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Julie & Peter

When today’s bride told us, “We wanted a food truck festival style wedding. Laidback, surrounded by our loved ones with good food and good booze!”, we knew we’d be in for a treat. Julie and Peter certainly achieved their wedding goals by putting on the most perfect foodie spread at Acacia Ridge Winery in the Yarra Valley. Photographer Sayher Heffernan was there to capture the celebration in all its loveliness, as well as the incredible details – a cheese wheel cake, a three metre long DIY grazing table, freshly shucked oysters, and not one but FOUR food trucks.

It’s very fitting that Julie and Peter placed a huge importance on food at their wedding, as getting to know each other over delicious meals was the catalyst for their romance. “We both love cars and met through a mutual friend on an organised car cruise along the Mornington Peninsula,” says Julie. “We continued to go on several more cruises after that and after sharing conversations over some burgers and ice cream, Peter eventually asked me out and the rest was history.”

When it came time to propose, Peter had the hard task of trying to surprise Julie (who usually sees his surprises coming from a mile away). The couple had arranged to go on a hike, which was nothing out of the ordinary for them. Julie explains, “As we got to a lovely, scenic lookout, Peter asked me to stand with my back to him so he could take some photos. I obliged with no suspicion. He then gave me a card to read. It wasn’t until I got to the end of the card which read, ‘Will you marry me?’, did I see Peter on one knee and ring in his hand. He definitely got me that time!”

On the big day, Julie wore Made With Love’s Sienna dress. “I had one look, and knew I had found the one,” says Julie. “I went to Bluebell Bridal in the city to try the dress on, and my instincts were right. Her name was Sienna. She’s elegant, yet sexy. Timeless, yet chic. And I felt like all of the above when I wore that dress.”

Choosing a suit proved harder than choosing the dress, with the couple floating between ideas of traditional and casual. “In the end we went for something in between; a three-piece navy suit from T.M Lewin with a grey vest for Peter. The grey vest was a nice touch that created the laidback feeling and differentiated Peter from the groomsmen.”

Julie walked down the aisle with her mother to a piano version of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Perfect’, featuring ‘Pachelbel’s Canon’ by Paul Hankinson.

The couple married in Peter’s family church, which was a convenient two-minute drive from both their family homes. “When we had our wedding rehearsal at the church, our priest, Father Peter, said to me that 99.9% of the time the bride is late but not to stress about it,” reveals Julie. “So I took that challenge and made it in the statistics as the 0.1% of brides that made it to the church on time! That really set the flow for the rest of the day.” The church ceremony was not only important to Peter’s family, but also to Peter himself. “We chose Father Peter as our priest because he had known Peter since he was a little boy and has a strong connection to the family.”

Julie chose the king protea to feature in her bouquet as she feels it is “one of the most stunning flowers in history”. Her bouquet was arranged by Bethany from January Bloom who did a wonderful job of sourcing the flowers and providing advice to the couple.

Behind the camera was Sayher Heffernan, who the couple say was amazing on the day. “We chose Sayher because of his style of photography and his abilities to capture the emotions on the day. Sayher was also easy to get along with and worked well with both Peter and my personalities. He made us feel comfortable and at ease, despite having a camera pointed right at us. Honestly, we cannot recommend Sayher enough to anyone looking for an easy-going, fun-loving and professional photographer.”

The reception was held at Acacia Ridge Winery and the couple rave about Cathy, the venue’s owner and event planner. “Cathy is a true champion. She was so helpful from the moment we met, all the way through to the day after our wedding! She was willing to answer any question we had and would go out of her way to make sure anything you needed was sorted out. Our day went as smoothly as it did because Cathy was working hard in the background, so we have to thank her for all her efforts!”

Looking back on the day, Julie and Peter remark that everything about it was so special. They wanted a laidback, food truck festival-esque celebration. To fit with this theme, they ditched the formalities of a traditional wedding, such as having a bridal table and seating arrangements. Guests sat wherever they pleased; in the barn, next to the bar, under an umbrella or in the marquee.

Locking in some fabulous food trucks with delicious offerings was crucial. “Our first food truck of choice was The Taco Truck,” says Julie. “No one does fish tacos better than these guys, and they are to die for!”

The couple knew they also wanted a substantial and meaty option, so they enlisted the crew from Digging for Fire to provide 12 hour pulled pork and BBQ chilli chicken.

