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Tyla & Ben

The look of love and pure happiness is something that always tugs on the heart strings! This gorgeous couple emanated both of those things as they smiled and laughed through their glamorous Gabbinbar Homestead wedding. Filled with DIY elements and an overall simplicity, Grace Wriggles captured the beauty of the day perfectly. Their day centred around the two of them as a couple and finished with a bit of fun on the dance floor! The gorgeous Bride Tyla shares everything from how they met to the planning of their special day!

Ben and I both have a huge passion for helping the next generation. We were both volunteering alongside each other at our local youth program. When we first met here, it wasn’t exactly ‘love at first sight’. We were extremely different people and would often engage in heated discussions about topics we were passionate about. Years went by, our characters softened, and we found our hearts beating a little faster than usual when the other would walk into the room. The rest is history!

Ben initially went on the hunt for a white textured suit jacket with black slim fit pants. As the process went on, a classic black, slim fit suit was his choice.

I walked arm in arm with my best friend, and Mum, into the Luv Bridal store in Brisbane, confident that a strapless, embroidered, tighter dress would be the decision. I walked out with a completely different dress in hand! My Mum knows me better than I know myself. As I was trying on the dresses, she helped me choose a dress with flowery straps, with tulle netting, and a-line shaped! A big reason behind the choice was comfort – the dress I chose was literally SO comfortable.

We had our wedding at the gorgeous Gabbinbar Homestead on the 18th February this year! The style, theme and atmosphere of our wedding reflected Ben and I so accurately: fun, chilled out, and simple!

My Dad, my role model, and absolute light of my life was able to walk me down the aisle – this was a miracle as only 30 days before our wedding he was admitted into the ICU with a detrimental health concern. We walked down the aisle to John Meyer’s version of ‘XO’.

We wanted our ceremony to completely reflect who Ben and I are as people. It was short, cheeky, fun, and hilarious! Our long-time friend and Pastor, Doug Cameron, married us and was the only person who talked. He shared some embarrassing stories from our pasts as individuals and as a couple, gave invaluable life advice, and spoke life-giving words over our future. It was everything I wanted it to be, and more!

Our Bridal Party included my best friend Emily as my maid of honour, Ben’s sister Fran was my bridesmaid. Ben’s best mate since preschool, Andre was his best man, and my brother Jordy was his groomsman.

I went into my meeting with my florist, Ruby Lane Flower Co., completely blind. I had no idea what I wanted, other than the predominant colour of white. Amongst the coffee, laughter, and heart-to-hearts, she pulled up a to-die-for mood board with shades of white textured florals. From that moment, I literally gave her complete control over the flowers. I genuinely had no idea what flowers were going to be included in the final bouquet – but fell in love when I saw the orchid, roses, carnations, disbud, gum and olive leaves and dried element combo.

Gabbinbar Homestead is like a magical land, elegant garden party, and historical architectural heaven all in one! We had our ceremony in the gorgeous all white Pavilion, and our reception under the glass-roofed Conservatory. All the heart eyes!

Grace Wriggles was our photographer and OH MY GOSH she’s amazing! We loved her creativity and how relaxed she made us feel!

The truly stand out vendors were our videographer, Mitch Birchall and his wife Chelsea. They were unbelievable! We could not recommend him enough. My makeup artist Kate from Classic Beauty Therapy was incredible.

Gabbinbar Homestead had a full wedding planning team that helped plan the wedding, which meant the entire process was stress free! Our planning meetings were my favourite part of the wedding planning process – and of course, Ruby Lane Flower Co. Best florists ever!

Our ring bearer was Doug’s 2 year old son, and we had him carry a white little basket down the aisle with our rings in it. I got the basket from a thrift store all brown, with spider webs through it. I cleaned it up and spray painted it white. I also designed the invites myself!

On Facebook Marketplace, I also found a girl who hand letters acrylic signs in her spare time! She did all of our signage by hand – it was incredible!

To spin off the old song “Forever Young” by YOUTH GROUP, we also had a custom neon sign made by Beyond Neon Signs (Josh, you’re amazing!), with the words Forever Yong (Ben’s last name is Yong!). Which is now hung up in our house.

A funny story from the day was that I forgot to bring the cord which attached to the neon sign (oops!), so last minute, my brother had to race back home to get it – totally a not-so-glamorous side to what you see on Instagram!

