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Zoe and Simon’s Elegant Waterside Wedding

by | Australia - Queensland, Bride, Inspired Weddings


Zoe and Simon

Today’s wedding is pure elegance- a Jewish celebration in the countryside followed by a beautiful waterside event. From the stunning sunsets, to the bride’s elegant and beautiful gown to the vintage chuppah- this one had me at hello.

Photographs today are by Marcus Bell of Studio Impressions. Again, Marcus blows me away with his stunning captures – not only of the candid moments, but the amazing backdrops and surroundings that are as much a part of the day as anything.

Zoe wore a stunning lace gown by Mira Mandic. The gown featured a French lace bodice and scalloped sleeves.

Zoe and Simon were married Zoe’s parent’s property in Doonan, Queensland, where Simon had proposed.

Blooms Of Noosa created the stunning floral arrangements.

Zoe and Simon chose to marry in a civil ceremony that incorporated Jewish traditions- including a Chuppah and breaking of the glass.

Because their wedding was held on the family estate, guests could stay over and enjoy the ambience the day before. “We decided to organise Welcome Packs and personally drop them off to each hotel and house before  our guests arrived”, says Zoe. “Each guest received a black paper bag containing an extra large black beach towel with white stitch detail. We included a personal welcome letter from Simon and I and a recently published article about Noosa, sourced specially from Country Style Magazine. The bags were embellished with beautiful flourished stickers bought in Paris on a recent holiday together”. Guests were able to enjoy a boat tour, organised by the couple before the official proceedings of the day began.

The couple stood beneath a beautiful chuppah made from antique fabric found on a trip to Berrima with both their mothers. Zoe describes the Jewish tradition. “We stood beneath a chuppah, symbolising the home we will build together. Simon broke a glass held in his great grandmother’s embroidered pouch, to mark the end of  our wedding ceremony and as a symbol of the recognition of the fragility and thus importance of marriage. We danced wildly to traditional Jewish songs, Hava Nagila and Simon Tov.”

For their photographs, they had a bit of a mix- up. The couple decided to go with the flow and were rewarded with beautiful pictures. “We had chartered a boat to the reception for Simon, the photographer and me. When we arrived at the dock, an apologetic skipper explained that due to reasons outside of his control, there would be no boat ride. Marcus stepped in and suggested a few places nearby where we could quietly share a special bottle of Dom Perignon together (we choose a different bottle of champagne to drink for every important milestone). We ended up ankle deep in mud, in the mangroves before a spectacular sunset. This is where some of our most dramatic photographs were captured,” says Zoe of their lucky misadventure.

At the reception (held at Ricky’s bar & Restaurant) , it didn’t take long for the celebration to kick into high gear.

Zoe used a vintage typewriter for guests to hand type their well wishes. The wishes were pieced together to become Zoe and Simon’s wedding guestbook.

The stationery for the day was created by Ceci New York.

Zoe and Simon love music and at the reception, it was important they got the mix right. The couple hired a live jazz band to entertain guests during the reception and play as Zoe and Simon entered the reception. Dinner music was selected by Zoe’s father who chose jazz songs.

Congratulations Zoe and Simon! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Marcus Bell of Studio Impressions for sharing your photographs today on Polka Dot Bride!

Photographer: Marcus Bell of Studio Impressions / Bride’s Dress: Mira Mandic / Flowers: Blooms Of Noosa / Stationery: Ceci New York / Reception Venue: Ricky’s Bar and Restaurant
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Mia and Gary’s Autumn Winery Wedding

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


Mia and Gary

There is something utterly romantic about winery weddings. The beauty of the landscape in the photographs, the knowing that almost like a marriage, wine takes time. it takes love and care but boy is it good when it goes well. Mia and Gary held their South African celebration just outside of Bowral, which they chose because of their love for the beautiful setting.

