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Hannah & Joey

Imagine a couple so relaxed on their wedding day! Hannah and Joey blew it out of the ball park as they got ready together with their kids, embraced silly photos and celebrated with their nearest and dearest as they said ‘I do’! Simply the best! Choosing Melbourne cafe Friends of Mine to host their wedding soiree, Pierre Curry was there to capture all of the special moments. Not to mention, the fabulous dance floor that kicked off post dinner! The Bride shares their incredible day and fills us in on all the moments that make your heart melt. 

We met as housemates 9 years ago. We’ve lived together for as long as we’ve known each other. We started out at friends but quickly turned into something more. After a few years we were joined by our first son, Jed, and then by our youngest, Archer. The story of us has been a beautiful whirlwind as we’ve grown together, made a family and now finally chosen to get married.

Our wedding was relaxed, light-hearted, fun, non-traditional!

We got ready together at Crown towers. The bride’s family were also there while we got ready which included 4 kids under 6 so we needed a bit of space! Friends of Mine was chosen because of the size and feel of the space. We wanted the space to fit the style of us. We’ve spent many hours in cafe’s during our relationship, so having it in a cafe suited us.

We loved how the space at Friends of Mine transformed into an elegant and intimate wedding venue. It was important to us to have the ceremony at the same location as the reception so that our guests didn’t have to move around in between and so the night flowed from one thing to the next. Friends of mine was able to host the ceremony and seamlessly transition to drinks/canapés, to sit down dinner and then to dance floor!

An heirloom on the day was my grandmothers wedding band. Cousins who have been married before me have also worn the ring. It was very special (a beautiful picture was taken of me holding the ring while we were getting ready).

I wore pants and a top from Zimmermann. I didn’t want to wear a ‘wedding dress’ but was open to trying different things. I chose the outfit on the one and only day I went shopping with my sister, my mum and my cousin. The girls at Zimmermann in Armadale were so lovely and helpful, it was a really nice experience.

Joey wore suit and shoes by Wolf Kanat. He wanted something different from your traditional wedding suit. He wore a navy suit, white shirt and apricot tie. I think he had more trips and time spent shopping for his outfit than I did for mine!

We walked in together to ‘I got you’ by Amy Shark.

We wanted our ceremony to be as relaxed and informal as possible. We wanted it to be a reflection of us. Our celebrant, Megan Watson, absolutely nailed the ceremony. There was the perfect balance between light and fun and serious when it needed to be. Our guests stood around us so we were conscious that we didn’t want to make it too long. No formal readings, just our surprise vows to each other.

We have a tradition on my side of the family that at any big occasion (Christmas, easter, family events) that we toast to absent friends. There are some very special people in our lives that would’ve really loved to have been a part of our special day but have sadly passed away.

It was really important to us that our ‘absent friends’ toast was included. My cousin Ben did this toast after the speeches and before the dance floor kicked off!

Our vows were probably our most favourite part of the day!

We didn’t have a bridal party. Our boys handed us the rings during the ceremony but that was it!

Our photographer was Pierre Curry. I can’t even convey how happy we were to find him. From the moment we met him, he put us at ease, had fun with the kids and just did such an amazing job of capturing day so fantastically.

Even receiving the photo’s after the big day was a really fun experience. There was so much thought and creativity put into how the photos were delivered. We couldn’t recommend Pierre highly enough. Many of our guests commented on how great he was as well.

We only had 3 main vendors, Megan our celebrant, Pierre our photographer and Alex the event planner at Friends of Mine. They were all a dream to work with. I felt very safe in their hands and had no stress of wondering how the day would go as they were all such professionals and experienced in their fields. I really loved seeing the ceremony come together by Megan. It was a really lovely time spent reflecting on our relationship and the love we have for one another.

The flower arrangements at the venue were created by my cousin Bron who used to be a wedding florist. The table arrangements were provided by Friends of Mine, we just told them the colour and theme that we were after which was white and leafy green.

I think my favourite photo of the day would have to be one of the very last ones of me dancing with my family. It shows how much fun everyone was having. I also really love the picture of our boys clapping after the ceremony. They both look so happy. So difficult to pick a favourite, we really loved all of our photos.

