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Sofia & Mac

Give me a wedding with country charm, with florals in every colour fo the rainbow, with the golden light of a country sunset and I am a happy wedding writer. For Sofia and Mac, who enlisted Andrew Hardy, they dreamt of a day that was “Relaxed, bright colours, big family celebration!”. And I can not tell you which part you’ll fall in love with first. The historic venue of St Edwards of the Riverina set the scene for this utterly joyous celebration, a day that beautifully blended colour, romance, and utter country style into one pretty wonderful package.

It was a solid friendship base, at university that drew these two together. “We met at Melbourne Uni during our undergraduate degrees! Mac was studying Engineering and Sofia was studying science, we ended up in the same group of friends and with overlapping subjects – we started dating just after we both graduated!”

Mac popping the question one utterly romantic, fairy-lit evening at home. “Sofia had been away all day at work and when she got home the hallway door was suspiciously closed. When she opened it up the backyard had been strung up with hundreds of fairy lights and Mac was standing in a suit with our two dogs by his side wearing chalkboard signs. One dog ran up to Sofia with a sign saying “marry” and the second dog ran up with “me”! It was so cute! Mac proposed with a temporary ring and then presented a box full of diamonds that he chose so that we could design and create our wedding rings together. There were delicious vintage Veuve champagne, a lovely cheese platter and a lamb roast in the oven…perfect night!”

Sofia found her beautiful gown at Brides Of Wagga, noting “I chose a beautiful dress from a local bridal shop, my sister Annabelle bought me gorgeous and comfortable wedding shoes from Forever Soles for our outdoor wedding and I borrowed her best friend’s veil to top off the dress on the day!”

Sofia’s look, however, actually began with her chosen hairstylist, Plush Hairdressing.  “Hands down the best team to work with for an event! They even found my make-up artists and created a fuss-free timetable for the morning so we all had a clear idea of how the preparations would run! Not to mention my amazing hair!”

Sofia ditched the idea of bridesmaids. “Not having a bridal party meant I didn’t have to choose a small group of women to have by my side, I had all of my closest friends and female family come the night before the wedding with most staying over at the wedding venue with me! Then we organised hair, makeup and a beauty therapist to come to us on the day so we could all enjoy the exciting preparations together, so special!”

The stunning country venue of St Edwards of the Riverina set the scene for the day. Sofia noting  “Sophie and Josh at St Edwards of the Riverina were an absolute dream to work with and took care of all the details, even the ones I didn’t know were required! The venue catered for every aspect of the day and night, so it was the only place we needed. St Edwards is a restored old church, renovated into luxuriously appointed accommodation. The bride and her girlfriends stayed there the night before and as newlyweds, we stayed there the night of the wedding. The grounds have luscious green lawns and manicured gardens for the outdoor ceremony and cocktail hour, and the marquee was exactly what we needed for an effortless but rustically beautiful reception. Outdoor lights illuminate the surrounds for an outdoor dance floor and buses brought all guests in and out from town – it all went off without a hitch!”

Let’s talk about those incredible floral arrangements! They’re by Little Triffids Flowers. Sofia telling “Little Triffids were amazing to work with!! We had a very broad idea of what we liked and our brief was essentially “wild, colourful and lush”. With a couple of meetings over coffee, Sophie from Little Triffids brought our vision to life, resulting in arguably one of the most magnificent bridal bouquets ever created (even if we are a little biased!)! The photos speak for themselves! And the girls came the day of the wedding and set everything up which meant we didn’t have to worry about a thing. Please please PLEASE use these guys if you’re getting married around the Riverina! Sophie is a creative genius and will put together special pieces and bouquets that will make your day pop! Absolute best investment for our wedding, guests are still raving about the flowers!”

Sofia walked down the aisle with her father to  Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love” sung by Haley Reinhart.

The couple chose Lynne Westland to officiate their ceremony, with a particular vibe in mind, noting “We went for bright, happy colours for the ceremony, which we had under a huge gum tree on a beautiful green lawn. We have a love for nature and the outdoors, so it suited us perfectly. The feel of the ceremony was meant to be beautiful and formal enough not to take away from the importance of the moment, but light-hearted and entertaining enough that everyone could enjoy it and feel like they were a part of it with us and not just observing.

The feedback after the event indicated that we hit our mark perfectly. Everyone felt involved and loved the experience.”

“We had a “warming of the rings” in which our wedding rings were passed around to all guests during the ceremony for them to hold and instil their best wishes into the metal we would wear for a lifetime. We had some beautiful readings: “Union” adapted from Robert Fulghum, a verse adapted from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières and a ‘blessing of the hands’ ceremony. Both parents from each side presented us for marriage. It was a very inclusive ceremony where everyone took part.”

