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Kym & James 

If there is one destination that seems to be on everyone’s bucket list, it’s stunning Iceland. Today, we’re visiting the tiny town of Búðir on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula with two very much in love Aussies: Kym and James. The pair donned their very best threads – could we be any more in love with Kym’s vintage ensemble? – and were joined by their very good friend, photographer Jack Chauvel (who celebrated with the newlyweds over a fish and chip feast). Picturesque rolling mountains, bitterly cold and harsh weather, and waterfalls added atmosphere the ever so delightful Black Church at Budir.

They met while the bride was on a girls’ night out. James eventually popped the question on a romantic walk. Kym fills us in on how it happened.  “It was New Year’s Day 2018. James suggested we go for a drive and a walk. So off we went to Peterson’s lookout which is located near Tyers; a small town not too far away from our home in the Gippsland region. We walked to the lookout platforms and I was taking pictures of the beautiful bushland. I turned around and James was kneeling down rummaging through his camera bag. I asked him what he was doing and he just looked at me and smiled. As I walked over he says ‘well now’s probably a good time.’ I was confused and said ‘for what?’ He then pulled out a box and asked, ‘will you marry me?’ We spent the rest of the afternoon celebrating with close friends.”

Kym and James chose a little wooden cabin in the neighbouring town of Arnarstapi to stay in and get ready for their day.

Kym was inspired by her sister to don a beautiful vintage wedding gown, finding her dream gown at Trove Vintage Shop. She shares “I love vintage! My love of vintage items and clothing probably stems from my dad who is a massive antique collector and my older sister Stacey who has always had an eye for fashion especially a good vintage piece. Stacey got married in a beautiful 1930’s full silk wedding gown. She and the gown were seriously breathtaking. I also knew I would wear a vintage piece, but I thought it would be from my favourite era – the 1970’s – and I had always envisioned myself in a full lace dress. However, after trying on modern-day wedding gowns I realised I didn’t suit full lace. After weeks and weeks of scrolling through Etsy I finally found ‘the one’! The dress I was meant to wear. I took a gamble and hoped it would fit, when it arrived I knew it was the one.

Kym worked with Elaine Jeffs and Eleanor Marguerite to bring the dream of her vintage look together. “When my gown arrived, the lace was so old it just fell apart when I tried it on. This was the start of my friendship with the beautiful Eleanor Marguerite. She is the amazingly talented women who also made my wedding veil and who connected me with the beautiful Elaine Jeffs who is a retired seamstress. Elaine restored the lace on the dress and added a lining underneath it. She used old lace she had collected over the 30+ years as a seamstress and she hand dyed it, so it looked just like the original. The two women together made me feel so special and I feel so blessed and honoured to have had them be a part of my special day. As we were getting married in Iceland I knew it was going to be cold, so I found my gorgeous velvet shawl on Etsy as well. Elaine took it home and hand washed it and brought it back to life again.”

Kym added her grandmother’s brooch (she also donned her grandmother’s ring) to her warm vintage cape from Vintagecaf.

Kym and James chose The Black Church at Budir for their ceremony, sharing, “The little black church in Búðir, was just so picturesque. It was just like I imagined and what I pictured our wedding day to be like. A black church in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by so much natural beauty. The whole peninsula was mixed with different natural textures like the lava fields, beautiful waterfalls and cliffs. We stayed in a little wooden cabin in a little town called Arnarstapi, which was located about 15 minutes from the church. The weather on the wedding day was like an Icelandic winter’s storm (but in summer). It rained nearly all day and the wind was like nothing I have experienced before. But it just set the whole day off; our reverend Arnaldur Máni reassured us it was a sign of good luck.”

Kym chose ‘Milano’ by Sigur Ros for her walk down the aisle, noting “Sigur Ros holds a special spot in my heart, for many reasons. But I will never forget seeing them play live at the harvest festival in my 20’s. Before we decided to elope in Iceland, I had already chosen the song ‘Milano’ to walk down the aisle to. It set the whole atmosphere.”

The ceremony was the couple’s favourite part of the day. The bride remembers, “It was a very relaxed feeling. There was no pressure. It was just us, making a promise to each other and that is what we wanted. It feels like a dream reflecting on the day. The whole 20-minute ceremony was beautiful. Some favourite parts were when Reverend Arnaldur Máni blessed us by singing in Icelandic. This reminded me of my late Yaya, and when I used to attend Greek church with her from time to time, she holds a very special place in my heart. But most of all, when James and I made a promise to each other when placing the rings on each other’s hands. ‘As this ring encircles your finger, from this day forward, so will my love forever encircle you.'”

