Polka Dot Hot Spot: Your Greatest Lessons

by | Polka Dot Hot Spot, Weddings


Polka Dot Bride

Polka Dot Hot Spot is a brand new Polka Dot Weddings feature. Polka Dot Weddings was created to be a safe space to talk, to write to explore the trials, the journeys, the joys of planning a wedding and what that means. From the ever exciting dress appointments, to the odd comments from family about your bridal party style. Here we get to the nitty gritty, the stuff that I am too scared to talk about during daylight (my best post ideas come when I should be asleep) and maybe, just maybe feel a little more content, a little more empowered, a little more connected as the world and the wedding plans come hurtling at us at a million miles an hour.


I have an amazing friend who whenever she embarks on a new part of her life, a new journey, asks people what they love and what they hated about that part of their life.

She learns amazing things to put into practice in her own life, her own journeys and she gets a heads up about what to avoid. She shares me with this wisdom often and I have no doubt it contributes to the fact she is a joy to be around.

So here’s the starting point, let’s ease ourselves into it and take a deep breath. What’s the moment, the thing you’ve loved about wedding planning and the thing you’ve hated? What do you wish you’d done differently?



  • Ms Gingham says:
    March 2, 2012 at 10:25 am

    I was married nearly thirteen years ago… well before Polka Dot Bride was born! I hated… the fact that my photographer overtook the time between the wedding and the reception with the photography.

    I loved… making the cake designers make mini chocolate mud cakes with sugared almonds on top as our wedding favours (even thought they thought I was mad).

    I wish I had taken more time to think about what I was going to say at the reception instead of winging it and therefore subjecting everyone to my verbal outpour!

  • Polka Dot Bride says:
    March 2, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Ah when Polka Dot was just a twinkle in her mother’s eye Ms G!

    I loved.. the spontaneous parts..buying wedding rings was the first thing we did because we wanted to something “Weddingy”

    I wish.. I hadn’t given in to the pressure and expectations and let it overcome me. They were only mine anyway! The people that love us didn’t give a toss!

    I hated.. timelines. Stress, expectation and as above. NO ONE CARED!

  • Incognito says:
    March 2, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    I loved my venue, I was really worried about it as it wasnt a conventional venue but they blew me away and I was never without a fresh glass of champagne in my hand (even if I was too busy to drink it)

    I regret… My photographer, going with a friend instead of a professional. She is also a professional but i should have gone with someone I didnt know. Our photos were bad due to a few factors and I’m still not quite over it. You cant go back and retake those photos so dont scrimp on the photos and always trust your gut!!!

    • Polka Dot Bride says:
      March 2, 2012 at 7:44 pm

      Great wisdom Incognito! Thank you for the heads up about hiring friends. Although I work with friends a lot in my personal life (I have a lot of amazing entrepreneurs in my circle of friends) I think there is definitely a special kind of pressure that comes with something like wedding photography.

      Intuition and trusting your gut is a big one.. and one I think is all too easy to ignore.

  • Fee says:
    March 2, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Involve your groom! We put together a day that was about us, not colour schemes or imitating the super impressive blog spreads (sorry Ms PD!) We had a wonderful day full of meaning because we focused on what made us and our family happy, not what was pretty

    I did learn from my wedding that marriage is all about family, no matter how annoying that can be sometimes! If you don’t want their input- elope! I got pretty wound up for a while as everyone had an opinion, but I learnt to just relax and let them have their say, and everything was much easier after that! Doesn’t mean we did what they wanted, but our wedding was important to them too, and they were happy we were considering their advice. And when they got over the top we just had a private laugh together later!

    • Polka Dot Bride says:
      March 2, 2012 at 7:42 pm

      No offense taken Fee! I actually think I have grown to love telling stories more than just hearing pretty details! Give me the story about the handkerchief your mother lent you, or how the groom serenaded the bride and I’m there!

      I have to agree with you about the day being about “us”. I’m tired of the groom being seen as the accessory.

      Love the relaxation advice!

  • LJ says:
    March 2, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    I loved creating all the handmade elements with my now husband (of 4 weeks)! It was something that we shared together & not only was it Eco friendly but we have lots of mementos from the day. I loved our photographer Jonathan Ong. His amazing energy was calming on the day. He melted in to the background yet felt like an old friend & he told the story of our wedding day perfectly. 
    I didn’t like the stress around the guest list & dealing with people’s expectations about who should be invited. Ultimately it made us stronger & more assertive but it took up quite a bit of emotional energy.

    • Polka Dot Bride says:
      March 2, 2012 at 7:48 pm

      Yay LJ for hiring Jonathan Ong! (I am a big fan in case you couldn’t tell by my spontaneous yay!). I think hiring vendors who are brilliant at what they do and that you trust is key (It is so important to work with them but also allow yourself to trust their expertise!)

      I think creating handmade elements were some of my favourite memories not only of my own life but of others. The times I spent with the bride, or the couple making things for their wedding with a glass of wine and a chat were wonderful.

      Expectations! That is one thing I think as you said requires emotional energy, a strength to put the boundaries in and differentiate between what everyone else wants, what you want to have with your families as “the wedding” and your own life.

      • LJ says:
        March 27, 2012 at 5:46 pm

        Yay! Jonathan Ong captured the story of our day beautifully. He blended in as if he were family and yet captured every moment and detail and emotion as though there were 10 of him there!
        Hiring a great photographer was the single best decision we made apart from our venue choice. I had read on your blog countless times, that photography is so important and we are so glad that we made it a priority. Not only do we have beautiful photos but when we look at them we remember exactly what we were feeling at that moment and that’s priceless. I’m a BIG fan of Jon’s too. 🙂

  • Leah says:
    March 3, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Myself & my husband of nearly nine years (& photographer extraordinaire) still often tell clients that the thing we were most pleased that we did was to have a frank discussion early in the planning phase about what was most important to each of us & then to allocate a budget accordingly. Venue, food, wine & photography were our main concerns so they were booked early & were our main spend. We also decided that we wished to only have family & friends present that we loved, trusted & that we thought would still be a part of our lives in ten years time. For others their priorities may be flowers or videography or even an all-encompassing theme & if that’s what floats your boat then make sure you stay true to that.
    Regrets for me include (as mentioned above) using friends, because we felt obliged to & not going all-out with my frock. I loved my dress but thought it frivolous at the time to spend too much or stray too much from my pre-conceived ideas about what I would wear. Hubby regrets not having his suit properly fitted & spending money on videography which was not so flash & which we never look at today.
    Will definitely try to right some of this when we get married (to each other) again. Maybe next year…

  • Polka Dot Hot Spot – Family Dynamics | Polka Dot Bride says:
    March 30, 2012 at 10:04 am

    […] Dot Hot Spot – Family Dynamicsby Polka Dot BrideIt’s time for our second Polka Dot Hot Spot! Today, on this cold Friday, I thought I’d talk about family dynamics. Wedding are notorious […]



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