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Caitlin & Chris

There is a reason that elegance never goes out of style. For Caitlin and Chris, the beauty of their chosen country venue, just outside of Bowral set the scene for a family filled celebration to unfold. There were beautifully chosen details, there were beautiful settings, beautiful gowns and suits. But what never strayed far from their minds as they planned, was the presence of family and friends. Their son Heston, was always at the centre of their plans, their wedding party honoured with a couple of bottles of champagne and quality time, and their dance floor, full of magic despite the rain. It was just as it should be and thanks to beautiful imagery by Good Thanks Media we get to share it all with you today!

A Sydney night out led these two together. “We met in the line at SOHO night club in Kings Cross. Chris was out on a boys night and I was there for a friend’s birthday. Chris’ friend asked if they could line up with us and the rest is history.” Chris popped the question at home, aptly, with Heston present.

Caitlin knew which dress was the one long before she became engaged. She explains “My dress was the Carina Gown by Karen Willis Holmes. I found my dress on Pinterest years ago when my sister was getting married. I pinned it for myself and the moment we got engaged I already knew. I went into their Paddington store to try it on. There was 1 left in Australia and it was two sizes too big! I pretty much held my breath until the seamstress confirmed she would be able to take it in!”

Wearing a suit every day for work, Chris chose a tuxedo from MJ Bale for something a little different.

Caitlin and Chris held both their ceremony and reception at beautiful county venue Merribee.”We wanted everything to be on one site and we wanted to make a weekend of it. We had previously picked a venue in Sydney in the city but I found Merribee House on Instagram and we knew instantly that was the venue for our wedding!”

Lush floral arrangements were styled in greens and white by Moss Nest. “I had all the say in the flowers” tells the bride.  “I opted for just fresh white flowers with some greenery. For our decoration, we added a lot of green foliage to give it a whimsical feel.”

Caitlin walked down the aisle with her mother to John Mayer’s cover of “XO”. “Our son Heston stood down the end of the aisle with Chris, so walking down to my two favourite boys was a highlight. They’re best friends so seeing them share that moment together was beautiful,” remembers Caitlin.

It was important to the bride and groom that their ceremony be relaxed, and they enlisted Danielle Fleming to make it official, sharing “We just wanted something very easy and simple. We didn’t want anything too long and we wanted people to have a laugh with us as well. We didn’t do any readings but we did write our own vows. In that, we made one promise to each, stated one thing we love about the other and one thing we are grateful for about the other.”

And then? It was time to celebrate! “We made sure we had a good portion of time alone with the bridal party” explains the bride. “After the ceremony we took a few bottles of champagne up to the main house and had some canapés bought up to us and we hung out for about 40 minutes just the bridal party. We also put a time limit on photos so we were able to spend about 45 minutes after photos with all of our other guests before we sat down to dinner. Everyone travelled so far to be there so we really wanted to maximize our time with everyone.”

Caitlin and Chris loved their photographer. “Kat was amazing. We chose her because she was a photographer at a friend’s wedding and took a beautiful candid photo of us that we love. We didn’t want anything too staged and we just wanted to feel comfortable and natural. She was great with Heston as well when we visited her so it was such an easy choice for us.”

There could not be a more romantic first dance – under festoon lights as the rain poured down, Caitlin and Chris danced to an acoustic version of “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. The bride remembers “This is one of our favourite songs and we’ve always known that’s what it would be. It rained during our first dance and at one point we tossed up waiting for the rain to disappear before we did. We are so glad we didn’t because the photos are just so beautiful and so different from any other first dance photos. Our friend was the DJ so he somehow managed to mix in Shooting Stars by Bag Raiders to the end of our first dance and we kicked off the party from that.”

A day like this calls for plenty of storytelling, so the newlyweds enlisted Hunter Capture to capture this film of their day as it unfolded.

A big congratulations to you both Caitlin and Chris! Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us. Thank you also to Good Thanks Media for today’s beautiful images!

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!

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    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.

    Visit Ms Polka Dot's Directory

    There is something a little magical about botanicals, a little peaceful, something grounding. Today’s editorial focuses on that peace, the layered detail that Mother Nature executes so beautifully.

    The industrial setting of Entangled Events, an old butter factory now lovingly cared for and filled with art and plants of every shape and size. The raw cement floor, high, exposed ceiling and raw walls allowing the contrast of all that was to come.

