Friday Roundup

by | Blog News, Bride


Photo by Shot from the Heart via Jessica and Sean’s Wintertime Theatre Wedding

Happy Friday Dotties! Hasn’t it been a blister of a week? I love warmer days, but sweltering is not my idea of fun! Next week the patterned people are getting together to devise a load of new recipes for Cocktail Friday. It’s always one of the most fun parts of our job and I am so looking forward to a day hanging out with the team!

What are you up to? We have had such a big week around the polka blogs this week, let’s wrap it up!

Tina shares her post wedding Inspired Words

Honeymooning close to home? Take inspiration from this Western Australian Mini-Moon

Blue Print Photography dishes his favourite vendors!

We chat all things styling and floral with  Christopher Saban of Christopher Saban Events

Hand-lettering With Ink Tutorial: Creating Beautiful Wedding Invitations – for a gorgeous different touch

Honeymoons In Paradise – Where To Go In February

Devaire shares his smart groom style

5 Best Places to Catch a Sunrise in the Whitsundays

Kick off the week of love with this The Grounds Of Alexandria ‘The Valentine’s’ Cocktail

Behind The Scenes With Showtime Events Centre

Jason shares his post wedding Inspired Memories

Adoring the theatre setting of Jessica and Sean’s Wintertime Theatre Wedding

Five Reasons to Consider a Destination Wedding

Suzanne Harward is hosting a special Sydney trunk show to celebrate the launch of the “Illuminati” collection! On Friday the 17th February join the team for a glass of champagne, an epic grazing table and soiree for their finest gowns of the new collection. Saturday and Sunday will be open for private style consultations RSVP here.

Love planning ahead? Lock in these two days for the Perth Upmarket Wedding Fair! May 6th and August 26th will see the UWA transformed to a space where you can meet incredible wedding vendors and find beautiful pieces for your big day. See the website for more details!

Nurit Hen is hosting two Australian trunk shows for lucky brides to be! Sydney can attend from April 27-30, while Melbournites need to lock May 4-7 into their calendars.  Check out the site for details!

Summerfields Country House are hosting a day in the sun for their open day on the 19th of February. Sample canapes and high tea, take a tour of the property and meet their favourite wedding suppliers! Check out their Facebook page for full details.


Our friends at c2 Films captured the beautiful Noosa wedding of George and Joanna. A day that was so beautifully filled with tender moments of family (and bumps!), sunshine and laughter – just like the most wonderful of seaside holidays.

Visit Ms Polka Dot's Directory

Pip & Brendan’s Stones of the Yarra Valley Autumn wedding

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Pip & Brendan

Rich rusty toned leaves, deep grey skies and the cosiness of candlelight and fires – is it any wonder I adore Autumn? These very elements set the scene for today’s stunning Stones Of The Yarra Valley autumn wedding of Pip and Brendan captured by Louisa Bailey and with the bride’s brief of an indoor Autumnal forest with plenty, and I mean plenty of foliage, the scene was set.

Pip kicks us off by telling us how she and Brendan came to be. “We worked together at a publishing company and a friendship and then a relationship grew over time. Before we had even kissed, Brendan had agreed on the spur of the moment to buy a ticket to the Coachella Music Festival and join me and my friends (who he’d never met) on a road trip. I think it was around then that we both sensed that something might be there.”

The bride chose Andrea Gorrie Couture  to make her wedding gown, she explains “The dress ended up working out really well. I was very nervous because I’m not the kind of person to have spent any time thinking about this stuff until I really had to – so there were lots of ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’ and confused looks whenever people would ask what I wanted. I have always loved pleats however and had this idea of some big, diagonal, origami folds. The material was silk but spun in a denim-like twill – really stiff and just like wearing a big denim dress. Also, it had POCKETS. Big, utilitarian POCKETS. At one stage I had 3x lippies, tissues and my phone in there and you couldn’t tell the difference. MAGIC. My girlfriends and I love ‘razzle’, so I felt like sparkle needed to make an appearance and commissioned a crop top made of this amazing embellished material.

Andrea Gorrie Bridal made my dress and Andrea was so much fun to work with – she’s a total pro. The dress and top were quite technical to pull off (getting those pleats right, making the top from a single, un-broken piece of material so as not to interrupt the pattern) and she did them perfectly. I would recommend her to anyone.”

Pip and Brendan chose Stones of the Yarra Valley  for their wedding, Pip noting “All one venue for everything – that’s what we liked about Stones and it was one of the main reasons we chose it. We got married in the Chapel (non-religious), moved to The Dairy for champagne and canapes and then into The Barn for a formal dinner and dancing. Stones is beautiful – it was late April so the ornamental vines were bright red and the vines in the winery were transitioning from green to yellow.

