Back to Top
PolkaDotBride - Australia's number 1 Bridal Blog, Wedding Directory and Advice for Brides
Log In Register

Kate and Tim’s Sydney Beach Engagement

by | Bride, Engagements


Kate and Tim

If you’re anything like me, you’re starting to feel the chill of the winter air. So today’s shoot of Kate and Tim from Skipping Stone Photography on Sydney’s Bronte Beach seems like just the right fit for a cold Saturday!

Kate has quite the story to tell of her romance with Tim, and because I am as much in love with stories as I am with photographs, I do hope you enjoy it like I did. “Tim and I met in January 2009 at the Wagga Wagga Australia Day Picnic Races. Tim was living in Wagga Wagga at the time and I was there for the weekend with my best friend to catch up with friends who lived in the area.

At this time Tim and I were both in relationships with other people. We had such a fun night out after the races with all of our mutual friends and then we went our separate ways. The day after meeting Tim, my best friend said to me ‘Tim is the man you are going to marry – he is a great guy’. I was a little confused, since she would never usually say something along those lines, especially since I was already in a relationship. I guess she saw something that I could not see at the time and just had to comment on it.

About 7 months later, Tim had noticed that I had commented on Facebook that I was heading to Wagga Wagga for the weekend. He decided to send me an email to say hi and said we should catch up while I was in town. At the last minute my trip was cancelled, so I sent him an email to say I wasn’t coming, but that it would have been great to catch up.
This was the start of the most amazing time of our lives! The emails between us went back and forth for a few days. The relationships we were in when we met had both ended and we were hitting it off exceptionally well. Emails turned into phone calls and within a week of chatting Tim surprised me with a trip to Sydney to visit. It was the most amazing weekend ever – we laughed non stop! Tim and I never had the first date uncomfortable feeling; it was like we had been together forever from day one. Being with Tim has always been the most natural feeling I have ever experienced.

For about 2 months we flew back and forth between Wagga and Sydney every weekend and then quickly established that a long distance relationship was not for us. Tim asked me to move to Wagga Wagga to be with him and without any hesitation I said yes. We lived in Wagga for about a year together before Tim was offered a position in Sydney. While we were sad to leave Wagga Wagga, our house, our dog and all of our friends, this move to Sydney was just the next adventure in our relationship.  The move to Sydney was great – we were closer to family and the beach, which we loved. Tim and I spent countless weekends at Bronte Beach, lying on the beach in summer and in winter huddled up in Swell Cafe reading the papers and enjoying long brunches with friends and family.

At the end of 2010 Tim received a call from a work associate in the USA offering him a position within their company. Living and working overseas was always something Tim and I wanted to do together and the offer was too good to refuse. Tim accepted the position in January 2011 and before we knew it we were packing up our life in Sydney, bound for the USA.  On the day I received my USA visa, Tim and I were going out for a dinner we had planned weeks ago – date night!  Tim suggested before we head to the restaurant we should have a few drinks to celebrate my visa being approved. As we pulled up to Double Bay, Tim said he had a thought – since it was a nice night we should go down to the bay with a bottle of wine for a few pre dinner drinks by the water. Little did I know Tim had already been down here to see if this was ‘the right spot.’

Before I could sit down, Tim held both my hands and starting telling me how excited he was for our big move and that he loved me more than anything in the world. Down on one knee, he asked ‘WILL YOU MARRY ME, I WANT TO SPEND THE REST OF MY LIFE WITH YOU’ – without any hesitation I said ?YES, YES, YES!!!!?
Tim had packed my favourite bottle of champagne into the bag I thought had a bottle of wine in it. Tim had the bottle of champagne chilling in the boot of his car for 3 hours before I got home from work, so it was ready to go.

The next day Tim had another surprise – he had booked a sea plane to fly us to Jonah’s at Whale Beach for a long lunch to celebrate even more. The day was amazing and one that I will never forget.  After the most amazing weekend of our lives so far, we had only 4 weeks left in Australia before our move to the USA. Between all the frantic last minute planning, we were able to squeeze in a fabulous engagement / farewell party. We were so touched; all of our friends from all over Australia made the effort to come and celebrate with us. It was such a special night.

