BACK TO TOP

Bec & Blake

It was a day designed by true love. This very special couple chose their wedding in early Autumn this year and celebrated with their friends and relatives alike. Choosing Zee and Cee Studio to capture their day, there were many special moments and smiles caught within the vineyards. There were many DIY elements, including writing their own vows – which Bride Bec says truly made the day what it was! Today Bec shares their intimate memories and details of their gorgeous day!

I first met Blake at a party when I was just sixteen and we quickly became best friends, spending every weekend together. Our friends and family would always joke that we would end up together and we would always laugh it off until three years later we finally figured it out and realised there was something more to our bond that went beyond a friendship.

Unlike a lot of people I only visited the one store and was lucky enough to find my dress. My mum, Abuela and my bridesmaids came along and we wandered around the store looking for something that might suit me.

I always imagined getting married in a ‘princess dress’ which was probably inspired by my favourite movie as a kid, ‘A Cinderella Story’. We chose four dresses to start, with one of which my Abuela insisted that I try but i wasn’t too fussed on it. As soon as I had the dress on, I felt excited and just wanted to twirl in it! I knew this was the right dress, which was only reinforced when I came out of the change room and everybody else loved it too – whilst my Abuela giggled and said “I told you so”!

I would describe our wedding as completely us summed up in an event. Everything from our outfits, to the location and the food was what we wanted. We wanted our guests to feel relaxed and to create an atmosphere that wasn’t overly formal but not casual enough that it could have been just a get together. We had lawn games, a dessert bar, photo booth, DJ and even a conga line at one point! The whole day was just fun!

Blake wanted to stand out from the groomsmen so he wore a vest and an ivory bowtie paired with a dark blue pant (not quite navy). He had brown leather shoes and a matching brown belt to break up the blue. Blake rarely wears suits and the traditional suit wasn’t something he felt himself in, so this was a good middle ground between casual and formal. The vest differentiated him from the groomsmen who instead wore brown leather braces.

I walked down the aisle to the song ‘Tenerife Sea’ by Ed Sheeran. What made it special was that my brother had spent months learning how to play it on guitar and recorded it for me to walk down the aisle. We also used the song for our wedding video.

Our ceremony was very personal. Our celebrant included us throughout the whole process in pulling together the different readings and made sure that our vows were of the same length. We picked Darren as our celebrant because he was so natural and genuine that it felt like we had known him forever. Our guests even asked us if we had actually known him after the ceremony!

The ceremony started by telling our story and talking about what we have been able to achieve as a couple. We both wrote our own vows where we shared our promises, but also what we love most about each other.

I had a moment of panic before walking down the aisle. I’m not an emotional person but it was such an intense feeling walking in to a room knowing all eyes would be on you and that this day had been something we had worked so hard on to make perfect. I was relieved when I reached Blake, but still so nervous throughout the ceremony. I was so thankful that he held my hand and through those moments reading my vows, it felt as if we were the only people in the room.

Our ceremony was held at the Gold Creek Chapel. It’s a stone building tucked away in perfectly manicured gardens and feels completely private from the surrounding suburb. We were lucky that the chapel is behind vintage closed gates, so it was only our guests that could enter the property. Blake and I had walked past the chapel many times before we were engaged and had always admired what we could see of it from the gates. The first time we went through to have a look, we both knew that was going to be the place we got married.

We held our wedding reception at Lake George Winery, which was about a half hour drive from the ceremony. The winery has a restaurant that is also that same stone texture, tying it in well with the ceremony location. We were lucky that March is grape picking season, so the vineyard was in full bloom without netting, making it perfect for wedding photos. Lake George Winery Restaurant features a stone fireplace in the centre of the room and the ceiling is decorated with hanging tea lights, so there wasn’t much we had to do in terms of styling!

Our bridal party was made up of our closest friends. Of my bridesmaids, I have been friends with three of them for 20 years and my maid of honour for 10 years. These are the girls who saw me at my awkward teenage stage and were there to watch my relationship with Blake blossom. It was important to have them beside me on the big day and special to know that they too will always be a part of my life.