We both think Autumn is the best time of year so as soon as a date popped up for Stones, we quickly googled to see what the leaves would be doing at that time of year. Autumn leaves were a big deciding factor for us. Because it was in the Yarra Valley, a lot of people chose to stay in the area and make a weekend of it. Given that they were going to all that expense, we organised buses to pick them up from their accommodation and drop them home again at the end of the night, so no one had to drive and they could all relax and have a drink and enjoy. We’re really glad we did that as we felt it added to the mood of the day.”


Of their photographer, Pip tells “We used Louisa Bailey, a Melbourne-based wedding photographer who has the added benefit of being the sister of one of our very good friends. Having Louisa there – especially when we didn’t have a wedding party – was so great. She knew us and knew our friends and knew what I would forget even before I forgot it (seriously – I probably would have walked out of the house without my shoes and getting rained on if it wasn’t for Lou.”

Of the vibe the couple chose for their wedding, Pip explains “Fun and hassle-free. More than anything else, we wanted it to be about all of our friends and family having a good time and laughing a lot. Good food. Good wine. And foliage – HEAPS OF FOLIAGE (because everyone wants to pretend they’re in a forest indoors, right?) We tried to get rid of as many formalities as we could – if something didn’t pass the litmus test of ‘what’s that for?’ then it didn’t make the cut. Consequently, there was no bridal party (why play favourites and, also, why limit everyone’s personal outfit fabulousness?), no cake (any ‘tradition’ that relies on modern refrigeration is NOT a tradition), no bonbonieres (we still have no idea what they’re for), no throwing of the bouquet (seriously, let’s have a great night and then make single female friends feel awkward: what’s that about?).”

Pip walked down the aisle to a pianist (Diana Woodhouse) playing “Where Is My Mind?” by The Pixies.

Blooming Brides created the floral arrangements for the day, Pip explaining “Rita from Blooming Brides did the most SPECTACULAR job with the flowers and foliage on the day. She was able to perfectly translate the very odd Pinterest board I created for her (that included a Major Mitchell cockatoo as its ‘spirit animal’) and created the most incredible, spectacular, indoor forest of autumn foliage and flowers for us. Rita uses no florist block and her work is as much sculptural as beautiful. Everything was thought of by Rita, including brown paper put out at the end of the night for guests to take big bunches of flowers off the tables and transport them home so they could live on after the event. The flowers were actually the only bit I enjoyed about wedding planning (not a natural wedding planner) and I just remember Brendan and I standing there, gobsmacked, when we first walked into The Barn before the guests came in.”

The first dance was unplanned, Pip explaining “We weren’t going to do a dance but the venue convinced us to! We danced to ‘You got it’ by Roy Orbison. We didn’t practice – unless you count 15 minutes on the morning of the wedding, in our PJ’s, practising!”

The newlyweds were spoilt with one more very special surprise – a flash mob! “The best feature of our wedding was a complete surprise. Unbeknownst to us, our friends had been secretly organising a dance (or, as my brother, Bob, the MC introduced it ‘a mini-Rock Eisteddfod’) for the 3 months prior to the wedding. We had no idea. All of a sudden, the dance floor was cleared and people were told to go back to their seats. Then ‘Can’t Take my Eyes Off of You’ by Frankie Valli started playing and the performance commenced. They also filmed all the rehearsals (because our friends realised quickly that the worst thing about the surprise would be the fact that B and I didn’t get to be part of all of the secret squirrel organising) and created a zine of rehearsal photos, ALL OF THE PLANNING EMAILS (my god, the email chains were hilarious!) and the instructional videos they created for those who couldn’t attend rehearsals. It was seriously the best thing that happened ever and the best surprise on the day. There were also glitter cannons, dance moves (‘The Brendan’) and very specific props based on our terrible sense of humour. The best.”

Pip remarks “All I can remember hearing was laughter from the moment the ceremony started to the end of the party we had afterwards. (We loved) Family: we both loved having our parents, siblings and family members there – it meant so much to have a great party with them. Friends and the dance: especially the ones who would go to such great lengths to choreograph a mini-Rock Eisteddfod AND keep it a secret (which is almost impossible in our group). Big thanks to the four ‘Dance Captains’, Lelly, Emily, Violet and Sally for coordinating the chaos.”

Pip and Brendan got an even bigger surprise when Haven Images showed up to make sure the dance was captured on film!

Congratulations on your marriage Pip and Brendan! Thank you for taking the time to share your day with us! Thank you to Louisa Bailey  for sharing today’s photography!