There are so many favourite photographs of these two, that Kym can hardly pick one. But pick she did. “Jack is such an amazing photographer. We said we just wanted 10 nice pictures to have, we ended up with over 700 amazing pictures that it’s just so hard to choose. But one that does stand out is when James and I were walking up the road near the lupin flower fields. I am holding on to my veil, we are holding hands laughing because we are nearly getting blown away. James likes the pictures that have the landscape incorporated into them.”

The bride and groom were lucky enough to have very dear friend Wynelle make their rings, Kym explains, “I have so many vendors that all came together to make my day so special. But the one that stands out the most, is my best friend Janelle who is the owner of Wynelle Jewellery Designs. She designed my engagement ring and our wedding rings. My engagement ring is the ring of my dreams, it is a special piece that I will get to pass down to my children and many generations after that. It is timeless.”

Kym honoured their Australian roots with a faux bouquet from Fauxquet of Australian natives. “I love the country that I get to call home. Australia is such an amazing place and we feel so lucky to call this place our home. So naturally, I wanted natives. We are blessed to live on a five-acre property that is surrounded by Aussie bush; lots of gum trees, mixed with all things native. We have planted our own native garden, which we get to look at every day from our kitchen window. I knew I would never get the real thing to Iceland, so I went the next-to-best thing: faux flowers. I just so happened to be at the wedding expo in Melbourne and took a card from a girl called Jade and her amazing business Fauxquet. I sent her some pictures of what I wanted and she worked her magic and hit the criteria on the head. Thanks a million, Jade.”

The newlyweds could not speak more highly of their photographer Jack, Kym tells, “Jack is a good friend of ours. Jack and James were friends before we got together. They met on a photography forum as they both hold a passion for photography. Over the years our friendship has blossomed, even though Jack lives in Sydney and we live in Victoria, we always try and find time to either Skype or even visit each other once a year. Jack is a very relaxed, easy going and overall nice guy. We get along like a house on fire. We are very similar and can talk, talk and talk. His love for photography and attention to detail is portrayed in his photos. He is like a kid in a toy shop when it comes to photographing waterfalls. He gets so excited to see such magical nature and that same enthusiasm and passion comes out when shooting weddings. We would have never had another photographer. We feel so blessed to have friends like Jack (and his partner Rose), who are forever a part of our wedding day and life.”

 

And after the photos? The day ended in the most blissful way, just ask Kym. “After the ceremony, we went for a drive to try and take some photos, but due to the weather, Jack, Rose, James and myself went back to the cabin and drank Champagne (James had ginger beer as he doesn’t drink). We took some photos at the cabin and the rest of the evening was spent, inside the warm cabin, eating fish and chips for dinner and binge-watching True Detective. Thanks to Jack for bringing bulk things to watch and for the epic series suggestion. It was pure bliss.”

A big congratulations to you both Kym and James on your marriage. Thank you for sharing the beautiful day with us. Thank you also to Jack Chauvel for sharing today’s stunning elopement.

Credits

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.

  • Alterations
  • Elaine Jeffs
  • Ceremony Venue
  • The Black Church at Budir
  • Ceremony Officiant
  • Reverend Arnaldur Máni
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I don’t think we will ever get sick of infinity pools with panoramic views, there’s just something so inviting about the endless blue water and we have found the next one on our hit list. So stay tuned, this post is taking us to Singapore!

The location

Just a 20-minute drive from Changi airport is the Marina Bay Sands Singapore. It is comprised of three hotel towers, a casino, theatre, expo and convention centre and a shopping centre. It’s an easy place to get around with public transport facilities located within walking distance, as well as being popular enough that most taxi drivers will know the area well.

About the photo

Fancy yourself a dip in the world’s longest and highest infinity pool? On the 57th level spreading across 150 metres you’ll be able to take in views of the Singapore skyline from the hotel’s famous infinity pool. The pool is exclusive to hotel guests, so you won’t need to worry about crowds. You can enjoy snacks and beverages on the comfort of a sun lounge by the pool.

About the accommodation

You’ll be spoilt for choice with 15 different room types available, all of which boast floor to ceiling windows making the most of this beautiful location.

All rooms come with the added bonus of entry to the fitness club, fully stocked mini bar, WIFI, 24 hour in-room dining service, an interactive flat screen TV and access to the SkyPark where you can enjoy endless days by the pool.

Also loving

A short 10-minute walk from the Bayfront Station is the ArtScience Museum which is not only architecturally impressive but will keep you busy with intriguing exhibitions inciting your curiosity. Make sure you add this to your itinerary while you’re here.

