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Linda and Joel’s Perth Winery Wedding

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


Linda and Joel

Today’s wedding is rather splendid (Woo!) It’s a fun vineyard affair from Western Australia with so much colour and life, it’s enough to make a girl want to kick off her winter woolies and run to the nearest park for an impromptu dance (oh perhaps that’s just me, winter is not being kind!)

Photographs today are by Christine Lim with Ruby Yeo. I love the warmth in Christine’s photographs. They’re relaxed, fun and truly capture the essence of Linda and Joel’s wedding day.

The wedding included many fun touches handmade by Linda and Joel- including handmade pins. Linda explains “For many months we made boutonnieres featuring peacock feathers and felt rosettes for the groom and groomsmen as well for some special individuals who helped us out that day.” The stationery was also handmade. “The save the dates and invitation cards were designed and constructed by us. Each paper was carefully hand sliced and glued. For the invitation card we incorporated Hornbill birds and Borneo motif as it represents my cultural background.”

Linda’s wedding day look was styled by Beauty Contour. Her gown was from Melbourne Bridal and Debutante and her bouquet was styled by Romance Roses in Brookdale (08) 9497 9994).

Linda and Joel were married at  was at Holy Family Catholic Church. Linda says “For the Church decorations we handmade yellow tissue paper pomander balls and hung them on the church pews and strung it with yards of tulle. Our ceremony booklet, which we designed and printed, was held together by jute twine to give it a rustic look.”

Linda walked down the aisle to a surprise tune for her father. “We had my traditional instrument played on the CD called the ‘Sapek from Borneo’, recorded live by my cousin who plays the instrument in Borneo. Dad was surprised to walk me down the aisle to that tune and was very proud of my choice.”

The hot rods were a surprise from Joel’s father. Linda says “We hired a Chrysler Limo to take me to the church ceremony. After that the groom’s dad surprised us with 2 Hot Rod rides, a 1968 Mustang and a 1930’s Nash for the bridal party to have fun taking photos with. Swing dress with petticoat from ‘Vivien of Holloway, London’.”

The groom wore  a suit from CUBEC of Melbourne, Groomsmen were dressed by Hizz Melbourne.

The couple held a cocktail hour at their reception venue Brookside Winery Boutique B&B. Linda says For our grand entrance, we made tiny hand flags that printed ‘woo’ & ‘yay’ for our guest to welcome us which made a great impact on the photography.”

Speeches were held straight away.  “We moved away from the traditional order of ceremonies for the reception in order to give a more relaxed feel. The groom gave his speech on arrival which was an excellent way to break the ice.”

Inside the reception area , Linda and Joel added a table of sentimental goodies. “We set up a ‘history table’ which also presented sentimental items and photos from our past.”

Linda created activities for their guests. “Something to do before dinner, I made a crossword puzzle about the newly weds. It was an ice breaker for some guests and it was fun watching them guessing the answers.”

“In place of a guest book, a good friend of ours hand drew a tree design which we then asked guests to thumbprint with ink and write a small message.”

Linda and Joel held their reception dinner and dancing at Brookside Winery Boutique B&B. “We converted the wine shed into our reception hall but maintained the vineyard’s rustic charm. We had yellow and orange lanterns hung in the shed. To bring some of my cultural background into the reception, we sourced tribal designed table runners from Borneo. The tables were then scattered with tea lights and hurricane lamps for centrepieces. For a final touch of colour we used small glass vases filled with seasonal flowers including beautiful yellow sunflowers to keep with the theme. Each guest had a hand written, shipping tag place card tied to their chair.”

Linda and Joel made many of the little touches themselves “We were working on a shoestring budget, yet we felt it was important that the day reflects our personality and hoping not to break the bank. Thus, my husband and I tried to personalise what ever we could. These were some items that we made ourselves:

We re-used left over recycled envelopes from the Save the Date cards. We printed LUCK, LOVE, LIFE. Each envelope was filled with $1 lotto tickets, tea bags and heart shape Belgium chocolates. It was a hit amongst the guests.” Jules Flower Farm put together the flowers for the reception tables.

Linda and Joel chose a relaxed format for their reception meal. “We wanted the day to be less formal so we opted for a roast buffet style which gave a laid back and fun atmosphere. Our catering people – Perth Coast to Coast the Golden Roast – were great, there were lots of food with great selections which made the reception dinner look like an elegant wedding.”

Linda and Joel used Reece’s Hire for the tables, chairs, lights and “excellent dance floor”.

