Carmen & Alex

Today’s gorgeous couple were super lucky to squeeze their dream wedding in just before the COVID-19 lockdowns in Australia. Carmen and Alex tied the knot in a gorgeous city ceremony at Melbourne’s Half Acre, surrounded by friends and family. Their wedding was packed with personality, as well as old and new traditions (including a tea ceremony and a first look). There to capture all the details was the talented Black Avenue Productions crew. Below, Carmen shares just how fun her wedding day was and how after all the couple’s hard work planning, it turned out perfectly. And be sure to scroll to the end to see their amazing wedding film by Duuet.

Alex and I married on March 8, 2020 at Half Acre in South Melbourne. I would describe our wedding as rustic, cosy and magical.

For my flowers, bunny tail was a must! I wanted latte/blush/dusty pink colours.

Alex went with light colours, white suit, black pants. He wanted something different, something other than the usual black tie attire.

As soon as I tried on this dress by Nifi Bridal, I knew it was the right one. There was no doubt or difficulty with choices.

Our photographers, Lowina and Derek from Black Avenue Productions, are the best. Their service was beyond excellent. From the initial contact, Lowina was warm and approachable. I had many worries and concerns that she easily made right for me with her witty ideas. She even planned my timeline for me; without that I wouldn’t have known where to start and what to do.

Lowina and Derek worked like ninjas throughout the day making sure that every moment was being captured, I barely saw them sit down at any point. Even my relatives were commenting on how good their work ethic is. They taught us what to do to make the photos look good, so for people who are not familiar with posing, there will be no issues at all because they make it fun and natural during the shoot. Most importantly all the photos came out perfectly! Every single one of them, I love it. Can’t thank them enough.

I always wanted a chapel-like space to walk down the aisle in, however, we are both not religious so it was difficult to find a chapel-like place that is not in a church. When we saw the restaurant space in Half Acre and knew this was it! It was exactly what I’d imagined, triangle ceiling with lots of natural light shining in. It’s beautiful.

For our wedding we wanted very rustic and different. We didn’t want the traditional ballroom style wedding. The warehouse style of Half Acre was perfect. We fell in love with the triangle ceiling and glass panel along the roof of the ceremony area.

Our first dance was a cover of ‘Girls Like You’ by Maroon 5, covered by Jada Facer & Kyson Facer. The lyrics say it all.

Carmen and Alex’s wedding video by Duuet

Ms Floral Says: What a stunning wedding that marries tradition, the seaside and an epic city celebration! Congratulations Carmen and Alex on your marriage and saying your nuptials in such sensational style.

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Amelia & Damien

It was technology that brought Amelia and Damien together – the pair both working at the Apple store in Doncaster when they first found their spark together. “As the story goes we both started to get more flirty as time went by and the rest is history!'” admits the bride.

And the story did, in fact, continue, because today, we’re celebrating Amelia and Damien’s modern Melbourne city wedding (just in time for The City Issue) in all of its beautiful glory.

With stunning photography by Georgia Verrells, Amelia and Damien found somewhat of an urban oasis in their ceremony venue – the beautiful Grounds of Arcadia a beautiful blend of garden gorgeousness and urban beauty. The “I do’s” kicking off a dream day, that in Amelia’s words was “Fun, relaxed and celebratory with an inner-city modern atmosphere”.

But before we follow these two down the aisle, let’s dive into the bride’s story of how they decided to tie the knot! “We had planned a weekend getaway to the Adelaide/Barossa Valley on the 7th of June 2018. We first arrived at our Airbnb and it was very cold weather in June, but Damien asked if we could go for a walk to the supermarket. I reluctantly agreed, and we walked down the shops.

Damien was walking so slowly as he was trying to find the perfect location to propose, but I called him out and asked “Is there something wrong with your legs? You’re walking so slow”. Without finding the perfect spot, Damien proposed when we arrived back at our hotel and proposed right as I was unpacking the groceries. I was so shocked I first asked “Are you sure!?” before responding with a giant “Yes!”.”

Damien wore a custom Institchu suit in black, says Monica. “Damien’s suit was from Institchu on Lonsdale street in the city. It was a custom-designed black 3-piece suit with a pleated shirt and bowtie. The suit was a classic style and was based on a Tom Ford design he previously saw and liked.”

“I don’t have a specific memory of the day because it was all such fun,” admits Damien. “From getting ready with my groomsmen to the ceremony and seeing Amelia everything about the day was a highlight.”

