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Sarah & Murray

If colour had a soul mate, this wedding would be it! Filled with colourful accents and plenty of personality, Sarah and Murray, who met through mutual friends, said ‘I do’ in their backyard – and then danced the night away in a family air hangar! Seriously awesome and cool couple right here! With their son and daughter by their sides and best mates, these two love birds enjoyed one hell of a colourful day and we’re so excited for Bride Sarah to share all of the incredible details!

I chose a beautiful wrap dress by Tiff Manuell, white at the top to reflect the day and full of colour in the skirt to reflect my personal style. It was chosen as I was adamant about wearing something colourful. I have been a massive fan of Tiff Manuell for a long time, so it was pretty much my dream dress!

Our wedding was colourful boho and eclectic. I wanted to incorporate my home style into our ceremony, which was on 28 September 2019 on our family cane farm and airfield in NSW.

We used our garden for the ceremony, as I wanted a relaxed and tropical vibe.

I walked down the aisle to ‘Into My Arms’ by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. For the signing, we used ‘Fade Into You’ by Mazzy Star and finished with ‘Just Like Heaven’ by The Cure.

Murray wanted to keep it simple as it was a country farm wedding, so he chose to wear a white linen shirt from Industrie and tan chinos.

We didn’t have any readings as we just wanted a ceremony that was short and sweet (being mindful of our small children and our guests on a hot spring day)!

A favourite part of the day was having all our loved ones there to share in our day, and also how my love of colour all came together!

The only DIY elements we had were  in the sense that I arranged some of my own indoor rugs for the aisle. My macrame hanging and painted pots were commissioned from my favourite artists. I wanted to bring my colourful style outside, so I commissioned both a big macrame hanging from MeCo Macrame and painted pots from Gabby Loves Art and B Jewelled Creative. I was also adamant about the music I wanted for both ceremony and reception (mainly 80s/90s alternative music)!

I am lucky to have a lovely florist friend Cathy of Yamba Time Florist. The brief for Cathy was to use colours close to those in my dress and those in my ceremony decorations (painted pots and macrame hanging). She absolutely nailed it, as you can see from our photos!

One of my favourite photos is a photo of Murray and I by the river in front of our house.

Our photographer was Buffy Williams-Robinson from The Sea Society. Buffy is a local creative who has over 20 years experience working in photography, fashion and publishing including curating, casting and styling. I chose her as she is incredibly generous, creative, warm hearted and her photography is stunning. She also understood my love of colour and creativity and captured it so beautifully.

Our bridal party was made up of my friends Sammy Jo and Maddy as my bridesmaids, my daughter was my flower girl and my son was my little page boy. Murray had his brother Duncan and my brother Ryan as his groomsmen.

Favourite or stand out vendors from our day would have to be my dress by Tiff Manuell, the colourful flower arrangements by Yamba Time Florist and the photography by The Sea Society were absolute stand outs. The pieces by my creative friends Mel from MeCo Macrame who made the most magical macrame piece for our arbour, Gabby Love who painted two incredible multicoloured plant pots to compliment my dress and Julie from B Jewelled Creative Designs who painted two funky heart plant pots.

Our advice to future couples would be to keep things as simple as possible, make sure you invest in a great photographer, and if you are purchasing decorative items, try to pick ones that you can reuse in your home later on. We also let our guests sit where they wanted and that made for a more social, happy environment in my opinion!

Ms Zebra Says: Congratulations to Sarah and Murray. What an amazing day, filled with so much colour and fun! We wish you both all the best in your life together as husband and wife.

 

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Kirsty & Andrew

Love takes many forms, but the best we get to see often, is when it’s found in another person. The overwhelming feeling of that love is exactly what Kirsty and Andrew’s day(s) was all about! From deciding to do a private ceremony with only their families on the stunning clifftops of Flinders, to the quaint and rustic backdrop of Tanglewood Estate, Daniel Brannan was there to capture each loving look and moment. The Bride, Kirsty shares their story and all of the details of their spectacular two day wedding!

We met in 2009 at a house party that Andrew technically wasn’t invited to. Andrew was a friend of someone (who also happened to be one of Andrew’s groomsmen) who lived down the street from the party. We had all attended an all-girls high school so Andrew’s groomsman was invited and was told to ‘bring lots of men’.

We were officially married on Wednesday the 13th of March, which was our 10 year anniversary. We chose to have our ceremony on the cliffs at Finders with just our family, photographer Dan and celebrant Lara.

We then had our wedding on Saturday the 16th of March at Tanglewood Estate. We had a small ceremony in the chapel and our reception in the winery.

Our favourite photograph was from our cliff top ceremony. We were standing on the edge of the cliffs in a patch of light and our photographer took the photo from another ridge across the water.

The cliffs at Flinders (our official ceremony location) were recommended to us by our photographer. We went for a walk on the cliffs and loved it.

I chose Cathleen Jia as her dresses were non-traditional and the fabric was really soft. Cathleen was very easy to work with and patient working with someone as indecisive as me. I looked at her collections and tried on styles that would suit me. Then I looked at her Instagram photos and found a dress that she custom made for me.

