Jess & Dan

The stunning beach and streets of St Kilda gave Jess and Dan’s gorgeous George Ballroom wedding something special. The couple choose a venue right on the beach as they said their I do’s, before being lured by the stunning old-world glamour of the historic ballroom as they celebrated – complete with confetti cannons and champagne tower. It was all lovingly captured by Days Like This.

The beautiful Jess shared with me the epic tale of how these two came to be, of on-again/off-again moments, moving across the world, across the country from each other and of travelling with each other before the pair finally made it official; Dan proposing after a failed attempt in the Southern Highlands.
Jess remembers, “We had planned a day trip to the Southern Highlands. We were going to see some of the cool antique stores and do some hiking/bushwalking. We were at this beautiful lookout point and we had been in a silly mood that morning and he turned to me and said, ‘I have to ask you something’. It was such an obvious spot for a proposal that I thought he was actually joking and making reference to how beautiful the scenery was. Turns out he wasn’t joking as he pulled this box out of his pocket. I said ‘yes’…after some blubbering tears and Daniel trying to get down on a knee. Unbeknownst to me he had booked dinner at the beautiful Biota in Bowral and had organised some accommodation for the night and so we stayed the weekend. It was the best surprise. I loved it.”

The bride wore a beautiful silver sequinned Jenny Packham gown from Le Louvre, remarking, “I had in my head that we were going to have a really relaxed “outdoorsy” wedding and so thought I would have a very relaxed and almost casual outfit. A friend had suggested I go to Le Louvre and try Jenny Packham in particular. I was quite set on a certain idea of what my dress would look like, I wasn’t keen to try on too many things that I saw although I was immediately attracted to the back detail on the ‘Hilda’ dress when I saw it hanging. I was reluctant to try it on but my posse convinced me to give it a try at least.

Once it was on, everyone loved it – me included. It really stood out from everything else I had tried to date.

Le Louvre was fantastic at making it all possible in such a short time frame and was very flexible and helpful. It was quite a fun experience in the end once I had decided on something. It was fun to share the experience with some special women in my life too.”

Jess and Dan held their ceremony at Westbeach Bathers Pavilion. Jess explains, “We originally hoped for an outdoor wedding in a garden or the like. We checked out lots of different places in and around Melbourne and all of Victoria in fact. Daniel had photographed a wedding at West Beach Bathers Pavillion previously and so was keen to show Jessica what it looked like. Once we saw it we knew it was a great option as there was so much natural light and windows everywhere. It was like being outdoors but without having to stress too much about what the weather was going to do. They were a great team to work with as well. Very relaxed, helpful and accommodating.”

Veronika Drago officiated proceedings, Jess remembering, “We asked our celebrant to keep things light and there were lots of laughs during our ceremony. The celebrant told the story of our relationship – how we met and what he had done together so far. It was a really nice way for everyone to learn about us and our relationship. She was very funny in the way she delivered the story and everyone really enjoyed it.

My cousin Grace did a reading. She read the lyrics to ‘Into My Arms’ by Nick Cave. Daniel and I love this song. It was one of the songs that Daniel put on my iPod back in the day. The lyrics are beautiful and meaningful and in a strange way brought a spiritual touch to a civil ceremony.”

The ceremony included one very special thought-out detail. “During the ceremony we also carried out a ring warming tradition. Usually, when a wedding happens in a church the rings are blessed by the priest. Since we are not overly religious we had a civil ceremony but we liked the idea of the rings be blessed. So instead we asked for our immediate family to stand up during our ceremony and take our rings into their hands, one by one, and put their love and energy into them – blessing them in a way. It was so special and quite emotional actually. Our rings became so much more precious with the love and energy of our families now carried in them. Apparently, this is an old Irish wedding tradition.”

Of their photographers, the bride remarks, “Our photographers were our good friends and the very talented duo from Days Like This Photography. Luc and Klint were perfect to have around on the day and we are so so happy with the finished product.”

Cecilia Fox along with Nat James created the floral arrangements for the day, including a beautiful bouquet alternative for the bride. Jess noting “Cecilia Fox provided the florals and they were styled by our stylist Natalie James. I carried a garland rather than a bouquet. I had spotted some photos from another wedding and I loved it. Something a little bit different. The fathers of the couple and the groom wore boutonnieres that matched the bouquet as well. The ceremony and reception were styled with a lot of blue gum and natives in warm muted colours. The blue gum garland down the centre of the dining tables was beautiful. Nat James did a great job!”