On Blake’s side, we had my brother, two of Blake’s closest friends and as the best man we had Kyle who has been Blake’s best friend since they were four. Regardless of which side our bridal party stood on, they have all played such an important role in both of our lives.

My bouquet was a simple mix of white florals and greenery. We kept the same theme throughout with the boutonnieres and reception decor.

Looking back on it the day, it feels like such a whirlwind. It went way too quickly but we loved every second of it. Blake and I do everything together, so it was such a strange feeling getting ready without him on the morning of the wedding and keeping secrets from him like what my dress would look like and what was in my vows. It was the strangest thing!

On our drive over to the chapel, my dad and I rode in a vintage Rolls Royce. Growing up and even now whenever I see a bridal car I always want to have a look at the bride inside. It was strange to have that same attention focused on me as people tooted their horns and waved. I felt a bit like a celebrity! And I wanted so badly to share that with Blake too so I was eager to see him to say the least. When we arrived at the chapel, I felt a little overwhelmed and emotional. I can’t imagine what Blake was feeling standing there waiting for me in front of a large crowd. As I walked down the aisle, my eyes were blurred from trying to hold in the tears but when I finally made it close enough that I could actually see Blake I was so happy.

He looked so good in his suit and I will never forget the look he gave me. After the ceremony, we headed over to our reception venue for some photos in the vineyard. My dress wasn’t the most practical dress to be walking through the vineyard in. A number of grasshoppers thought they’d take up residence inside some of the layers in my dress some even held on until later that night when somebody pointed it out to me on the dance floor!

I enjoyed the early stages of wedding planning the most, seeking out a venue and that initial excitement before you get down to the nitty gritty. Our favourite experience in the planning process was by far our cake tasting. That could be because we both have a huge sweet tooth or because they were all so delicious!

Last summer, I remember Blake bringing home a box of six different cakes for us to try. We sat in our back garden like two little kids so excited to try each flavour. We even went a little bit ‘Master Chef’ and bought out a score card so we could rank each flavour and ultimately pick the best one. We ended up choosing two flavours; salted caramel and dark chocolate and vanilla yoghurt with orange blossom buttercream. We both ate way too much cake all at once and ended up on a sugar high!

Being quite a young couple, we were conscious of our budget throughout the process of planning our wedding and tried to do as much as possible ourselves. We made our own wedding favours and for everything else we tried to purchase from websites like Etsy or second-hand marketplaces.
For our wedding favours, we made hand-poured lavender scented soy candles. The glasses were sourced secondhand from Facebook and I had leftover wax from a candle making kit I was gifted. We dried out lavender from our garden and to add to the scent we added a few drops of lavender essential oil to each batch of wax.
For males we made rosemary infused sea salt. The rosemary too was from our garden which we cooked through a week before the wedding, before placing them in small jars.

When originally budgeting for our wedding, we both decided what were the most important things for us on the day. For us, we wanted to make sure the memories would be captured both through photography and video. We searched for a company that could offer both but also one that had a portfolio of natural images where the couples looked comfortable. That led us to Zee and Cee Studios. The team photographed our engagement, which gave us time to get comfortable in front of the camera before the wedding. On the day, Zee and Cee staff made everyone so comfortable and really got involved in the fun. They helped to make our day more memorable and special.

I had always read about couples wishing they spent more time together at the reception, as understandably it can get quite busy trying to say hello and thank everyone. This prompted us to have a ‘sweetheart table’ rather than a regular bridal table.

This gave us time to sit down together, catch our breath and really enjoy the moment. For any couples looking to get married, I would recommend doing the same. Whilst you have the rest of your lives to spend together, sharing those special moments and enjoying all the hard work you put into the event is so important!

Ms Zebra Says: We are sending the biggest congratulations to our writer Bec and her new husband! What a beautiful day and so wonderfully captured. Thanks for sharing your day with us!

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.

Jess & Simone

In late March, love birds Jess and Simone chose inner city hotspot Rupert on Rupert to tie the knot! Embracing a more relaxed atmosphere, the urban jungle setting provided the ultimate backdrop for the happy couple. A focus on family, friends and fun became the central focal point for the couple as Kat and Scout of It’s Beautiful Here Photography seamlessly blended in to capture the day. Bride Jess details their day and gives us and insight to the day she “married the man of her dreams”. 