The speeches were a highlight for the newlyweds. “A highlight was the grooms men’s speech. They recounted a story from the groom’s childhood where, as teenagers, they used to eat ice cream cake with library cards. The best man actually brought an ice cream cake and registered library cards in the bride and grooms name from the local library. The cake was then passed down the table and guests used whatever cards they had to take a slice.”

Sophisticake made the wedding cake. Linda recalls “We had a chocolate mud cake with macadamia nuts coated with ivory fondant icing. Decorated with pearl strips on each tier and top with fresh posy similar design to my bouquet.”

For the dancing, Linda changed to a strapless, 50s style gown with a pink petticoat and turquoise shoes -dancing continued outside under the trees. Linda says  “Moving away from the traditional wedding, we both did the Lindy Hop as our first dance which also reflects our personality – the fun, energetic and loving couple we are.”

Linda and Joel hired David and Liz Rivett, a 2 piece Bush Band called ‘The Pioneers‘. Linda says “Playing live traditional Australian music and giving instruction in traditional Australian bush dancing was immensely an enjoyable experience. “

Congratulations Linda and Joel! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us today on Polka Dot Bride! Thank you also to  Christine Lim and Ruby Yeo for sharing today’s images!

Photographs today are by Christine Lim with Ruby Yeo.

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Lauren and Mitch’s Relaxed Port Douglas Wedding

by | Australia - Queensland, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Lauren and Mitch

Nothing is pulling me out of the winter doldrums better than beautiful waterside weddings at the moment! Especially in places which are warm and sunny like Port Douglas! Lauren and Mitch had one of those weddings you know was emotional but so much fun – you can see it on their faces The tears in Mitch’s eyes as he anticipates Laurens arrival at their wedding ceremony, Lauren’s infectious laugh and smile as she basks in the glow of being a bride – yes it’s moments like these that make the winter cold so much easier to bear.

Lauren recalls the very fateful story of how she met Mitch. “Mitch and I are the classic 2 degrees of separation couple.  We met in London where each of us were living and using as our home base to travel from – the pearly gates to Europe! Little did we know of the many connections we had back home until a phone call from each of our parents, asking if we were together because friends back home had put two and two together about a “Lauren” and “Mitch” going to the same parties and traveling the same countries – “surely they know each other”.  In the 5 years of being together it is just amazing just how many connections our families have – right down to his Grandparents in Ballina! I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and “if its meant to be, its meant to be”, with Mitch and I it was as though we had no control, everything around us kept reinforcing us together. For me it was the instant flutter of the heart when we met which became the “Boo Boom” story amongst our family and friends.”

Photos today are by Sass Studios– I love how they’ve captured every piece of emotion of the day along with the most beautiful portraiture- nothing beats that iconic style image of the bride and groom against the water.

Lauren and Mitch held a destination wedding. Lauren explains “The whole purpose of taking the wedding to Port Douglas was to celebrate with our family and closest friends. We chose a romantic little white chapel in the heart of Port Douglas called St Mary’s by the Sea followed by a memorable reception on the rustic Sugar Wharf.  We arrived into Port Douglas with both our families and enjoyed a week full of celebrations with our close family and friends from Sydney, Melbourne and as far as London.

Lauren bought her gown from Dressense.Her bridesmaids wore latte coloured gowns from Kookai.


Mitch’s ensemble was made up of pieces from Myer and Marcs. Mitch, who works for The Creative Company, also created the stationery for the day.

Lauren recalls “We chose a romantic little white chapel in the heart of Port Douglas called St Mary’s by the Sea” The chapel was booked through Port Douglas Weddings.

The ceremony was incredibly emotional, especially as Lauren walked down the aisle. She recalls “I walked down to Brooke Fraser, ‘Arithmetic’ with my parents either side of me. ‘Arithmetic’ is a really beautiful song. The words are captivating and meant everything that I was walking down the aisle for – Mitch!”

The orchid floral arrangements for Lauren and Mitch’s wedding day were styled by Pink Moss and Flower Central.

Lauren and Mitch made sure their personalities were apparent throughout every touch on the day. “We couldn’t help but bring some of our personal touches to the wedding. Mitch designed and created our wedding invites. When you envisage something but then it turns out so much better then you originally thought – its pretty rewarding. Everything just fell into place from the invites and ceremony booklets Mitch designed. The wedding itself was about our family, the strong bond we all have and the incredible example of love and commitment from our parents and grandparents.  We shared their wedding photographs in our ceremony booklet, it was really beautiful to be able to share that with everyone – it was unique and special.”

