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Mariana Hardwick Ballerine Militare Collection

by | Bridal Fashion, Bride


Melbourne bridal designer Mariana Hardwick has released her new collection and it’s inspired by one of my own loves – ballet.

Called the  “Ballerine Militare” collection, Mariana’s Luxe Collection is reflective of a ballerina – their strength and control blended with delicate and fragile elegance.

There’s touches of dramatic black lace  are an exploration of different textures, embellishments and combinations to create unique and beautiful wedding gowns.

Mariana’s classic silhouette and feminine style remains, but the drama of this new collection is beautiful without being overwhelming.

Photos by Mariana Hardwick

Visit Ms Polka Dot's Directory

Vendor of the Week – Mark Doggett – Celebrant

by | Blog News, Bride


Good morning Dotties! What did you get up to this weekend? Are you ready for another week full to the brim of wedding inspiration? I certainly am!

First things first though, our Monday morning tradition of telling you about our fantastic vendors in Ms Polka Dot’s Directory is underway! We’re constantly impressed by the talent of our advertisers here at Polka Dot Bride- the amazing cakes, the stunning bouquets, the gowns- and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! We’re lucky to be working with some of best wedding professionals in not only Australia but the world and with a little patriotic spirit and a yellow and green scarf around our neck – we could not be more proud to be Australian!  Visit Ms Polka Dot’s Directory and check out our members to find the ‘polkadotrific’ vendors who will help your wedding day be wonderfully you.

One of the most interesting vendor categories I love to learn about are wedding celebrants – they’re such fascinating people doing such an important job!

Today’s vendor of the week is Melbourne wedding celebrant Mark Doggett. Every photo of Mark’s wedded couples looks like they’re having a blast – they’re giggling, smiling or looking so in love they might burst! With a wedding ceremony, you need it to take care of the important parts but also to be personal to who you are as a couple and Mark does exactly that. He’s professionally trained but is also an actor (so no stage nerves!). Mark’s commitment is to create a ceremony that reflects what you want and his sense of humor? That’s just an added bonus!

To learn a little more about Mark Doggett Celebrant we asked Mark five questions in five minutes!

What is your favourite after five drink?


Your favourite weekend getaway?

Anywhere near, on or in the ocean.

Favourite restaurant?

Gingerboy (when I want to splurge)

What can we find you eating for breakfast on a Sunday morning?

I am not much of a breakfast eater (terrible I know.. I know) definitely good coffee !!!

Your favourite wedding story?

Too many to choose from…..but….  I recently married a couple from Germany who are Cycling around the world and just decided to get married in Melbourne so we found a nice quiet beach and had a simple ceremony some champagne, sushi and a real Aussie BBQ to follow. It was really honest and lots of fun. Check out their blog if you like (if you can read German) There are also some fun photos on my website.

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

Snapshot Sunday – Take Me By Surprise

by | Bride, Snapshot Sundays


Photo by Pixel Magix

Michelle and Jaime’s Perth Engagement Session

by | Bride, Engagements


Michelle and Jaime

I have such a romantic engagement session for you today, Jaime proposed in a sweet, romantic way and Michelle? She documented it all. Today, along with their dreamy engagement photos taken in Perth by Natasja Kremers Photography, Michelle shares their story.

“The necklace was handmade by Jamie from a large piece of jarrah driftwood that he had found and (ambitiously) took home with him. I had actually helped him carry the huge plank of wood to his car that night, which made the necklace much more sentimental. He proposed with the necklace (it was a complete surprise – and shock!) and the rest is history…

The invitations were a combination of DIY (by me) and by a silk screen-printer all the way in Mississippi (Erin from Lucky Luxe Couture Correspondence). Erin made the handkerchief invites for us, and then kindly shipped them over to us in Perth. Jamie and I then boxed them up ourselves at home (after purchasing some custom stamps from etsy) and I designed all the little details on the front of the box. We thought the hankies were the coolest thing we had ever seen – and thought our guests could take them along to the ceremony in case they got a bit teary! We wanted our wedding to be a little offbeat, un-traditional, and very rustic so we thought the hankies would reflect that perfectly.

Jamie and I got to know each other through our mutual love for photography, and when we were just friends, he took me to this spot by the river called Point Walter one night to capture some photos under the moonlight. He proposed at that very same spot a year later just as the sun was setting – it is definitely a sentimental place for both of us as, even to this day, it evokes so many sweet memories of when we were just getting to know each other, and when he asked me to marry him!

I actually used to keep a journal/blog and wrote about how the proposal unfolded. Just to give you a few more details, here it is:”

Eight months, three days, four hours and 56 minutes.

And it all comes down to this:

The sky boasts a Gaussian blur of pale tangerine and vanilla, parading a bespoke sunset that is spectacular to their eyes. They wander towards the place where their love unfolded, and it’s as if their encore had begun on cue: a crescendo of adoration and lyrics of romantic proportions.

Yes, that was how it was, and this is how it still is.

To her, it can’t get any better than this. Candlelight flickers atop solitude tables as they flounder past the cafe; games of cricket holler through the pleasure garden; the poetic sound of the rippling tide sings its way to the shore; and as they walk a little more quietly, minds can’t help but wander back.

Because it was this place, that beautiful things happened. And it is this place, that will create more beginnings than they will ever realise.

* * *

Camera shutters purr along the jetty where they nervously stood eight months ago. And Nikon in hand, the once-photography dilettante captures dusk in a way he’s never seen before.

To him, it can’t get any better than this. He planned it all along to bring her here tonight. Because what he was about to do was something he had spent his whole life crafting. And what she was about to say was something she had waited her whole life for.

And so it all comes down to this:

He leads her towards the place where her tripod stood before the shore, eight months, three days, four hours and 56 minutes ago.

And as she listens to the sound of dove-like waves mellowing towards the sandbar, she notes how it still sounds as god damn beautiful as it did back then.

She stretches out her feet, immersed in sand and a beautiful calm.

And before the sun can set, he excitedly clutches her hand and pulls her in close.

“I made you something.”

Reaching into his bag, he pulls out a velvet pouch adorned with gold accoutrements.

And he smiles at his girl.

Then she loosens the gold drawstring.

And there, in the palm of her hand, lay a pendant he had made for her. It was made of carefully carved driftwood, sanded down to reveal his bona fide intentions.

Admiring the brilliance of his dexterity and the love that spurred him on, she finally comes across four most incredible words he inscribed on the pendant.

Will you…

marry me?

Cheeks rose, smiles materialise, and tears tumble.

Love fetches, nerves dissipate, and arms wrap around each other.

Kisses appear, hearts caper, and the rest of their lives begin.

And without an ounce of hesitation, she finally says this:



Photos by Natasja Kremers Photography Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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