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Catherine and James’ Laidback Country Wedding

by | Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Catherine & James

A lovely wedding in the country for you today – a backyard wedding if you will with plenty of country trimmings and a lot of country style. The couple met at Christian Youth leadership conference in Sydney.

James a wedding photographer (at James Day) met Catherine as he gave her directions to the conference when he was late. They connected on Facebook and soon met up at another event that Catherine had organised. One thing led to another and James proposed in the couple’s favourite chocolate shop using a trail of chocolate letters spelling out ‘Marry me?’ to Catherine, where he was on bended knee asking for her hand in marriage.

Photographs are by Matt of Matt & Katie and are a little different to his usual style. Matt says ” I shot this wedding with an almost 100% documentary approach.  Apart from the 6 individual shots of the bridal party members there are no other posed or staged photos.” Josh Lamont shot the wedding day film.

The theme for the day centred around something incredibly delicious. Catherine recalls, “With James being a wedding photographer, we had some different ideas about what we wanted our wedding to be like.  We wanted fairy floss, slushie machines and copious amounts of chocolate. We’re both chocaholics, and as James proposed in a chocolate shop it was only natural that we’d have plenty of chocolate there! All the chocolate at our wedding was provided by Ninas Chocolates (the shop that James proposed in)”

James & Catherine were married just outside of Armidale in country NSW on James’ mother and step father’s property. Catherine says “It was wonderful to get married outside surrounded by open fields and so relaxing compared to the city.  We had planned to get married in Sydney (where we now live) but when we took a trip to Armidale to visit James’ family we noticed how relaxed we were in this environment and how it would be a perfect place to be married.”

Guests received a sweet treat upon arrival. Catherine explains, “To keep with the chocolate theme, we bought the rolo rolls and wrapped our order of service around them and placed them on everyone’s seats.”

Catherine walked down the aisle to Shawn McDonald “Captivated” sung by Toni Jordan

Bouquets of orange and yellow blooms were created by Rosemerin.

Catherine recalls “Our church minister Andrew Clausen married us. He is as goofy as they come, and even wore a big white wig for some of the day. It was wonderful to declare our love for each other and promise to keep God as the centre of our marriage in front of all our family.”

Toni Jordan kept guests entertained as they enjoyed canapes, a BBQ, sweet treats and drinks after the ceremony.

James and Catherine had an official wedding photographer and a few “unofficials” too.  Of Matt’s work, Catherine says “Matt (of Matt & Katie) was one of the photographers and captured the day in a way that can only be explained as “what it felt like”. There were no posed images of us whatsoever and we just let the day unfold as it happened.”

Catherine says, “All in all we had exactly the type of wedding we wanted, relaxed, lots of fun, and very us. Guests also had a great time. I wouldn’t have wanted my wedding day any other way.”

Catherine’s bridesmaids wore gowns by dressmaker Janice Gorrell. Deidre Tully styled the girls hair. The groom and groomsmen wore Lee jeans, Ben Sherman shirts and Jack London vests. James wore a vest made by Kelly Jackson.

One of the special details of the day was a wisdom tree. Catherine recalls “We had tags hanging down from one of the archways so that the guests could write their marriage advice down for us to look through.”

Catherine recalls, “My Mum did all of the table decorations herself. She cut off bamboo fencing and used that as the table runners, and used native Australian flowers and paper daises to create the centre pieces. We also got the initial of everyone’s first name made out of chocolate. This doubled as place setting and wedding favours.”

The marquee was a last minute addition. Catherine explains, “As our wedding was on a farm we had to bring everything in and organize what we wanted for our wedding. We were originally going to have everyone eating outside but as rain threatened in the week before we got married we opted to get a marquee which worked out wonderfully.”

For the reception, Catherine changed into a second gown from Bowerbird in Cronulla.

Catherine remarks “It was important for James for his father (who passed away) to be remembered. During James’ speech he handed out chocolate cups filled with Port (his dad’s favourite) to some of the guests that he would have loved to have met his dad.”

The couple had a cupcake wedding cake from Moxon’s Bakery and a buffet full of sweet treats for guests.