Our advice to future couples? Don’t sweat the small stuff. It will all come together on the day. Guests just want to see you happy and having a great time, not the tiny details.

Ms Zebra Says: Congratulations to this gorgeous couple! What a fun night – spent laughing and with great friends! We wish you all the best for your happy future together.

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.

  • Engagement Ring
  • Cartwrights Jewellery
  • Wedding Ring
  • Cartwrights Jewellery

Lauren & Tyson

The saying ‘opposites attract’ speaks to this lovely couple who bonded over their mutual love of great food and embrace each others differing personalities! This also happened to become part of the central focus for their incredible, laid-back wedding at Alchemy Distillers where guests were treated to great food and great drinks. Their ‘Feast-ival’ wedding was intimate with Smokey Oscar capturing everything from candid moments to the mind-blowing cuisine that flowed throughout the day and night. Bride Lauren, who proves her foodie status as the brains behind Foodie Melbourne, shares their day and details all of the background for how this fabulous, feast-ival day came about!

Tyson and I met on Tinder in 2016, immediately bonding over my love for the Melbourne food scene and his love for burgers. I had just bought my little bachelorette pad for me and my dog Ollie, but before I knew it, he had moved in with his dog and we were smitten with each other despite being total opposites. When we got engaged in Paris at the end of 2017 and started planning our big day, we knew we had to find a wedding venue that was the perfect balance of both our personalities – me, the highly strung food snob with a food blog, who loved a whimsical, bohemian theme and him, the outdoorsy, sports-loving, laid back and loveable bogan who could not be more chilled!

And so, our ‘Food + Gin Wedding Feastival’ was born. Tyson had the great idea to hit up our friends who had recently opened the gorgeous Alchemy Distillers in Healesville and see if we could have our wedding there. Their mostly outdoors, rustic vibes were perfect for Tysons’ ideal venue, and their incredible cocktail options worked for the food snob in me. The gang at Alchemy were pretty happy to take care of the bar and us take care of the rest, so we were able to bring in all the food I could imagine (with Tyson’s one request- burgers).

Our wedding was exactly what I imagined. With a little help from the amazing coordination of Christine from the I Do Crew to help me bring my vision together, everything went exactly as I imagined (despite the 38 degree weather forecast… boy was it hot!)

The girls bridal party had a wonderful and relaxing day getting ready at a local Airbnb, kept chilled by the calming presence of our makeup artist Maddison Tippet, who just exuded zen all day as she worked on us and made us beautiful.

For such a huge day in my life, with the help of my wonderful bridal party and Mum, it was such a relaxing day and I didn’t feel overwhelmed or stressed at all. Putting on my beautiful Madi Lane dress from Luv Bridal was definitely a pinch me moment, as it was exactly the kind of dress I envisioned and the flower crown by Rainflorist completely nailed the bohemian vibes I was looking for.

Over at Alchemy in the upstairs apartment, despite a few wardrobe malfunctions (wrong pants sizes, oops!) the boys had the same experience getting ready. Both Tyson and I were both super lucky to have friends that were calming presences for us, so that the lead up to the big moment really just felt like hanging out with our besties, but wearing nicer clothes than we normally would!

We had the lovely Jenna from Smokey Oscar capturing every special moment of our day with her keen, artistic eye and she did a great job of following my brief – candid shots, with a focus on the food and guests enjoying the evening. Our videographer also did a great job of capturing all those special moments. We umm-ed and aah-ed about paying for a videographer, but we are so glad we did, as they captured so many moments we didn’t get a chance to see.

Pontoon lighting and some giant games from Swan Lane Hire were all that was really needed against Alchemy’s stunning canopy of bright leaves, as well as some simple, stunning Autumnal florals by Rainflorist Diamond Creek. We were treated to acoustic tunes by a duo from Lark Music, which completely suited the chilled festival vibes we were looking for. Even our celebrant, Samuel Miller, added to those vibes by being super laid-back, fun and helping us make our wedding vows into a hilarious love party, rather than super serious.

