Sam & Josh’s Vintage Inspired Apple Shed Wedding

by | Australia - Tasmania, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Sam & Josh

If there ever was a time to turn an apple shed into a wedding venue then today’s splendid vintage inspired apple shed wedding was it! The beautiful Tasmanian countryside was the perfect setting for these two lovebirds who chose Photography With Cassie to capture their day as it unfolded.

Sam, who met her beloved at university, tells how they came to be. “We were both studying in Ballarat, at different universities, but with a large group of mutual friends, and it was in our last months of our degrees that we met at a random house warming/birthday party. We started chatting, and found out that we had a lot of things in common. His best mate was a good friend of mine also and he played on the same Gridiron team as one of my very best friends (I would have watched him play multiple times). I also learned that his mother grew up in the same town as I did (a town of less than 300 people) and his grandfather was the principal at the same school my dad’s family went to. I of course didn’t believe him and accused him of being a stalker for about two weeks until I had cold hard evidence that he was telling the truth!”


The groom and groomsmen took care in their attire, finding blue suits at Suit Shop Melbourne.

The bride chose Melissa E  to create her wedding gown, telling “I found my dress practically straight away. We flew home for the annual Pier to Pub, a Miller family tradition, and met my Mum, sister and Grandma in Ballarat for the day. We peeked at a couple of bridal shops and the first dress in the second shop was the one. It fit like a glove, it was like nothing I could have ever imagined and I wanted to wear it home then and there. It was fun, lots and lots of fun!

The dress was two pieces, an ivory, fitted, french silk slip, with an overlay, heavily beaded, boatneck front, and V-back. It had a soft mermaid silhouette. I wore a simple chapel length veil as a train for the ceremony.”

The couple got together for a first look in the misty forest. “Josh and I had a first look at Silver Falls, at the base of Mount Wellington. It was a short 15 minute walk from a little tavern – it was misty with rain, and a little chilly, but that’s exactly how we love that part of the world. It was mystical, and enchanting, and Cassie our photographer captured it perfectly. We decided to have a first look so we could spend as much time together as possible. It worked out perfectly for us as we got to laugh, and catch up on our day apart, and have a good little chat about our feels for the day.”

“We have two favourite photos. There’s the one of Gus, our dog with my veil wrapped across his front, his face displays pure happiness! And then there’s one of Josh and I standing in front of two doors of this tiny hut we found in the forest. I’m looking and laughing at Josh, and he has this look on his face of pure love and a little cheekiness.”

Lisa Kingston Flowers created the stunning floral arrangements for the day, the bride remarking “I think the next words after I said YES was, “oh my god I can have all the Lisa Kingston I want!”
Lisa is a local florist who grows all of her own flowers in her amazing Woodbridge garden. She sells the most divine, wild bunches of flowers from her stall at Salamanca Market each Saturday.

We went with deep and rich reds, burgundy, purple tones with some native greenery added in. I had a traditional cascading bunch which still is, and forever will be, the most exquisite bouquet I will ever see. My girls carried smaller posies and the boys had buttonhole with raspberries and leaves. We had two arches with big arrangements and a mixture of garden flowers scattered around the tables in mismatched crystal vases.”

Sam remembers “I walked down the aisle with my Mum to Asgier – On That Day. The song still makes me well up every time I listen to it.”

The couple were married by someone very special to them “We flew my local minister down to officiate the ceremony – it’s always been a big thing for me to have a religious ceremony as it’s what I grew up with and what I know. Our ceremony was relaxed, and filled with love. A beautiful friend of mine read a passage from The Velveteen Rabbit – a passage which summarised our relationship perfectly, and Josh’s best mate read some paragraphs from Les Misérables our favourite play.”

Sam and Josh chose Willie Smiths as their wedding venue, noting “As soon as the idea of marriage and a wedding came up, we knew we wanted it at Willie Smiths Apple Shed. It was our perfect destination. A little farmy feel, being surrounded by paddocks, a beautiful original cider house, a stunning outdoor garden and stunning mountains in the background.”

“Our dog Gus was with us for our ceremony and reception, such a handsome pooch.”

