Amelia & David

There are few things that can inspire us to fall more in love with summer days, tropical vibes and seaside sunsets than a tropical destination wedding. For Amelia and David, their dream of a destination day unfolded in utter bliss. The beautiful Villa Aye Phuket, overlooking the Andaman Sea, set the scene for this wedding filled with balmy romance.

With Elephant Can Fly and Ken Tan documenting every moment and Wedding Boutique Phuket pulling it all together, you’re going to need to grab a cocktail and settle in for this one!

After meeting as housemates, it took almost a decade before David decided to pop the question, aptly in tropical, beachside style. Amelia fills us in. “After 10 long years, we finally got engaged when we were on holiday in Maui. My now husband walked into Tiffany & Co and said ‘Do want to see if they have the ring you have always wanted?’ Which girl would complain about the blue box!”

The bride chose a chic Enzoani gown from Bernice Fashion. “I fell in love with the train,” explains Amelia, “I found a great little wedding dress place down in Geelong and from the moment I spoke to Yvonne at Bernice Fashion I knew I was in the right place. She made my family and me so welcome and was so knowledgeable it was great to know that she did all the alterations in house. Nothing was too much trouble and even when I was stressing that my dress wouldn’t make it she was great at settling my nerves.”

The bride walked down the aisle to ‘Heaven (Candlelight Mix)’ by DJ Sammy. “It’s such a lovely song and reminds me of our romance and us!”

The couple chose Michelle Buck to perform their ceremony. “We had a simple ceremony by a wonderful celebrant Michelle Buck. She was fantastic; we had a sand pouring ceremony and did our own vows.”

The bride wanted to make it a family affair. “I wanted to ensure all my nieces and nephews were involved somehow so we coordinated all the outfits. Even though they all didn’t have official roles they all looked part of it!”

Of their photographer, the bride tells, “Ken Tan was fantastic. I hate my photo being taken and he was great at having me relax and took, not just some great candid photos, but also more traditional photos. I love the softness that came through in the film photography rather than that of digital too.”

Amelia and David enlisted the help of Wedding Boutique Phuket to, not only plan their day, but pull together the vendors and the flowers too. Amelia shares, “My wedding planner Ilaire was fantastic. She took my haphazard ideas and formed it into the stunning wedding it was!”

Ashwood Lane created a custom gold cake topper for the newlyweds as well as bespoke pineapple placecards which sat at each guest’s place setting. “One of my favorite details my personalized pineapple place-toppers that sat on macarons; gorgeous and yummy!”

Guests were treated to a sit down feast by Chef Daniel Iseberg. “Catering was just amazing and the food so yum and so much food, there is nothing worse than being at a wedding not getting fed. That was one thing that no one could say about our wedding there was so much food and fantastic food as well!”

Our DJ – Mike Stray – kept the party going and everybody up on their feet from the dancefloor to the pool party.

He played something for everyone, and even when we lost power, he kept us dancing to the point we didn’t even know until later! A DJ that can keep a crowd from all parts of the world and all ages engaged is a great DJ.”

For their first dance, the couple chose an acoustic version of Foo Fighter’s ‘Everlong’ noting, “While not a traditional first song, it has always been our song and I think that is more important than tradition.”

A big congratulations to you both Amelia and David! Thank you for taking the time to share your stories with us. Thank you also to Ken Tan, Elephant Can Fly and Wedding Boutique Phuket for sharing today’s beautiful wedding with us.

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    Polka Dot Honeymoons Directory Mid Banner

    Image via Jayne & Will’s Autumnal Abbotsford Convent Wedding. Photography by Mark Davis Photography.

    We are in the midst of autumn and can’t help falling in love with all of the beautiful colours in the trees and the crisp breeze letting us know winter is soon upon us. It’s autumn across half of the world right now and is the perfect time to set off for your honeymoon. On that note, today we are looking at fall festivals around the world, some that you might be able to enjoy on your time abroad.

    Mid-Autumn Festival in China, Taiwan and Vietnam

    According to the Chinese lunar calendar, the mid-autumn festival will this year fall from the 13th-15th of September. Every year the date of the festival will change depending on the lunar calendar, but you can always count on it being in either September or October. You might have also heard of the celebration being referred to as the Moon Festival due to the moon being the brightest and roundest during this time of the year.

    What’s it all about?

    This festival is a celebration of family and friends and paying tribute to those who may not live close by. It is custom to share and eat moon cakes which traditionally were filled with lotus seed paste but now you will find them in a variety of flavours some of which are even filled with ice-cream. The symbolism behind the moon cake is in its round shape which represents reuniting loved ones.

    National Apple Harvest Festival in Pennsylvania, USA

    Currently in its 55th year is the National Apple Harvest Festival in Pennsylvania, USA. The festival is held annually in the first two weekends of October with attractions including live music, food, crafts, antique cars, steam engine displays, crafts demonstrations and more!

    The festival is a huge celebration attracting approximately 25,000 people a day so make sure you get your tickets in advance to skip the lines!

    Image via National Apple Harvest Festival.

    What’s it about?

    The festival is of course a celebration of the fruit harvesting season, with almost all profits going back in to the local community.

    Image via National Apple Harvest Festival.

    Our Local Celebrations

    There’s much to celebrate locally as well if you are opting for a honeymoon spent in our own beautiful country.

    Here are some of our top picks for autumn events around the nation:

    Sydney Vivid Festival – Showcasing some incredible light displays across some of our most famous landmarks.