Food-wise, a talented group of vendors helped make our food dreams a reality. Our catering (all external to the venue) had enough style and finesse to impress me, but the food was casual and rustic enough to impress Tyson. We began the night with a well stocked graze table by Stasia Fox, then moved into canapés and ‘burger and chips’ (Tyson’s one insistence) by the amazing team at Gringlish Co.

Dessert had to be my favourite course, as we managed to organise a Sicilian style cannoli cart by the wonderful N’Cannuolo, complemented by roving canapés by Gringlish Co and a stunning cake by Katielou’s Cakes.

Since then, I have had so many wedding guests tell me they were some of the best desserts they have ever had, especially that freshly piped cannoli, which means as a foodie I achieved my goal. The other element we got so much good feedback on (unsurprisingly) was Alchemys’ incredible cocktails, and we felt so lucky to be looked after by the team there and able to offer our guests an absolute ripper drinks list.

Once that hot sun finally went down, I remember having a moment with Tyson as we sat back and looked around and realised that I (we, but mostly me, he would admit that) had actually pulled this together. We were surrounded by our favourite people in the world, who were loving the cocktails, grazing all night, listening to music that was perfect for the balmy summer evening and everyone just seemed so relaxed which suited us as a couple and our family and friendship circles perfectly.

The best advice I got during the wedding planning process was to do what we wanted, not what others wanted us to do, and I am so glad that I didn’t listen to people who tried to cajole me into having something more sophisticated, or ‘sit down’ as opposed to the way we did do it.

The main advice I would give brides and grooms going into the process is not to sweat the small stuff. I did my best not to do this, and because of this, the whole wedding planning process was fun, not stressful. Surround yourself with a bridal party and vendors you trust and who seem to understand your vision, and don’t be afraid to let go of the reins a little bit and take a step back so you can enjoy the day.

Something that feels so huge looming over you is over in the blink of an eye, and just becomes something you ‘awww’ over in your photos and videos, so it is so important to be able to breathe and take in every moment of the day. We had about 15 minutes where I told our photographers to stop during our bridal party shoot and we just sat with our bridal party, passed around a bottle of bubbly and spent time with them, and I am glad we had that before the craziness of the reception!

It was all over so fast but I feel like we managed to make the most of every minute and for me personally (as it should) it was one of the most magical days of our lives… Tyson says it is for him, but second to Richmond winning the Grand Final – there’s that loveable sense of humour again.

Thank you to all our vendors who worked with us to make the day possible and to bring our vision to a reality!

Ms Zebra Says: What a foodie’s heaven! Congratulations to this amazing couple – and for putting on the most ‘feastabulous’ wedding event. 

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
  • Samuel Miller

Clara & Chris

Marrying in a truly sentimental place for this gorgeous couple, they chose the beauty of the Daintree to say ‘I do’. Enlisting help from friends and family, the couple mainly DIY’d the wedding and ensured there was very little environmental impact from their big day. Issac from Perspectives Studio was there every step of the way to capture the beautiful day that was. The couple share the intimate details of their wedding day and we can’t help but fall in love with the incredible backdrop. 

Clara and I met in the summer of 2014 at the Falls Festival in Marion Bay, Tasmania. She was the girl with the sparkly eyes, a broken shoe and tube of glue. Chris was the best dancer with the biggest smile and was able to advise how best to apply the glue to fix the broken shoe.

Our wedding was intimate, earthy and colourful. We both love being in nature and like simple earthy designs. We wanted our wedding to be part of the beautiful environment that we were in so we went with light earthy tones, groom and groomsmen in light browns and whites, and contrasted it with bright pops of colours with the bridesmaids wearing different coloured dresses.

Flowers were from local florist, Flowers by Wynne. She created a beautiful bouquet using southern natives and tropical foliage. The bridesmaids actually made their own posies from locally sourced orchids and ferns from the property. Most of the furniture was up-cycled timber put together by Clara’s dad Peter leading up to the event.

With food, we didn’t want to lock ourselves into either the sit down, or just canapés. Arthur from Platinum Cuisine was wonderful to work with and very accommodating. He created a tasting board for our guests to get started on while we were away capturing some photos, followed by substantial canapés and a help yourself style buffet for mains. This worked really well, the food was fresh and tasty, and didn’t get in the way of conversations, dancing, or speeches!

