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Emma & Bijal’s Romantic Golden Country Engagement

by | Australia - Queensland, Bride, Engagements,


Emma & Bijal

Set in Toowoomba’s golden countryside, Emma and Bijal’s engagement shoot is the stuff dreams are made of. With dramatic skies framing them beautifully, rainbows splashing themselves around abundantly and a couple very much in love, every image is sheer joy! Leah Cruikshank Photography captured every moment,

The bride and groom-to-be met in their workplace, with Emma sharing, ”We met in 2012 when I first started working for his company. Two years later I left the company, I say that he couldn’t survive without me! We got back in touch, went for lunch and, well, the rest is history!”

With the rolling hills providing the couple a gorgeous backdrop, Leah Cruikshank Photography was able to show beautifully the love Emma and Bijal have for one another. Emma tells, ”I absolutely love Bijal’s spontaneity! I myself am very planned and organised and he brings that spontaneous side out of me. I remember when we first met he woke up one morning and said, ‘let’s go to New Zealand tomorrow!’ and off we went! This made me so incredibly anxious, I don’t do anything without a fully planned and prepared itinerary. His sense of adventure and humour is what I love most about Bijal, and without a doubt the beautiful father he is to our daughter.”

Wearing a stunning Sheike dress with nude heels and statement earrings, Emma looked simply divine! Talking of his bride to be, Bijal shares, ”She is my rock. She stood by my side through everything, she completed me and our family. She is just the most caring, gorgeous and beautiful person I have met.”

Taking the romance to the next level, Bijal proposed in Europe! Emma tells of their trip, ”We went on a on a family trip, my mum, step dad, us and our at the time 8 month old daughter, three weeks travelling around Europe. My mum carried the ring around with her every day! We went to the Eiffel Tower and did the tour. When we got back, he dropped down on one knee (with what was my most hated song as he’d been playing it non stop for the three weeks prior) and proposed. Tearfully I looked at my mum and said, ‘I hate this song!’ (while sobbing), then of course turned back and said yes!” Bijal chose a breathtaking Michael Hill Jewellers ring for his bride.

Absolutely thrilled with their engagement shoot, Emma and Bijal had a weather-perfect afternoon in the Queensland countryside! They tell, ”We absolutely adored Leah Cruikshank Photography when we first saw her portfolio. It had such a beautiful, warm feeling to it and we just fell in love with her style. Leah is an absolute dream to work with. We were a little nervous doing our shoot but within seconds just felt so comfortable. She’s full of laughs and makes the moment so fun. Just like her stunning photos, she has such a warm personality.”

Congratulations to our gorgeous bride and groom to be on your engagement! And a special thank you to Leah Cruikshank Photography for your magnificent images!

Photographer: Leah Cruikshank Photography / Dress: Sheike / Engagement Ring: Michael Hill Jewellers
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Rachael & Ethan’s Classic Romance Wedding at Jaspers Berry

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


Rachael & Ethan

There is a lot to love about a celebration that is all about classic country charm, with Rachael and Ethan who chosing the Southern Highlands for their winter wedding day. Deep jewel tones, lush floral details and plenty of music and dancing was just the way to ward off the winter chill.

The happy couple were joined by Nigel Unsworth Studios who captured the winter beauty at its best.

The pair met while working at their local pub, although their paths had crossed sometime earlier during high school. It wasn’t until the two bought their first house together than Ethan popped the question. “We bought a little house that needed some love! We straight away got stuck into giving it a fresh coat of paint. One day, Eth told me not to come straight over, as he had a tradesman coming over to do something for us as a surprise. I totally believed him! I thought I was getting some new downlights or some plaster on a wall!  He met me at the door and made me close my eyes. He led me to the room that is now our master bedroom. When I opened my eyes, I was totally blown away! The lights were off. Ethan had collected 100s of little glass jars and had tea lights in all of them. The room was just absolutely glowing. He had a picnic rug on the floor with a bottle of Moet and 2 champagne glasses. A dozen roses also lay on the rug. He got down on one knee and told me how much he loved me and asked if I would do him the honour of being his wife! I, of course, said a huge YES!”

The groom chose a navy three-piece suit, tailored by Montagio Custom Tailoring

Rachael walked down the aisle with both of her parents, to a live string quartet,  Diamond Strings, playing Pachelbel’s Canon in D.

  Rachael and Ethan chose Amber Williams to officiate their celebrant, Rachael noting “We loved our celebrant Amber – we got lots of people coming up to tell us how much they loved her and what an amazing job she did.”

Rachael and Ethan chose the beautiful Jaspers Berry for their wedding, telling “Rosie was incredible. Incredible. I just can’t tell you how amazing this venue was! From the moment we chose it, all the way through to our special day, they were just incredible to deal with. They helped us plan every single element of the day and then the actual day itself exceeded all our expectations. Our friends and family have RAVED about the venue.”