Simone and I met through mutual friends. I was first shown a photo of Simone on his facebook profile by my girlfriend and chastised her for not introducing us earlier! He was very cute, and looked particularly cheeky…and Italian! We officially met at our friends 30th birthday party. We didn’t quite hit it off straight away. I was initially very shy and intimidated by how outgoing he was. He came right up to me and introduced himself and I spent the rest of the day avoiding him! I got up some confidence eventually and we managed to organise a first date through facebook…where it all began!

My dress was a Made with Love dress from Bluebell Bridal in Melbourne. I was pretty “no-fuss” when dress shopping, as I found the whole experience so overwhelming! There is so much pressure to find “the one”, and it’s so easy to blow out your budget when you get attached to something.

The guys at Bluebell were really kind, patient, and helpful, and when I found one that I felt comfortable in, I went for it! It was only the second bridal shop I looked in. I never thought I would go for a lace dress, but I did and I was really happy with how it looked (and more importantly) felt on the day!.

Simone wore a suit from Oscar Hunt Tailors, which was this amazing emerald green colour. He wanted something that was a little bit different and that reflected his personality and personal style.

It was really important to Simone and I that we kept everything really simple and refined. We also chose our venue, Rupert on Rupert, partly because it has the most incredible natural greenery, so we really didn’t need to do too much more to make it look beautiful.

My bridesmaids helped me buy flowers from the Monbulk flower market for the styling of the tables and venue, and Mali (Rupert’s event coordinator) styled the tables which looked incredible. We also hired some beautiful blush coloured napkins for the tables, and Simone and his dad hand made 68 little name signs, which were stuck into Baci’s (Italian chocolates) for each seat. The atmosphere we were hoping for was like one big love party, so everyone felt relaxed and care free, which we think we achieved.

We chose Rupert because it has the most amazing vibe – as soon as you walk in its like an urban jungle. There is greenery everywhere, and it’s a very cool industrial vibe. We also loved Mali who arranged everything and supported us the whole way through. We had the ceremony as well as reception at Rupert as we felt this more a more relaxed vibe, and we wanted our guests to be able to settle in.

We DIY”d a lot! The bridesmaids and myself made our bouquets, the boys lapels, and the groom and father of the groom made the table numbers, wedding favours (maracas which the boys spray painted white to match the theme and get the party started!), and signage.

We are very lucky to have some musically talented friends who gifted us live music to walk down the aisle to! Our dear friends Vincent and Aaron played/sang a slowed down version of a Barry White song (which Simone played on our first date!) when I walked down the aisle, and then a rendition of Volare by Dean Martin when we both left at the end of the ceremony. It was absolutely perfect.

I was really nervous about the ceremony because I’m not great with being centre of attention…so I was happy for it to be short and sharp! However, it was important to both of us to make the ceremony about us, what we have together, and how we feel about each other.

We both wrote our own vows which was very emotional on the day! We had one quote from Esther Perel (a psychologist) which resonated with us both “For [intelligent couples], love is a vessel that contains both security and adventure, and commitment offers one of the great luxuries of life: time. Marriage is not the end of romance, it is the beginning. They know that they have years in which to deepen their connection, to experiment, to regress, and even to fail. They see their relationship as something alive and ongoing, not a fait accompli. It’s a story that they are writing together, one with many chapters, and neither partner knows how it will end. There’s always a place they haven’t gone yet, always something about the other still to be discovered.”

We organised our own flowers from the Monbulk flower market. We went with a range of colours, mostly white and green, and then some colour pops which looked amazing all together.

I (Jess) had 5 of my girlfriends as bridesmaids, and Simone 5 friends, two who came from Italy to be in the wedding! We loved having a big bridal party, it was so much fun getting ready together and we both felt so well supported on the day.

For our photographers we went with Kat and Scout from Its Beautiful Here, as they had done a friends wedding and they were so much fun to work with and their pictures were incredible! They did an amazing job and were so great to work with, we loved having them!