Ben is from The Philippines, and they celebrate with a lechon. Lechon is a spit roasted, whole suckling pig. It was amazing! Bernhard, the Head Chef at Gabbinbar, cooked it himself and he said he’s never seen wedding guests line up for the pork the way ours did!

‘Why I Love You’ by MAJOR was the song we had our first dance to. In classic Ben and Tyla fashion, we didn’t rehearse the dance at all and had no clue what we were doing! We whispered jokes to each other, laughed, and cherished the moment nonetheless. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Our advice to any couples about to embark on this journey, please be yourselves. If you don’t want a wedding cake, don’t have one! If you want a black wedding cake, have one! Don’t let your fear of what other people think limit or stop you from enjoying your wedding day, the way you like it.

Ms Zebra Says: Thank you Ben & Tyla for sharing such a happy and glam day with us! You two look truly happy and in love! Congratulations!

Polka Dot Dream Team...

The below wedding vendors made this magic happen and are an approved part of the Polka Dot Directory. Visit their portfolios to learn more and enquire about their services!

Credits

This post features the following wedding vendors. If you've been featured below, we'd love to get to know you. Click here to join Polka Dot Bride.

  • Ceremony Officiant
  • Pastor Doug Cameron
  • MC
  • Jordy Howard & Aaron Savage

Blanca & Grant

There are times when the love in the room becomes palpable and the look of love comes into its own. This is what Blanca and Grant shared as they exchanged their vows in a ceremony that was tailored to them and their beliefs. At the centre, their love for each other, but also their family and friends. Embracing a little Spanish history, the day had a bit of everything! From warm embraces to looks of love, dancing and even a few games, photographer Sam Wyper captured every moment. The Bride and Groom share their beautiful story and the tale of their special day!

Grant and Blanca met on a summer vacation after they finished high school. They were introduced by mutual friends and Grant was romantically interested in Blanca immediately, though Blanca took some time to develop attraction.
 While they met some 85km away from their homes, they later found out that they lived only a few streets away from each other! As they got to know each other better, they would spend hours just talking late at night in the car, staring at the stars.

When I (Grant) first began thinking about proposing, I decided to plan a date to work towards. In order to lock in a date without arousing any suspicion, I designed a fake invitation to the engagement party for one of my work colleagues and their partner. I gave a copy to Blanca and told her to keep the date free. 

On the day of the proposal, everything was perfect, we were both dressed in our Sunday best for the “party” and feeling excited. As we arrived at the venue (a national park picnic spot), I asked Blanca to come with me to look at the beautiful lake before we head over to the party. As we were looking out over the water, a friend of ours emerged singing a beautiful song while playing the acoustic guitar.

The Bride wore a white sheath wedding dress with lace detailing on the bodice, back and train. The wedding dress was designed and made by my Husband’s Mother. I also accompanied the wedding dress with a two tier wedding veil with very fine tulle and white heel pumps. I chose the particular design because I felt it suited the perfect summer wedding and made me feel elegant.

The Groom wore a charcoal suit with mismatched black waistcoat, white shirt, sky blue necktie, black socks with patterns, and black derby shoes. 

I wanted to wear a classy and timeless outfit with just enough formality to make the photos look elegant as the years go on.

Our ceremony was at St. Martin’s Church Killara and the reception at Manly Novotel.

We DIY’d our wedding signs saying “Welcome to the wedding of Grant and Blanca”. We bought plywood, stain and white/gold paint. We finished it off by putting it on an easel we purchased.

Our wedding had a laidback theme that perfectly represented our personalities. We both love the colour blue, and also green-gold combinations, so they were incorporated a bunch! Our wedding incorporated a few inside jokes and memories of ours – it was important for us to share these with our guests. Also, our wedding had a bunch of family from Spain, and so incorporated some Spanish music, dancing, sentiments, and an all-round Spanish party atmosphere at the reception. We think many people were touched by the sincerity of our wedding – the style was sincere to us.

Our processional song was ‘Such Great Heights’ covered by Iron & Wine (originally by The Postal Service). Surprisingly, this song was chosen fewer than 12 hours before Blanca walked down the aisle. The very feel of the song is just beautiful, not to mention the poetic lyrics. 

Blanca’s father walked her down the aisle and the whole world slowed as I watched the two of them walking towards the front of the church. The moment was just perfect and full of emotion.

The ceremony was truly the most important part of the day for us. We wanted it to be meaningful for us and for all. The songs sung and words spoken were special and real. We wanted the congregation to truly feel that they were active participants in our union and commitment to one another.