Of their photographer, Sam remarks “Cassie our photographer went above and beyond. She was drenched, walking around in the rain with us, smiling and laughing. After finishing in the rain forest, she found a leech on her ankle, and she just laughed it off. She listened to what we wanted, and the photos she created have told the entire story of the day. She really is golden.”

Guests enjoyed a delicious feast from Taco Taco and Bruny Island Cheese Co. “We had our favourite food truck, the Taco Taco van cater – we had share platters of pulled meats and delicious salads with the option of making tacos for the main.

Our very good friend Dan set up cheese platters for the canapes from Bruny Island Cheese Company,”

Of their wedding style, Sam tells “We went with antique and rustic, think mismatched crystal vases, silver and brass candle sticks, antique furniture and wooden arches, and the most beautiful flowers on earth. It was a pretty cool calm and relaxed atmosphere, with everyone in their best attire.

I spent 14 months going around op shops and antique shops to find crystal vases – we didn’t necessarily DIY, our goal was to have as little waste as possible. We felt that buying from op shops was putting money back into the community and charities.”

Guests took home jars of Sweet and Raw Honey and the cake was made by the bride. “We DIY-ed our cake, with the help of three generations from my family. it was pretty special having so much time and love put into it.”

Of their first dance, Sam tells “We did our first dance as we walked into our reception. Our amazing band, Katy Raucher and the Mangus Trio performed our favourite of Fats Waller’s Aint Misbehavin’, it was cute, quirky and had everyone having a little giggle at our four left feet.”

Congratulations on your marriage Sam & Josh! Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us. Thank you also to Photography With Cassie for sharing today’s gorgeous photographs!

Photographer: Photography With Cassie / Bride's Dress: Melissa E / Bride's Shoes: Country Road / Bride's Shoes: Love Shoes / Bride's Jewellery: The Drill Hall / Groom's Attire: Suit Shop Melbourne / Groom's Cufflinks: Melly Frank / Groom's Shoes: Merchant 1948 / Groomsmen Attire: Suit Shop Melbourne / Bridesmaid Dresses: Shona Joy / Bridal Salon: Belle & Paige / Bridesmaid Accessories: Francesca / Hairstylist: Agape Hair / Flowers: Lisa Kingston Flowers / Invitations & Stationery: Flywheel / Venue: Willie Smiths / Ceremony Hire Items: Brad and Ash Bespoke / Ceremony Officiant: Pastor Gus Schutz Lutheran Chuch of Australia / Reception Hire Items: Brad and Ash Bespoke / Band: Katy Raucher and The Mangus Trio / Favors: Sweet and Raw Honey / Catering: Taco Taco / Transport: Bert and the Ol' Chook / Cheese: Bruny Island Cheese Co / Cake Topper: A Little Birdy Studio / Engagement Ring: For The Love Of Gold / Wedding Ring: For The Love Of Gold
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Houghton Spring Summer 2018 Bridal Collection

by | Bridal Fashion, Bride


When a brand is renowned for pushing the bridal gown boundaries you expect a lot, and the Houghton Spring Summer 2018 Bridal Collection certainly delivers.

With lead designer Katharine Polk describing the collection as “Sexy, curvy, strong” the collection is filled with gowns that honour the female figure – hugging curves showing off skin and giving that modern edge that Houghton is so very well known for.

Designed so each gown accentuates a different part of the female’s body, the collection uses details of feather, pearl and embroidery to contrast with sleek, modern silhouettes – high necklines, waist set cut outs, and corset style bodices.

The new collection is all about honouring women’s voices and the strength that comes from putting words to personal struggles.

Houghton is available in Australia at The Bridal Atelier.


Vendor of the Week – Darin Collison Photography

by | Blog News, Bride


Happy Monday Dotties! It has been such a blustery weekend that I am very thankful to be snuggling in the warmth today!

I’m an early riser and like to start the day with some quiet time and a hot coffee to gather myself for the day ahead. Just sitting quietly at any time of the day allows you a moment to breathe in, to process the details of the day and gather your thoughts – particularly important in the lead up to your wedding day when everything can start to crowd in on you. We have many fabulous vendors in Ms Polka Dot’s Directory who have many ideas to make your wedding day unique. We have Flowers, we have Transport, we have Styling & Hire and Mobile Bars & Drinks Catering – we even have Wedding Planners and Entertainment! Our vendors are keen to help you.