The bridesmaids were a wonderful support to Lauren. Lauren remembers “My four bridesmaids and I spent a lot of time together in the lead up to the wedding, I wanted them to wear something on their dress that they made so we all made the material flowers that were positioned on their dress individually – it meant a lot for them to have their very own personal touch.  Making the flowers was the perfect excuse for girlie catch ups and dinners at my house!”

Lauren and Mitch held the reception at Sugar Wharf. Lauren recalls “Lanterns, candles and fairy lights transformed the beautiful old Sugar Wharf into a romantic reception area.  Having our wedding in a ballroom or restaurant was never an option for us when we set our eyes on the magical wharf.  Initially the reception was to be set up outside but the forecast predicted rain so everything was set up inside, little did we know just how much better this would be.  Lucky for us – there was no rain ! Having the reception set up inside allowed the guests to relax outside and mingle better – not just be stuck at a table.  It was a beautiful night and the dancing took place inside with the band and outside in the cooler surroundings – it was magical.” The destination wedding was planned by Ward Benedict Productions.

Lauren and Mitch carted their goodies from Sydney to Queensland. Lauren says “It was rather interesting getting everything up to Port Douglas from Sydney but we managed with family and friends taking extra luggage on their flights.  Even all the glass tea lights and hanging glass balls made it up without a breakage ” The wedding cake was made by Pastry Sensations while Ochre Catering provided the food for the evening.

The first dance was to a song chosen by Mitch. “Mitch called me inside one day and played “Love and Happiness” by Al Green. He had been thinking about it for some time and wanted it as our first song.  From then on, everything seemed to work around the theme Love and Happiness.”

The DIY elements were a fun touch and brought the whole day together. Lauren says “We were busy making pom poms and fans for decorations and making personalized signs to hang around the wharf right up to the wedding.  I wanted the tables kept to a minimum and opted for a simplistic look so we went for scattered tea lights and the girls’ bonbonierres as little lanterns to decorate the tables along with the boys bonbonierres of personalized beer holders.” Mikey from Windy Soul City Train kept guests on the dance floor all night long.

A special moment made family feel all the more special to the newlyweds. “Friday 15th October will always be a memorable day for our family, not just the celebration of Mitch and I as husband and wife but the passing of his Pa.  His presence was truly felt all night at the wedding and he was definitely there in spirit with the family celebrating.  There was a beautiful halo around the moon overlooking the wharf that night and everyone kept saying how much love was there and loved the presence of the moon, little did we know just how much love really was there with us!”

Congratulations Lauren and Mitch on your marriage! Thank you for allowing us to share your wedding day on Polka Dot Bride! Thank you also to by Sass Studios for sharing today’s images!

Photos by Sass Studios


Win Your Save The Dates From Little Flamingo Stationery

by | Bride, Competitions


It seems like only yesterday that engagement “Season” was upon us and now we’re crawling into winter, slowly and surely with wedding plans coming from left right and centre. So today, a sweet little give away to brighten your morning!

Little Flamingo Stationery, based in Sydney and founded by designer Shannon Harcourt creates the happiest wedding stationery around – from vivid blue birds, to foil pressed pink flowers and laser cut trees – Shannon can work with you to create the wedding stationery that suits your occasion.

We have four sets of Save The Date postcards designed by Little Flamingo Stationery to give away to four winners. Each postcard features a full colour front printed in the winner’s choice of colours and fonts with a matte finish back.

To win one of four Little Flamingo Save The Date packages valued at up to $AU250 each simply visit the Little Flamingo website and decide which invitation would most suit your wedding theme. Leave a comment on this entry with your chosen design and the reason you chose it, for your chance to enter.

The winner will be chosen by Little Flamingo Stationery and will be informed by Polka Dot Bride. The prize is available to anyone with an Australian postal address. This prize is not redeemable for cash and cannot be substituted for other Little Flamingo product. The winner will pay for costs above the package inclusions. The prize must be redeemed within one year. If no contact is made within one month, the prize will become null and void. Entrants must be aged 18 or older. This competition is a game of skill; no chance enters into deciding the winner. No late entries will be considered. This Competition closes 8th June 2011 at 5.00 pm (Australian Eastern Standard time).

Sara and Nima’s Simple Melbourne Wedding

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Sara and Nima

I love the feel of today’s wedding- it’s relaxed, yet beautiful and so Melbourne. Sara and Nima centred their day around family. There’s a beautiful dress and even yellow billy buttons and a stunning Melbourne venue – but there’s family and soul and that’s always my favourite part!