A photobooth with props was a fun part of the day. Catherine recalls, “Another fun thing that we had at our wedding was a photo booth, where guests chose items from a fancy dress pile. We got hilarious photos and they had lots of fun doing this. We then got some of the photos printed out and hung on the side of the marquee. Guests were then asked to stick their photo from the photo booth into the guest book and write us a message next to it. I loved this as it makes our guest book so much fun to look through and provides a visual and written memory of the feeling of that day.”

Of their first dance, Catherine says “The first dance was to a Stan Walker song, we had Toni Jordan play it live.  The dance floor was the flood lit tennis court. We left the lights off until we started our dance and we shared a simple dance that we learnt from a dance instructor.”

The newlyweds left their wedding celebrations on a tractor. Catherine says “It was lots of fun!”

Congratulations Catherine & James and thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Matt & Katie for sharing the photographs with us today!

Photographer: Matt & Katie / Cinematographer: Josh Lamont / Bride’s Dress: Bowerbird / Jewellery: Swarovski / Bridesmaid Dresses: Janice Gorrell Dressmaker / Groom’s Attire: Kelly Jackson / Cake: Moxon's Bakery / Flowers: Rosemerin / Music: Toni Jordan
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Five Ways to Decorate Your Garden Ceremony

by | Bride, Ceremony


Garden ceremonies have the lucky advantage of playing off the beauty of Mother Nature and rarely need decoration. You can, however, add a festive feel to your wedding ceremony with garden wedding decorations.

Paper Lanterns

1. Photo by  Birdsong Photography from Satchel & Harmony’s Wedding 2. Photo by Bella Grace Studios via Grey Likes Weddings 3.  Photo by Gavin Casey via Wedding Chicks


Banners & Words

1. Photo by  Jonas Peterson via Once Wed 2. Photo by Kyle Hale via Ruffled 3.  Photo by Sean Curtin Photography via Bridal Musings


1. Photo by W. Scott Chester 2. Photo by Katherine Elizabeth Photography via Green Wedding Shoes 3. Photo by Katherine O’Brien via Rock N Roll Bride

Paper Cranes

1. Image by We Not Me Collective via Love My Dress 2.  Photo by Robert Sukrachand via Brooklyn Bride 3.  Image by Emily Takes Photos from Delightfully Engaged

Paper Pom Poms

1. Photo by Hugh Forte via Green Wedding Shoes 2. Photo by J Roberts Photography from Kate & James’ Wedding 3. Photo Jessica Velarde via Grey Likes Weddings


There are endless possibilities for decorating your garden wedding ceremony

  • Glass lanterns
  • Papel picado banner
  • Crystal strands
  • Shepherds hooks with hanging jars of flowers
  • Flower garlands
  • Bunting
  • Paper pom poms
  • Empty picture frames and window frames
  • Bali beach flags
  • Flower pomanders
  • Chandeliers
  • Bistro or fairy lights
  • Big, round balloons
  • Soft, gauzy curtains
  • Pinwheels
  • Potted plants

Are you getting married outdoors? How are you decorating your ceremony area?

Bridal Market Fall 2012

by | Bridal Fashion, Bride


I have two favourite times of year when it comes to bridal fashion- April & October. Each year I eagerly stay glued to my computer screen and wish of New York (positive thinking moves mountains). Every season produces a beautiful array of new and inspiring gowns and the October New York Bridal market was no different with designers unveiling their Fall 2012 gowns. Most of these gowns will not be available until Fall next year, but give a good insight to what you might find!

Here I’ve collated four of my favourites from (just some) of my favourite designers.


I loved the different necklines from Amsale this season- the boat neckline is something I haven’t seen for a long time and paired with a fluffy, soft skirt is a modern take on old Hollywood glamour.

Anne Barge

I love Anne Barge’s use of colour this season and the detailing of the first gown with raisin lips? So different!


Carolina Herrera

The grace and elegance of Carolina Herrera rarely fails to stop my in my tracks. Graceful, softy lines, elegant silhouettes and nothing short of classic beauty,


I loved the different necklines Christos uses this year and the beautiful laces introduced into the collections. They were romantic and ethereal with a hit of glamour.

Claire Pettibone

Claire’s vintage style is always amongst some of my favourites and this collection didn’t disappoint. I fell in love with Claire’s overlays (especially the hints of colour) and the soft feminine styles.

Jenny Packham

The beading, the draping, the golden lustre- Jenny Packham did such beautiful gowns this season! Jenny used such amazing antique detailing on her gowns and could they be any more elegant?