“We were very lucky with our vendors and they were all such a great support leading up to the big day and on the night itself” remarks Sofia. “All were good communicators, professional, friendly and flexible. This unburdened us by making the planning phase pleasant and the big celebration a breeze! I cannot thank our the owners of St Edwards enough for being wedding planners and coordinators, we never knew about any hiccups and every issue was solved before it became a problem.”

The newlyweds loved their photo session with photographer Andrew Hardy. “A standout was when we jumped the fence into a neighbouring paddock and had beautiful photos in the flowing breeze amongst the wheat fields – the colours were magical.”

“My first dance with my dad was to an Argentinian Folklore song that we grew up singing and dancing to together as kids!” remembers the bride. “Mac’s ancestry is German and at German weddings, they love to include a game or two! Our MC was Mac’s brother and he organised two surprise games for us during the night that kept everyone laughing and cheering- it was fantastic!”

There was a la lovely nod to the bride’s heritage “Sofia’s background is Argentinian and we had lots of family travel from overseas to be there with us on the day. We tried to thoughtfully include some traditions and features to honour this important part of our family.

We carefully chose some of our favourite alcohol including Legui and Fernet Branco and imported them for the bar. My mum and aunties made us a special cake filled with charms each attached to ribbons hanging from the cake- our tradition is that all unmarried women pull a charm and whoever pulled the ring is the next to get married, just like catching the bouquet! Also, my very talented cousin made empanadas as one of the cocktail foods and alfajores for dessert.”

For their first dance, Sofia remembers “We chose Phil Collins’ “Groovy Kind of Love” and took some basic ballroom lessons to give us a bit of confidence on the day! We learnt some nice dance moves and danced together outside under the fairy lights while being cheered on by all of our loved ones, such a dream.”

And there was much celebration, and dancing that night, thanks to the couple’s chosen DJ, The Vintage Stylus. Sofia noting “The Vintage Stylus brought the beats and the right mood all night long, absolutely made the party!”

Andrew Hardy not only captured the newlyweds in still, but he also created this beautiful film of the day!

A big thanks to you both Sofia and Mac! What an honour to share your gorgeous say. Thank you for your stories and to Andrew Hardy for today’s photography and film!

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Jess & Kevin

Married at The Farm in the Yarra Valley, Jess and Kevin kept things simple and stunning. Wearing an elegant Karen WIllis Holmes gown, and keeping all the florals classic white and glossy green, Canadian Kevin and Australian Jess said ‘I do’ surrounded by family and friends. Smith + Archer captured the day. Meeting on a tour of Greece, Jess and Kevin fell for each other quickly. The bride remembers, ”We met when we were in the same tour group for two weeks. We were talking about how we should visit each other’s countries and 4 months later Kev actually did! After that trip we decided to be together and haven’t been apart since.”

An elegant Karen Willis Holmes gown set the tone of the day. Jess tells, ”I wore a ballgown, I wanted something very ‘clean’ looking, no sequins or lace or anything. I had to line up my wedding dress shopping with a visit home to Australia over Christmas (as the last two years we have spent living mostly in Canada). I went to two stores in Melbourne, but just loved the ballgown so much. It just suited me so well and had the simple, and elegant look I wanted. I also felt so comfortable and confident that the team at Karen Willis Holmes would have my dress made, and it would be waiting for me when we returned for the wedding. It really took a lot of the stress out, knowing that they had it totally covered. The bolo ties that Kev and his groomsmen wore were really special. They weren’t a fashion statement or anything. Kev wanted to wear one because growing up his Dad would wear them to special occasions. As his parents couldn’t make the trip he wanted to include this detail in the day.”

Under a rustic arbour covered with white flowers, and outdoors, the bride and groom were married. For Jess and Kevin, they share, ”We wanted our ceremony to be romantic and lighthearted. Megan Thompson wrote an amazing speech. Everyone commented how well she spoke – giving everyone an insight into our story. It was a very sweet ceremony, I spent the whole time trying not to cry. It was so special. Our vows to one another were beautiful. We each wrote our own and without ever sharing them, they complimented one another so well.” The bride walked down the aisle to ‘Mango Tree’ by Angus and Julia Stone.

Although they were planning the wedding from Canada, Jess and Kevin dabbled in some DIY. They tell, ”Our ‘guestbook’ was postcards and a mailbox. We chose all the postcards and put fake stamps on them. For the most part we hired talented, professional vendors and let them do their thing. Every single person on our team exceeded our expectations- they really were outstanding.”

