Jess & Will

It was the most golden of sunsets as Jess and Will headed to Half Moon Bay in Melbourne with photographer Bonavita Photography to capture their engagement photos. Feet were bare, the green waves rolled in and the pair had a chance to reflect on the journey that led them here.

“We met via mutual friends ten years ago back at university” tell Jess and Will. “We would often bump into each other and exchange a few words before running off to classes. These were nice little interactions. Slowly but surely we were on each other’s radars. By year’s end, there was a university ball where we shared our first dance together, but we were both a bit shy. We started talking more from then on and Will finally got the courage to ask Jess out on a date.” It was ten years later, at the scene of where Will asked Jess out for that very first date, that he popped the question!

Their connection is what drives these two, the pair sharing “We love that we understand each other, have similar values and share some common interests such as traveling, loving dogs and enjoying good food.”

On what she loves about her future husband, Jess tells “I love that Will is always there for me, can make me smile and shares his food with me.” Will adding “I  love that Jess is always happy to see me and that we always get into food comas.”

And it was the love of nature that led Jess and Will to choose Half Moon Bay for their photographs, they explain “We love nature, especially the ocean. We chose this location because of the contrast between the calm ocean meeting the dramatic cliffs. We wanted the photos to be a piece of art and this style of shoot lent itself towards being that.”


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Edwina & Charlie

It’s easy to look at a wedding and miss the beauty in the details, but that’s exactly what’s good in Edwina and Charlie’s sweet Wollombi country wedding. The couple’s four legged friend making an appearance, the special family toast, the nod to the bride’s parent’s wedding in the groom’s attire, a special song as the bride walked down the aisle. When people comment on a focus on details, I ask them to look again. Because these details in Edwina and Charlie’s day is what makes it theirs. And that results in a truly special story, beautifully captured by Alex Winner Photography.

It was on the dance floor that these two first laid eyes on one another, Edwina sharing “We met in our final year of university both completing a dance component for our sport and Exercise Science Degree. We were assigned as ballroom dancing partners and had to perform on camera for our assessment. Neither of us is a dancer but we both had a blast practising the jive and have been together ever since!” The resulting proposal? Simple, romantic and very “them!” “It was a Wednesday after work and we went for a walk to a beautiful headland overlooking Dee Why and Curl Curl beach with our dog, Billie. I had no idea he had been planning to propose as I was in workout gear and we were doing what we would normally do together after work! It was a beautiful surprise!!”

To kick off a day filled with relaxed style, the bride chose an off the shoulder lace gown designed by Karen Willis Holmes.  She shares “When researching dresses, I fell in love with The Wild Hearts Collection by KWH. I knew I wanted something fitted, relaxed, elegant yet a little bohemian! Tabitha fit my criteria perfectly!! It was an absolute dream to try on. It fit my body shape perfectly, had such a nice stretchy feel to it and suited my style so well! My experience with KWH was so easy and fun. Everyone that works there is so happy for you to try on as many dresses as you like and is really helpful and honest with what looks good and suitable to your body type and taste.”

Funnily enough, the bride’s parents own wedding played a sentimental role in the couple’s day, Edwina revealing “My grandmother kept the material for the bridesmaids’ dresses from my Mum and Dad’s wedding! Funnily enough, it was a very similar colour to the bridesmaid’s dresses I chose. I decided to turn this material into a few pocket squares to give to important males at the wedding – Charlie, my Dad, my Brother and father in law. It was even more special because my mother in law sewed them all for me and they looked great!”

A version of a Johnny Cash favourite serenaded the bride down the aisle, she tells “My father walked me down the aisle to an acoustic version of ‘I walk the line’ by Johnny Cash. We chose this because we both love listening to Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen when on roadtrips to go camping.”

A hidden spot on the property was just the ticket for Edwina and Charlie’s gorgeous country ceremony, performed by Nuptials by Nuala. “Our ceremony was outside at a gorgeous hidden location on the Mulla Villa property known as the ‘Picnic Area’,” tells Edwina. “It was below the level of the road surrounded by trees and overlooking a stream. We must credit our amazing celebrant Nuala from ‘Nuptials by Nuala’ for helping us design our own ceremony. She was totally open to having it individualised to our taste and personality. We did not want it to be too long but wanted it to be meaningful and genuine. We wrote our own vows and were surprised by them on the day – such a special moment hearing your vows for the first time during the ceremony! We also included a Welsh family poem read out by Charlie’s Aunty and Uncle. Chuck’s background is Scottish and Welsh.”

It was all about the country vibes for these two, who married at country venue Mulla Villa. ‘”It provided us with a beautiful picnic location for the ceremony, a cow shed for our reception and B&B rooms for our wedding party and close family.”

The bride worked with Hunter Valley Bouquets to create bouquets full of Australian natives. “I absolutely love Australian Natives and unstructured looking bouquets. I wanted to have really natural colours and textures complementing my gown and bridesmaid’s dresses. My bouquet had white king Proteas, Queen Anne’s lace, Thrip, Tea Tree, Stirlingia, Blushing Bride and paper daisies with gum foliage.”