    Canberra Enlighten Festival – Similar to Vivid, Canberra has it’s own lightshow during early autumn which includes a food festival, artistic performances and an outdoor cinema presentation of locally made films (Lights, Canberra Action!). And, to add to it all, the Canberra Balloon Festival is also on at the same time.

    Image via @beclawrence here

    Adelaide Festival – Celebrating talent in theatre production, dance, music, writing and visual arts. You can catch all the action from 1st-17th March.

    There’s plenty more events across Australia and globally to grab your attention. Make sure you do a little research before setting off for your honeymoon so all your plans are in place and you wont need to worry about the small details.

    Ms Zebra Says: Festivals can be such a great way to immerse yourselves into another place, culture and community! As our travel writer Bec Lawrence has described, it’s definitely worth seeing if your honeymoon destination can include a visit to a local festival.

    Image by Tae Fuller

    Image by Tae Fuller

    There are so many songs about San Francisco, it’s almost a given that you should visit to see what all the fuss is about. And, if you’re looking for the perfect honeymoon destination in the US, you can’t go past the city by the bay.

    I visited San Fran on my honeymoon (hot tip: don’t actually call it ‘San Fran’ – the locals can’t stand it) and it was everything we could have hoped for: ocean breezes, amazing food and a never-ending list of touristy stuff to do. I hope this list will give you some inspiration for your stay. Don’t forget to check out New York, Kyoto, The Whitsundays and Lake Louise, Canada too.

    Where to Stay

    I know I’ve been guilty of recommending some expensive hotels in past articles, but to be fair they’ve all been amazing! This time around though, I’ve found the perfect balance of cute and cost. The Chancellor Hotel  is a 3-star hotel located in Union Square which is in the heart of San Francisco.

    The location gives you a great launch pad for everything San Francisco has to offer. Fun fact, the Chancellor Hotel was once the tallest hotel building in the city! The rooms are smallish so be prepared for that, but there’s a meeting of contemporary with retro that makes this place worth the stay. Worth it if you’re looking for comfort and location but not willing to break the bank. Oh also, they serve free cookies and coffee in the lobby all day!

    What to Eat

    Ordinarily when it comes to honeymoon culinary advice, it’s proper to recommend a romantic fine dining experience. However, I’d like to throw you a curve ball and recommend a brunch spot. Meet Farmer Brown – a “destination where good things gather”. Because brunch can be romantic too, you know? Farmer Brown’s boasts locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients and traditional Southern recipes.

    Now it’s going to be tempting to go straight for the egg sandwich or Belgian waffles, but scroll down that menu a bit further and consider the sandwich menus. There’s chicken, pulled pork and catfish. I’m not game enough to recommend which one – just try them all! And if you’re up for it, why not kick off your day with a cocktail?

    Apart from the food and drinks, the vibe of this place is what you need to experience for yourself. The interior is rustically funky and the soundtrack, which kicks on through your brunch, will have your foot tapping and fire you up for a day of sightseeing. Fair warning, Farmer Brown is on the edge of the infamous Tenderloin area in San Francisco. The Tenderloin is not exactly the best place for tourists to be strolling through, but Farmer Browns is literally on the cusp of it, so you’ll be fine.

    P.S. You should also go to Fisherman’s Wharf for fresh seafood and sourdough rolls, obviously.



    What to Drink

    If you and your significant other are into the craft brewery scene (and who isn’t these days?) we’ve got the perfect spot. 21st Amendment, located in San Francisco’s historic South Park neighbourhood (no, not that South Park) is a self-described “brewpub”. Expect eight rotating taps of award-winning, hand-crafted house beers. Grab a paddle or just sample as you go. FYI, if you’re going to eat here, the meals are huge – although you’re in America so you should be aware of that already.

    One of the best parts about 21st Amendment is that it’s just two blocks from the San Francisco Giants baseball park. If you time your run, the pub will be teeming with Giants fans who make the atmosphere that much better. History fact: the 21st Amendment is the one which repealed Prohibition, essentially bringing pubs back to life in the US.



    How to be Romantic

    The locals probably wouldn’t view this as the most romantic thing to do in San Francisco, but when you’re an out of towner, the cable cars are all kinds of gorgeous. Invented in San Francisco nearly 150 years ago, the cable cars are now a national historic landmark.

    Riding the cable car up and down the hilly streets will give you and your significant other all the feels, including adrenaline – make sure you hold on! There are three cable car lines – two start at Powell and Market and continue to the Fisherman’s Wharf area; one starts at California and Market and continues to Van Ness Avenue. Keep an eye out for the brown-and-white cable car sign posts – that’s where you can board.

    Image by Juan Salamanca

    Image by Juan Salamanca

    Just for Fun

    Ok, so we thought San Francisco was a pretty busy city. It’s no Tokyo obviously, but you know, busy enough. So, when we discovered you could rent what are essentially go karts and zip around the streets, we thought: this is madness. But it was actually one of the best things we did on our honeymoon. The GoCar is a bright yellow mini car for two which comes pre-loaded with all the attractions you could want to see.

    Hop in and visit all the things that make San Francisco famous, including the Golden Gate Bridge, the most crooked street in the world, or Pier 39 for lunch. You only need a valid driver’s license to get in the driver’s seat.

    Other San Francisco gems to add to your list: Musee Mechanique, Union Square and Alcatraz.

    Ms Zebra: San Francisco is such a fun city! Thanks Mr Houndstooth for these great ideas and recommendations when visiting the city by the bay!

    About the author Mr Houndstooth: I am a happily married man. I enjoy a fine whisky, a new suit and swashbuckling around town with my beautiful bride. Looking back on my wedding day always makes me smile, even though it began to rain just as I said ‘I do’.