To add something fancy to their menu, Julie and Peter had Twisted Fisherman cook up lobster rolls (that were a big hit with their guests), as well as juicy scallop bruschetta.

Another fun foodie touch was the oysters. “This was an unplanned addition to the already amazing line-up of food trucks we had on the day,” says Julie. “We wanted something different. I did a quick Google search and found Oysters Unplugged. From the Ralston Bros. oyster farm in New South Wales, Oysters Unplugged created a unique and fresh way to enjoy their gem. Fresh oysters, shucked right in front of you. Not only did they provide morsels of heaven, Oysters Unplugged provided a little bit of entertainment and something to talk about throughout the evening. It was a big hit!

And for dessert? “Well, Peter and I both love our gelato, and there is only one place in town that makes anyone giddy,” says Julie. “Pidapipo Gelato!”

For their first dance, the coupled started off slow with a cover of Meghan Trainor’s ‘Like I’m Gonna Lose You’ by AJ Raphael and Alex G Peter. Then they had a playful surprise for their guests.

“Halfway through our dance, the music started to skip. Our DJ (DJ Jon Bling) who was in on the plan, pretended as if he didn’t know how to fix the issue. Our guests were silent. Then, Kanye West’s ‘N*ggas in Paris’ played. Peter and I proceeded to our surprise routine and our guests began cheering. It really set up the dance floor for all the dancing that ensued!”

Julie and Peter’s advice for couples about to walk down the aisle? Take a moment for yourselves. “While the day can pass quicker than roadrunner, find a moment with your newly wedded partner to step away from it all and really soak in the fruition of all your hard work in planning the day. Watch everyone enjoy themselves and just enjoy the moment.”

A huge congratulations to Julie and Peter on their marriage, and pulling off an absolutely amazing food truck festival wedding! Thank you for retelling your special day to us. Also thanks to Sayher Heffernan for sharing your stunning photography of this celebration.

 

 

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Elise & Ben

We love a wedding that is a little quirk, a little fun and today’s wedding – it’s completely gorgeous in all of its beautiful retro style. “We both love everything vintage so that was our theme” explains today’s bride Elise. “We wanted it to relaxed, fun and full of family.”
From the bride’s gorgeous tea length wedding gown, her retro-inspired pearls, the vintage couches and the vintage details, Carisse Antonas Photography was on hand to capture it all and today? We get to share it!

It was at the tender age of 21, that these two met, Elise, filling us in. “We met 7 years ago at my 21st birthday party, my friend Bradley brought a plus one which was Ben. Another 12 months passed and it was my birthday again but this time I was single and met up my friend Bradley again, and again Ben tagged along and then long story short I ended up marrying Ben the love of my life.”

Some time and a baby girl later, it was time for Ben to pop the question “Well we had our beautiful baby girl first, then the weekend after mother’s Day (Ben was working on my first mother’s Day) but he made up for it, I woke up to the lounge room couches upside down with a blanket on top, and pillows on the floor, Ben said my present was inside the epic fort! There was a photo book he made with beautiful memories of us and having our daughter who was only 4 months old at this time, the very last photo was our daughter Audrey sitting in the couch with a note saying “Mummy will you marry daddy?” I was so excited I flew out of the fort to find Ben holding Audrey in one hand and a beautiful engagement ring in the other… And of course, I said yes!!”

Elise made her own bouquet, which featured silk flowers and crystal brooches. She tells “Well I honestly don’t see the point in spending lots of money on real flowers, so I made my bouquets with brooches, boutonnieres and some decorations out of faux flowers.”

The bride found he retro, tea-length gown at Tuscany Bridal. “For a lover of vintage I was hoping to find a true vintage dress, however, that was really difficult. So I ended up finding a new dress that was a 50’s style tight waist, shorter and a big petticoat with bright red high heels.”

The couple met, together with their daughter before the ceremony for a first look.

The bride arrived at the wedding in her father’s FJ 40 LandCruiser, the very car she learnt to drive in!

Elise walked down the aisle with her father to Franki Valli & The Four Seasons “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You”.

Of their ceremony, Elisa shares “We wanted sweet, simple and quick, had a family friend be our celebrant.”

