal for putting up with my distracted website building brain, but two key people were behind this new site and they deserve the biggest praise of all.

Firstly, our resident director of bright ideas, designer and general leader of awesomeness  (though you can hire her yourself here because she’s pretty fantastic at what she does) Prue from Gigi and Lulu worked with me to freshen up our look, redesign the directory and generally add lots of functional and awesome looking aspects to the site. I’m so blessed to have Prue’s innate knowledge of the dreams we have and the projects we’re building, and the way she can translate my ‘goobleygook’ into something elegant and coherent always astounds me.

Our newest Polka Dottie, Felicity of Ecommetrix (again, also awesome, so awesome you can hire her yourself) rebuilt Polka Dot Bride from the ground up – she and her team were responsible for making sure every pixel worked and worked beautifully, and not only did she do a brilliant job, but she did it with dignity and grace. Site rebuilds are never easy, but somehow Felicity made it look like a piece of cake, explained things in a non developer way and has amazing attention to detail!

So do you remember a year ago when I said with the launch of the new site I’d get back to writing? Well, I didn’t. But now I’m going to – I finally have the time to be creative again! We have a few more features to roll out shortly and we finally have the chance to jump on some of the projects I’ve been itching to do for years and now we have the great foundation of the site to launch off. It really is bubbles for all!

Vendor of the Week – Providence Gully

by | Blog News, Bride


Happy Monday lovely readers! Did you have a nice weekend? We have a bit of news coming up later today that I cannot wait to share!

It’s always a lovely morning when we can say a big wow to our vendors – the ones who keep the lights on and keep our creative juices flowing here at Polka Dot Bride!Ms Polka Dot’s Directory is fast becoming packed with great wedding vendors who are completely on board with the polka dot way of life – vendors that are soulful, personal and all about your personalities! Visit Ms Polka Dot’s Directory and see if the vendor that’s your match lies within it’s pages.

It’s no secret that Polka Dot Bride readers have a bit of an obsession with barns, so Victorian brides (or interstate brides wanting to marry at an amazing venue) this one is going to be right up your alley! This week’s Vendor Of The Week is Providence Gully.

Located in Victoria’s goldfields, Providence Gully is set amongst olive groves, vegetable gardens and apple orchards and provides an intimate setting for your wedding reception or pre wedding occasion. The on site barn has beautiful french doors and a terrace allows guests to mingle on the property or stay close to the action.

Couples can choose from the preferred suppliers of Providence Gully or can bring in their own caterers, florists and other vendors to make their day reflect their own personal style.

To learn a little more about Providence Gully we asked Clare five questions in five minutes!

Favourite drink

Has to be G&T of course!

Favourite weekend getaway

A girlfriend and I occasionally go to the city for a weekend of shopping, laughter and drinks.

Favourite restaurant

Whilst I enjoy going to restaurants, I love nothing more than sharing a good wine with friends and eating a home cooked meal made with produce fresh from my garden.

Favorite Sunday breaky

I’ve always been a fresh fruit and yoghurt gal, but I can be coerced into a big fat egg and bacon ‘ Sunday special’. Either way, always with a black coffee!

Favorite wedding story

Well, I can’t go past my own!
Let me preface this story by saying I have been happily married to my husband for 27 years now, but at the time I wasn’t so sure!

I was very content to do the small intimate garden wedding on a budget. My only request was that for our first night as a married couple, we find somewhere gorgeous to stay. The only place I did not want to stay was the local shonky motel.

We had a lovely day with family and friends and we merrily waved them off at the end of the day to head off to what I thought was a ritzy hotel. But guess what? Yes, my husband drove straight to the shonky motel where we were met by a beaming motel manager with champagne bottle in hand and a greasy smile.
As you can imagine at this stage I was trying to hold it all together, but I could feel the bridezilla in me trying to break out and let loose on my husband! How could he do this to me, we had only been married for a couple of hours! The manager kindly asked me to get into his car so he could drive us to our room around the back. As the car pulled around the corner I could see a sparkling silver helicopter waiting to whisk us away to the city where we were met by a chauffeur driven Rolls Royce to take us to our ritzy hotel!

And it doesn’t end there…every anniversary since he has surprised me with a weekend away, always trying to better the last!

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

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