Celebrations got underway at two long kings tables in St Kilda’s George Ballroom. The bride tells, “We had checked out lots of other places around Melbourne and Sydney and even out of town in other places around Victoria. Once we set our eyes on the ballroom it was a bit of a no-brainer. We knew it was right from the moment we saw it. Its grandeur and uniqueness was perfect and it was so charming that we knew it wouldn’t even need much extra styling work to be done. The team was really helpful and it was nice to know that the event planning was in good hands too. The George Ballroom was probably the highlight feature of the whole day and night!”

The newlyweds toasted to their guests, kicking off the evening with a celebratory champagne tower.

“We had a relatively small guest list and it was, therefore, a really intimate wedding with our closest friends and family. This made it a really nice vibe where lots of people knew each other and it kinda made it extra special for everyone to be there. It is quite amazing to have the opportunity to have your closest and most precious friends and family in the one room and the same time!”

Guests gathered around the newlyweds for the first dance, the bride remembering “We danced to ‘Buona Sera’ by Louis Prima. We love dancing together and this song was perfect for our style of dancing. We wanted it to set the scene for the night by lifting everyone’s spirits. We did it early in the night and everyone was gathered around us. When the big band kicks into the song some friends and family standing around us let off some supercharged confetti poppers that filled the space with colour and applause. Everyone then joined in the dancing for the rest of the song. It was sooo much fun!”

Electric Waltz  captured this very beautiful film of the day as it unfolded.


Congratulations Jess and Dan! Thank you for sharing your stories with us. Thank you also to Days Like This for sharing today’s beautiful celebration.

Photographer: Days Like This / Cinematographer: Electric Waltz / Styling: Nat James / Bride's Dress: Jenny Packham / Bridal Salon: Le Louvre / Bride's Shoes: Stuart Weitzman / Bride's Jewellery: Jenny Packham / Bride's Jewellery: Helen Rodrigues / Bride's Jewellery: Temptation Jewellery / Groom's Attire: George & King / Groom's Attire: Benjamin Barker / Groom's Tie & Bowties: Hugo Boss / Groom's Shoes: Lloyds / Hairstylist: Tina Petidis / Makeup Artist: Adriana Rose Giuliani / Flowers: Cecilia Fox / Invitations & Stationery: Snap Printing / Ceremony Venue: Westbeach Bathers Pavilion / Ceremony Officiant: Veronika Drago / Ceremony Musicians: Harriet Allcroft / Reception Venue: The George Ballroom / DJ: Rutherford Entertainment / Catering: Damn Fine Food / Wedding Ring: Vick Nakashian / Wedding Ring: Temptation Jewellery / Champagne Tower: Champagne Towers Australia
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Photo by Trevor King via Maggie & Jonesey’s DIY Phillip Island Farm Wedding

Welcome back to another big year of weddings Dotties! I can hardly believe I am here writing the first Friday Roundup of the year. Did your festive season break go wonderfully? Did you fill your days with sunshine and cocktails? Did you sleep in? Or wake up every day and fill your week with busy tasks?

For many of you, this is the year you tie the knot – and we can’t wait to dive in with you! It has been a big couple of weeks of beautiful weddings on Polka Dot Bride and we’re so excited to get started!

We have been loving these tipsy coconut pineapple icypoles this month. 

How to set yourself a wedding budget (and stick to it!)

John shares his wedding day memories

Love spice? Make these sweet chilli sauce favours for your guests!

We talk wedding photography with the duo behind Deray & Simcoe

Sara’s post-wedding wisdom

How to be a good groomsman

California dreaming? Let’s explore Sonoma County for your honeymoon!

Don’t make these mistakes on your wedding invitations

Loving Sam’s easy wedding day style

Behind The Door with Georgia Young Couture

Healthy cocktails? Lola Berry shares her Pineapple, Cucumber & Mint Slushie

Kick off the new year with a new gorgeous wedding gown! Lisa Gowing is hosting her biggest ever sale on January 20th to celebrate her 20th anniversary at their Sydney studio. There will be over 60 gowns to choose from reduced from 40% to 70%. The sale is by appointment only (email to book yours!)

Summerfields Country House is hosting their annual open day on Sunday, the 21st of January 2018 from 1pm to 4pm. The team will be showing off their beautiful venue with tours, high tea and canapes, and amazing prizes, all while being joined by their favourite wedding vendors. Join in the fun (they even have specials for couples booking on the day!) and visit their website for more information.

Sydney brides; Grace Loves Lace are bringing their beautiful gowns to Sydney for a special, by appointment only concierge tour. From the February 27th – March 5th, the team will be taking over a Sydney venue and offering up appointments to try on their selection of gowns with bubbles and tea! Click here to book.