    White Lily Couture dressed our bride, model Samantha van Breda in a gorgeous, modern romantic Erin Clare Couture gown with a chic high neck, her hair and makeup (and those curls!) styled with femininity by Sue McLaurin. Our groom Matt Hayes donning a classic black tuxedo from Black Jacket Suiting.

    With every little piece of inspiration captured beautifully by Just For Love Photography, we can’t help but start in the garden, where Big Love Weddings officiates a “ceremony” in front of a background of lush green foliage.  While the inside was modern and industrial, the contrast of this greenery filled space, and a little life from a visit of a llama, to the surprise of the wedding guests (from Dayboro Cottages & Llama Walks) brought this shoot back to earth.

    And the reception styling is what we know you’re going to dream over. A long table set with soft french beige floor length linens, and plenty of candles (both from  Ivy & Bleu) to softly contrast with white metal chairs from The Perfect Party Co. The table topped with glittering copper flatware pieces and textured rattan chargers from Gold Cutlery Hire.

    But in an editorial, or even a wedding where botanical beauty is the star, then the flowers have to match. The wizardry for this one brought to life by New England Flower Co who created a beautiful romantic bouquet of dahlia, roses, cottage roses and lisianthus, dried foliage and seed pods and of course blush linen ribbon, that somehow wove it’s way right into the picture. Little Green Leaf coming to the party, with a botanically inspired suite of paper treats, in hues of green, and white.

    The tiered masterpiece of a wedding cake, created by The Sweet Society Co sat grandly overlooking the table, its tiered pattern to be reminiscent of raw stone, it’s hallmark feature a bloom made of rice paper.

    “Stemming from a love I have of all living things, bringing this inspiration shoot to life was a dream come true” tells photographer Kylie. “We were aiming for a shoot that was wild & incorporated a love of living greenery, with a modern and more minimal twist. Set in the potting shed, we then chose classic table styling with neutral colours, to really highlight the venue and theme – the flickering of candlelit only adding to the romantic & botanical vibe.”

    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.

    Nicole & Omaid

    We love a bit of black tie at Polka Dot Bride, there is something truly special about doing a beautiful gown, a bow tie and drinking champagne with your favourites. For Nicole and Omaid, the urban setting of Luminare was the most glam of settings for their day. A rooftop ceremony followed by traditional Afghan dancing, a sit-down reception and plenty of celebration as the city lights twinkled in the background. The entire story captured beautifully by Aleksandar Jason Weddings was a culmination of one heck of a journey together, one which began with Tinder!

    Omaid popped the question when the pair were holidaying in Sri Lanka. Nicole starts the story for us. “We were holidaying in Sri Lanka and I had no idea that Omaid even had marriage on his radar. We were staying at a gorgeous residence in Kandy. That night Omaid told me he had organised a special table with the perfect view of the river. When we arrived at our table it was lit with candles and there was a bottle of champagne. I still didn’t click! It wasn’t until Omaid got down on one knee and I noticed the waiter was filming the whole thing that I realised he was asking me to marry him. I said yes with tears of joy (and shock) running down my face.”

    Nicole worked with Annette Of Melbourne on a stunning lace gown. She tells “I had made appointments with around seven bridal shops to try on dresses and nothing had the wow factor I was looking for. I was starting to give up hope of finding “the perfect dress”. From the moment my mother and I walked into Annette of Melbourne we were blown away by Rose and how she just knew exactly what I wanted. She did not give me a style to try on, instead Rose started sketching a silhouette of the dress and it was spot on! (She didn’t even want to see my inspiration, she just knew exactly what I wanted without having to ask me. The next 9 months was a magical journey. It was so wonderful seeing my dress start out as a piece of material and every few weeks seeing it transform into the perfect Haute Couture gown. The whole process was something so special and it was a great mother-daughter bonding experience. Words cannot explain how happy I was with the end result.”

    The morning of the wedding day was one of the bride’s favourite parts of the day. “Omaid got ready with the boys at our house in Flemington” she shares. “The girls and I had hired a gorgeous terrace house around the corner from our venue. We started our morning with an early yoga class, followed by face masks and then by having our makeup and hair done while sipping on champagne. It was such a fun lead up to the big event. We also decided to do a “first look”. Omaid met me an hour before the ceremony so we could get all of the photos out of the way and share a special moment, just us, before the craziness of the wedding.”