Complementing Jess’ ballgown and the bridesmaids classic, black midi dresses, the bridal party carried bright white and glossy green flowers. Jess shares, ”I wanted all white flowers with dark foliage. I wanted the flowers to look big and romantic but not too classically elegant. I Heart Flowers took that and created something gorgeous. My bouquet especially was everything I had hoped for, it fulfilled all my dreams of a ‘big’ bouquet – it was a workout carrying it but a work of art!”

For Jess and Kevin, choosing a photographer was as easy as pie! They share, ”Smith + Archer was just amazing. From literally day one (Ali skyped with us to meet as we were in Canada at the time)! She was our first choice, the first vendor we booked and we never went looking for a second option. Her help constructing a timeline for the day was invaluable, as were all her helpful tips she shared prior to the big day. We felt so prepared, and so confident in her ability to capture the day – there was never any stress there. On the day she was so friendly and it felt so easy spending the day with her. She took so many lovely candid photos of our guests, it has been so fun going through her photos.”

Booking vendors and making big decisions during their holiday in Australia meant the bride and groom relied on their chosen team to set the tone for the day, with The Farm Yarra Valley doing a superb job. Jess tells, ”We just fell in love with the venue. We went to four places, with The Farm being the last. After meeting with Anthea we just knew it was the right place. She was so professional and the whole team is so incredibly talented and competent. We felt 100% comfortable leaving our day in their hands – so important when we were planning it from overseas. We knew it would be so beautiful on the day with such an excellent team. We wanted to book it on the spot – but Anthea made us think about it overnight. We never had any doubts. The atmosphere was fairly relaxed, we had a canape reception and everyone spent the warm summer evening on the lawn together.”

Bringing in some influence from Canada, the newlyweds first dance held a story. The bride remembers, ”We had our musician play an acoustic cover of ‘Fishin’ in The Dark’ by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. It’s a country song that is a classic in Canada (think ‘You’re The Voice’ level of popularity). It was on a lot when we’d go out dancing together when Kev first took me to Canada, and it became our song. Isaac (our musician) said it was the ‘most country first dance song I’ve ever been asked to learn’. We loved dancing together the whole night. We had Isaac play a mix of country and pop songs, we spent so much of the night two-stepping together.”

Left to thoroughly enjoy their wedding day, rather than worry about the details, Jess and Kevin are profusely grateful to all who pulled their celebration together. They tell, ”Literally all our vendors were AMAZING. Where to start, The Farm Yarra Valley was so professional and accommodating – the food and service was just outstanding (they even made an extra off the menu dish just for my vegetarian bridesmaids to ensure they had enough to eat). We never had to make any decisions on the day – it was all just handled for us. The same goes for Smith + Archer, Lunar Red Films and Main Entertainment (our photographer, videographer and musician/DJ/MC). I had zero stress on the day because all our vendors were working behind the scenes to make sure everything ran perfect. It did!”

Thank you to our gorgeous bride and groom for sharing your magnificent wedding with us, and congratulations! Thank you also to Smith + Archer and Lunar Red Films for your stunning imagery!

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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.

With life being a little scary, a little grey, a little difficult to manage, it’s a delight to share something light and breezy. Something that’s bubbly, beautiful and sunshine-filled – today, we’re showing off the beautiful gowns from Melbourne designer Georgia Young Couture’s brand new “Pink Lemonade” collection.

Shot in the streets of sunny LA with photographer Cassandra Ladru Photography (who worked alongside hair & makeup artist Hilary Holmes Makeup with model Carolina B the star of the show), Georgia’s brand new collection brings to light a little sunshine as we survive the coldest and greyest of seasons.

“Pink Lemonade” features five beautiful gowns, with oh so apt names like “Soda Pop”, “Oasis”, “Cali”, “Cola” and “The Palms” all designed to beautifully blend modern styling with, fun, feminine details.

It’s a collection that draws its inspiration from the glamour of the Hollywood golden era and this chic beauty is evident in each piece. There is “Cola” with a structure, sweetheart bustier of old-world beauty, there’s “The Palms” with elegant draped detail, “Cali” pictured above featured an asymmetrical sheer neckline, atop a classic strapless silhouette, her finishing touch? A bow back detail that is just the most beautiful blend of modern and feminine together.

“Pink Lemonade” stocks in sizes 6-16 and is available now from Georgia Young Couture ‘s flagship gallery and stockists.

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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.