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I’m going to address the elephant in the room. Yes, Australia and indeed the whole world are facing an unprecedented and unnerving situation. And yep, travel is off the table right now. But love is not cancelled my friends. Weddings and honeymoons will be back. So like never before have we needed to band together, to dream and to plan for a brighter day.

This April on Polka Dot Bride we are celebrating the jewel in the crown of the Australian laid-back lifestyle that we will never again take for granted. So, yep it’s the Byron Bay Issue on Polka Dot Bride.

Byron Bay is not just a place. It’s a mood. Heck, it’s a muse! This beloved, eco-conscious, stylish and creative town is an inspiration for all things weddings. We are going to look at Byron-esque boho bridal, laidback styling, explore its stunning beaches, iconic sights and best-kept secrets and hear from local vendors who need our support more than ever. And we can’t wait to show off Byron at its best with a plethora of cruisy, cool and beachy real weddings to inspire you.

So let’s let our imaginations run wild with a virtual trip to Byron Bay this April. Follow along here.

Namaste dotties and take care of yourselves.

x Ms Tweed

Polka Dot Bride Shop

Kavisha & Hamish

Elopements need to be more of a thing. The focus on just you, on just your story, and nothing else? We’re always going to be big fans of that, especially when other plans just don ‘t work out. For Kavisha and Hamish, their initial plan for a big Indian wedding, with guests flying in from around the world soon became something way too much. Kavisha soon decided, something needed to change, and fast. Our bride explains “I think there’s a lot of pressure from friends, family and societal expectations to have a big fairy-tale wedding with all the bells and whistles. It’s okay to have that if that’s what you want. It’s also okay to say no and do something small and intimate instead. The initial stages of organizing our big fat Indian wedding caused me so much anxiety because there were so many decisions (countries, locations, guest numbers, style/theme and costs) all while I was dealing with a busy work schedule and buying our first home. In the end, the moment I decided to elope, I felt so much happier, as did Hamish. It was the right decision for us and I am still so happy with the way it turned out.”

With the pair enlisting Everly Studios to join them on their wedding day, they took in New York City’s best sights – from the New York skyline, the Brooklyn Bridge and of course, iconic Central Park.

“I decided a long time ago that I wanted a Berta gown for the big day. I chose a Berta gown from the new Privee collection which I ordered through the lovely team at The Wedding Club in London. It wasn’t my first choice of dress but amazingly tried it on and the colours just worked! I wasn’t planning to wear a veil, however, my mum attended one of my final dress fittings and decided I needed a veil. I wore a pair of metallic Jimmy Choo’s for my wedding which included a blue engraved plate on the sole with our wedding date. My jewellery (necklace and earrings) were a quick purchase the day before from Swarovski and lastly, my engagement ring and our wedding bands are from the amazing team at Eric Ross Jewellers in Hatton Garden, London. I love make-up so decided to do my hair and make-up. The red lip was to give a pop of colour in an otherwise neutral palette.”

The couple met before their ceremony for a first look, a relaxed moment, that was made all the more special by the photographs captured of it. Kavisha sharing of the couple’s chosen photographer “It was so lovely getting to know her and made the day a lot more relaxed and memorable, especially because Hamish is not one to pose and take photos for more than a minute. She was perfect and her photos are magic!”

The couple chose the beautiful Central Park for their wedding, noting “We wanted to be outdoors in the sun and greenery and it was simply a culmination of the things we liked.”

Although the pair originally planned to elope alone, a last-minute trip by two very good friends, meant they had some unexpected guests. Kavisha explaining  “Originally our elopement was just us because again, we didn’t want or expect people to travel, however fortuitously, some of our best friends were in New York at the time, so a couple of days before the big day, our wedding went from zero guests to three.”