Gary recalls how he and Mia met. “My old housemate and one of Mia’s friends were going on a blind date. My housemate was new to the country so he asked me to go along as he didn’t know the area and also to act as a bit of a wingman for him and Mia’s friend brought her along as well. While the friends didn’t hit it off Mia and I ended up talking all night (despite a terrible pick up line from yours truly). A couple of days later we went over to the girl’s house to cook them dinner and Mia and I started a really strong friendship. We started dating about a year after that and were engaged after dating for 9 months. Thankfully all four of us from that night are now married, (the other two to different people) so a happy ending for all”

Mia chimed in “Gary and I are both South African. I am Afrikaans and Gary is an English speaking South African.  Both of us immigrated with our immediate families approximately 11 years ago.  The short story is that Gary and I met 3 years ago as we were both the wing man and wing women for our friend’s blind date…. Although they are both now married to other people….  Gary and instantly became the closest of friends, and within 9 months of official dating we were engaged to be married.”

Photographs today are by Taylor Made Photography. I love the classic yet romantic photographs of today’s wedding Taylor Made produced. I love how they captured Mia’s spontaneous laughter, but also the finer details of the day. Video of the day was captured by Four Leaf Films.

Kicking off with the gorgeous rusty orange bridesmaid’s gowns. Mia explains “Because each bridesmaid had a different body shape, personal style and taste we decided to get their dresses made. I decided on the style of a maxi dress and then encouraged each bridesmaid to decide on the shape e.g. sweetheart strapless, off the shoulder or v neck style.  I wanted a colour that was unique and fitted well with the rustic theme of the wedding and the earthy colour scheme. During our holiday in South Africa mum and I bought Christian Dior silk chiffon, which had a shiny rustic orange brown tinge and a burnt orange material as a base.

As the girls walked the light reflected off the material and it almost looked like flames. It was so beautiful, and different. This was mum and I’s gift to the bridesmaids.”

The invitations tied the theme of the day together. Mia says “Our wedding invitations were done by Lisa Marie of Willowlane Studios in Double Bay. They were stunning and we have had many compliments about them. They were a bit of a luxury but they did a great job of setting the mood for the wedding”

Mia wore an off the shoulder gown by Halo Bridal. She remarks “I only visited 3 bridal stores and found my beautiful dress at Halo Bridal. I was very lucky as the dress was a ‘once-off’, and there were no other dresses to be made in the same style.  I always thought that I would have a strapless, poufy princess dress and to my surprise it was quite the opposite. The dress had a lot of beautiful lace, and detail which made it look classic vintage. It was quite tight, which complimented my curviness (Gary wrote that part).

The one-off only dress was a blessing and a curse, because it only came in the one size, which I had to try and fit into.  There was no tailor made dress from scratch. I had plenty of time to get in shape and fit into the dress I kept telling myself and purchased the dress 12 months prior to the wedding. To my family’s amusement time flew and I started to exercise 2 weeks before the wedding! It luckily fit on the day!”

Mia used Ethix for hair and makeup styling on the day. She recalls “As part of our research into local suppliers we found Ethix – Yvette van Schie (make-up artist) and hair-dresser Claire. My sister and I drove down to Bowral for a hair and make trial and were quite impressed with the professionalism, advice for pre-wedding skin and hair care.

They were quite attentive to any questions we had. If we didn’t like anything were happy to make changes and did not get offended. I find sometimes some hairdressers and makeup artists are snobby and get offended, however this was not the case. The wedding day was fabulous as the girls really took care of us, made us comfortable and feel beautiful!”

Mia got ready with her family and bridesmaids at Milton Park Country House Hotel and Spa. The couple hired wedding cars from The Vintage Factory, Mittagong. Gary says “They were absolutely beautiful cars, Mia and her dad arrived at the church in a 1927 Rolls Royce Phantom, the bridesmaids in a 1963 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud and the groom and groomsmen in a 1956 Bentley. You’ll see the 1927 Rolls Royce in an upcoming movie being shot in Sydney…”

The floral arrangements for the day were styled by Kate of Absolutely Flowers Bowral “Kate is as her company name says amazing! She is so lovely and friendly and very creative. Kate also offered to help setup the table decorations alongside the flower decorations in the church and wedding reception.  I really wanted vintage roses and magnolia leaves. Roses however during the beginning of September were very hard to come by. Kate made it happen and found amazing cream vandella roses.”

