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Erana & Zane’s Sweet Country Wedding At Ace-Hi Ranch

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Erana & Zane

It was a blistering hot day when Erana and Zane welcomed their guests to their nuptials. But it seems that the heat only made the Western ranch venue even more appropriate. “We thought our choice was fun and quirky, but it was actually quite challenging to style without grabbing the cowboy boots and hat – we kept it casual, rustic and most importantly relaxed,” tells the bride. The onsite chapel, barn and rolling hills played host to a day that was all about a couple who wanted to tie the knot and express everything they love from their eleven years together. With photographic magician Georgia Verrells behind the lens, and days of preparation behind them, all that was left to do, was to enjoy the day.

It was on their ten year anniversary that Zane proposed. “We were on holiday snowboarding in Wanaka, NZ when he popped the question on the chairlift,” remembers Erana. “Everyone always asks if he was scared to drop the ring but we have spent a lot of time on chairlifts and it wasn’t a concern. He later told me he actually had it in his pocket all day and had accidentally forgotten to zip the pocket shut for a few runs – luckily it stayed put.”

The couple hired velvet couches for their forest photos.  

Erana and Zane took to a local forest for their first look.

Erana chose a gorgeous lace gown from Rue de Seine, remembering, “I wore the Elea Gown by Rue de Seine – funnily enough, a New Zealand designer with a French name (my dad is NZ Maori and my mum is French – so it suits!). I didn’t try on a huge amount of dresses but of the ones I did they were 99% hideous. When I tried the Elea gown it was the first one I felt comfortable in. I purchased the dress over a year before our wedding but was pleased I still really liked it by the time the big day came around.”

Gold Pop Flowers styled the bright floral details. “I don’t know much about flowers but I like lots of colour and that’s what I got!” tells Erana.

“My favourite photos are our bridal party shots on the velvet couches in the woods – they came out better than I had hoped and also show all of our outfits tying together nicely! I was a bit iffy when we were choosing everything so it’s nice to see it all work out!”

Erana walked down the aisle with both of her parents, explaining, “I walked down the aisle to ‘Heartbeats’ by Jose Gonzales, a long time fav of ours. My mum and dad both walked me down the aisle – call me a feminist but I don’t believe in the concept of the father giving his daughter away – my parents equally shaped who I am and that was why it was important for me to have them both there.”

Tells the bride, “Our ceremony actually unintentionally ended up being quite hilarious – we definitely didn’t want it to be cheesy or fake so we kept it relatively short. No readings or the like. Zane quoted Ralph Wiggum of the Simpsons in his wedding vows and our guests wound up giving him a round of applause when he was done – I don’t think I have seen that happen at a wedding before?”

“I was on the verge of happy tears when Zane was reading his vows until he finished with ‘I choo choo choose you’ and we all broke out in laughter.”


Erana and Zane wanted a blank canvas venue and Ace-Hi Ranch fit the bill! “We chose the Ace-Hi Ranch as it was a DIY venue and we could add all of our own little quirks to the day – such as ice cream on arrival and espresso martinis later in the night! We also loved this venue as it is a school camp venue and has lots of little cabins on site which we booked out for our guests. We are both from NZ so 80% of our guests were coming from abroad. The venue was also great as we could have our ceremony at the onsite chapel and reception in the hall. There is also a swimming pool which was perfect the next morning as it was a VERY hot couple of days.”

“Our venue was just a venue so we had to do a lot of work – we hired vintage furniture and wooden tables and chairs from all over Melbourne, purchased plates, water bottles, napkins, etc,” says Erana.  “Zane sanded down old windows to use for signage, and thankfully my brother is a website/ graphic design nerd so he put together a wedding website for us, did all our invites, place names, signage etc. My mum also makes and sells hand creams and moisturisers so she made small pots of rose hand cream for all our guests and my brother did the labels for them.”

“We loved her! 5 stars!” remarks Erana of the couple’s chosen photographer Georgia. “She really just seemed like one of our guests, everyone got along with her really well and were on a first name basis with her by the time that she left. We were super nervous about the “cheese” involved in the bridal party shots but she made it funny which relaxed us a lot.”

Guests enjoyed a sit-down feast catered by Mr Hall Catering Co. “Our caterers Mr Hall Catering were particularly awesome. The food was delicious but, equally important, the staff were over the top awesome,” remarks Erana.

Erana loves to plan, so planning the wedding was right up her alley! She notes, “I really enjoy planning so I enjoyed 98% of the process – only in the final two weeks’ lead up did things get a bit hectic. My favourite part was probably working on my Excel spreadsheet – ha! Going to see bands was pretty fun as well – an excuse to get out and about!”

Just like every other part of the day, the first dance was relaxed! Erana remembering, “Our first dance again, was very chill, just a little-unchoreographed shimmy to ‘Sea of Love’ by Cat Powers. Our band did an excellent cover for us. We actually chose the song because it is really short and we didn’t want to be swaying around too long by our lonesomes. Turns out even the short song was too long and we ended up calling people up to join us pretty quick haha.”