The Barn Hopeland hosted both the ceremony and reception, Elise remarking “It’s a beautiful big barn that has a stunning farm-like charm, also lots of cool old cars in a paddock. We could also bring all of our own vendors, alcohol and decorations ourselves.”

Of their photographer, Elise raves “Carisse Antonas is absolutely amazing! She captured our day perfectly and we have so many beautiful photos.”

 
 

Guests were delighted with dinner, a feast served up by The Souvla Boys. “It was delicious” remembers Elise.

The wedding decor was designed and created by the couple and their families even including the couple’s vintage couches! The bride and her mother even handmade the wedding favours, Elise telling “My pop passed away a few years before, so my mum made a huge batch of his Russian Toffee as our wedding favours, I also replanted heaps of succulents into baby food jars I was collecting from our daughter.”

 

And after the sunset, the dancing began, Elisa and Ben kicking off the dance floor with a quick little jive to Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”
A big congratulations to you both Elise and Ben! Thank you for sharing your beautiful wedding day with us. Thanks also to Carisse Antonas Photography for sharing today’s beauty of a wedding!

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Genevieve & Ollie

Genevieve and Ollie’s wedding did a number on me. It might be because I sent the entire time writing their story with the sounds fo Genevieve’s surprise serenade to her husband playing loudly, it might be the stories that are filled with passion and romance that the bride herself shared, or it might just be that these two did it their way, so very beautifully. Whatever it is, we’re thrilled today to celebrate this little part of Tasmania, with beautiful images by Rosie Hastie with you. Buckle up and grab a tissue folks, this one is full of stunning moments.
The pair first met on Tinder, tells Genevieve.  “We didn’t meet in person until after weeks that lead to months of online banter through the infamous Tinder! After shying away at the last minute from meeting up for a date not once but twice, Ollie finally worked through his nerves enough to meet Gen for a beer at the pub… and beer led to dinner, led to a postprandial stroll, led to girl buying boy ice cream and sitting in the park until it got so late it’s a wonder no one lost a glass slipper…”
And the proposal? Ollie popped the question not long after the couple packed up their possessions and moved to Hobart, Genevieve filling us in. “After the months of organisation and farewells to our Sydney family, we set off for our tree change to Hobart in Jan 2018, turning it into a month-long road trip adventure. A few days into our journey, after a series of over 40 degree temperature days, we went exploring in search of the waterfalls of Barrington Tops.
Ollie did his standard disappearing off to the boot of the car to pack the backpack, I was instructed to stay clear. Assuming this was either one of his German OCD Tetris packing moments, or maybe even one of his sweet gestures to pack some nice nibbles and drinks for a stop on our walk, I wandered off to look at a trail map and thought nothing of it.”

She continues “We set off on our walk, Ollie seeming distracted and somewhat jittery as we got closer to the falls. A couple was bathing in the pools at the base of the falls – in the nude. After having the standard giggle that a strangers’ bare bum usually inspires, we decided not to disturb them and headed further upstream to find another nice spot for a dip. As far as we searched, Ollie had his heart set on returning to that perfect spot. In the end, we turned back and found we had it to ourselves this time.
We jumped from large rocks into the deep pools and sat beneath the falls, letting the water massage our heads. As we basked on the rocks in the sun, Ollie rustled around in his treasure chest of a backpack and pulled out two wine glasses, very timidly talking of our favourite wine we had enjoyed on a biking wine tour on a New Zealand road trip years ago.
This was a wine I knew we couldn’t get in any Australian bottle shops and had to pay as much in freight as the actual wines themselves to get them across from NZ. As he pulled this very wine out and started pouring it for us, it clicked that THAT was why he’d been so sneaky with packing and so distracted on the walk. So as I sipped my wine and laughed at his grand efforts to sneak this bottle of booze along in our overpacked car with a month’s worth of camping gear, I was still caught completely off guard when he then turned to me with a little jewellery box in his hand. Looking terrified and hopeful, and through a stuttered series of well mannered gentlemanly “would you kindly” and ‘“if it please you’s”, he finally asked if I would like to spend the rest of our lives together. I was pretty chuffed.”