Although this elopement was utterly romantic, Kavisha remarks that the proposal? Not so much! “The proposal could have been the least romantic proposal on the planet! We were in Paris to see a childhood friend of my dance at Le Moulin Rouge. We had lunch at Le Jules Verne in the Eiffel Tower and after a few too many wines, I must have hinted that it would have been a perfect proposal venue after which he flung the pouch containing an engagement ring across the table to me, before quickly snatching it back. I clearly ruined any plans he had of proposing! Oops! When we went back to the hotel room, I kept on asking to see the ring, to which he said: “go find it”. It was on the bedside table (worst hiding spot). I put it on myself and he didn’t ask if I wanted to marry him, it was just assumed. At least it was in Paris!”

The groom dressed in a cream blazer and black pants from Politix. “Hamish and I originally bonded over The Simpsons, so Hamish surprised me with wearing the same cufflinks Homer Simpson wears in the episode titled ‘Lisa’s Wedding’ which Hamish received from his best friend. For the non-fans, the cufflinks are in the shape of large pigs wearing bridal outfits. Hamish was so excited about wearing them for days, and on the wedding day, I totally blanked. He was a tad disappointed I didn’t recognise them immediately but I suppose I was focused on other things that day!”

Although Kavisha and Hamish opted out of a reception, they did make time to celebrate their marriage with cocktails at the ever so stunning bar, The Campbell, the bride explaining “We also love cocktails, especially Old Fashioneds which was one of the reasons for stopping by at The Campbell. One of the best Old Fashioneds we had in New York was the one Hamish ordered that day. Hamish also loves his food trucks, so after our wedding portraits he had a hot dog from the Nathan’s food truck outside the Plaza Hotel in his wedding suit.”

“We first met only a few weeks after I moved to London from Sydney” remembers the bride. “I was catching up with a Sydney friend who had moved to London a few years prior. She said I needed to get out and date so scrolled through her Facebook friendship list for potential dates. One of those potential dates was Hamish. They met on Tinder when she first moved over to London a couple of years prior and went on a couple of dates, but decided to part ways. They remained Facebook friends, so she messaged him to see if he was interested, which he was, only after requesting photos and confirming there was “nothing wrong” with me. I reluctantly agreed and we exchanged numbers. After texting for a few weeks we finally met up for a drink at Mint Gun Club in London and hit it off instantly. I left the date several hours later thinking I had met the man I wanted to marry. This was a shock because neither a relationship nor marriage was on my radar at the time, as the reason for moving to London was to progress my career and travel.”

 

A big congratulations to you both Kavisha and Hamish! May you have the most wonderful of lives together! Thank you to Everly Studios for sharing today’s celebration with us!

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Rosie & Kyal

Rosie and Kyal live in country South Australia, but eloped in Las Vegas! Having been together since high school. Kyal proposed in New York City and six weeks later they eloped, telling only their parents. It was a bit of a shock when the couple sent a photo back home to their extended family and friends, but they had always planned to do it this way. Rosie tells us more about their romantic and fun day below, which was captured by Jenna Bryant Photography against the backdrop of the colourful and quirky art of downtown Las Vegas.

Kyal and I were in the USA for six weeks, and eloped on the last week of our trip. We eloped in Las Vegas!

I have always thought there was something really romantic about eloping. Just the two of you. About six years ago when I was at university, I heard about a couple who had eloped in Las Vegas and I said to Kyal, “That is SO cool, let’s do that.” And we’ve both stuck to it ever since that. We knew that’s how we’d marry.

We married at the Graceland Wedding Chapel. Basically, I checked out every wedding chapel in Las Vegas, and Graceland Wedding Chapel had the sweetest aesthetic. It was the perfect little chapel to get hitched in in Las Vegas. As we entered the chapel on the day, Elvis walked through from the back after having just married a couple. We didn’t have Elvis marry us but he was pretty cool. Our ceremony went for 10 minutes. We walked down the aisle, said our ‘I do’s’ and kissed. It was all it needed to be. I got the nervous giggles at the start of our ceremony, but Kyal calmed me.