To walk down the aisle, one of Clara’s long-time friends who lives in Port Douglas is a very accomplished drummer and guitarist and one night he sang a cover of “Under the milky way” by The Church. It’s a classic Aussie band, plus he’s a longtime mate and legend of Port Douglas, it all fit together!

Wompoo Eco Retreat is located at Cow Bay, the Daintree Rainforest. It’s generally a boutique retreat, but given enough convincing, we managed to shoehorn our way into booking the date. We couldn’t be happier with the day. It’s a stunning venue with a view that covers Thornton’s peak to Cape Tribulation. We chose September as it’s almost always dry in the Daintree and it’s the lowest humidity of the year up there.

Anna from Port Douglas Marriages did a fantastic job of turning our chicken scratchings into the lyrical readings, vows and speeches of the day. We couldn’t recommend her more highly. It was beautiful, personal and intimate. I had may people come and tell me they learned lots about our relationship from the content of the ceremony and speeches. Clara’s uncle Michael did a passionate reading called “the Amulet”, I’m still chasing the author of this.

Issac from Perspectives Photography did a fantastic job! We love his shots and also his presence. One of our favourite shots is us having confetti (made out of local ferns) being thrown on us after we got married!

Chris has a bit of a problem with Orchids at our place in Sydney, so unbeknownst to him, Clara went and arranged that the bridesmaids posies be made with orchids local to the Daintree and Port Douglas area, which was a wonderful surprise on the day for Chris.

Each of the flowers in Clara’s bouquet had some special meaning to her, from Geralton Wax flowers to orchids, Wynne did a great job making a fairly diverse set of requests into a cohesive and stunning set of flower displays for the bridesmaids, arbour and button holes.

Designer Rachel Bradstock at The Definite Article made a stunning dress for Clara a few years ago, and that was a really personal experience. It was so much fun hanging out with Rachel and talking about all the possibilities, flicking through photos and telling her what I liked and didn’t like. Rachel would then produce a number of sketches and we went from there. Rachel is based in Melbourne so it also gave Clara the excuse to visit her old stomping ground and hang with friends and family.

Chris was after a linen suit, because of the heat of the Daintree and also just because he likes linen. He anticipated some problems getting his hands on this in the Sydney winter. As it happens MJ Bale had linen in stock. Chris pretty much only wears Carhartt pants, so why change? Chris matched his linen vest and jacket with a new set Carhartt pants. The groomsmen had beautiful bow-ties from Peggy and Finn, which looked great against the simple whites and tans.

We had a mix of siblings and close friends in our bridal party!

Chris really enjoyed the set up of the reception with the open dance floor and loud music area on one side with a view of Thornton’s peak and the escarpment, then an intimate, quieter area on the other side with lovely soft lighting and lots of sitting areas that folks could hop between.

Clara’s favourite detail was having her friend Mick sing her down the aisle, and old and special friend singing a song that was special to her. She also loved her flower crown!

Our first dance was set to a song from the first night we met – which my brother-in-law (who was there on that night) had trawled the internet to find a version of. It’s a Norwegian producer called Todd Terje with him covering Whitney Houston’s “I wanna dance with somebody” in his trademark up tempo style. Really a party track! All the music was put together by Clara and my longtime friend Cameron Smith, which was magic. Cam picked up and set up speakers, as well as all the music on the day and night, what a legend!

We DIY’d nearly everything! We had so much help from family and friends – special thanks to Peter, Jill, Maggie, Tim, Mick Webb, Shaun, Jake, Floss, Adam and Craig.

Clara’s sister is an incredible cook and she made the most beautiful lemon and thyme wedding cake. That was really special because we know how much effort, love, and care went into it.

Our advice for future couples? Don’t over think everything. It’s easy to get too caught up in details which no one else will notice, and you won’t even care about on the day because you’ll be too happy!

Ms Zebra Says: Congratulations to these two love birds! What an amazing wedding and thank you for sharing 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.