The readings were read by Grant’s older sister and younger brother. Grant’s sister read Ecclesiastes 4:9‐12, which refers to the strength and comfort that two people have united as opposed to one individual. Grant’s brother read Ephesians 4:1‐6. This passage encourages the hearer to live a worthy life full of humility, gentleness, patience and peace.

A special tradition in the wedding included having our ceremony in a beautiful Anglican church. We are both Christians and from Christian families, so the ceremony was very special to us and our families. One great tradition we included was a “unity candle” tradition. In this, we together used separate lit candles to light a common, shared candle and then blew out our own candles. This represented us together becoming one and leaving our lives as individuals to become a union.

Our favourite detail of the day would have to have been walking down the aisle as Husband and Wife and being surrounded by all our family and friends!

Our favourite photograph of the day was a photograph taken in Swain Gardens, Killara. This shot was beautifully captured by our photographer and features a simple, yet very beautiful photo of us holding hands with the backdrop of the vibrant greenery and sunlight shining on us.

Our Bridal party was made of the groom’s three brothers and the bride’s three sisters.

We wanted an assortment of beautiful pastel and white flowers mixed with some lovely greenery. There was a mix of roses, delphinium, sea holly, dusty miller, silver dollar eucalyptus and many other varieties of flowers.

Our photographer had an attention to detail and had a history of shooting various types of weddings. He took the time to meet up with us prior to the wedding day to talk about which shots were really important to us and to scout out locations around our venues with us both. We are both so delighted with the outcome of our wedding photos.

Although we had several vendors incorporated into our big day the one that stood out the most would have to be our photographer Sam Wyper. His portfolio displayed great skill as well as being very professional and reliable leading up to the wedding.

Prior to choosing our favourite venues, we spent a significant amount of time researching and visiting venues to get a “just-right” feel. 

For the ceremony, we chose a beautiful Anglican church that looked a perfect balance of traditional and modern. The church worked so well for us as it catered for a large group of people and had lawn space for a post-ceremony luncheon.

The venue we chose for the reception was a gorgeous, well-lit room in a hotel that was directly opposite one of Sydney’s favourite beaches. This was extremely special to us as this beach was one of the first places we spent time together. We also both had great memories at this beach from our early teenage years. The enclosed balcony allowed our guests to enjoy cocktails and a view of the beach as the sun went down. The venue also had oval tables, which were perfect for guests to mingle throughout the wedding.

Special details included having a few activities for the guests to be involved in such as a shoe-question game with the husband and wife where our guests got to ask the questions and have a laugh!

Our favourite story from the day came up while we were playing the shoe-question game. This game requires the MC to ask questions to the bride and groom about the two of them. Both the bride and groom raise their or their spouse’s shoe in left or right hand to answer the question. The bride and groom sit back-to-back and cannot see each other’s responses, but the audience sees all. At one point, Blanca’s Spanish (non-English-speaking) uncle came up to the stage to borrow the microphone and ask a question. He asked “Quien va a cambiará los pañales del los niños?”, which roughly translates to “Who is going to be the one to change the babies nappies?”. Everyone was in hysterics when the moment was translated into English. What a memory!

Our favourite part of wedding planning was being able to take on the project together and choose particular styles and vendors that we both loved. We also thoroughly enjoyed picking out our wedding outfits and planning what our wedding party would wear.

Our first dance was one of our favourite parts of the day. We danced slowly and closely to a song called ‘Take It Slowly’ by Garret Kato. As we held each other in our arms and moved slowly, the whole world seemed to freeze. Blanca sweetly whispered to me, “We’re in our bubble..”, which was a perfect way to sum up the moment.

Five things that made the day special to us included: having our first dance; receiving so much love and support from our families and friends; exchanging our vows; spending some one on one time during our couples shoot and the excitement and nerves right before the wedding ceremony!

Our advice for those that are soon to be married and in the middle of planning their big day would be to not focus and stress over small details and just remember it’s not just about your wedding day but your marriage.

Ms Zebra says: This wedding has all the ‘feels’ and we wish you both the absolute very best in your new life together as husband and wife! Thank you for sharing your special day with us!

Credits

This post features the following wedding vendors. If you've been featured below, we'd love to get to know you. Click here to join Polka Dot Bride.