Photographer: Louisa Bailey / Cinematographer: Haven Images / Bride's Dress: Andrea Gorrie Couture / Bride's Shoes: Atelier Paul Stewart / Bride's Jewellery: Melanie Katsalidis / Bride's Veil/Hair Accessories: The Eternal Headonist / Groom's Attire: M.J. Bale / Hairstylist: Sarah Lea Cross / Makeup Artist: Sarah Lea Cross / Flowers: Blooming Brides / Invitations & Stationery: Santiago Sunbird / Venue: Stones of the Yarra Valley / Ceremony Officiant: Don Callahan / Ceremony Musicians: Diana Woodhouse / DJ: Andrew McClelland / Photo Booth: Oh My Booth / Wedding Rings: Melanie Katsalidis / Wedding Rings: APS Jewellery / Transport: Yarra Valley Transfers

Alysha & Matt’s Elegant Waterfront Estate Wedding

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Alysha & Matt

Alysha and Matt knew exactly what they wanted for their wedding – an elegant, intimate affair with their nearest and dearest. The striking grandeur of Campbell Point House on the Bellarine Peninsula was the perfect backdrop for such a day, and the talented Christopher Robert was on hand to capture their elegant waterfront estate wedding.

The couple remember the very first time they met, at work nine years earlier when Alysha burnt her hand deep frying a Mars Bar, and Matt, as her manager, had to file an incident report. Needless to say, to pair never looked back!

The bride’s incredible, ivory lace dress was from Mariana Hardwick, and she says that it was chosen with luck, fate and love. “Luck, as we happened to walk in with no booking and a spot had just opened up. Fate, because the same wonderful consultant who designed my sister’s wedding dress four years earlier was the one available for the appointment. Love, because the dress was envisaged by me, with my mum and sister, combining difference aspects of dresses that we liked to create a dress that was perfect.”

The bridal party hair and makeup was styled by Amanda from Allure Face and Body, the bride commenting that her friendly and bubbly personality, matched with her exceptional talent, resulted in a relaxed and gorgeous bridal party.

The groom and his groomsmen wore bold, blue tailor made suits from Briggins with dark tan shoes and dapper suspenders. A champagne pocket square, made from the lining of the bride’s dress completed Matt’s wedding day look, while the groomsmen wore mint pocket squares to match the bridesmaid’s Ted Baker dresses.

The couple chose Campbell Point House, a luxurious waterfront private estate situated on the Bellarine Peninsula, for their day. Not only did it serve for both their ceremony and reception, it worked beautifully for their first look before their ceremony, and bridal portraits afterwards, with the wind whipping about them to create an epic, romantic effect for their day, and photos.


“We wanted the ceremony to reflect our story, and the love we have for each other. We wanted it to be relaxed and heartfelt, choosing to write our own vows and selecting readings from our childhood. Our wonderful band covered Ingrid Michaelson’s version of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” for me to walk down the aisle to,” tells the bride.

“Chris was exceptional!” gushes the couple about their wedding photographer, Christopher Robert. “He was enthusiastic and professional. We couldn’t be happier with the moments he captured of our day. Our memories and stories now have perfect pictures to match. We highly recommend him. His creative eye and professionalism combine to make him an excellent photographer.”

Alysha’s incredible sister made their stunning cake, which they both agree was absolutely delicious. They choose to create their wedding favours, which were white chocolate and cranberry cookie mix in jars, that also acted as place settings for the reception. Their florist was Sarah from Botanica Fresh Flowers, who created luxurious arrangements of ivory roses and greenery, was a favourite with the couple. “Her seemingly effortless natural style and attention to detail created our beautiful bouquets, button holes, arbour and table arrangements!”

“Our first dance took some practice, but was what made it so much fun!” the couple laugh. “”We spun, dipped and swayed our way across the floor to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” covered by our Jazz and Soul duo from Geelong Entertainment.” Alysha and Matt both agree that the day goes so fast, and they adored sharing it with their family and friends, and creating a day that they felt truly reflected who they are.

Congratulations Alysha and Matt, and thank you to the couple and the fabulous Christopher Robert for sharing this beautiful day with us.

Photographer: Christopher Robert / Bride's Dress: Mariana Hardwick / Bride's Shoes: Kurt Geiger / Bride's Jewellery: Mariana Hardwick / Groom's Suit & Shoes: Briggins / Groomsmen's Suit & Shoes: Briggins / Bridesmaid Dresses: Ted Baker / Bridesmaid Shoes: Kurt Geiger / Hair & Makeup: Allure Face and Body / Flowers: Botanica Fresh Flowers / Invitations & Stationery: Snap Rowville / Venue: Campbell Point House / Ceremony Officiant: Jo Betz / Ceremony Musicians: Soul Chic / Reception Music: Geelong Entertainment / Catering: Campbell Point House / Rings: Hardy Brothers Jewellers

Ten Ideas For Feel Good Valentines Day Dates

by | Bride, Relationships


We love Valentines Day at Polka Dot Bride and today we’re rounding up ten ideas for feel good Valentines Day dates. From cheap and cheerful to heartfelt, to classic, to downright fun! I love that these ideas are jsut as suitable for you and your beloved as they are for a bunch of friends (ala galentines!) or really, just a random weekend of fun!