The groom and the groomsmen decided to get their suits custom made through Bell and Barnett. However, we didn’t have a good experience with them so I wouldn’t recommend it.

I walked down the aisle to ‘You’ve got the love’ by Florence and the Machine. It was a popular song from the year we started dating.

Our celebrant was an easy choice. Lara was super relaxed and friendly. She made the process so easy for both of our ceremonies. We had so many lovely comments about her and the ceremony from our guests.


We only had a simple ceremony as I didn’t like the idea of being the centre of attention.

One of the favourite parts of the day was enjoying running through a petal confetti shower out of the chapel.

Poppy culture posted a photo on their Instagram of their first wedding at Tanglewood Estate. We weren’t engaged at that point and Tanglewood, being a new venue, didn’t have a website yet. I kept following them on social media and we eventually went to look at it when we started looking for venues. I liked the rustic look of the venue and the forest-like location.

My bridesmaids were three of my university friends; Jade, Steph and Megan. Andrew’s groomsmen were three of his school friends; Hamish, Andrew and Kris. We then had my friend’s daughter Gabby as our flower girl and my nephew Harry (who was 6 months old and slept through the ceremony) as our “ring bear” (yes, he had bear overalls on).

We chose Poppy Culture for our flowers. I had been following them on Instagram for a while and had seen all the recent weddings that they had done at Tanglewood Estate. We decided to go with a range of white flowers with green foliage to create lots of different textures.

We added sea holly so that there were little patches of blue in the bouquets. The sea holly also dried nicely after the wedding and is now decorating a vase in our house.

We chose Dan Brannan as our photographer. He was recommended by a few venues that we had visited. He had also done weddings at Tanglewood before which we thought was important because he would know all the good photo locations. He also recommended the cliffs at Flinders, which we loved. He was an easy choice.

In terms of DIY elements, we did a bit!

  • Invitations – We ordered simple invitations from Mickey Loves Jacqui Letter Press. We wanted to tie navy linen ribbons around the invitations however they were extremely expensive. So we bought white linen from Spotlight and dyed it navy. We then ripped the fabric into ribbons ourselves.
  • Bonbonniere – We collected 70 salsa jars during the time we were engaged. I used them to make handmade candles. We tied navy ribbons around the jars with a place tag with each guest’s name of them. We used them as bonbonnieres and place cards.
  • Welcome sign – Andrew made our glass welcome sign using the glass from a large picture fame. We displayed it on an iron easel that we had custom made.
  • Candle dishes – I bought small glass candle dishes from op shops throughout our area. We had mismatched dishes with tea light candles on the tables to complement vases of flowers.
  • Napkins – We bought navy napkins from Kmart as it was cheaper than hiring them from linen hire companies.

Our wedding was rustic, relaxed and blue!

We had a few vendors that stood out to us. We saw Gina from Miss Ladybird Cakes at a bridal expo and a venue open day. We tried lots of flavours and ordered a cake for both our engagement party and our wedding. We didn’t even look around for anyone else.

We had a few recommendations for catering. We went with Moreish purely because they got back to us with a quote so quickly and Elle knew everything that was going on and gave us great advice. She even organised hot chips for the tables to go with dinner.

 

Special heirlooms that I included was wearing my Mum’s pearl earrings that my sister also wore at her wedding. I also wore a simple necklace that my grandma gave me for my 21st birthday.

A favourite detail of the day was that we had our wedding cake knife engraved with Mr and Mrs Lewis and our wedding date.

Advice for future couples? Follow your vendors on Instagram. It will give you ideas and help you make decisions about which ones to choose. I really wanted a floral chandelier but was talked out of it by my friends and husband. I am glad we didn’t spend money on the things we really didn’t need.

Ms Zebra Says: Congratulations to Kirsty and Andrew! What an amazing line up of events – and with some of Australia’s most beautiful backdrops! Wishing you both the world of happiness as husband and wife. 

Polka Dot Dream Team...

The below wedding vendors made this magic happen and are an approved part of the Polka Dot Directory. Visit their portfolios to learn more and enquire about their services!

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  • Bride's Jewellery
  • Mother & Grand Mother
Image of Brianna Roberts and Louis Pratt

Brianna & Louis

With the leaves falling and creating a stunning dappled light, this gorgeous couple tied the knot with family and friends surrounding them in the Blue Mountains. James Simmons Photography was there to capture their smiling faces as they start their new chapter together as husband and wife! The Bride, Brianna tells the story of their divine day in May.

There is something about Autumn that has always made me inexplicably happy. I love driving down tree-lined streets and the dappled golden light that flickers through a canopy of leaves. It almost feels  as though you’re warm and safe within a happy memory.

That’s how it feels to drive along The Avenue in Mount Wilson and arrive at the iron gates of Breenhold Gardens, a grand private estate at the top of the Blue Mountains. Within the grounds, along the garden path and through the archways we found Socrates Garden. There, on a chilly autumn day in May, we vowed to love each other, “in all circumstances and through all the seasons of our lives”.

