Image by The Editorialist via Rock My Wedding

Have you ever wondered what your engagement party might look like if you lived in another country? Or how you could incorporate international trends into your upcoming event?

This month we are looking at engagement party trends and traditions across the globe stretching from Europe, America, Asia and of course Australia.


In France an engagement party follows a different format. Traditionally the proposal would not involve a ring and instead the couple would purchase the ring together. After the rings have been purchased the couple will arrange a gathering, similar to an engagement party, with families from both sides and some close friends. Here the bride will be presented with the ring and they celebrate together.

Antipasto platters will always be a favourite for an Italian engagement party and it’s an easy trend to incorporate into your own. Pair olives with cheese, prosciutto and breads, it’s a simple crowd pleaser!

Image by Psalm27Creative via Glamour and Grace


The honey-fund is fastly replacing gifts at engagement parties and even at weddings. The idea is the couple provide their bank details on the invitation or at the event and guests would provide a gift in the form of a bank transfer allowing the couple to spend the money on whatever they would like. Alternatively, sign up for an online registry through a website like Honeyfund.

Gone are the days of pretty papered invitations for an engagement, we are all going online and your engagement party invitations can too! Paper invitations are notoriously difficult with people losing them or forgetting to RSVP. Whilst online invitations have been a thing for a long time now it seems that in 2019 their popularity will grow.


If you’re looking for a sweet tradition to incorporate into your engagement party, then look to India where it is tradition for the families to exchange sweet foods and gifts at the engagement party. At the party it is also common for the bride and groom to exchange rings.

Image via Venue Look

Like most countries around the world, family is an important part of an engagement party in Thailand. The tradition is called Thong Mun where a bride would be presented gold jewellery (which doesn’t have to be a ring) at a ceremony surrounded by friends and family. The couple are not considered to be engaged until after the engagement party has finished.


In the last year or so we have seen engagement parties shift from something quite formal to a more relaxed outdoor party with your closest friends and families. This year we expect to see more outdoor games, floral decorations and our personal favourite new trend, upside down balloons which help add some colour and a whimsical feel.

Anything with Prosecco will continue to be a hit next year with many people creating a ‘pimp your Prosecco’ stand giving people the opportunity to personalise their drinks.

Image by  Les Amis Photo via Wedding Chicks 

Ms Zebra Says: If we know anything, it’s that Australia is a true melting pot – so why not bring traditions from around the globe into your own celebration?! Great tips from our writer Bec Lawrence!

Polka Dot Honeymoons Directory Mid Banner

Image by Lukas Kloeppel

Start spreading the news, I’m dishing out honeymoon travel tips today! Opening up a blank canvas for your honeymoon destination is truly one of life’s feel-good moments, but there is some truth in the phrase: ‘spoiled for choice’.

I’ve taken it upon myself to shed some light on some amazing cities around the world to help would-be honeymooners make some informed decisions. And I know, New York isn’t exactly a hidden gem, but like any good honeymoon or even holiday, it helps to get a bit of knowledge about a place before you visit. I’ve hit up the Big Apple twice and each time it presents new and exciting places to visit.

Here are a few of my tips for New York if you’re heading there with your significant other. Happy honeymoon!

Where to stay

Hotels are expensive and Airbnb in good locations are rare, but if you’re placing a big emphasis on location, i.e., near the centre of the tourist action, otherwise known as Times Square, you can’t go past The Edison. It’s steps away from the famous Palace Theatre and a couple of minutes’ walk from Broadway, Times Square and Rockefeller Centre. The room we stayed in was… well, it was small, but it was worth it for the location! If you’re thinking about going down the Airbnb route, definitely consider Chelsea as an area to stay. It’s an awesome location with a very trendy vibe. Plus it’s easy to get to Times Square, the Chelsea Market, Soho and Brooklyn from there!

What to eat

So many options, but if you’re looking for something that satisfies your tastebuds and will give you a cool talking point when you get back home, you can’t go past Buddakan. “Buddakan presents the vivid flavours of the Far East in a surreal atmosphere that marries the serenity of Asia with the flamboyance of 16th-century Paris,” the owners say.

Expect epic art, sparkling chandeliers and “shareable pan-Asian fare”. Get your hands on the dim sum and noodle soups. And if you need another reason why Buddakan is a New York must do, it featured in the Sex and the City movie. Of course, Buddakan will hit you pretty hard in the hip pocket (Carrie doesn’t just dine anywhere, don’t you know?), so if you’re looking for something just as delicious but a bit more budget friendly, you have to check out the Los Tacos No.1 at Chelsea Market. Authentic Mexican tacos with simple but oh-so-tasty ingredients.

Note: You must also grab a slice of pizza in Brooklyn at some point.


Where to drink

The other amazing thing about staying at The Edison, is that an amazing bar is not too far away. In fact, The Rum House is literally downstairs. I know what you’re thinking: ‘hotel bar? No thanks.’ This isn’t your standard hotel bar. Expect nightly live piano and jazz music, crafty cocktails, and “old world copper and wood décor”. It’s got that New York vibe which you crave when you visit a city with this much history. Still not convinced? This bar was immortalized in the award-winning film Birdman starring Michael Keaton.

How to be romantic

This is definitely weather dependent, but the ice skating rink in Central Park is all kinds of romantic. It’s the perfect way to spend a day of your honeymoon, if you don’t mind the cold outdoors. But if you’ve chosen New York in the winter, then you knew what you were in for. The best part? There are three rinks and they’re open from November through to March.