The bride’s beautiful gown with it’s elegant illusion neckline? It was designed by Australian bridal designer Suzanne Harward Amelia remarking “My wedding dress was from Suzanne Harward and I stumbled upon the gown by chance really! I had a hard time finding a wedding dress and had visited almost 10 boutiques before visiting the sample sale at Suzanne Harward one afternoon.

I was actually planning on having a dress made at that stage. I went to the sale on my own because I thought, well I’m probably not going to find anything, but once there the sales assistant suggested I try on this one after I described what I was looking for. It felt great and fit like a glove, and the shop assistants reaction was super positive so I instantly knew this was a winner.

I called my mum and she rushed down to the store in Collingwood just before they closed and once I tried it on she cried so we knew it was the one and purchased it then and there. The dress was such a great fit that I only ever needed the hem taken up.”

Amelia walked down the aisle with her father .”We chose the song “La Ritournelle” by Sebastien Tellier because we absolutely loved it” she recalls.

Amelia and Damien chose Nat Sproal to make their vows official, sharing of their ceremony “We wanted a relaxed, civil ceremony that really spoke about us as a couple. We chose Nat Sproal as our celebrant who was a joy to work with, and through the planning journey, she created a ceremony that told our guests about our life and how we came to be together.

It was funny, heartfelt and perfect for us. Our guests really got to know us as a couple and the memories we had created. She also made our guests promise to hit the dance floor later in the evening which really set the tone for our wedding.”

Beautiful city venue Grounds of Arcadia played host to the ceremony, the bride explaining “We chose the ceremony location to be at Grounds of Arcadia. We sort of stumbled upon this venue from another couple’s wedding photographs when were looking at choosing our celebrant and thought it was an amazing space in the heart of the city. We really loved the beautiful big tree and the green hedges that set the backdrop for the ceremony. The staff were fantastic and we had celebratory drinks after the ceremony for our guests, which they said they loved.”

“We tried to keep everything fairly straightforward and simple and didn’t focus on the details too much but we wanted our guests to have a great time and so included celebratory drinks after the ceremony at the Grounds of Arcadia, who did an amazing job at making sure everyone was comfortable and had somewhere to stay after the ceremony that was close by to the reception.”

The newlyweds headed to Fitzroy Gardens with their wedding party for photographs. “We wanted our portraits taken at Fitzroy Gardens because we always walk through the gardens when we travel into the city and so it will always bring up happy memories.”

Damien and Amelia made sure to include their very favourite people in their day. “We had seven of our closest friends part of our wedding party. I had my two best friends from high school, Damien’s sister and another friend Tania whilst the groomsmen were Damien’s cousin and two best friends also. The girls all wore different dresses in pink colours as I wanted them to all feel really comfortable on the day and like what they were wearing. We didn’t see the dresses together until the night before the wedding and luckily it all worked out. The boys all wore black suits which they choose themselves also from different shops.”

“I think my favourite photograph is of myself and Damien in the Fitzroy Gardens where the light is streaming in as I’m resting my head on his shoulder” notes the bride.

Amelia and Damien give rave reviews to photographer Georgia. “Georgia was amazing and made the day so much fun. I definitely didn’t realise how much direction and organising the photographer does on the day and Georgia was so great at keeping us all on schedule and making the atmosphere so much fun and filled with love. She honestly felt like a good friend was taking our photos and all of her images came out amazing.”

Melbourne restaurant Half Acre hosted the intimate reception, the bride remembering “It was a no brainer. It was actually the only reception venue we viewed in person. We loved it because it had a modern, Tuscan inspired atmosphere in a well-designed venue space. The team at Half Acre / Food & Desire were fantastic and helped us with all the planning and the food on the night was delicious. My dad kept going on about it the most after the wedding.”

Tables were adorned with gorgeous oversize arrangements of foliage and blush, peach and pink toned blooms. Amelia noting “Damien’s aunty is a florist and arranged all of the flowers for the day. We wanted something modern and she suggested olive branches and fruit to compliment the venue. We really loved this idea and gave her free reign on the look. The flowers were stunning and we were so thrilled at how it all came together.”

The decor was kept simple but beautiful shares Amelia. “I tried to keep the details to a minimum, but I made all of the name place cards myself, as well as the invitations and the wedding website we used for guests to RSVP. Also, Damien’s sister Justine made the wedding cake on the day, and our family friend did all of the flowers.”

Amelia and Damien loved every moment planning their day. “I really enjoyed planning the wedding and didn’t find it stressful at all. I’ve even put my hand up to help organise my brother’s wedding who recently got engaged. I would have to say my favourite part was picking out the wedding rings. Saranda from Paul Bram in the city is the absolute best and made the whole jewellery process so much fun.”