The spot chosen to prepare for the day was almost as important as the wedding venue itself. The bride explaining “The Swansea/ Freycinet region of Tassie’s East Coast is an epic place. Full of wineries, moody cliff lines and Mountains across the sea, we knew this was where we needed all our favourite people to come to join us for a big party.
Avalon Coastal Retreat is a stunning architectural dream set on the cliffs overlooking the Hazards of Freycinet. True luxury and stunning vistas, and less than 10 mins drive to the wedding venue!
This is where the bridal party beautified themselves for the big day… It was also where we stayed the night before and had a mini gathering with the wedding party to ease into the festivities… (and make sure the wedding booze wasn’t poisoned, you know)…”

Genevieve could not think of a better place to look for her wedding gown than Grace Loves Lace. She shares “I went with a Grace Loves Lace number- perfect for the boho theme, super comfortable and a little bit of fun with a low back and 90cm train. Despite the headache of having to send the dress interstate for an alteration a few weeks before the ceremony, I was well looked after by the Grace Loves Lace team and have to say I was lucky with the whole bridal dress experience… there are infinite nightmare stories I was aware of and somewhat bracing myself for!”


Beautiful jewelled pieces finished her look. “To accessorise, going with more of a Viking warrior aesthetic than a gentle flower child, I wore a beaded feather crown, handmade in Battery Point by the clever Miss Haidee Millinery.
Jewellery included hammered sterling silver with freshwater pearls from Lizardi Jewelry, and a Wedding Band by Jai Hay (in Hobart’s Mathers Lane) made to fit and match the intricate work of my engagement ring (found in our favourite local antique store in Battery Point, Annick’s Antiques).
My taupe heeled sandals from Toms were humble and practical, super comfortable and subtle to allow the rest of the attire to have their glory!”

The scene was set for the day with the stunning tones worn by both the bride and groom’s favourite people. Genevieve explaining “Our wedding vibe was Bohemian Garden Party – picture earthy tones and a rustic farmhouse with bespoke furniture, driftwood decor and dry stone walls. A light and airy country garden with sprinklings of wildflowers fused with strings of harps, banjos, fiddles and guitars to create a relaxed and charming folk festival.”

The beautiful cocktail garden party wedding? Held at Piermont Retreat. “A rustic retreat of Argentinian influence, complete with Homestead Restaurant, with an amphitheatre reminiscent of Tuscany, and scattered stone cottages amongst the cliffs and shores of Swansea” tells the bride.
“This was a destination wedding, and we wanted a space that would not only host us for ceremony and reception but accommodate as many of our guests as possible so we could have a full weekend festival over 2 days. Having everyone staying on-site or in nearby Swansea town made things so much easier and maximised everyone’s enjoyment! One look at Piermont and it’s hard not to be entranced by the place. On top of the grounds, the food is exquisite, and we were so well looked after by the Venue staff (notably Dom, Naomi and Sean!) – we can’t wait to go back and stay (this time, a little fewer distractions, perhaps?)!”

Emily Sanzaro played the emotional processional song, live as Genevieve walked down the aisle. Genevieve remembering “Emily Sanzaro mesmerised us all with her Harp, playing London Grammar’s ‘Strong’. It was my father who got the privilege of keeping his daughter from toppling down the stone stairs of the amphitheatre as we descended the aisle. I think he was as bemused and overwhelmed as I at that moment… we were simply swept up in the atmosphere and beaming faces. And then Ollie broke EVERYONE- myself included- with his giddy weeping, as he watched me approach.”

“We tried not to follow any particular traditions” explains the bride ” we wanted it to be our unique day that felt relaxed and organic, with a big focus on guest enjoyment – because when the people around us are having a great time, we’re having the best time!

The couple chose Married By Meredith to officiate their ceremony “We wanted it to be relaxed, humorous, genuine and light-hearted. Our celebrant Mez (of Married by Meredith) was a dear friend of many years, she knew us both (too) well and made us feel at home, grounded with her warm and calm energy. She even infused playful references to our joint nicknames (the Pickles) in her delivery, much to our delight (particularly when she announced “all those in favour of this union, shout “Pickle!!”).”

“There were so many elements that came together – the people, the excitement, the stunning venues and weather, outstanding food and our favourite wines, the music… and the speeches! I don’t think I’ve laughed so much for so many hours in a day. Can we do it again, please?! (Bags not paying for it…)”

Beautiful, boho styled floral details added to the vibe of the day. “The zesty and delightful Eliza Rogers of Primula Floral Styling covered the spiel perfectly. She went with an earthy, rustic, forage-style backdrop of eucalypts and dried grasses, with wild sprawling pieces around a driftwood wedding arch, and complemented by the soft delicacies of some gentle meadow-style flowers in small vases and under glass cloche domes.”