Bring some gloves, rent some skates, and make a honeymoon memory you’ll remember forever. Oh, and if you’re hitting up NYC in the summertime, you can’t go past The High Line. It’s a beautiful 1.45 mile long elevated linear park created on an old rail track. It has beautiful sights of the city, heaps of seats to sit down and chill and lots of greenery to enjoy.

Just for fun

Picture this: It’s a cold winter’s afternoon in New York City. You and your partner are strolling through snow covered Central Park, almost shaking your heads in disbelief at the beauty of it all. Then, almost out of nowhere, you spot a carousel. It’s empty, so you assume it’s not running due to the cold weather. But as you get closer, you notice a lone worker in the booth who says they are in fact open, so you and your partner have a romantic carousel ride all to yourselves as the white trees of Central Park whiz by around you. Yes, this actually happened to me. Yes, it was probably one of the most romantic things ever. No, I didn’t realise the carousel has been there for more than 100 years. I recommend combining a day of ice skating and a carousel ride before heading to the nearest bar to warm up with a whisky and an open fire. Obviously, the carousel isn’t always empty, and sometimes the weather can shut it down but if you head down in late February, you never know your luck.

Ms Zebra Says: New York is one of my favourite cities – I’ve been more than 8 times now – and can agree that each time brings new things to do, see and is NEVER boring. An absolute must with your partner!

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’.

Hannah & Jeremy

Elopements are something especially romantic, and when the scene is set in the beautiful seaside town of Ravelo, on Italy’s Alafi Coast, well we couldn’t be more inspired to share a tale! Hannah and Jeremy, share their life together in Italy and chose a celebration that in Jeremy’s words “was so happy that we could enjoy the day exactly as we wanted it, all about us, free from distractions and set up exactly as we had wanted”. Enlisting Gianluca & Mary Adovasio to capture the day as it unfolded, we couldn’t think of anything more special.

The lovebirds met at a party many moons ago, a budding romance completely unexpected for Hannah, who remembers “We met at Jeremy’s uncle’s 50th birthday party seven years ago. It was a New Year’s Eve Party at Dobroyd Sailing Club in Sydney. I was there with a friend and the theme was ‘fancy hat’. I was not expecting to find romance! The night I met Jeremy also met much of his extended family! We got along instantly and decided to meet up again soon after.”

The day kicked off with hair and makeup, thanks to Aussie in Italy, Zoe Graham.  “Our wedding day was very relaxed” remembers Hannah. “Gerardo, the local hairdresser, came by to do my hair followed by Zoe who did my make-up. Zoe is Australian and it was lovely to share a glass of champagne with her before the ceremony.”

Hannah and Jeremy enlisted Marry Me Abroad to plan their wedding from afar, noting “Lauren Cacciola from ‘Marry Me Abroad’ in Leichhardt planned our day and made sure we had our documents in order, venues booked and our assistant Anna waiting for us in Ravello. Lauren was a fantastic help and is very knowledgeable about getting married in Italy!”

Hannah and Jeremy exchanged words prior to the ceremony. “We had written each other a card to read beforehand, instead of vows, so we read those separately. My parents had also given me letters to read which was very special, it made it feel as though they were close-by.”

Hannah worked with Sydney designer Louise Alvarez Couture to create a chic, tea length wedding gown. She shares “Louise Alvarez designed my gorgeous dress and was delightful to work with. It was lovely to share the excitement of planning our wedding with her and her assistant Elisa (as we had decided to keep it a secret) so I looked forward to each fitting. They were very accommodating to my requests and I have had so many comments about my dress!”

Of their ceremony, which was held in Town Hall Gardens Ravello, Hannah explains  “Jeremy was waiting for me in the gardens and we had a beautiful ceremony delivered first in Italian and then in English. It was very simple and meaningful. The Italian civil code is very practical and emphasises the role of family, which is important to both of us. We were presented with a gift from the town official, a book about the history of Ravello which is a fantastic souvenir.”

“We met many great people during our time in Ravello. This includes those who made our wedding possible as well as locals and visitors who were keen to share in the happy event with their well wishes and glasses of champagne!” Hannah reminisces.

The newlyweds wandered the streets of Ravello with their photographers, stopping for champagne and gelato of course! The bride explaining “We used Gianluca and Mary Adovasio as our photographers. They are well-known in the area and shoot many weddings. Their photos were amazing and really captured the day!”

Gelato was the perfect aperitif for dinner, tells Hannah “We celebrated with drinks at Palazzo Avino and dinner at an excellent restaurant called Rossellini’s.”

And of course, this was just the beginning of the celebrations! Hannah sharing “When we arrived home we arranged a big party with our friends and family. We told our parents and siblings before we left but everyone else got a nice surprise. We weren’t planning a first dance at our party but our friends made sure it happened. We danced to “You Sexy Thing” by Hot Chocolate…be careful about joking to your friends about that, they made us do it!”

Congratulations Hannah and Jeremy! Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us! Thank you also to Gianluca & Mary Adovasio and Louise Alvarez Couture for sharing today’s stunning day with us!

Photographer: Gianluca & Mary Adovasio / Wedding Planner: Marry Me Abroad / Bride's Dress: Louise Alvarez Couture / Makeup Artist: Zoe Graham / Ceremony Venue: Town Hall Gardens Ravello / Reception Venue: Rossellinis