Mia says “Pearls was the theme. Each bridesmaid had hanging pearl earrings and a few strings of pearl bracelets. I wanted something soft to compliment the rustic coloured dresses.”

Mia and Gary married at St Jude’s Anglican Church, Bowral. “A beautiful little red brick Anglican Church with stained glass windows. To add to the classic, vintage feel of the wedding we hired stringpace. They sounded very beautiful.  They send you a CD with over 50 samples of their performances, playing anything from classical to popular music. We had Coldplay, U2 and sting to the classic Ave Maria and Canon in D.

Our Menu’s and Order of Service booklets were made by a friend as a favor and we printed them ourselves. Our thank you cards were given to us as a wedding present and were hand made.”

The couple’s favorite part of the day was “Marrying our best friends/one another – Whether it was going to rain, hail or shine, we were so excited to become married to one another and to spend the rest of our lives together! Walking into the church, the minute we saw one another’s faces, the nerves faded and it was pure joy!!”

Gary’s suit was custom made to suit him by The Gentleman’s Club in Chatswood.  Mia remarks “I had full confidence that Gary could arrange the groomsmen attire without my full involvement. And may I say I was very impressed. Being very biased, he was a very handsome and stunning looking Groom. The groomsmen wore suits custom made by The Gentleman’s Club Chatswood, the same place as the groom. The groomsmen also looked very charming.  To save costs, the groomsmen suits were also custom made, however from a slightly different material, close enough to match the groom.

I have to thank the groomsmen (Angus, Brian and Stephen) for taking care of the groom, for being amazing friends and looking stunning on the day.”

Mia recalls “For the hymn, one of my talented bridesmaids Amy sang accompanied by her husband Clarke on guitar. It is so special when your friends are involved in your wedding.”

Describing the wedding in a  sentence, Mia says “Lots of genuine love, classic South African style wedding, our dream wedding, with a lot of personal touches and contributions from family and friends, good food and wine, with lots of laughter thrown in.

Of their photographer, Mia says, “Darren was brilliant, lots of fun and very good at taking the pressure off the wedding couple! We would recommend him in a heartbeat; he also took fantastic pre-wedding photos for us.  We were so lucky to have Darren! He is professional, has a fantastic sense of humour with a  refreshing attitude and energy  that helped make Gary and I feel  really comfortable and confident both on the pre wedding photo shoot in May as well as the wedding day itself.  Darren’s creativity and skill captured our wedding exactly in the way that we wanted.

One of the biggest importance’s to Gary and myself was to find a great photographer to capture one of the momentous days of our lives, as well as complement our personalities. We wanted someone who was creative, skilled and fun… We could not have found a better match!”

The couple held their reception at Centennial Vineyards. Mia explains “We found Centennial Vineyards 3 years ago as we just started dating. We were on a wine tasting holiday with friends.  Gary and I immediately fell in love with the venue, the big wooden door, outdoor fire place, amazing food and great tasting wine, the beautiful rustic decor of the restaurant. It reminded us of home. When we became engaged there was no question as to where the reception would be.

When deciding on a venue and the style of wedding Gary and I very easily agreed on everything. We wanted to showcase a little bit of the ‘south African’ in us as well as our personalities. The theme for the wedding was ‘Rustic Vintage’.  We immediately knew the perfect venue, Centennial Vineyards in Bowral. Centennial was perfect because it matched our theme, our love of delicious food and fabulous wine. The barnyard feel of the restaurant and outside fireplace helped us to escape back to South Africa.”

Mia remarks “I work as an Event Manager which made organising my own wedding a treat.  This time I was the client as well as the organiser. My mother also has a real neck for organising and creativity, so I would say we were a great team. I do however want to give a lot of credit to my mum for all her hard work! Especially with all the DIY (explained in the questions further down). All the vendors found it to be quite entertaining how thorough the run sheet and detail was… at times I was a little embarrassed. However it assisted in a stress free day.”