For our engagement Tim’s family surprised us with the most thoughtful gift – a photography session with Skipping Stone Photography at our favourite beach, Bronte! They wanted us to remember this special time in our lives and also have gorgeous photos we can take with us to the USA to remember our favourite place in Sydney.
As we were pressed for time, the only time we were able to fit the photography session in was the afternoon before we flew out, which turned out to be the same day I had Root Canal therapy! Swollen and only just able to crack a smile without too much pain, we met Nick Stewart from Skipping Stone Photography at Bronte Beach.
The photography session was exactly what we needed after a frantic few weeks of packing, planning and celebrating. We had such a fun afternoon just being together, relaxing and enjoying this special time in our lives! The pain of the root canal quickly passed with the excitement of the shoot! We are now settling into life in the USA and are enjoying planning our wedding, to be held back in Australia in 2012. It will be a huge celebration as it will be the first time we will see all of our friends and family in over 9 months. We cannot wait!!!”

Photos by Skipping Stone Photography

Visit Ms Polka Dot's Directory

Rustic Queensland Wedding Venues

by | Australia - Queensland, Bride, Wedding Venues


I’m finally, after much research and cups of tea, launching the updated rustic Queensland wedding venue list! Queensland has a beautiful array of buildings available for hire- decidedly less like a barn (or as I like to proclaim for Australians- woolshed!) but more in keeping with the tropical Queensland climate.

Kenilworth Historic Homestead

Located in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Kenilworth Historic Homestead offers exclusive use of a barn, dining hall, kitchen and plenty of accommodation. They can also provide a multitude of activities for guests including trail rides and canoeing. Visit their website for more.

Jondaryan Woolshed

Built in 1859, the Jondaryan Woolshed is the oldest operating woolshed in Queensland. The woolshed can accommodate up to 300 guests and basic accommodation is available in the Shearer’s Quarters Visit their website for more information.


Lightspace isn’t a barn by any stretch of the imagination, but this Brisbane venue provides all the beautiful facets that we’ve come to love from barn weddings. Utilising various spaces, the venue can seat up to 300 guests with a beautiful terrace and 500 for cocktails. The rustic, industrial style space Visit the website for more information,

Daintree Station

AME- Gallery

For the ultimate Australian twist on a barn, The Australian Muster experience located in Daintree Station, Miallo, Queensland is available for private functions.  The rustic shed is open plan with polished wood tables and can seat 300 banquet style. Visit their website for more information.

Sirromet Winery

Sirromet Winery located in Mount Cotton in South East Queensland has many function spaces including the Sirromet Barrel Hall. The hall features brick arches, high ceilings and barrel walls. The hall can can seat 120 banquet style. View their website for more.

The Shed at The Ettamogah Pub

Amidst the Ettamogah pub and carnival rides of Aussie World lies the The Shed. With a capacity of 600 guests (seated), or 1100 cocktail. The venue puts a fun twist on the shearing shed style of function.  Visit the website for further information.

Spurwood Springs

Providing a relaxed bush setting, the Spurwood Springs log cabin is available for functions. Added “bush” extras are included including a horse and sulky and the venue is BYO. Visit their website for more information.

The Historic Rivermill

Overlooking the Coomara River, The Historic Rivermill features an onsite chapel and can seat up to 120 guests in their reception room. Visit the website for more information,

Albert River Wines

Albert River Wines provides numerous ceremony venues (including an onsite chapel) and two historical reception rooms- featuring decor and class of the 1800s. The venues can happily accommodate 120 guests. Visit the website for more information.

Rudd’s Pub Barn

The famous Rudd’s Pub sits beside their barn which can cater for 100 guests. Located in Nobby near Toowoomba, the pub itself was built in 1893. Contact Rudd’s Pub on

The Shearing Shed

Located in the Rockhampton Historic Village, the Shearing Shed is close by to the historic chapel and offers room for function and events. The venue can fit 350 guests and features a fully equipped bar. The Shearing Shed is operated by Rockhampton Venues & Events or try the Rockhampton Council website.

There are a lot of beautiful tropical venues with exposed beams overlooking rainforests too (but that shall wait for a “tropical rainforest style wedding venues” post!)

What did I miss dear readers? What rustic wedding venues in Queensland can you recommend?


Friday Roundup

by | Blog News, Bride


Happy Friday Polka Dot Bride readers! Did you have a lovely week? We had the most splendid time in the cosiness of our offices drinking hot chocolate, eating cinnamon toast and hiding from the rain! We also had a lovely lunch together and celebrated some beautiful news (and came up with plenty of ideas of making Polka Dot Bride even better!)