Edwina and Charlie wanted their day to be all about relaxed Australian country glamour, the bride explaining “Our wedding was relaxed, genuine and rustic. Our style was inspired by our love of the country Life and outdoors! Tables were decorated with eucalyptus, gum leaves and candles and my bouquet was a gorgeous unstructured bunch of Australian wildflowers and natives.”

One of their favourite decisions? Their photographer! “Alex Winner is everything you could ever hope for in a photographer, and more! Alex was professional, friendly and enthusiastic every single step of the way. He delivered some epic shots that captured the emotion of our day so well. He is very candid and natural in his approach and made a group of people who have no clue what to do in front of a camera look incredible! So many thought he was a close friend of ours with the way he so easily fit in with the bridal party, friends and family.”

Four-legged friends? High priority for Edwina and Charlie! The photo with their favourite, their photo of the day! Edwina explaining “Our favourite photo would have to be of us two walking to the reception after having our photos taken in the field with Billie in the foreground. We were relaxed and finally married after a big morning of preparation. Neither of us had really seen our dog Billie (who was a massive stress head on the day because everything was not normal routine (she likes routine) and we whistled her to come from about 200m away. She then bolted to see us from the reception and she could FINALLY say hello! We absolutely love this photo.”

The venue’s cowshed welcomed guests for dinner. “We DIY’d our signs; welcome sign, seating chart, ceremony sign etc. We used a similar format to our invitations and framed them using second-hand frames from Vinnies!” tells Edwina. “We also DIY’d our decorations in the Reception – Charlie’s older brother and his wife were married eight months before us and had a tonne of jars, candles and greenery that we borrowed.”

Guests gathered for a sit down reception, kicking off the night with a special family tradition. “Charlie’s dad did a “Roberts family toast” that is always said at any family event ‘Here’s to us, all of us, including those not present’ everyone must then place their drink above their head and yell ‘weeeeeeeeee’.”

It was family and friends that made this day truly special for Edwina and Charlie, Edwina remarking “We had family members on Charlie’s side come out from England for our wedding for the SECOND time that year. It was also so special to have my grandmother, June. I am so grateful she was able to attend when no other grandparent could.”

It was all about retro turns when Edwina and Charlie hit the dance floor for their first dance, the bride remembering “We went with an Elvis Presley theme for our first dance. We started out slow dancing to “Can’t help falling in love” and the music then cut to “Hound dog” and we jived for a bit (the same dance we learned at university) and then invited the wedding party to boogie with us.”

A big congratulations to you both Edwina and Charlie! Thank you for sharing your beautiful stories with us. Thank you also to Alex Winner Photography for sharing today’s beautiful images!


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
  • Alice Hunter

Photo by  Maria Shiriaeva Photography via Melinda & Andrew’s Puri Dajuma Bali Destination Wedding

Oh, happy Friday friends! We’re all out enjoying the sunshine this fine public holiday, but we’ve been planning and scheduling content for you, so if you have wedding planning on your long weekend agenda, you’re all set!

And in case you’ve missed anything this week, it’s time to round it up!


Want to get married at a brewery? Meet the folk at Moondog!

Lachlan’s black-tie groom style

The most gorgeous tablecloth to make for your own wedding 

How to take a mini-moon in Far North Queensland

Sharing the brand new collection from Institchu

How to rock an OTT bouquet

Maddy’s favourite wedding day tips

This easter egg cocktail has our name all over it

The must-have inclusions you need when buying an engagement ring

All the romance in this glam day at Melbourne’s Glasshouse

Alex and Ben’s Boho Kangaroo Valley Wedding Video – shot by the Lovereel crew

A big “Welcome back” to the crew at Daydream Island who opened the doors again this week! And you know what that means- another beautiful Whitsundays venue for destination weddings and honeymoons! The crew are hosting a weddings open day on the 27th of July, where you can our the island, see their wedding setups and talk to the wedding team. So you better book that cheeky pre-wedding holiday! Find more info here.

On a tight budget? Want to cut down on your wedding footprint? Why not rent your wedding gown? Meet Untold, an Australian based startup who hires out wedding gowns from your favourite designers (including Lover The Label and Rachel Gilbert) We have an exclusive discount code just for you- use the code POLKA20 for 20% of your gown hire! The promo finishes May 10th 2019, so get on it!

Byron Bay lovers- check out the brand new offerings from Byron bay venue The Byron at Byron! Under the watch of brand new chef Executive Chef Minh Le who ahs created a brand new menu with a unique Vietnamese influence. The change to their packages is a welcome addition to their 2018 renovation, making the venue (complete with four reception optionAND accommodation) the best kind of one-stop shop for your wedding./Check it out here.

The sweetest little house of Sassafras- Villa Rao is now hosting weddings, and they’re opening their doors with a gorgeous package for the most intimate of weddings. Including accommodation, your ceremony, champagne and more, we couldn’t think of a better way to spend a weekend in the mountains!  Meet the crew here.

We’re dancing out to an extra long weekend with this tune from The Usual Suspects of Funkified Entertainment because something about this song is all about weekends filled with fun times!