Wedding dress by Cappellazzo Couture

I fell in love with a picture of ‘The Dress‘ online and immediately wrote to designer Sonia Cappellazzo, fearing it was likely to break my limited budget. She confirmed this gown was indeed quite special. The delicate Swiss lace was incredibly unique and she had only enough left to make one more dress. I tried to find something else, but when the dress started literally entering my dreams, I flew to Melbourne to meet Sonia.

Making the stakes even higher, the dress would be made from scratch and would require at least three trips from Sydney to Melbourne for fittings. No small task for a bride-to-be with a fear of flying. Focus on the destination is the advice frequently given to fearful flyers, so I spent each trip with white knuckles gripping a photograph of the dress and imagining seeing my groom’s face when he saw me in it.

But as with anything that has been held too tightly and for too long, when I eventually went to pick up my dress, I could only see flaws. I had fixated on an image – a picture of a model wearing a dress. But this was a different dress, one made just for me. I was struck by overwhelming self doubt. All too accustomed to neurotic brides two weeks out from their wedding, Sonia assured me it was beautiful and I should stop worrying.

But the night before I was due to fly back to Sydney, I stayed up late staring at an embroidered flower I was convinced was one millimetre from where it should be. I went back to the store the following morning and between anxious gasps asked if there was anything they could do. Sonia simply smiled and carried the dress carefully away. “Everything will be fine“. One tiny stitch of reassurance for an anxious bride and all was well.

The bridal preparations took place at a weatherboard house in Blackheath called Heatherton. I slept a total of three hours the night before, like a small child before Christmas, so everything was softened by a blur of sleepiness.

 

I wanted bridesmaids, Anastasia and Candi, to have slightly different styles of dresses to reflect their personalities. We had them made almost a year in advance by a woman based in Tel Aviv and somehow they both fit beautifully (even with Anastasia bringing a bonus flower girl along for the ride).

Have I mentioned the Groom yet? His name is Louis and he’s pretty wonderful!

We met on a dance floor at a jazz bar in Marrickville. A man wearing a hat danced up to me with sparkly eyes and a big smile on his face. He kept picking me up and spinning me around, while I chastised him to unhand me. He told me he was an artist but I didn’t believe him. “You’re just a man with a hat!” I exclaimed, and we parted ways that night without exchanging numbers.

Unbeknownst to me, he had managed to slip a business card into my handbag – straight into one of those pockets you never check. It took me at least two months to find it, but in the meantime, I had used my journalistic skills to track him down. We met to dance another day and we’ve been dancing ever since.

Image of Bridal Party at Breenhold Gardens

When our wedding photographer James Simmons Photography suggested we scale a cliff in blistering winds on our wedding day, I got the impression he was trying to construct a metaphor for the inevitable challenges we would face over the course of marriage and our lives. How would we cope in the face of adversity? Would we hold on to each other and help each other persevere?

A gust of wind picked up my veil and almost blew it off the mountain, and my quick-thinking groom grabbed it – a good sign.

We are lucky to have talented friends and family, who provided the musical soundtrack for our day. For our first dance, my Dad played piano and sang the Grace Kelly/Bing Crosby classic True Love. At the ceremony, we had beautiful renditions of La Vie en Rose, La Barcarolle and Cheek to Cheek.

“Heaven, I’m in heaven, And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak, And I seem to find the happiness I seek, When we’re out together dancing, cheek to cheek”.

 

The morning after the wedding, following the adrenaline of the day, I woke up feeling like I’d been hit by a bus. I had the sudden urge to see photographs of the wedding. Unfortunately, by my own directive, our guests had not been allowed to take photos during the ceremony. The idea was that people could be present and in the moment.

One thing nobody tells you about being in the moment on your wedding day, is that it’s actually impossible. In the lead up, you’re planning this one important day in the future and you focus on every detail as though you’re omniscient, seeing everything from above. On the day, you can only see parts, and you miss out on seeing arguably the most identifiable feature of any wedding – the bride! It’s like going to Paris and getting to the top of the Eiffel Tower and wondering why it doesn’t look like Paris anymore, because you’re smack bang in the middle of it.

You can’t see the Eiffel Tower because you’re in it. Sometimes too, ‘the moment’ feels far too significant and overwhelming to experience while you’re in it. But somewhere between imagination and memory, what happens is a series of beautiful moments, like brightly coloured leaves cascading from an autumn tree.

With special thanks to our friends and family who made our day possible by volunteering their time and talents. In loving memory of our beloved Bob, who made it his last mission on earth to be there.

Brianna & Louis Highlight Film by Cinehaus.

Ms Zebra Says: Congratulations to these two smiling lovebirds! What an incredible place to say ‘I do’ and begin the next chapter of your lives together. 

Bride’s Note: This beautiful area of the Blue Mountains has been impacted by the current Australian bushfire disaster. Donations can be made to either to NSW RFS or the local Mt Wilson recovery appeal (https://www.mtwilson.com.au/).

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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.