Music was a high priority for the couple, who chose The Mac Project to perform all night long. The bride tells, “Music was always really important for us so we had an awesome band – The Mac Project – followed by a DJ. We also really wanted to include espresso martinis – everyone gets a little snoozy after drinking in the sun all afternoon followed by a big dinner. Espresso martinis were a perfect sidekick for our wedding cake. We also wanted to make sure our guests were looked after, as they were all staying the night – we had pizza delivered later in the night and also had a food truck serving up breakfast and coffee in the morning.”

Congratulations Erana and Zane! Thank you for taking the time to share your day with us. Thank you also to Georgia Verrells for sharing today’s beautiful wedding with us.

Photographer: Georgia Verrells / Bride's Dress: Rue de Seine / Makeup Artist: Isabella Quinn Make Up / Flowers: Gold Pop Flowers / Venue: Ace-Hi Ranch / Rental Furniture: One Big Day Event Hire / Catering: Mr Hall Catering Co / Favors: France Prevost / Band: The Mac Project
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Suzanne Harward Spring 2019 “Kaleidoscopic Dream” Collection

by | Bridal Fashion, Bride


If there ever was a label that reinvented itself to become a name synonymous with modern Australian bridal, then Suzanne Harward would be it.

Beginning many moons ago in 1975, the reinvention continues with the Spring 2019 couture collection. The range is filled with – not just gowns of traditional bridal white (thirteen in this collection!) – something for the bride who loves a little colour. Gowns of berry, emerald green, black and florals make up eight of the collection’s pieces.

The brand tells, “Elegant and directional, the range showcases complex couture elements emphasizing feminine design, luxe fabrication and Suzanne Harward signature silhouettes.” There are long, sheer sleeves with beautiful laser-cut overlays; gowns with minimal detail that focus purely on the cut and silhouette. Other gowns have a look from lands far away, the deep tones of berry, or slate greys combined with more coral pinks, blues and purples in very much alternative bridal designs. My absolute favourite is “Colour Look Five”, the deep green gown (beautiful for a winter wedding) features the softest, most stunning velvet fabric, long sleeves and a deep v-neckline.

The pieces, limited edition, are based on the brand’s ethos of luxurious, elegant style. Each gown is carefully crafted in the brand’s Melbourne studio.

These pieces are available to view by appointment. Book via the Suzanne Harward website.

Gowns: Suzanne Harward / Jewellery: Paul Bram / Jewellery: Canturi / Hair & Makeup Artist: Kylie O’Toole

Vendor of the Week – Cait Elizabeth Wedding & Event Planning

by | Blog News, Bride


Morning Dotties! It is always hard to imagine in the depths of Winter that Spring is just around the corner, but while we soak up our Winter favourites, we’re also looking forward to kicking off wedding season in another month or two!

If you’re planning your wedding for 2019 – how are you bringing all the ideas you have from Pinterest and Instagram together to create a cohesive look? Decor and coordinating wedding suppliers can be overwhelming – so why not call in the professionals? Check out the Polka Dot Directory. We have Wedding Planners, we have Styling and Hire, we have Wedding Gifts & Registries and Entertainment – we even have Bridal Gown Services and Menswear! Our vendors are standing my to assist you!

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

Image one and two by  Brent Lukey Photography, Image three and four by The White TreeImage five by Jessica Atkins Photo Art & Studio

When we chat with our wedding vendors the overwhelming reason they are in the wedding industry is that they love LOVE. Cait Elizabeth Wedding & Event Planning is also in the business to help you plan the best day possible, have it run smoothly and know that your vision and ideas have become a reality. Not only does she do the big things like coordinate suppliers but she’ll finesse your decor so that it looks perfect for your wedding day. Relaxing and enjoying your wedding knowing that Caitlyn has your back, will ensure that you’ll look back on your day with pleasure.

We asked Caitlyn of Cait Elizabeth Wedding & Event Planning five questions in five minutes:

What is your reward after a big working day?
Jumping into my pyjamas as soon as I get home, grabbing a hot chocolate (or a whiskey if I’m feeling rebellious!) and binge-watching Netflix for the next several hours.

Favourite weekend getaway?

I don’t often have time to get away, my holidays or time “away” are usually in the form of a horse competition. I do love the Mornington Peninsula though, that’s usually my go-to location if I have a day off.

What is your most prized possession?
My horses. They keep me very grounded and humble.

Favourite restaurant?
I don’t really have a favourite – we tend to try a new place every time we go out. But I do love a good Indian restaurant, we have a small local one that I always seem to run back to!

What do you most enjoy about being in the wedding industry?
I make so many wonderful connections with my couples, I’ve made lifelong friends along the way. I also love the emotions that get poured into the planning process, and especially the emotions on the day. I’m just obsessed with love.

Visit  Cait Elizabeth Wedding & Event Planning’s page to find out more about our Vendor Of The Week. Cait Elzabeth Wedding & Event Planning is a member of the Polka Dot Directory.

Snapshot Sunday – Golden Tangles

by | Bride, Snapshot Sundays


Photographer: Matthew Evans