Images via Marina Bay Sands Singapore

Now that we have taken you inside the photo what are you waiting for? This place is perfect for your honeymoon!

Credits

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.

Lake Louise. Image by Mr Houndstooth

Lake Louise. Image by Mr Houndstooth

Oh Canada, you have my heart. If you’re looking for unique yet beautiful honeymoon destination, you can’t go past the Great White North. This country features the place which has put me the closest I’ve ever come to describing something out loud as ‘magical’. You know, beyond a Disney movie. You may not have heard of the Canadian province of Alberta.

And if you aren’t into the ski scene, you may not have even heard of Banff, which is located in Alberta. But regardless of your recreational proclivities, you need to know about Lake Louise – which lies in Banff National Park. Nestled amongst soaring snow-capped mountain peaks, Lake Louise is one of those emerald coloured lakes you see on your Insta feed which forces you to cock your head to one side and ask: is that even real? It’s real, my friends, and here are a few things you need to consider when planning your honeymoon there.

Where to stay

The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is one of the most amazing places I’ve ever stayed. Located in Alberta’s Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, it was originally built as a base for hikers and skiers more than 100 years ago. From the Chateau, you can go on guided mountain tours, world-class skiing in the winter, scenic hiking – not to mention canoeing on the lake. You’re going to want to splash out for the lake view rooms but fair warning, this might be one of the most amazing places I’ve ever stayed, but it’s also one of the most expensive!

Nevertheless, waking up to the view of the emerald-coloured lake was truly unforgettable. Pro-tip: room service poutine for dinner is also not a bad way to take in the view.

We stayed during the Canadian autumn (Mr and Mrs Houndstooth are not skiers), so we were able to enjoy the lake and the hiking with relative comfort (jackets were still required). However, if you visit in the winter, the lake will be frozen and the mountains will be a rich white – it’s arguably more beautiful.

 

 

How to be romantic

The crazy thing about Banff National Park is that Lake Louise cannot lay claim to being the most beautiful lake in the area, at least not without a strong debate. Meet Moraine Lake. Yes, the turquoise waters are back and the mountains surrounding are also snow-capped (Valley of the Ten Peaks).

There’s a few hikes and trails, but we loved climbing to the top of the rugged rocks of the natural dam to take in the full view of the lake – this view is known as the “Twenty Dollar View”, as it’s the scene featured on the back of the old Canadian twenty dollar note.

Bring a backpack with some snacks and a cheeky whisky or two and you’re set for the afternoon. As a bonus, the two of you can do a spot of people watching as everyone clamours for the ultimate selfie. If you’re staying at the Chateau mentioned above, it’s a short ride on the courtesy bus. Apparently, the amazing colours peak in late June but I get the feeling it’s amazing all year round.

 

Moraine Lake. Image by Mr Houndstooth

Lake Moraine. Image by Mr Houndstooth.

What to eat

Travelling to relatively remote or rural destinations can be a bit of a double-edged sword. You might discover unmatched natural beauty but you also might be limited in your dining options. Fortunately, this is not the case at the Chateau. There are a few other hotels and restaurants in the vicinity but we couldn’t go past the Walliser Stube, located inside the Chateau.

With options for classic Swiss, German and Alpine dishes, including an authentic Swiss Fondue, you can’t go wrong. The décor is vintage and comforting, and the vibe is relaxed luxury. The restaurant is open to the public but priority is given to guests. My tip: Go for the Classic Vienna Pork Schnitzel pork shoulder with duck fat coined potatoes. For $49 Canadian, you won’t be disappointed.

 

 

Where to drink

Usually, I fill the ‘where to drink’ section with an array of cocktail or whisky selections (stick with what you know, right?) but at Lake Louise, there’s a different type of beverage you need to get your hands on: tea. The Solake Agnes teahouse was built by the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1901 as a refuge for hikers. Located high up in the mountains, the family-run tea house has no electricity or running water, receiving helicopter shipments a few times a year, and relying on other supplies to be hiked up the mountain.

We hiked for a few hours (including plenty of breaks) and spent the afternoon kicking back on the top of the mountain overlooking Lake Louise with a cup of tea in hand – a memory I’ll never forget. Wear comfy shoes though, it’s literally a bit of a hike.

Lake Louise in the winter. Photo: Whitney Arnott.

Lake Louise in the winter. Image by Whitney Arnott.

Ms Zebra: As a bit of a skier myself, this sounds incredibly magical – Summer or Winter! The colour looks like nothing else you’d see. A definite destination to put on the list!

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’.