Marchesa always makes my hit list and it’s not hard to see why- thick laces, different materials and interesting shapes and patterns always make the gowns just a little bit different but still wearable and beautiful.

Monqiue Lhuillier

Full of secret garden glamor, Monique’s collection was whimsical but pulled together so elegantly. Soft tulle, sweet embellishments and beautiful lace made Monique’s collection a show stopper.


I couldn’t get over the different nature of Rivini’s gowns- latte coloured lace designed into sleeves, soft layers floating off the shoulders and feathery short styles. I love the unique style Rivini delivered this season and the beauty of the gowns.

Legends by Romona Keveza

Romona Keveza has a grace to her designs, a wear-ability and they were so soft and beautiful this season. The Legends collection is incredibly wearable but has a traditional, classic elegance to each gown. I love the neckline on the first and fourth gowns- both different but both fresh and stylish.

St Pucchi

St Pucchi was one of my picks this season with the ruffly texture used. I love the idea of such gorgeous texture on the skirt of a wedding gown  and the over the top volume on some of his shorter gowns would look fantastic on a fashion forward bride.

Vera Wang

As is Vera’s want, not a single white gown appeared on her runway. Instead rich coppery golds, nudes and plenty of bold blacks made their way down the runway. I love Vera’s different use of volume with her fabrics. Her controversial choice not to use any white or ivory may have had people talking but I loved it- the second gown in particular is my favourite!

What do you think? Did you see any designs you loved?

Photos from Brides

Vendor of the Week – Flos Florum

by | Blog News, Bride


Good morning Polka Dotties! We have an action packed week planned for Polka Dot Bride this week! I’m mighty excited because one of my favourite people in the entire world is in town today and I’m going to try and snaffle her for some drinks and chats tonight!

Let’s kick off our exciting week with a peek at one of our excellent & fantastic Ms Polka Dot’s Directory members!

From  bridal gown designers to stunning wedding venues to incredible stationers to talented hair & makeup artists and of course photographers! We have so many fantastic vendors for you to choose from and we’re adding more every week. Step right up, it’s spotlight time!

I think I continually mention how much I would love to play with flowers all day long (really though, it’s peony season and I am dying to go and find a bunch, or perhaps Mr Polka will take the hint!) Of course, florists do so much more – like get up at a ridiculous hour, deal with rose thorns and choosing the very best blooms for your wedding day and yet somehow, they always manage to pull it together into something crazy beautiful.  This week’s vendor of the week Flos Florum is amazing at what they do – creative colour palettes, beautifully structured and unstructured designs. They seem to understand the style of the wedding and create the most amazing arrangements to enhance it.

To learn a little more about Flos Florum we asked Emma five questions in five minutes!

Favourite after five drink?

Pink sparkles from the lovely Yarra valley winery, Dominique Portet. We always have a bottle handy for our brides on their big day, but often find an excuse to kick back after a long day and indulge ourselves.

Weekend getaway?

We don’t get many weekends away as a florist, particularly through the height of the wedding season, so winter getaways are the way to go. My favourite weekend is to escape the city and head to the high country, magnificent scenery and local produce is such a draw card.

Favourite Restaurant?

Has to be Hellenic Republic. We set-up a beautiful wedding there and the staff and food were so impressive I had to try for myself. It has the whole experience of sharing great food in the perfect atmosphere. Loved it and find any excuse to go back.

Breakfast on Sundays?

Must be local for me and worth the wait for a table is my most favourite café, Coin Laundry, Armadale. I keep it simple with a good strong coffee and whatever the special of the day is. You can’t beat the staff’s recommendation.

Favourite wedding story?

There really are too many. A real classic favourite of ours is a bride who wanted to incorporate her grandmother’s and mother’s bouquet for her wedding. The bride came in with a definitive concept and together with our designers we created a bouquet which was a beautiful reflection of three generations. In her words:
“I brought in old photographs of my grandmother’s and mother’s trailing bouquets and I was thrilled with what you made. The bouquet was one of my favourite parts of the wedding and it went beautifully with my very simple gown.”
Our philosophy is that no two people are the same, so your flowers should be the perfect reflection of the bride and groom and what they want from their big day. We customise the flowers to the individual, delivering the personal touch and attention to detail that every bride and groom deserves on their wedding day.

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

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