  • Wedding Cake
  • Nathan Abood

Stefan & Whitney

The sun came out to shine for Whitney and Stefan as they exchanged vows in their fairytale Melbourne wedding. Incorporating both modern and classic elements to their day, the couple enjoyed dancing with their family and friends and added personality to each moment throughout the day. The stunning couple shares their day with us and we’re all glued to our screens as we admire the work of Motta Weddings who were there to capture it! Whitney tells of how the couple came to be…

We were set up on a blind date 8 years ago and remained friends. 5 years later, he made an honest woman out of me by asking me to be his girlfriend.

My something old and something blue was an old handkerchief my Nonna had made and passed onto me for my wedding day which was very special.

Stefan notes the dress was perfect. It was simple and elegant, yet so stunning all at the same time. I don’t think I could have envisioned anything better.
Whitney – I never envisioned exactly what I ended up creating with the two dresses made by Catherine R Couture. I had tried on numerous styles and couldn’t quite work out what would work in terms of longevity and comfort. Catherine R Couture created the classic gown in which I wanted to get married in and she created the perfect gown in which I could let my hair down and dance the night away!

As I knew I was going to be in quite a classic dress, we opted for a formal look with a white tuxedo and black pants with patent details. This way he stood out from his groomsmen who were in all black.

Our wedding was on the 30th of March and took place at St Peter & Paul’s Church on Dorcas Street in South Melbourne. The reception took place at Half Acre in South Melbourne.

We used St Peter & Paul’s church for its quaint yet grand local feel to South Melbourne. Stefan attended this church as a child and it only felt right that this was the place we would marry. The bride professionally recorded and walked down the aisle to “Make you feel my love” by Adele.

We wanted our ceremony to be quite intimate and involve all of our guests. We kept it short and sweet and added a personal touch by writing our vows, which was a little modern for a church wedding. The readings we had from the old and new testament were:

Old Testament
“Song of Solomon 2:10-13: Arise, My love, My fair one, and come away. 10 My beloved speaks and says to me: ‘Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; 11, for now, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. 12 flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. 13 The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.’”‘

New Testament
“A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John (15:9-12)” Jesus said to his disciples; ‘As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, Just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this. So that my own joy may be in you, And your joy be complete, This is my commandment: Love one another, As I have loved you’

The style of our wedding was a country winery meets the city. A beautiful rustic warehouse situated in South Melbourne at Half Acre. It was a stunning venue which was transformed into a garden-like space with the copious amount of florals supplied by the talented Georgie Boy.

Stefan – my favourite detail of the day was Whitney’s dress and her walking down the aisle to the song she had recorded for me. So special!
Whitney – It was walking down the aisle (very nervous) to my song!

Our favourite photo of the day was the one of Stefan and me in the car, escaping the rain for a few minutes which ended up being the winning shot of the entire day.

The forecast predicted rain all day. We were lucky enough that the rain stopped and the sun started shining for an hour whilst we headed to the church to get married and whilst we had our photos. Can we just say, it was a massive relief.

Special details of the day would include the brides professionally recorded song. As this song was originally performed at a performance 2 years ago for the groom in a performance which was televised for her singing school.
We also wanted to bring something a little different for the guests experience at the reception, so we included disposable cameras on each table for them to take photos on.

Our photographer Alex and videographer Sasha felt like family on the day. They blended easily, were friendly, funny and did a great job of making us look half decent!!!

I went for a rustic wild look for our flowers using beautiful dark tones of plum, burgundy with hints of white and light pinks. There was lots of greenery.

Our bridal party was made up of our friends and family:

Maid of honour – Mimi Tang; Jacqueline Tonin; Charlotte Angelini; Cristina Porto and Elyse Boustead

Best Man – Tristan Angelini; David Hardisty; Adam Cain; James Cirelli and Jermaine Boustead

The bonbonniere was all done by the bride. Small jars individually labelled and filled with chocolate-covered coffee beans to represent our Italian background. We also included 5 disposable cameras on each table for guests to take their photos – which eventually created an additional photo album for us!

Our first dance was to “Can’t take my eyes off you” – Lauryn Hill version. This song has a lot of meaning to both of us from the very beginning of our relationship and definitely shows our fun side and how much we love to dance.

Our advice to future couples would be to embrace every moment of your special day because it goes so fast, but it truly is the best day of your life. It’s filled with so much love and you’ll never forget it!

Ms Zebra Says: We are sending a big congratulations to this gorgeous couple and thank them for sharing their incredible day with us! 

Credits

This post features the following wedding vendors. If you've been featured below, we'd love to get to know you. Click here to join Polka Dot Bride.

  • Ceremony Officiant
  • Officiate Fr. John
  • MC
  • Friend - Harry Kenyon