Laura & Matt

For Laura and Matt, being surrounded by family and friends while enjoying good food and music in an incredible location was extremely important to them on their wedding day. The couple created their perfect day and celebrating their love at the stunning Gabbinbar Homestead in Toowoomba. They chose the talented Luke Middlemiss to capture the celebrations, as well as all the elegant details (including the bride’s perfect gown, gorgeous shades of red, and a lush reception setup. Below, Laura shares her and Matt’s story, and all the special moments from their intimate wedding day.

Five years ago, we both swiped right for each other on Tinder, and happened to find the love of a lifetime. We began talking from 3pm until midnight everyday for a week, and then arranged our first date.

Our first date was a movie and Mexican dinner. It ended with our first kiss at Kangaroo Point, which has an amazing view of Brisbane city at night. Since this time we have shared so many memories and experiences together; traveling, moving in together, getting our diving licenses, getting our degrees, achieving in our careers, growing into adults, and gaining each other as a best friend.

Matt’s proposal was a complete surprise, in fact, probably the biggest surprise of my life. It was a Friday afternoon at work, when I received an email from Matt asking if we could do date night that evening. I agreed and didn’t think too much of it. After work, we picked up sushi from our favourite place, packed some drinks in an Esky, and had a picnic in front of the city view at Kangaroo Point cliffs. The same spot where we had our first kiss four years earlier. Matt all of a sudden got down on one knee and pulled out the ring box. I said, “Oh my god” for about five minutes (as I said, biggest shock of my life), before saying yes.

My wedding dress search was a fairly long process. I spent about a year looking. Early in the process, I tried on the Alyssa Dress by Anna Campbell, with the accessories and veil, and absolutely loved it. I felt like I should look around more though as this was only the second shop I had been to. A year later, and I couldn’t stop thinking about the Alyssa dress. So my parents, and Matt, went on a Melbourne trip where my mum and I went to the Anna Campbell boutique and bought my dress. I absolutely loved wearing my dress, and didn’t want to take it off. The level of detail on the dress, the elegancy, the shape, and the matching accessories was everything I wanted in a wedding dress.

The bridesmaids had the same colour dress but in different styles to suit their own personal style sense. We used a velvet burgundy ribbon around the waist of each dress, which tied them both together beautifully. The burgundy colour also looked amazing in the photographs and matched the vintage feel of the venue. My bridesmaids were my two cousins. I liked the idea of having the girls as they’re family, and keeping it very family-oriented.

The groomsmen all went with a three-piece suit. Matt wore a silver tie to match my bone coloured dress, and the groomsmen wore a burgundy tie to match the bridesmaids. Matt’s groomsmen were his brother and his closet friend since high school.

Our ceremony and reception were both held at Gabbinbar Homestead, a historic estate in Toowoomba. The venue has multiple ceremony locations. We chose The Pavilion.

The bridesmaids and I walked down the aisle to ‘The One’ by Kodaline. It’s such a beautiful song, and perfect for a wedding.

Our ceremony was very personal to us as a couple. It told our story, with humour. It had a laid back approach, which was perfect for us. We both wrote our own vows where we shared our promises and also what we love most about each other.

At Gabbinbar, the homestead has multiple rooms including living rooms with fireplaces, a large dining room, ballroom, bride’s retreat and groom’s retreat. It was perfect for us. We made the venue extra personal by displaying our family photos around the homestead.

Our wedding remained completely true to us as a couple. We made sure that we prioritised all of the elements that were important to us such as: great location, great food, great music, great drinks and amazing photography. We also kept it small so that it was intimate and allowed for quality time with our closest friends and family. We had such as special day, and wouldn’t change a thing.

During the reception, we did a fully choreographed dance to ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ by Elvis Presley, which involved a few lifts, and got us some pretty good photos.

The rest of the night was spent mingling, dancing, drinking, and using the Kombi van (which was a photo booth). We ended the night with a mock sparkler exit surrounded by all of our guests.

Ms Floral Says: Congratulations to Laura and Matt on their marriage and a stunning wedding in such a picturesque location. Everything worked so well together, and your focus on family, friends and food were perfect for your intimate celebration.


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Joanna & Dean

There’s nothing more ‘feel good’ than when a bride and groom create a beautiful wedding that is true to them as a couple. Together, Joanna and Dean planned their entire day, selecting every last detail, and they noted this process as being very special. After 13 years, the childhood sweethearts married in front of 60 family members and close friends, opting for a more intimate occasion than a large celebration. For their bridal parties, Joanna chose her brother as her man of honour, and the groom had his cousin as his best man. The wedding took place at Montsalvat and was captured by Miranda Stokkel. Below, Joanna shares their story and all the best moments from her wedding day.