Genevieve and Ollie were s happy with their choice of photographer, Genevieve particularly not able to pick a favourite image! “We were frothing at the work of Rosie Hastie while researching Tassie Photographers – and well and truly stoked when she was available for our dates! The memories she captured from the day are beyond anything we could have imagined. We followed her lead, but she knew we wanted to be caught in natural moments rather than posing, so for a lot of it she was walking along with us and being part of the party. She scored us some beaut scenic shots around Avalon Coastal Retreat and Piermont too, which will make for some wall features in the nest when we get our act together. Ahh but the evidence is laid out before you – see for yourself!”

The venue was generous enough to let us supply our favourite wheels of cheese from the local Farmgate markets, provided by Elgar Farm, and rather than a wedding cake we had hundreds of mini sourdough doughnuts provided by the girls from Lady Hester (any Hobartian will know about these little goodies).”

Not only was this a boho-inspired garden party, but it was also a handmade garden party – the newlyweds creating much of the decor and details themselves, Genevieve remembering ” We didn’t have a wedding planner so a lot of the detail came down to us. Hundreds of hours went into putting together our own invitations, wedding favours (local teas corked in test tubes with homemade tags whose graphics were designed by a talented friend, Erin Fiore), wedding programs (also designed by Erin), a driftwood wedding arch (erected by our adorable groom’s party), decorating wishing well buckets and signs, bathroom refreshments, rose petal confetti that was scooped into wooden cones by guests, a big basket of blankets for later in the eve, and bringing a few fire pits to scatter around the front of the reception grounds. We also hired a bunch of additional decor such as festoon lights and had a backup marquee to pop up in case of rain (we were blessed with sunshine the whole weekend thankfully)! My sister, conveniently a talented lighting designer, was able to string the festoon lights artfully around the trees of the  restaurant and create a kind of ambience one would liken to a fairy bower from a Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

“It was so special to notice the complete absence of stress and flusters throughout the days themselves” shares Genevieve. “It was a monumental effort getting the whole weekend organised. Yet once approximately 95% of all elements were in place, everyone involved, including the bride & groom, were able to simply enjoy themselves and seize moments.
It was a wonderful showcase of how we and the people we choose to be closest with are experts in having a good time.”

Tasmanian produce was a big focus of Genevieve and Ollie, who made sure their menu included plenty of local delights. “We wanted to make sure our wedding guests were well looked after with fresh Tassie produce and succulent wines! Sean, head chef of Piermont’s Homestead Restaurant, made sure we had a gorgeous selection of canapés comprised of fresh seafood, ethically sourced meats from local farms and homegrown vegetables and greens, as well as a grazing table including cheeses and breads. A special culinary delight Piermont are well known for is their Asado – an Argentinean feast prepared over an open fire pit for several hours. We rolled this out for our recovery day, as the festive bluegrass banjo and fiddle tunes of the Foleys wafted over the fiery barbecue.”

One of the most magical moments of the evening? When Genevieve surprised Ollie with a song she composed (A reworking of ‘Wait for Me’ by Motopony) and sung herself (see it in full here). Ollie tells  “Gen is an outrageously talented musician and had (in secret of course) been working on a piece of music she was going to play for me.
It’s hard at the best of times to remain emotionally ‘un-stirred’ when Gen is performing. But to have her play this particular piece, in that particular moment, accompanied by the deep tones of a harp that’s quite literally plucking at our little hearts, was too much.”

The newlyweds took to the dance floor to a sea of sparklers, Genevieve reminiscing, “Being two of the most uncoordinated and unsporty people in the Southern Hemisphere, we set forth the ‘Firefly dance’, embracing our guests join us in lighting a shower of sparklers as we twirled and laughed to the spirited tunes and endearing lyrics of Xavier Rudd’s ‘Storm Boy’.”

A big congratulations to you both Genevieve and Ollie! Thank you for sharing your stories with us and a big thank you to Rosie Hastie for today’s beautiful imagery.

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.

  • Invitations & Stationery
  • Erin Fiore