The decadent wedding cake was made by a friend. Mia recalls “A girlfriend of ours who is a qualified pastry chef made us the wedding cake as a gift. We wanted soft butter-cream icing, roughly spread, the idea that you can just swipe your finger through it and want to lick it off! One tier was chocolate mud cake and the other tier was caramel mud cake. We wanted a mixture of a rustic looking, yet elegant cake. It was amazing. After the honeymoon we had some friends over for champagne and leftover wedding cake.”

Mia’s mother had plenty of hand in the reception decorations “My mum organised the table decorations. She bought the chocolate coloured organza to cover the tables. She also purchased fake pearls and every Thursday night she would string all the pearls together to decorate each table.  She even surprised me with a mock table at home when I came home from work one day. She really brought all my ideas to life which assisted in the excitement leading up to the big day.

We made our own table numbers, using mini wire hearts purchased from local South Africans alongside the road and spray painted the actual numbers stuck on each heart. The table numbers were hung onto each tall candelabra. Gary and I used one of the photos from our pre-wedding photo shoot and asked a work colleague of mine to design our menu’s using the photo as a watermark.”

The couple utilised styling companies for hire. “We hired had 1 tall and 1 medium sized candelabra with mirrors on per table hired from Decorative Events. so that the candle light reflected off them in the dark. The Candelabra’s were gorgeous as they added a bit of ‘antiqueness’ to the table. On top of each candelabra we had cream vandella roses with dodder vine and a white candle in the centre.” They also hired mini candle holders from The Styling Company “The love of candle light did not stop at the candelabras. Per table we also had 4 mini candle holders for some extra light and to add to the romantic ambience.”

Mia recalls “Our wedding certainly had a lot of our personalities in it and a lot of our memories from our respective childhoods in South Africa. We really wanted a South African themed wedding and the combination of music and decorative pieces from South Africa really made it a special night. Gary loves food and so he was in charge of the final menu. I was in charge of the music. I event wrote and sang groom Gary a song as part of my speech.”

For reception entertainment, the couple hired DJ Teejay from Instinct Music. Mia says “He traveled all the way down from Sydney. I could honestly say that the music was a big highlight on the night and he was worth every penny.  During the wedding ceremony there was a glitch with the CD and our recessional song that was very special to us was no played. Gary mentioned this to DJ and as a surprise he downloaded the song and used it as one of the main dance songs during the reception. It was so special. He really listened to what we wanted, the style of music and the feel we wanted for the night.”

Gary remarks” Our first dance was semi-choreographed; I say that because we did a few practice dances to our music and worked out a routine, but on the night we just decided to go with the flow and only loosely followed the routine, it worked out really well as it felt much more natural (I’m not the best dancer you’ve ever seen!). We danced to a live recording of ‘All I Want Is You’ by U2, as I am a massive U2 fan and the song means a lot to both of us.” The couple gave out favors from Polka Dot Cookies and My Treasure.

Photographer: Taylor Made Photography / Cinematographer: Four Leaf Films / Bride’s Dress: Halo Bridal / Groom and Groomsmen Attire: The Gentleman’s Club / Hair and Makeup: Ethix / Flowers: Absolutely Flowers Bowral / Stationery: Willowlane Studios / Reception Venue: Centennial Vineyards Bowral / Ceremony Music: stringpace / Reception Music: DJ Teejay from Instinct Music / Favors: Polka Dot Cookies

Caroline and Nic’s Intimate Vintage Perth Wedding

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


Caroline and Nic

A simple, sweet intimate wedding to share this morning. The bride, a lover of the 1920s and 30s styled the wedding to suit her and her beloved’s romantic, vintage style.

Caroline explains how she and Nic met. “Nic and I met through our mutual friend, Oliver, about 6 years ago. We were friends for a while and kept in contact whilst Nic was living in London. When he came back to Perth, we bumped into each other on the street and discovered that there was something there.

On our one year anniversary, we went to Cottesloe Beach to see the annual Sculptures by the Sea event. There was an intriguing installation called 7000 Classrooms, made by students of Shenton College in collaboration with the Hong Kong School of Creativity. Two rows of five metre high bamboo poles were connected by a single strand of rope, forming a tunnel.  After watching the summer sun set over the Indian Ocean, Nic and I walked through the 200 metre tunnel. When we reached the end, Nic proposed to me, to my great surprise.”