Our dance tune of the week comes from the Funkified Entertainment crew. A classical version of a modern hit, it’s enough for a little toe-tapping and fun inspiration for including your modern favourites in your wedding!


Kristy & Damian

It was against the backdrop of the beautiful Australian countryside that Kristy and Damian said their vows, on the very same day that the groom’s grandparents said their own vows, some 67 years earlier.

The gorgeous country wedding at Flowerdale Estate was filled with beautiful country charm; rolling green hills, a garden ceremony and an amazing sunset that we have come to adore from the Australian landscape. It was all captured beautifully by Michael Briggs Photography.

The couple met through mutual friends. Kristy explains, “We met through our friends Alan and Cheree on a night out. We went on our first date to the movies on Valentine’s Day. We knew this was the start of something special and have shared many happy memories and years together since.”

The groom proposed on a day that could have been like any other. Kristy remembers, “Damian proposed on a Friday afternoon. We had both gotten home from work and he suggested that we take our dog Toby for a walk. When we arrived back to our place, we were standing on the back deck and Damian handed me a card. Inside was a letter Damian had written and at the bottom, it said ‘Kristy will you be my wife?’ We both fondly remember this as the happiest day of our lives.”

The bride wore a gown by Emily Kate Creative, who is her dear friend. She tells, “My dress was made by a friend who attended the wedding, who also happens to have her own business specialising in custom made wedding gowns. I found the process to be very relaxed and fun. Emily made me feel so comfortable throughout the whole experience and helped me put all my different ideas together to create a dress that I absolutely loved. My dress was a fitted style with lots of intricate lace detail; it had a v-neckline, a low back and was super comfortable to wear.”


Kristy and Damian chose the beautiful Flowerdale Estate for their wedding, explaining, “We only looked at one wedding venue, Flowerdale Estate, and fell in love on our first visit. Maria, the owner, was so lovely, accommodating and friendly. We chose Flowerdale Estate as the grounds are absolutely stunning and we knew we wanted a garden wedding. We also loved the newly built pavilion with its high ceiling, long tables and big see-through blinds that allow you to see the countryside. We loved that we could get ready, have the ceremony and reception all in the one place and that a majority of guests could stay the night at the venue and even join us for breakfast in the homestead the next day. It was the perfect venue.”

As lovers of country music, the bride chose Tim McGraw’s ‘My Best Friend’ to play as she walked down the aisle with her father.

Julie Byrne officiated the ceremony, the date of which was not only special for the bride and groom. Kristy explains, “We wanted our ceremony to be very personalised, have a touch of humour and to express the love we have for each other and our families. We had a reading about Damian’s family history as his great, great grandparents were from the surrounding area around Flowerdale. As well as the location of our wedding, the date also held special significance. On this day 67 years ago, Damian’s grandparents were married on the 7th October 1950.”

Kristy remembers, “We loved that we wrote our own vows and that they were a surprise to each other. It was a very special moment reading them to each other and was definitely our favourite part of the day.”

“We had a big bridal party! Five on each side but we loved having our closet friends be a part of our big day. They made the whole experience, from the lead up to the day, lots of fun,” tells the bride.

Of their photographer, the bride tells, “Our photographer Briggsy was amazing on the day! He made us feel so comfortable and relaxed. We loved his candid style and that he documented the day as it happened. He brought lots of energy to the day and was great fun! We absolutely love all of our photos and we are so glad that we made the decision to have him as our photographer for the day.”

The day was filled with handmade touches says the bride. “The groom made the cake stand and the welcome sign with wood from his family’s farm. He also made a photo board with wood we had at home. One of our bridesmaids is a graphic designer and she created our seating chart, invitations, menus and signs, which we loved!”

The couple kicked off the dance floor with ‘Make You Mine’ by Higher Valley before The Party Band got the dance floor underway.

A big congratulations to Kristy and Damian! Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us. Thank you also to Michael Briggs Photography and Flowerdale Estate for sharing today’s celebration.

Photographer: Michael Briggs Photography / Cinematographer: Oneheart Studios / Bride's Dress: Emily Kate Creative / Bridesmaid Dresses: Esther / Groom's Attire: Roger David / Hairstylist: MAIDENEMPIRE By Bessy / Makeup Artist: Georgina Alexandra / Invitations & Stationery: The Treasured Type / Flowers: The Little Flower Shoppe / Venue: Flowerdale Estate / Ceremony Officiant: Julie Byrne / Band: The Party Band / Engagement Ring: Ralf Fisch / Wedding Ring: Ralf Fisch