Of their photographer, Rachael remarks “Nigel Unsworth was amazing! We met with him months before the wedding and we knew we wanted to have him with us on our special day. He is such a cool guy! He is easy to get along with, he is SO creative and he knows his stuff! He took amazing photos for us on our wedding day – WE LOVE THEM! He’s so tall – we could easily spot him all day! He was relaxed, he made us feel relaxed and he was so well organised. He took us to all the spots he knew that were awesome for photos and it made the process so quick and pain-free! We would recommend him to everyone!”

A nod to the groom’s surname of Honeysett led each guest to see a jar of honey, from the bees of the groom’s aunt and uncle, at their place setting.

The newlyweds kicked off the reception with traditional Lebanese dancing, Rachael reminiscing “I am half Lebanese so we organised for C’Darz Entertainment  Lebanese drummers to come down and they drummed us into the reception. It was so loud and fantastic we loved it!! We were lifted onto peoples’ shoulders and everyone joins hands in a circle and dance around us. It is a massive Lebanese tradition and it was so so special for me to include my Lebanese heritage at our wedding!”

“All our stories are just filled with happiness! Everything went to plan and there were no dramas at all!” remembers Rachael.

The newlyweds enlisted TIl Death Do Us Party to capture their day in beautiful motion. Tells the bride “He is our good mate and is an INCREDIBLE videographer. He is so creative. Everyone has loved our wedding video – we have so much positive feedback about it!”

A big congratulations to you Rachael and Ethan! Thank you for sharing your day with us. Thank you also to Nigel Unsworth Studios for today’s imagery.

Photographer: Nigel Unsworth Studios / Cinematographer: TIl Death Do Us Party / Bride's Dress: Brides Of Sydney / Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Montagio Custom Tailoring / Bridesmaid Dresses: A Brides Blessing / Makeup Artist: Caroline Angilletta / Hairstylist: Anthony Ellis / Flowers: Jaspers Berry / Invitations & Stationery: Hands On Design / Venue: Jaspers Berry / Ceremony Officiant: Amber Williams / Ceremony Musicians: Diamond Strings / Band: Red Soda / Band: C'Darz Entertainment / Wedding Cake: Jaspers Berry / Wedding Ring: Harrisons Jewellers Bench

Friday Roundup

by | Blog News, Bride


Photo by Cassandra Ladru Photography  via Claudia and Simon’s Gorgeous Gold Coast Wedding

Dotties it has been a huge week around these parts. Some of us have jetted off to New York for wedding celebrations, others are trying to balance the Autumn in Summer weather vibes we’re experiencing (not sure which out of those options sounds more attractive!)

We’re having so much fun exploring everything that happens after the yes! during The Engagement Issue. Oh and have you entered our Engagement Issue giveaway yet? Time’s ticking!

Loving the stunning photography from the crew of harustudio. Meet the team!

Our honeymoon guide to New York

Win two beautiful books!

How to resize your engagement ring- the complete lowdown!

Beautiful engagement rings and a chat with Musson Jewellers

Loving this smart casual groom style look

The hottest flower trends for 2019

A glam Gold Coast wedding

Engagement party trends from around the world

Easy love story wall hanging for you to make yourself!

Joel’s favourite wedding day memory

Whip up this champagne and raspberry spider cocktail!

Claudia’s real bride wisdom on why having your wedding ceremony and reception on different days is the best idea ever

Fancy yourself a mermaid (or merman?) Melbourne Aquarium is giving away a wedding photos session amongst the fishes! You’ll get to dive into the 2.2 million litre Oceanarium amongst their sea wildlife in what is sure to be one “never forget” wedding moment! Plus you’ll get photos to prove it! Enter here!

Still stuck on catering your wedding? Everyone’s favourite food delivery network Deliveroo have launched a wedding service to feed your guests.  You’ll get the chance to work with the team to customise your own menu, across various cuisines to create your own unique menu. Email to find out more!

Did you hear? One lucky Polka Dot Bride reader will take home a copy of  Places We Swim and “The Meaning Of Home” this month! All you need to do is pop on over to this post to enter!

For our tune of the week, we’re going a little mellow thanks to this performance by Jess at wedding band The Bombastics performing one of those favourites you know will suit any mood.

Em & Lachy’s Rustic Country Engagement Party

by | Bride, Engagements,


Emily & Lachy

If there is one thing we wanted to make sure we included in The Engagement Issue, it’s engagement parties! They’re one of the most fun parts of planning your wedding and have such a relaxed, fun vibe without the tradition or expectation of a wedding. So today? Let us introduce Emily & Lachy!