For us on the day, it was all about friends, food, and good music, so they were the main focus for us.
It made our favourite detail easy! We loved our band, Del Barrio! They were so fun and an incredible live performance that got everyone up and carving up the dance floor!

Our first dance was the most incredible, spine tingling, emotional, love filled moment of the wedding for me. I still get shivers thinking about it! We had an amazing Latin band, but for the first dance we chose a beautiful rendition of You Got It by Lucie Silvas.

It was the most amazing moment, it felt like it was just Simone and I even though we were in a circle of our dearest family and friends. For the last chorus everyone started to sing along and join us on the dance floor, lifting us up and holding each other in a circle. It was incredible!

There is a photo of Simone and I at the end of the night walking through the “sparkler walkway” taken from behind which is so beautiful, but it is hard to choose one favourite, as Its Beautiful Here did such an amazing job capturing the day!

Our advice to couples would be to think about your budget before you do anything. Think about how you want to feel on the day. Don’t compromise with anyone other than your partner. Remember that it is one day, and it is your day to celebrate each other and the love that you share.

It can be so easy to fall down the rabbit hole of all the things you think you should have, but it really will not make much difference on the day. We tried to think of the top 3-4 things that were the most important to us (venue, music, photography, wedding dress) and that’s where we splashed out, otherwise we tried to be more conservative. Try not to make things too complicated either, its such a big day, if there is too much going on, you will miss it!

Ms Zebra Says: Congratulations to these two gorgeous love birds!!! Thank you for sharing your incredible day with us and we wish you all the happiness in the world as your continue on life’s journey together 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!

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.

Casey & Anthony

It’s not often that we have the pleasure of showcasing a surprise wedding, so this was such a treat! This gorgeous couple chose to do it ‘their way’ from the get go and what a party that ensued. Gathering friends and family under false pretences and hiding their wedding attire in secret places, Casey and Anthony were able to pull the wool until they announced ‘it’s a wedding’ in a beautiful nod to their heritages. Their photographer, Jonathan Newton of Pine & Ivory seamlessly captured the entire day and today Casey tells the story of how they pulled off the perfect surprise wedding!

Anthony and I have always done things ‘our way’, from the moment we met. Whether it be travel, study, work or the little things- we have always been drawn to doing things in a way that was a little different. We got engaged on a camping trip in the historic town of Walhalla, a favourite childhood location of mine, but the planning for our surprise wedding had began months prior! We had decided on one of our many long car trip adventures, that when we did get married, we would surprise everyone at our engagement party. We would keep the formalities simple, but the food a’ plenty! And we would all the while keep it true to us as a couple.

As a bit of a wedding fiend, I have spent most of my adult years reading wedding magazines, blogs such as this one, and trawling Instagram- in awe of the florals, the decor and the love that oozed from weddings. I couldn’t wait to have my own version, and I was determined to achieve the ‘must-have’ parts of a wedding in our celebration, but be confident in ditching the parts that were not important to us.

The hardest part to begin with was finding a venue which didn’t scream wedding, but could also be transformed into the space we needed. I stumbled across 40 Rd Event Space online and was immediately excited. We went and viewed the venue on Christmas Eve, and Katie and her team immediately won us over with their relaxed organisation, and the freedom that they could allow us. The venue is plain, and quite industrial- perfect for an event/party- but can also be transformed into any style you want, with decorations, flowers, seating and more. There is also an industrial kitchen out the back, where their catering company Fourside Events cook from, ensuring the food on your day is always hot and fresh.

A big draw card for us was the large menu we could pick from, and the flexibility of the food and drink packages. We opted for a grazing table, hand held food, plus small bowls, as well as late-night-munchies- a real favourite of our guests!

Next up were the other big four – the celebrant, flowers, DJ and photographer. I found all of these through friend recommendations and Instagram- with enough searching you can find anything you want using social media! Our venue was also extremely helpful in recommending vendors who had worked with them and other clients before – which we utilised for hiring plants and extra chairs and tables.