My favourite moment was definitely when our celebrant said, “I now pronounce you husband and wife”. Cheesy maybe, but I remember this moment so clearly. I was thinking, “I over think and second guess absolutely every decision I make in life (food shopping takes me hours!) and I have never once felt unsure or nervous about making this decision to marry Kyal.” It just felt completely right.

When planning our elopement, I used the website, The Knot. I entered the city we were eloping in and it provided me with every local vendor. This was excellent as I hadn’t been to Las Vegas before, and didn’t know where to start! I simply typed in ‘photographers’ and was met with all local photographers. I stumbled across Jenna Bryant Photography and was instantly sold. She and her photos are basically the epitome of cool! Her style was exactly how I wanted to capture our day. Jenna combines modern wedding portraits with a documentary style coverage, and specialises in elopements in Las Vegas. Jenna’s work stood out to me because of her bright colours that show off the quirky street art of downtown Las Vegas, and her fun and relaxed images that aren’t staged, which suited Kyal and I.

I loved my bouquet so much and pressed a few of the flowers in a book I was reading and brought them back to Australia! They’re sitting pretty in a frame on my bedside table to keep forever!

Rosie Posie Flowers stood out from the many florists in Las Vegas, firstly because its name matched mine and I thought that was cool, but mostly because of their work. Their natural florals with neutral colours and full-heavy looking bouquets with freshly cut stems are just gorgeous.

My dress, by Cooper St, was midi-length and full lace. It was bridal but casual at the same time. I felt beautiful in my dress and it was the exact dress I’d always imagined I’d marry in. It had capped sleeves and was modest, all things that suited me. I had my something old, new, borrowed and blue. Borrowed and old was a pearl ring of my mum’s. I also wore pearl earrings because pearls are mine and my mum’s favourite. (My undies were lacy blue!)

Although all of Las Vegas was fun, I absolutely loved the vintage-feel of downtown Las Vegas and Fremont street. The ‘old’ strip. There are neon lights, vintage-feel cocktail bars and beautiful street art everywhere you look. We stayed at the Golden Nugget Hotel on Fremont Street. It’s glitzy and glam and completely over-the-top. We LOVED it. They gave us champagne and croissants for breakfast!

Our elopement had so many highlights! I am obsessed with the TV show F.R.I.E.N.D.S and the morning of or wedding, while getting my hair done, Kyal turned on the TV and the one where Ross and Rachel get married in Vegas was on!

I don’t have any regrets from our day. It definitely helped that our families were both so supportive.

Two weeks after we got home, we had a party to celebrate. We didn’t do any formalities like first dance, speeches or cutting of the cake, it was simply drinks, dinner and dancing. This is where we were able to get some family photos. We wore our wedding outfits. The invites to our party were set out like a polaroid that said, “We Eloped! Let’s celebrate!’” with a photo from our day.

My recommendations for couples eloping in Las Vegas would be to go for a walk along Fremont Street, check out all the wedding chapels (including the drive-through ones!), visit the Neon Museum, have a cocktail at one of the many bars and go exploring and discover the street art in downtown Las Vegas.

My general advice for couples planning to elope? If eloping appeals to you, DO IT! I hear about women who have dreamed about their wedding day since they were a little girl. I guess in a way I have too, but not in the traditional sense. I like to do things differently and the fact I don’t like wearing long dresses, we love to travel, and the thought of having a big wedding made us both anxious, this just felt right. As a lot of our friends and family have told us that this was very ‘Rosie and Kyal’. Just because when you think ‘wedding’ you have an image in your head of how this is supposed to look (bridesmaids and groomsmen, huge cost, speeches, long dress, tuxedos etc) if this doesn’t appeal to you, you don’t have to do it! You can get married in so many different ways.

Do whatever feels right for you and your partner. After all, the whole point is to be married, which is awesome!

Ms Floral Says: I am so excited that you guys did things your way – the way you always said you would. And what a fabulous way to end a holiday. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story and photos with us, Rosie and Kyal!

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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.