    “Having three of my best friends as my bridesmaids was one of my favourite parts” tells Nicole. “They kept me so grounded and ensured there were no bridezilla moments.”

    Floretta by Grace styled beautiful floral arrangements of raspberry red and pink, a contrast to the stark black and white colours worn by the wedding party. Nicole tells “Floretta’s work was absolutely stunning, still to this day guests are talking about our flowers! The colour palette consisted of reds, burgundy and maroon tones. For each table, I had asymmetric, abundant & dramatic stand arrangements, filled with mixed foliage & flowers. Our ceremony backdrop was filled with giant deep red roses and greenery on gold stands. Our bouquets were layered, organic & abundant unstructured bouquets full of deep reds, with Cluster roses, scabiosa, cymbidium orchids, anthuriums, carnations, dahlias, in green and burgundy.”

    Nicola and Omaid chose Luminare for their wedding, holding their ceremony on the venue’s rooftop. Nicole explaining  “The things that were important to us were good food and wine which Luminare delivered on.”

    Nicole walked down the aisle with her father to “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green played live by acoustic singer Lydia Rose.

    Nicole and Omaid chose Kate Ryan to officiate their ceremony, sharing  “Our ceremony was romantic but fun. Our celebrant, Kate Ryan, was the best celebrant. She was super relaxed and made the ceremony fun. Kate had incorporated our friends into it by sending them secret surveys for them to answer. She encouraged us to write our own vows, which we did. I am so grateful for that advice, as it made our ceremony very intimate and personal, yet still managed to make our guests laugh and cry.”

    The bride had one very special surprise for the groom with her vows, she explains “I learnt Farsi (Omaid’s first language) and did part of my vows in it as a surprise to Omaid. To see the look on his face, when I started speaking Farsi, instantly made me feel so happy.”

    The tiered wedding cake by Hiccup & Honey Cake Design was the star of the show, remarks the bride.

    “Every vendor was amazing, however, a special mention must go to our cake maker, Tia Nguyen from Hiccup & Honey Cake Design. She made our cake, which consisted of two flavours, half white chocolate and half Lindt salted caramel. This was topped with a buttercream icing and decorated with real flowers and gold foiling. The cake was delicious and a real show stopper. We packaged the cake up for our guests and handed it out as party favours for them to take home. We received many compliments after the wedding on how delicious the cake was.”

    And what better way to celebrate the newlyweds than with traditional dancing? “We had a Lebanese drum group perform as we first entered the room as husband and wife. It really set the mood for the night. Everybody was up dancing and it really added an extra special element to our wedding. Almost every guest we have caught up with since we married, the first thing they mention to us, is how amazing the drums were at our wedding. Omaid is Afghan, so he incorporated some traditional Afghan music into the celebration and had his whole family get up and perform the “Atan Dance”. It was so nice seeing the Australian guests join in and get amongst the culture.”

    Of their photographer, the bride declares “We choose Aleksandar Jason along with his wife. They were fantastic! They made us feel so comfortable and for most of the day, we didn’t realise they were there. They managed to capture our wedding perfectly and never made us pose or do anything we didn’t feel comfortable with. The end results were perfectly candid pictures that captured the mood and feel of our big day. Aleks manages to capture so much detail from the dress to the flowers. I couldn’t be happier with our photos.”

    As night fell, guests were seated for dinner and the speeches began. “I loved the speeches! ” remembers Nicole. “Our “Best Man” nailed it and made us laugh until we cried. He had captured the attention of every guest. My mum’s speech also was amazing. There is an amazing feeling, knowing that someone has gone out of their way to write a special piece about your love story! It is something we can now look back on when we watch the video and re-live the day all over again.”

    A romantic first dance kicked off a night of revelry. “Our first dance was to Leon Bridges “I’m Coming Home”. We both love Leon’s smooth “Motown” sound and it was the perfect tempo for a first dance and a song that now holds a special place in our hearts.”

    And the finishing touch? The happy couple chose Atti & O Weddings to capture a film of their day unfolding.

    A big congratulations to you both Nicole & Omaid! Thank you for sharing the stories of your beautiful day with us. A shoutout and thank you also to Aleksandar Jason Weddings for sharing today’s images.

    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.