The dance floor debut was to a favourite song of the couples. “For our first dance we chose the song “Chateau” by Angus and Julia Stone because it reminded us of a fun time in our relationship. We originally weren’t going to have the first dance but decided to go ahead with it and I’m glad we did because it was really special and a great way to get everyone on the dance floor.”

A big congratulations to you both Amelia and Damien! What a wonderful wedding story to share! Thank you both and thank you to Georgia Verrells for today’s beautiful photography!


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!


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.

  • Flowers
  • Groom's Aunty
  • Wedding Cake
  • Groom's Sister

Elizabeth & Stephen

Canberra’s urban landscape, with hidden gardens and beautiful architectural detail, turned out to be just the right kind of cityscape that Elizabeth and Stephen dreamt of for their big day.

Elizabeth and Stephen chose an urban venue for their big day, a bar with ti’s dark and moody backdrop a beautiful contrast to their secret garden style ceremony. It was a day, that these two did totally their way- a first look before the ceremony, walking down the aisle together hand in hand, a cocktail reception and plenty of sweet handmade details.

And what better day to celebrate than your birthday”? Elizabeth turning thirty as the couple danced celebrated, hugged and loved their way through their beautiful day, They invited Across the Forest along to capture their story unfold.

it was definitely not love at first sight for these two, remembers Elizabeth. “Stephen and I meet at pre-music festival party in Canberra in 2011, I thought he was annoying when I met him, but persistence paid off, I love that we still have a photo from that day with the both of us in it before we even met.”

What soon followed, was a waterside proposal. “Stephen really went all out, I was living in Sydney at the time and he organised a sailing boat to pick us up (I thought we were just doing a lesson), we ended up spending the night on the yacht anchored in a bay next to Taronga Zoo and he got down on one knee and the rest is history.”

Elizabeth chose a form-fitting lace gown from Brides Of Sydney.  She tells “I knew I didn’t want anything big or fancy and it happened to be the first dress I tried on what luck!”

Stephen chose most of his attire from Industrie. Elizabeth explains “Stephen got most of his outfit from Industrie in Melbourne, we both wanted a relaxed vibe and to be comfortable on our big day. I do admit I had to triple check it wasn’t too relaxed and made some last-minute tweaks with the suspenders and bow tie, Stephen picked his shoes though and WOW… those shoes made the outfit!”

Elizabeth and Stephen met before their ceremony for a first look and photographs, the result? Well, they speak for themselves. Elizabeth sharing “We decided to do our photos before the ceremony, this meant we did a private first greet, Stephen waited for me near a perfectly picked out spot by our photographer’s and had an intimate first look. This was so special I laughed and cried at the same time.”

Of the couple’s chosen photographer, “Anton and Raya were without a doubt amazing, every photo is stunning and captures us, our bridal party, family and friends perfectly. Stephen and I were in great hands and I’m so incredibly thankful to them both.”


Elizabeth and Stephen chose the gardens of Parlour Wine Room for their ceremony explaining “We chose Parlour Wine Bar because of the location and the intimacy of the venue, we only had 60 guests, so we really wanted a space that had a garden and a bar all in one. Parlour is also styled amazingly already which meant our job to decorate was a lot easier, the beautiful timer bar inside, velvet couches and a stunning outdoor garden.”

Elizabeth and Stephen chose an acoustic version of “Dusk till Dawn” by Zayn & Sia to play as they walked down the aisle together hand in hand.

The couple chose Life Ceremonies with Lesley to make their marriage official. The bride noting “Stephen and I really wanted a quick garden Ceremony that was very relaxed and lighthearted, our close family friend was our celebrant and really made sure it was personal, Stephen and I both thanked our family’s and I even got a happy birthday sung to me during the ceremony.”


Plenty of wedding decor on the day was handmade by the couple and their parents, Elizabeth explaining “Most of our wedding decor was DIY, we made our welcome wedding sign frame out of old fence palings and my mum made the stunning birdcages which hung on shepherds hooks to form the aisle we walked down.”

After the vows were said and done, the newlyweds and their guests headed inside at Parlour Wine Room for a cocktail reception. “We wanted a cocktail-themed wedding, ” notes Elizabeth “so it was more of a party rather than a formal sit-down dinner. It was perfect and meant Stephen and I really got to mingle with our family and friends.”


“Our first dance was very unchoreographed to UB40 “Bring Me Your Cup” remembers the bride. “It is a song that we have always loved, luckily, we had liquid courage by this time and provided plenty of laughs to our family and friends.”

A big congratulations to you both Elizabeth and Stephen! Thank you to you both and to Across the Forest for sharing today’s beautiful celebration with us.


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