Photographs today are by Natalija Brunovs of I Heart Weddings who captured the fun, vintage spirit of Caroline and Nic’s day so beautifully.

Caroline wore the Butterfly Effect Gown in brulee, by Perth designer Aurelio Costarella and paired it with art deco style brass earrings, with golden shadow tear drop shaped Swarovski crystals, by Peter Lang.

Caroline says “I was inspired by the timeless, yet modern art deco style of the 1920s and 30s – my favourite era of the 20th century. All the dresses, accessories, invitations and reception styling were clean and elegant modern day interpretations of that time. Our colour palette was neutral – champagne golds, vintage cream, blush pink and ash grey – with shots of colour in the smaller pieces, like the coloured mosaic tiling on the invitations and the burnt orange bridesmaid bouquets.” The bride used Ashley Brockman for makeup and Antonio Sorgiovanni for hair.

Caroline describes getting ready as one of her favourite moments “I loved getting ready at the Richardson with my bridal party, parents and styling team was an hilarious and memorable time. We ordered room service breakfast with lots of coffee, as we had a dawn start and it was just so intimate and fun, like one big close family.”

For her feet, Caroline wore Badgely Mischka Randee Heel in gold.

Caroline and Nic were married at the neo-gothic Chapel of St Michael the Archangel in West Leederville. “St Michael the Archangel is a Gothic chapel, on the top of a hill, which has views of Lake Monger and Perth city. The surrounding gardens and the chapel itself are impeccably maintained and the site is also the headquarters of the current Catholic Education Office.”As he walked her down the aisle to as “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” by Bach, Caroline’s father wore traditional Filipino dress.

There were plenty of handmade touches at the wedding. Caroline explains, “I created my own ceremony head piece with a Peter Lang brooch and a cream bird cage veil, as I wanted something quite simple but detailed for the service.” For the reception, she changed into the Chloe hairpiece by Reny Kestel Milinery. Nic , an architect also designed his wedding ring after not being able to find anything he liked.


Caroline and Nic were married by a special family member. “We were very moved that our celebrant was a family relative, Bishop Justin Bianchini, uncle of the groom and Bianchini family patriarch. We spent a lot of time with him in the lead up to the wedding, discussing marriage and spirituality and he really put us all at ease on the actual day with his humour and genuine caring nature.”

Caroline remarks “The whole event was sort of a DIY collaboration between us and several close friends who made the wedding cake, styled the entire reception and provided the music/entertainment. During the entire preparation process, we consulted with many friends for ideas, opinions and feedback. Without them, our wedding would not have been possible, or as meaningful.” The flower girl wore a gown by BIG by FIona Scanlan.


Of their photographer, Caroline says, “Nat was an obvious choice as our photographer as she was already a friend of ours and we were well acquainted with her relaxed, unobtrusive style, creative eye and talent for capturing natural moments”

Caroline’s bridesmaids wore mismatched gowns. “My maid of honour wore Pia Gladys Perey “Ivy Gown” in Ash grey. My bridesmaid wore Pia Gladys Perey “Erika Gown”, also in Ash grey, exclusive to Varga Girl in Leederville, WA. They chose different dresses, but the same colour and fabric to complement their different individual styles and personalities. This was also reflected in their choice of accessories.” The floral arrangements were styled by Celesta Wijaya and consisted of polar star cream vintage roses and burnt orange cala lilies with plenty of rich chocolate blossom foliage.

Caroline and Nic held their reception at Mosmans RestaurantMosman’s is a seafood restaurant on the Swan River in Mosman Bay. As it is actually on the river, the floor to ceiling glass doors and windows offer uninterrupted views of the sky, passing boats and the water, which was tranquil due to the perfect, sunny weather that we had on the day. Our guests arrived to pre-dinner drinks and canapés on the Mosman’s jetty, accompanied by the sultry voice of Megan McInerney, who sang a collection of blues, jazz and acoustic tracks.”

