Rhiainon & Sam

If the idea of a Las Vegas elopement fills you with visions of bright lights, tall towers and musical fountains, then today’s romantic Las Vegas elopement will force you to think again. On the beautiful El Dorado Dry Lake Bed, the duo was joined by their photographer Kristen Kay Photography and celebrant, for an unforgettable experience.

The bride tells the story of how she and Sam met. “Sam and I met out at a mutual friend’s house one night playing pool, had a few drinks together and then I left. We didn’t think we would see each other again but two days later, we both ended up at the Portsea pub. Sam, in a conversation, called me “mate” and instantly I took it like any girl would, “I’ve just been friend zoned”. So I didn’t give Sam much attention after that. He was very confused as to what happened as he called everyone mate. Queenslanders….. Later on, that night Sam ended up very abruptly plonking his phone in my hands and requested my phone number in front of the whole table of friends which at this point were watching on. After we had left the Rye pub Sam pulled me aside confessing his feelings and asking if we could get to know each other but “nothing crazy”. Two minutes after leaving I received a message saying “hi”. Its been nothing but crazy ever since. Just how we like it!”

“Getting married was a no-brainer, we always knew it would happen. Sam can be very spontaneous.. he is a total extrovert personality. As I am not at all, in any way an extrovert I was a bit nervous about how the proposal would go! I was expecting something outrageous! We were driving home from the city one afternoon chatting and in conversation Sam proposed, he wasn’t on one knee, there was no big elaborate speech, it was just perfect. As we called our families on the drive home everything started falling into place!”

The bride wore a gown by Jaase, telling “I purchased two dresses, both online. On the day we got married it was rather cold so I chose the long sleeved dress. I just wanted to feel comfortable on the day and we were only engaged for 6 weeks before getting married so I didn’t have a lot of time to shop around.”

Jamelle Johnson officiated the ceremony, Rhiainon explains “At our ceremony, we had our celebrant Jamelle Johnson, a witness and us two. It was intimate, special and Jamelle did an amazing job. Also HIGHLY recommended! It was exactly what we wanted. Sam and I didn’t write vows, the vows Jamelle provided were beautiful and we were happy to use those!”

Of their photographer, the bride tells “I found Kristen on Instagram, and fell in love with her photographs as we are from Melbourne the internet is how we organised our whole wedding! From the day I inboxed Kristen with our arrangements and asking if she was available she was nothing but a pleasure to deal with. It was almost like we were already friends or had met before. She made me feel so comfortable and was so professional! On the day she had us laughing the whole time, she brought us a little wedding present and honestly I could not have asked for someone better. I was so nervous to have our photos taken I felt it would be very awkward but she made it so much fun. Kristen was an absolute legend and I will never forget how perfect she made the experience for us!”


“I loved getting off the plane, getting a taxi to the Vegas marriage license office and applying for our license, took us 10 minutes and we paid over the desk and received a certificate for our celebrant. We felt like we were in a movie! The most special part of our wedding was that it was exactly what WE wanted, only immediate family and friends knew, we chose everything ourselves and it was the most precious day for us! ” tells Rhiainon.

Congratulations Rhiainon and Sam! Thank you for sharing the stories of your elopement with us! Thank you also to Kristen Kay Photography for sharing today’s beautiful imagery!

Photographer: Kristen Kay Photography / Bride's Dress: Jaase / Bride's Jewellery: Little Wilderness / Ceremony Officiant: Jamelle Johnson / Flowers: Luz’s Blooms / Venue: El Dorado Dry Lake Bed, Las Vegas
Polka Dot Honeymoons Directory Mid Banner

Image via Bec Lawrence 

For a honeymoon or a summer getaway with that special someone, what is better than basking in the sun by the beach? Rumour has it Australia does have the best beaches, so why not enjoy our very own backyard. Visit the NSW Central Coast for the summer and escape the city life.

What to do:


Disconnect from the world and head down to Patonga where you won’t find mobile reception but you will find calm waters and woodland hillsides. Stop by the beach front cafe for a milkshake and watch a pelican feeding and information demonstration by the locals.

Images via Bec Lawrence

Later grab a kayak and paddle around the mangroves, see if you can spot a sea eagle.


Take in the magnificent ocean from above and walk to the Mount Ettalong Lookout. It’s a short 1.4km return and the view will leave you breathless!

Image via Bec Lawrence 

In the mood for some shopping? The Ettalong Markets are the largest undercover market on the central coast and are worth checking out! Pick up some beachy nicknacks or some art to take home.