Check out Ms Polka Dot’s Directory for wedding vendors who will love your wedding as much as you!

Darin Collison Melbourne Wedding Photographer
Darin Collison Australian Country Wedding
Wedding Photography By Darin Collison

Darin of Darin Collison Photography notices the littlest of details with a true photographer’s eye. The looks between people, the hand holding, the beauty in the small moments. The details, that you will surely miss in the blur that is your wedding day, are right there in images. Your wedding day has stories embedded in it like no other, and just looking at your photographs in the years to come will bring back many memories of this most special of days.

We asked Darin of Darin Collison Photography five questions in five minutes:

What is your reward after a big working day?

Cognac. And a hot spa.

Favourite weekend getaway?

Weekend getaways? Oh yeah. Weekends. I remember them… Every time I go to Castlemaine to shoot though, I make a mental note to go there with the family for a couple of days – it’s quite lovely.

What is your most prized possession?

Hmmm. Tricky. Probably my small collection of insanely sharp Japanese knives. I love cooking, and these things are ridiculous. Taught myself how to sharpen them too – it’s kinda the same mix of craft and feel that photography has.

Favourite restaurant?

So many great restaurants. Cicciolinas in St Kilda will always be my fave though. Because, memories.

What do you most enjoy about being in the wedding industry?

Being a wedding photographer is ridiculously fulfilling. I can’t think of another creative career that lets you use so many different photographic skills, that pushes you and rewards you in equal measure. I still get nervous before every single wedding, but the moment I put my eye to the viewfinder I can, well, not relax, but just let myself be in the zone. It’s a good feeling.

Visit Darin Collison Photography’s page to find out more about our Vendor Of The Week. Darin Collison Photography is a member of Ms Polka Dot’s Directory.

Priya & John’s Surprise Blue Mountains Proposal

by | Bride, Engagements


Priya & John

It was as the sun set over the magic Blue Mountains that John asked his girlfriend of five years to marry him. Little did she know that her husband to be had spent months setting up a trip to celebrate her 30th birthday, coordinating with a fake email account to enlist Sarah Moore to capture it all unfolding.

Sarah explains “John organised an entire weekend in the Blue Mountains for the two of them while I came up with the idea of a private lookout at sunset over the Blue Mountains for the proposal itself. When it came time for John to propose (and he was seriously nervous!!) the Mountains didn’t disappoint and put on a spectacular show. Priya had no idea, was completely surprised. I was honoured (and a little teary) to be a part of such a special occasion.”

John tells the story of how the pair came to meet. “In my first year of University, meeting lots of new people for the first time, I added Pree on ‘Facebook,’ thinking she was a similarly sounding classmate. She subsequently approached me at a party to find out how we knew each other – and on meeting such a suave and beautiful woman, I panicked, pretended she added me and pretty much fled! Thankfully she’s a forgiving person and we properly met 4 years later, and despite the initial faux pas, we hit it off and have been together ever since.”

John tells “Mountains have always meant a lot to us – together we have climbed in Wales, New Zealand, Jordan and most recently up Mount Mulanje in Malawi (Africa) – so it just felt like the perfect place to take the next step. There’s something ethereal and timeless about mountains which we can’t get enough of.”

“We had been together 5 years by the time we finally got engaged. Priya had been losing patience with me and I knew it had to be special.

Luckily I had Sarah Moore, photographer extraordinaire who was on hand to help me plan some very special locations, and I ended up asking for Priya’s hand on a cliff as the sun descended over the hills behind, surrounded by 360 views of pristine Australian scenery – waterfalls, greenery and trees. The look on Priya’s face is one of my most precious memories. I then had a meal for her prepared with a few more little surprises.”

On what he loves about Priya, John notes “To say so many things is corny but nonetheless absolutely true. I love Priya’s smile, her sense of adventure, wit, sense of loyalty, her writing, as well as the fact she cannot even cook cornflakes (yet ironically loves Masterchef), is terrified of spiders making Australia an interesting place to live, and is possibly the worst person at lying I have ever met…”

Photographer: Sarah Moore