Continuing the vintage theme, Caroline and Nic added touches to their reception. Caroline explains, “The reception venue was also decorated with clusters of antique amber coloured glassware and vases, which came from Varga Girl, in Leederville. Much of this glass dates back to the Depression era and was further decorated with spider orchids, fresh fig branches, limes and spear grass”

The speeches were a hit “My sister and maid of honour, Vanessa, deservedly received a standing ovation, when she delivered her reception speech. Her sparkling wit, graciousness and charm absolutely brought the house down, with tales of our childhood, plus a focus on the importance of family and friends.”

A black and white photo booth was a hit at the reception Caroline remarks “Collaborating with Nat in creating the reception “noir” styled photo booth was so exciting and we were all so impressed with the results. The photo booth was a creative and entertaining way for guests to interact with each and let their inner silent movie characters come out. We utilised a box of props, such as feather boas, top hats, lace umbrellas, toys and complimentary chocolate moustache lollipops, which were in aid of raising money for the Movember cause.”

A special message was passed on at the reception. Caroline explains, “Our good friend Daniel could not be with us in person, as he was overseas in Japan at the time. However, our MC read out a poignant personalised message from Daniel and an evocative poem by ancient Japanese poet, Horikawa. The poem works like an analogy. At first love is messy and wild. But with time, it mellows into trust and faith. Tangles become entanglements that lead eventually to knots. And it is upon knots that we lay or trust. Whether they be spiritual or physical. I suppose that is why we say “tying the knot” when we get married?”

Congratulations Caroline and Nic! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Natalija Brunovs of I Heart Weddings for sharing today’s photographs!

Photographer: Natalija Brunovs of I Heart Weddings / Bride’s Dress: Aurelio Costarella / Bride’s Shoes: Badgely Mischka / Jewelry: Peter Lang / Bridesmaid Dresses: Pia Gladys Perey / Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Hugo Boss / Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas / Cake: Zac Carboon / Bride\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s reception hairpiece: Reny Kestel Milinery / Reception Venue: Mosman's Restaurant

Melissa and Jeremy’s 1920s Flapper Wedding

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Melissa and Jeremy

The wedding of Melissa and Jeremy was a garden celebration with a heavy 1920s twist. Not only do the couple adore the era themselves, but they encouraged their guests to dress to the 1920’s style – from the bride’s short and beaded gown, to the jazz club at home reception. If you’re a fan of the gangsta, big band era, this may just be the most wonderful inspiration for your own celebration!

Photographs today are by Megan Alridge. I love how Megan captured the vintage feel of today’s celebration – Melissa’s bridal glow is so apparent and the happiness has soaked through every photograph.

Melissa wore a vintage inspired gown from Le Luxe Clothing with shoes by Diane Hassel.  Dersica crafted a fabric bouquet for the bride.

Melissa and Jeremy held their ceremony in Forest Glade Gardens. Melissa walked down the aisle to INXS – ‘Never Tear Us Apart’.

Guests were encourage to wear 1920’s or gangster style outfits.

Jeremy and his groomsman wore suits from Spurling Formalwear with shoes from Zu Shoes while Melissa’s bridesmaid wore a beaded flapper style gown from Unique Vintage Clothing.

Melissa loved “Writing our own vows, theme, DIY details, people’s involvement and relaxing atmosphere at the family home.”

The couple hired a marquee and set up their own twist on a Jazz Club in the family homestead.

Guests were entertained by Melissa and Jeremy’s favourite 1920’s tunes while enjoying the vintage photographs and accessories the couple had organised.

The couple set up their own photobooth complete with star and moon.

Gillian’s Cakes created a cupcake wedding tower for the couple while the bride and groom decorated the reception themselves using large red and black marabou feathers.

For their first dance, Melissa and Jeremy swung their way through WASP – ‘Hold Onto My Heart’.

Congratulations Melissa and Jeremy! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Megan Aldridge for sharing today’s photographs!

Photographer: Megan Alridge / Bride’s Dress: Le Luxe Clothing / Bride’s Shoes: Diane Hassel / Flowers: dersica / Ceremony: Forest Glade Gardens / Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Spurling Formalwear / Bridesmaid Dresses: Unique Vintage Clothing / Cake: Gillian Cakes / Groom & groomsmens Shoes: Zu Shoes
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