The pair chose to hold their engagement celebration’s on the bride’s family farm. Falling in love with the rustic, county charm of the property, they enlisted photographer Not Negative Photography to capture their fun. “The idea was to have a big engagement party with all of our family and friends to celebrate and then possibly have a more intimate wedding in future. We have plans to renovate and would like to travel more together as well as a wedding so we will just continue to work towards that and see how the future pans out,” tells Emily.

The two, who met at a mutual friend’s party, became engaged on a trip to Port Douglas. Emily fills us in.

“It was our first proper holiday together as our focus has always been on the house. Our first full day there Lachy suggested we have a picnic on the beach in the afternoon. As we were getting ready I noticed Lachy was putting a bit of effort into his appearance as there I am in bathers and a messy bun/ We went to the shops on our way and got drinks and everything for a platter. Lachy took me around to a secluded part of the beach that was picture perfect. He set up the camera for timer shots of us (even though he had it filming) and put music on while I set up the platter. I thought he was putting a lot of effort into this picnic and I asked him what was taking so long as I wanted to start eating. He then produced a photo book he had made for us of photos of us both at similar ages growing up and had made it into a love story. It was so beautiful and I cried saying it’s not even my birthday. He then got on one knee, told me he loved me and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me and open a ring box with a blue diamond ring! It was such an amazing time for us and we were on a high the entire holiday, so excited and full of love.”


The focal point for the party was a vintage lounge from One Big Day Event Hire with a fun neon sign from Little Pineapple Neon. Emily explaining “I had really wanted to hire an old fashioned couch for photos as I thought it went perfectly with the style I was going for. Our amazing friends hired it for us as our present  and I hired the neon sign to complete the look. I am so glad we had that couch as a photo area as it was a beautiful spot and really personalised the photos at our event. I also loved the family photos we took there!!”

Vintage, rustic pieces filled with lawn. “Lachy and I love an old school/country style. I think my parent’s place has an effortlessly country style and adding the country rock band I didn’t want to go any further than that. Everything else I wanted to have the old school character to it as well as creating an atmosphere with all of the lighting being warm white in colour and the two large fire pits. We added the old school touches with the old fashion champagne glasses and white doily tablecloths on the tables in the marquee. We also tried to get as many vintage chairs as possible for the tables in the marquee.”


“I think it’s really important to have different areas or sections to a party to accommodate everyone. We had a large space on the grass for those who wanted to dance in front of the band, a bar area with wine barrels for standing around, the marquee had a sit down area for food as well as a hay bale semi-circle for those wanting to sit and chat” shares Emily.

The decor was a true team effort, with help from Gypsyriver and Teagan & Hayley Preston tells the bride to be. “Many things at the party I had sourced myself as well as asked for help from friends. All of the candles were from Kmart and we had a welcome sign on the welcome drinks table in the same style as the invites. I had handwritten the sign with the help of my sister in law. My friend Ash put together the grazing platter and all of the amazing native and foliage arrangements were by my friends Teagan & Hayley Preston. Teagan runs her own gardening service and I was so impressed with the arrangements she made as she doesn’t usually do that sort of thing, although I think she should!”

Live music was a must for Emily and Lacy, who hired Long Gone Daddys to play the night away.”When planning the party we thought about what was important to us. Food, wine, and live music make a party, something that my Dad has always shown us from previous parties. We always want people to be fed and have a great time. The band, Long Gone Daddys we always get for parties at my parent’s home. They play all the nice acoustic stuff at the beginning of the night, continuing into the country rock that we all know and love once you’ve had a few drinks. They are also really into going with the crowd and are happy for people to get up and join in with them, this was a really nice aspect to have and everyone danced and sang all night!


Guests enjoyed speeches after dark, all captured by their photographer, who Emily couldn’t rate more highly. “Pete from Not Negative was amazing. As soon as he turned up to the party he was so excited about our set up and my parent’s property that he ensured us the photos would be great which was really exciting. We expressed to Pete that we had no experience in front of the camera and he was so great with us and put us at ease. It was really natural and we didn’t have to pose or do anything we didn’t want to as we were keen for more easy, candid photos.”

Photographer: Not Negative Photography / Styling: Gypsyriver / Bride's Jumpsuit: Finders Keepers / Bride's Jewellery: YOJ ĀLLEHCIM / Bride's Clutch: From St Xavier / Bride's Shoes: The Iconic / Groom's Tie & Bowties: OTAA / Makeup Artist: Claire Bradley / Hairstylist: Shauna Elizabeth / Flowers: Teagan & Hayley Preston / Beverages: Nillumbik Cellars / Venue: Private property / Rental Furniture: One Big Day Event Hire / Signage: Little Pineapple Neon / Band: Long Gone Daddys