Photo by Alicia from Alicia and Ryan’s New Zealand Honeymoon

How wonderful has the week of content on Polka Dot specialty blogs this week been? I love reading our stories of the real polka dot brides, the honeymoon stories, the DIY tutorials and stories from our wedding professionals! (subscribe to all our blogs at once in your feedreader by using this link or hit the subscribe tab on each individual blog to subscribe to each feed!)

Want some happy feet? We found the solution on Polka Dot Groom

On Polka Dot Wisdom, American Photo officially announced their Top 10 Wedding Photographers this week and four of them are Australians!

Celebrant Maree Livvy lets us in on the secrets of a celebrant also on Polka Dot Wisdom

Alicia’s fabric rosette tutorial on Polka Dot Made

A big welcome to bride Carly with her first post on Polka Dot Weddings

Marina and Luke’s Richmond Wedding on Polka Dot Weddings

Alicia and Ryan’s New Zealand Honeymoon on Polka Dot Honeymoons

Don’t forget, we’re always open to new story ideas and new contributors on our specialty blogs! Register for a personalised collection and fill out our contributor application and we’ll be in touch with more information! We’d love to have you!

Stationer Fi Fy Fo Fum is offering an exclusive 10% discount on all orders to Polka Dot Bride readers. All you need to do is enter e code POB010 when you place your order to receive the Polka Dot discount!

(Click image to enlarge)

The brand new issue of White Magazine is out and all Polka Dot Bride readers can receive 25% off WHITE magazine. Simply go to the White Magazine website here,  choose your magazine or subscription and enter this code “polkadot25”

The Powder Room in Brisbane is again holding a showcase on the 24th of May. Exhibitors include The Powder Room, Emporium Hotel, Paddington Weddings, Wedding Films by Net Productions, Julie Whitehead Cakes, Amini Concepts, The Butterfly Lounge, The Little White Wedding Company and Flight Centre. The event will be held at Emporium Hotel
1000 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley 6-8pm.
Tickets cost  $15 per person and include refreshments, high tea treats and a gift bag. For more information, visit their website.

Perth brides! I discovered a wonderful new alternative bridal expo called “First Comes Love” being held next month in Western Australia! Visit the website for more information. Scheduled for June 18 and 19, the team aims to showcase “a curated show of independent retailers who like to cater to creative couples planning pledges with parties”.

Have a beautiful weekend Polka Dot Bridettes!

Beach Inspired Bridesmaids Gifts

by | Bride, Bridesmaids, Favors and Decor


Marrying on the warm sand with the waves crashing behind you? Here’s some suggestions for beach inspired gifts for your bridesmaids!


1. Palm Beach Collection Candle – Made in Sydney’s Palm Bach, these soy based candles come in the sweetest usable jars. They burn for 80 hours and leave the most beautiful, subtle scent (I love the white rose and jasmine)

2. Tiffany & Co Elsa Peretti Starfish Pendant Tiffany & Co always makes a popular bridesmaid’s gift and this starfish pendant in classic silver is reminiscent of the beach .

3. Kate Spade Hello Sunshine Willow Bag A woven straw bag is the perfect gift for summer and I love the fun slogan on this one.

4. Matt Lauder Beach Print “Palm Beach” Beautiful photographs make beautiful artwork. Matt Lauder takes photographs of beaches across Australia and NSW. what about gifting your maids a beautiful print of the beach on which you said your vows?

5, Dinosaur Designs Small Ball Bowl Homewares are always classic and a beautiful option- this brightly coloured resin bowl is perfectly beachy and the perfect size for storing rings and special jewels or even to keep on a work desk for odds & ends.

6. French Navy “Set Sail” Stationery Nothing beats a hand written note, French Navy’s “Set Sail” design features a sail boat- the perfect way to keep in touch, to wish each other well and to remember the day.

7. Samantha Wills “Melody” ring in aqua I adore cocktail rings, statement pieces of jewellery like the pieces by Samantha Wills are always a hit and the beachy colours of this one make a special gift (and can even be worn on the day!)

8. Capital Wooden Sunglasses Every girl needs a good pair of sunglasses and there’s something a little beachy about this chic wooden frames.

Back to Top