Sarah explains how she met her husband. “My relationship with my husband first began when he first messaged me on MySpace on July 2007. I had just come back from my visit to Tanzania and Malawi and was back home with my parents in Taiwan. It was also during that time that I was applying for universities in Australia to complete my Master’s degree in International Development.

My husband and I had many mutual friends from Vancouver, Canada on MySpace. He messaged me and asked if I knew his cousin and grandma who lived in Vancouver (which I did) and our connection began. We started messaging back and forth every day. We slowly found that we had many mutual friends and our connections grew stronger. We started messaging on MySpace and then slowly moved onto MSN instant message. From there we moved to Skype instant messaging and then went to Skype webcaming. We spoke for almost 7 months until I arrived in Melbourne, February 2008.”

Photos today are by Lizzy C Photography who has captured the relaxed feeling of the day beautifully and focused in on what was important to the couple – their family.

Nima wore a grey Satch suit with a yellow billy button flower on his lapel.

Sara wore a Collette Dinnigan gown with flowers by Kristina at Viva Flora.

Lizzy, the photographer says, “Sara and Nima had always planned to meet before the wedding ceremony to take some photos, so that the ceremony could run straight into the reception. We’d planned to meet in a local park for this “first look”, but just before the wedding Sara rang me and said that things were getting a bit logistically complicated, and that Nima was just going to come around to pick her up at the house. So that he did! Nima was greeted at the front door by the warm embrace of Sara and her family, which was followed by excited squeals. It was truly a unique, completely uncontrived moment. A unique moment for me to capture on camera. That is what weddings are all about—the unique moments.”

Sara and Nima held their ceremony and reception at Circa- The Prince. Sara says “Circa- The Prince Deck is a beautiful place to hold weddings. The Moorish screens create a spectacular display of dappled light through soaring glass windows and doors, opening out to the sun-filled terrace, against a backdrop of lush green tree tops and Circa’s vertical kitchen garden. If people are looking for a venue that’s not your typical reception hall, Circa the Prince is definitely unique. Oh, did I mention there’s a swimming pool in the venue? We had a couple of friends who are professional vibraphone players play a mix of the traditional wedding song on the vibraphone.

The ceremony was the most important aspect of the day for Sara and Nima. Sara recalls “The ceremony program was where we put more time and effort in. It was not too long but captured the spiritual connection we wanted and again as the theme was on family we invited our family and close friends to be readers for us.  Throughout the ceremony the gentle sounds of the vibraphone was in the background which created a very sweet atmosphere.”

Adding yellow billy buttons was Sara and Nima’s way of pulling together the day. Sara says “Another theme was the yellow billy buttons. We both like the colour yellow and since it was a summer wedding we decided to have yellow to be our theme colour. We wanted it to be modern, elegant, simple but quirky and fun. Our venue – Circa-The Prince was perfect for this. I saw some yellow billy buttons one day in the supermarket and decided that the billy buttons were going to be the theme of our wedding. We were able to incorporate the yellow billy buttons on our ceremony program but also tied 3 billy buttons to a bow and include them as decorations next to everyone’s napkins.

Lanterns hanging in the air was also another special detail we wanted. We were extremely lucky that the weather was gorgeous on the day. The lanterns were hung with fishing wires as well as they looked like they were in the air.”

A chocolate wedding cake was created by Cioccolata Bella. The couple decorated the reception with family photosAs our theme was on families, and as most of our families live overseas we wanted to include them in our wedding. My husband and I found OLD photos of our grandparents’/parents’ wedding day or family portraits and we blew them up to an A1 size and hung them around the swimming pool with fishing wires at our venue. It was spectacular. EVERYONE commented on it.”

The first dance was a highlight. Sara says “We didn’t want our first dance to be all soft and romantic as the typical first dance, we wanted it to be fun and lively. We decided to dance to one of our favourite songs from Q-Tip & Norah Jones: Life Is Better. It was really nice as we asked our cousins and family members to join us while we danced together. Our MC was amazing and everyone enjoyed his jokes and the fun and relaxing vibe he created. I think this was only possible as he is very close to us (my husband’s close friend and my cousin).

My father who has a beautiful voice sang an old persian love song that he had been practicing for months and my brother who’s a cinematographer made a short film in China and left a message in the end that every time I even think about it makes me teary! My husband’s sister gave a very sweet little short speech and both side of our uncles who came from long distances ( Nicaragua and Malawi) also gave us some little advice on marriage.”


Congratulations Sara and Nima on your wedding day! Thank you for allowing us to share it on Polka Dot Bride! Thank you also to Photos today are by Lizzy C Photography for today’s images!

Photos by by Lizzy C Photography

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