Fast forward to the day, to ensure we had some wedding portraits, we got all dressed up in our wedding gear and did a first-look with our photographer. This began at my parents house under their oak tree, and then we went to the Botanical Gardens in Frankston for all of our portraits. Afterwards, we came home and changed into our engagement attire and arrived at the venue and hid our wedding clothes in a little side room for later.

For our wedding attire, we wanted something simple and classic – but also something that wouldn’t break the budget. Anthony went for suave tuxedo, and I had a plain white dress, with buttons from the top, all the way to the bottom of the train. We had big plans of searching high and low for these items- but came across them at Ferrari Bridal and Formal wear, in our first shopping trip. Both were easy picks, and the ladies at Ferrari were our kind of vendors; fun, bright and they made us feel so comfortable.

Our guests began to arrive and the food and drink flowed. We took photos under our flower wall, which was easily one of my favourite elements of our decor. The flowers and greenery were key to creating our lush and green style, as well as adding colour to the industrial space. Our florist created two large flower and greenery walls, as well as a bar arrangement and table arrangements. She also incorporated my favourite flowers – carnations, into everything she made. A true testament to how incredible and integral she was in making our day, ours.

At around 7:30pm, my Dad asked for everyone’s attention to give a toast and asked for Anthony’s Mum and my late grandfather’s brother to come to the front. He had secretly explained to them what he wanted them to do about 20 minutes beforehand. As an ode to our Greek and Dutch heritage, and family members who were no longer with us, Dad then asked for Anthony’s Mum to say a passage in Greek, to which the few Greek speaking members in the crowd gasped, and his YiaYia came running to the front – parting the sea of guests in front of her.

My Mum’s Uncle then said his passage in Dutch – which was basically ‘Thank you for coming to the engagement of Anthony and Casey, but they are actually going to get married tonight!’. The majority of the crowd was looking around in bewilderment, until my Dad announced ‘There’s going to be a wedding!’. The crowd cheered, and we made our way into the little bridal suite, to get changed into our wedding attire.

In keeping with having small elements of sentiment to our family dotted throughout our celebration, I walked down the aisle to ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’ by Kina Grannis – a cover of my parents first dance song originally sung by Elvis Presley.

Our ceremony was brief, but included an important mention of our grandparents (who were all sitting in the front row), and included my brother and Anthony’s cousin as ring bearers and witnesses – in place of having a bridal party. Our celebrant Danielle was exceptional at capturing what was important to us in a succinct and articulate way. She made us feel like it was our friend marrying us, and not a stranger.

After the ceremony, we had some time with guests where more food and drink was served and we had some family photos. We then kept our speeches brief, cut the cake and had our first dance. This was where the party started, and all of the formalities ended. It was really important to us that guests had a good time, so we deliberately opted for minimal speeches, no bouquet tosses and no formal meals – just cocktail style.

Our DJ was amazing at keeping the dance floor full, as was our MC to keep the night on schedule (an important aspect of having a surprise wedding is letting everyone who knows, in on the timing of the night…to help out in making it a seamless execution!).

My Dad and I couldn’t settle on a father-daughter dance song and kept coming back to one of our family’s favourite songs ‘Slice of Heaven’ by Dave Dobbyn, so we decided on a family dance instead! This was so much more fun, and really embraced the kind of family I have come from, and the family Anthony was now officially part of.

We opted to cut costs and stress for a few things, including; our cake and dessert. These was made by my amazing best friend (who was in on our secret), and then dressed with flowers by our florist. We had very simple invitations, and I made the welcome sign, as well as the ‘cards and gifts’ sign myself. All of our candles and candle holders were purchased from k-mart (at a bargain price!), and we opted for no wedding favours.

Our briefing to our photographer was to capture as much natural interaction as possible, and my one request was that I had always dreamt of having a confetti photo of the two of us walking back down the aisle. These are my favourite photos from the night!

We found the whole process so much fun and I have our amazing vendors to thank for that. Planning a surprise wedding could be very stressful, however, the only stressful part was keeping it a secret!

Ms Zebra Says: What an incredible secret – and what a way to pull it off!!!! I’m personally obsessed with the idea of a surprise wedding, so well done! Congratulations and we wish you both the happiest of marriages and life together!

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!

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.