Avoca Beach 

Visit the vintage cinemas at Avoca Beach. The picture theatre has been in business for over 50 years and though it has been updated it still has it’s original charm.

Image via Avoca Beach Picture Theatre 

For the adventure driven, grab out your diving gear and visit the ex-HMAS Adelaide dive site. This artificial reef sits in 32 meters of water and can be found 1.8km away from Avoca Beach.

Where to stay:

Ettalong Beach Apartments

Stay in the heart of all the action at Ettalong Beach Apartments. You’ll have all that you could need in either a one bedroom or a studio apartment that is only a short walk from the city centre. Enjoy the views of Broken Bay, Palm Beach and the Tasman Sea.

Image via Ettalong Beach Apartments 

Star of the Sea Terrigal

You wont even want to leave the comfort of your room at the Star of the Sea in Terrigal. If luxury accomodation is what you’re after then ponder this: heated indoor pool, two outdoor pools, swim-up cafe, spa, tennis court, squash court, gym, steam room and library. There are a range of different accommodation types to suit your needs from 3 to 5 bedroom apartments.

Image via Star of the Sea Terrigal 

Where to eat:


For contemporary turkish cuisine that will leave you feeling full and satisfied visit Safran in Ettalong Beach. This is the perfect place for a romantic dinner for two where you can share a meal or opt for one of the larger main courses.

Reef Restaurant

Reef Restaurant in Terrigal boasts views of the clear blue water and market fresh produce that you wouldn’t want to miss. If you’re not yet up to the honeymoon stage this beautiful resturant could be used as a wedding venue catering up to 160 guests.

Image via Reef Restaurant 

With so much to see and the beautiful landscape at your fingertips, the New South Wales Central Coast is the perfect place for you to unwind and relax.

Ms Zigzag says: With plenty of holidays to set your sights on over the course of your newly married life, you could certainly park an overseas trip and go with something within Australia instead, like the beautiful NSW Central Coast. 

About Bec Lawrence: I’m a journalist with a passion for all things travel. On weekends you’ll find me with a camera in my hand, at the markets or on the top of a mountain after a hike.

Image by Israel Baldago via Jenna & Haydn’s Luxe Twilight Engagement Shoot

Your wedding is the most exciting, thrilling and wonderful day in your life. As with anything great, it also requires tremendous effort that can come with strain and stress. That’s why a mini-moon is exactly what you need before the big day to switch off, unwind and just spend some quality time with your soon-to-be husband or wife.

What is a mini-moon?

The point of a mini-moon is to feel as if you are escaping the rat race but at the same time, be close enough and affordable so as to not break the bank. It’s a luxurious long weekend away at a close by destination so you are not wasting precious hours waiting at the airport. Instead you can spend those hours indulging in spa treatments, winery tours and just rest and relax before your impending nuptials.

So why should you take a mini-moon?

Image by Lee Calleja Thomas via Natalia & Tom ‘s Queensland Winter Engagement Photos

Less travel time

As the big day gets closer, you will feel the pressure mounting – vendors, guests and families all require your attention. The last thing you want is to spend too much time away and to be stressed when you are trying to take a break. That’s why a mini-moon is perfect – a quick break for a few days from the reality of wedding planning,

You don’t have to max out your leave

If you have taken your leave entitlement for your wedding and honeymoon, a mini-moon requires minimum disruption to your work commitments. Afterall, there are bills that still need to be paid!

Bonding time

Many couples have admitted that wedding planning is one of the biggest challenges they face as a couple. With everyone pulling you both to different directions, a mini-moon allows you both to escape from it all and focus on each other. The quality bonding time gives you both the opportunity to check in with each other to see how you are both feeling. 

Image by Andrea Sproxton via Shireen and Mitch’s Beach Engagement Shoot


A weekend away at the hot springs or two nights glamping underneath the stars are definitely more budget-friendly than 14 nights in Europe. Many modern-day couples are choosing to delay their honeymoon and save for a home so a mini-moon is perfect to keep your budget in check. Save the money and splurge on a well-deserved romantic dinner or a massage.

Honeymoon preview

If you haven’t picked a honeymoon destination, going on a mini-moon may give you a better idea of where to go for your honeymoon. Perhaps you had a hinterland getaway for your mini-moon and prefer a Caribbean getaway for your honeymoon. Whatever your preference or budget is, the choice is yours!

Ms Zigzag says: Married couples can concur, things get wild in the last few weeks leading up to the wedding day. Taking a quick weekend away with your fiancé/fiancée can help you find your way back to the same page.