Dean and I met through friends at the Yarra Valley Fete in Year 9. We became good friends, then starting dating in November, when we were in Year 10 and 16 years old. We have been lucky enough to grow up together and got married at the age of 29.

We were married on November 29, 2019 at Montsalvat. I wore Anna Campbell separates (top and skirt). I wanted cap sleeves and a low back; my top had intricate beading and the skirt was simple, silk chiffon. I wanted an elegant, classic look.

My brother, Matthew, was my man of honour, and for my flowers, I chose an antique colour palette, which mainly comprised of roses. The colours were coffee, pale pink, ivory and maroon.

Dean wore a black tux from MJ Bale as he wanted a classic look. He completed his look with a black bow tie (MJ Bale), white pocket square (MJ Bale) and black Aquila shoes. His cousin, Nick, was the best man.

I walked down the aisle to ‘Sea of Love’ by Cat Power.

We wanted our ceremony to be quite brief as we both don’t like being centre of attention. We chose not to have any readings. Our celebrant, Lara Williams, began by talking about myself and Dean, which led straight into the ‘I Dos’ and exchanging marriage vows. We wanted an intimate ceremony with our family and close friends.

We had the Law and Order SVU theme song playing as we were announced as husband and wife, and as guests threw petals!

Miranda Stokkel was our photographer and we couldn’t have asked for a better person/photographer to capture our day. A friend had recommended Miranda to me, and after seeing some of her photos I knew I wanted her to be our photographer. Meeting Miranda in person further consolidated this as she was so easy going and friendly! Dean normally doesn’t like having his photo taken but he felt comfortable with Miranda, which allowed him to relax on the day and we both had fun whilst taking our photos. We highly recommend Miranda for many reasons, including her skill, passion for her work and kind nature.

We undertook some DIY, including the stationery (from save the dates, to wedding invitations and menus/name tags), table seating chart, our sister-in-law made our wedding book for guests to sign, we framed wedding photos of our parents, as well as grandparents, which were displayed behind the bridal table (above the fireplace mantel).

We loved Montsalvat from the first time we went to see it. I would describe The Great Hall (reception) as medieval. The Great Hall has so much character that we wanted to keep its natural beauty and not overdo decorations. We utilised Montsalvat’s candelabras, tea light candles, fairy lights and festoon lights for atmosphere, as well as adding flowers (mismatched vases on tables, a larger arrangement on the bridal table and some on the staircase leading up to the cake). We wanted guests to leave our wedding having had delicious food, but also a lot of food. We decided to do a table harvest, which meant we had three rounds of food (e.g. each round had a main, side and salad) so there was more variety of food as well as quantity.

We enjoyed every part of the day, but it was particularly special to look out from the bridal table and see all our loved ones there.

For our first dance, we decided to do the Zorba with all our guests  because we thought it would be fun and we didn’t want the attention of being up there by ourselves.

My advice for future marrieds? Plan your wedding the way you want to. Don’t spend money on unnecessary things and include friends where you can. For example, we chose not to do bonbonniere or have a photo booth. We had friends DJ, MC and drive me to the wedding, which made it more special.

Joanna and Dean’s wedding video by Bluebird Media

Ms Floral Says: Congratulations to Joanna and Dean on such a beautiful wedding that was true to them as a couple. I love that there was such a focus on family and good friends, and that there was a man of honour!



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This March on Polka Dot Weddings we are celebrating the beauty of bridesmaids as we welcome The Bridesmaid Issue – the glam squad of wonderful ladies (and men!) who stand by your side on your big day, fluff your dress, (hold it up when nature calls) and make the experience of getting married extra special.

But the journey of a bridesmaid begins long before their first step down the aisle. And in these modern times, what really are the expectations of your maids?
We’re going behind the bouquet to explore the definition of a modern maid, showcase unique bridesmaid looks, hens and bridal shower ideas and share some incredible DIY favour ideas to thank your team of loyal besties. We’ll also recommend some fab locations to treat you and your squad to a relaxing (or crazy fun) pre-wedding weekend away.

And of course, there will be real weddings, featuring some of the most gorgeous line ups of brides-crews we’ve seen yet.
Follow along here for all our features!