Photographer: Welsch Photography / Styling: Katherine Eleyce (Ms Filigree) for Polka Dot Bride / Venue: Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel / Cakes: The Grounds of Alexandria / Flowers & Props: Oak & Linden / Flowers (Outdoor Picnic): Heiress Flowers / Flowers (In Gold Vase At Outdoor Picnic): Oak & Linden

Fish & Chips On The Beach

One of my favourite things to do is to grab a bottle of prosecco and sit by the water with hot fish and chips as the sun sets. Nothing quite says romance and relaxation to me than bubbles out of a plastic champagne glass and seagulls hawking for your food.

There’s an idea: If a ‘done for you’ option is up your alley,  Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel are offering packages for sunset picnics on the beach – they even include the picnic rug!

Brunch At Home

Years ago I made the most of my Valentines Day loving heart and purchased a fabulous heart shaped cake pan. Other years I’ve made heart cupcakes and quite fancy red velvet pancakes. So I love the idea of a special breakfast at home. Kick off with mimosas, whip up strawberry pancakes and have a decadent breakfast, before work mode kicks in for the day.

There’s an idea: Melbourne Zoo is hosting “Breakfast With The Gorillas” for those who prefer their breakfast cooked for their with a side of wildlife. A sumptuous buffet breakfast will be on your agenda before a day at the zoo


Years ago, Mr Polka and I took off to the planetarium on Valentines Day and it was rather magical. There was something special about learning and watching the history and a multitude of stars rushing by before we headed out after dark to celebrate.

There’s an idea: Scienceworks are offering an evening under the stars with a show in the planetarium, outdoor stargazing and of course wine and cheese!


Dinner For Two

I had to include the classic “dinner for two” in this roundup of feel good date ideas for Valentines Day. It’s always so much fun getting dressed in your finest attire for a special dinner and what better day to celebrate than Valentine’s Day? Mr Polka and I spent our first Valentine’s Day at our favourite restaurant and for lovers of dining out, it continues to be a favourite!

There’s an idea: Indiana is hosting a special Valentines Day dinner with a three-course menu and bubbles and for an evening with even more wow factor, Lake House Daylesford is offering  an amazing eight course degustation menu.

Take A Ride

If adrenalin rushes are the thing that makes your heart sing, why not spend the day at your favourite theme park? Fill your bellies with popcorn and fairy floss and get your heart pumping and blood flowing with rollercoasters, and carousels.

There’s an idea: Luna Park Melbourne are hosting a special Valentines Day evening complete with unlimited rides as the sun goes down – also with added fairy floss!

Moonlight Cinema

Watch Your Favourites Under The Night Sky

If you’re a movie buff, why not take the silver screen to new heights with a night at an outdoor cinema? I love the idea of making the movies a special occasion and I am an extra big fan of stocking up on special occasions with special drinks and food packages (the less I have to worry about the better!)

There’s An Idea:  Moonlight Cinema will be screening La La Land on Valentines Day across their five Australian locations.

Cook Up A Storm

We have a bit of a theme in our house – Mr Polka is great at cooking, whereas I’m handy at baking. We love to spend time pottering in the kitchen together, but I find I always do the same things. So I would love to spend the night at a cooking class learning a new cuisine, new techniques and trying new tastes that we could put into action at home.

There’s An Idea: Salt Meats Cheese offers various cooking classes and this Valentines Day will be serving up bubbles before teaching a class on how to create your own pasta and delicious bolognese sauce (which of course you then get to enjoy!)

Photo by Montalto Winery

Picnics Under A Tree

When Mr Polka and I first started dating, we would often grab a picnic rug on Valentines Day and head to the deli. We’d pick up mini bottles of bubbles (sensing a theme here?) and all of our favourite foods – amazing cheese, delicious prosciutto, dips and crackers and then find a shady spot in a beautiful park for a picnic. It was one of my favourite ways to spend a few hours.

There’s an idea: Montalto Winery is famous for its vineyard picnics.  A table is set with white linen, crockery and glassware and you even get a map so you can amble along in the sunshine to the location.

Pitch A Tent

Get away from it all with a very special twist by glamping! Make your booking and arrive at a fully equipped campsite with fresh linens, lanterns, beds – even bubbles and food can be provided. Camping without the stress (and backache!) sounds like my idea of romance.

There’s an idea: Soul Camping are offering a Valentines Day special glamping package.

Row Row Your Boat

If you live in a place with a large body of water, chances are there’s a boat to hire somewhere! I must admit I am not good at the ‘moving the boats’ part. I am good at the laughing my head off while Mr Polka does all the work, though I think I manage a couple of rows! It’s a fun way to spend a day and work up an appetite.

There’s an idea: I have tried and tested Captain Jolleys Paddleboats in Adelaide, we also love hiring boats at Studley Park Boathouse in Melbourne.