Shae and Eugenio

Our wedding day on 10/10/10 was, in one word, happy. We had so many guests say to us afterwards that it was the happiest wedding they’ve ever been to and I can’t think of a higher compliment. I know that we both spent the whole day with huge smiles on our faces!

Gino and I met at a mutual friend’s 21s birthday party. Although we didn’t talk much I just knew he was “The One”. A week later we were both on a Rivercruise and from there on we were a couple – even though it took us another 4 weeks to have our first kiss!

Gino is an amazing person – very thoughtful and romantic, and the proposal was no different! He planned a two day extravaganza for our 3½ year anniversary which culminated in him popping the question on a hot air balloon.

I thoroughly enjoyed the wedding planning process and was so lucky that Gino was there helping me out every step of the way, with opinions on everything including bridesmaid dresses, tablecloths and the cake! For me, this really ensured that it was “our” day and that both of our personalities were reflected throughout. It also reminded me in the stressful times why I was going through it all – so I could marry this incredible man and spend the rest of my life with him by my side.

For us the planning started with the invites. We wanted something different and used an amazing designer – Lyndsay from It’s A Date Event Design. She created a breathtaking set of wedding stationery for us that included the invite, RSVP card and escort cards and we printed them using Lamb Print. She included a gorgeous monogram of two peacocks kissing and we carried this design throughout. Lyndsay created the cover of the Order of Service for us and I spent over 25 hours creating the inside. At the beginning, I introduced everyone in our Bridal Party, the Priest, Readers and Mistress of Ceremonies with individual photos. Throughout the booklet, I had photos of Gino and I taken over the years we’ve been together. I designed it using InDesign, which I had to teach myself with the help of YouTube videos!

Photos provided courtesy of It’s A Date Event Design

We decided on a peacock theme for the wedding, but we didn’t want it too obvious. Instead, we wanted to reference the rich jewel tones in the feather of the peacock and used these colours throughout the day. The Bridesmaids had peacock hairpieces and Gino and the groomsmen had peacock feathers behind the flowers in their buttonholes.


Details Peacock theme

Stunning bridesmaid’s hairpieces by Diva

I found my dress in Hob Nob and knew it was my wedding dress. Even though I was determined not to have a strapless dress and I am definitely not a “princess” type of girl!

My dress


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For my sisters I really wanted something that wasn’t typically bridesmaid and was age appropriate as they were only 15 and 18 years old. They have very different body types and tastes, which made searching difficult, but when we found this dress by Nicolangela we all loved it!



I spent the night before the wedding at my parents’ house, playing and messing around with my siblings. At one stage my sisters and I were practising our timing walking down the aisle with bouquets of broccoli! The next day was Bathurst (car race) so my very patient brothers and Dad tried to watch that while preparing breakfast and putting up with the girls chatter during hair and makeup preparations. The very talented Elicia Rudd from E Hair and Makeup did the hair and makeup for me, my sisters and my Mum – it was a very early morning!

021 Getting warpaint on

Getting readyDetails

Jewellery by Glitter Co.

This was my something borrowed and something old – my Great Grandmother’s brooch on my bouquet.

My great grandmother's brooch on my bouquet

Flowers by Flowertopia.

My mechanic husband’s cufflinks. One is a speedometer, the other is a tachometer and they actually move. His sister gave them to him years ago and he hadn’t had a chance to wear them before.

My Dad and two brothers hadn’t seen my dress properly and one of the special moments of the day was making a big “reveal” to them once I was all dressed and ready. To see the tears and emotion on their faces was so touching and I’m so happy the photographer was there to capture the moment.

My Dad's reaction at the big "reveal" 050


I wasn’t the typical bride – I was ready very early and even with Dad making us wait at home before getting in the limo we were still at the church before everyone else and had to do laps around the block until we were told that the guests had arrived!


Car by Old 55 Limo Tours


It was extremely windy at the church and this photo was taken as I was getting out of the car. My veil actually ended up blowing completely off my head and Gino said he heard my squeal from inside the church and thought I’d fallen over (I’m notoriously clumsy!).


We chose the magnificent Chapel of St Michael the Archangel in the grounds of the Catholic Education Office in Leederville for our ceremony. It was a beautiful location and it looked stunning on the day.

Church 359

I walked down the aisle to “Lucky” by Colbie Caillat and Jason Mraz and it perfectly summed up exactly how I felt – lucky. Once the ceremony concluded we had “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher” by Jimmy Barnes play and “We Go Together” from the Grease Soundtrack played as we exited the church.


Smiles and tears 136

Picture says a thousand words

The ceremony was beautiful and we tried to include our friends and family where possible, including having a cousin looking after the music, my Grandma, brother and a friend of ours doing readings and having our Mothers doing a Candle Ceremony.


I love the way this captures me looking at my husband, like I’ve just realised I’m the luckiest girl in the world and he’s all mine!

Happiest girl in the world

Wiping my baby brothers tears Group shot


Gino worked with a jeweller for 6 months to design my engagement ring and I honestly wouldn’t change a single thing, I love it. Gino’s ring was made using the gold from one of his Nonno’s rings and the gold and a diamond from his Dad’s engagement ring. They have both passed away so it is very special to us.


We chose two beautiful locations for our ceremony and reception which meant we only had to stop once for photos along the way – which was good because by this stage it was raining! But they say “rain on your wedding day means no tears in your marriage”!

They say rain on your wedding day means no tears in your marriage

Luckily the weather cleared up as the day went on and the moody skies gave us some beautiful pictures and a rainbow!

Joe and Cathy, our photographers from Studio Galea, were such an integral part of our day. We “interviewed” quite a few photographers, but from the moment we first met with them they understood our vision. Personality was a huge factor in our decision as we knew we’d be spending a lot of time with them on the day! They had great ideas but were also receptive to any suggestions we had. We really enjoyed having them as part of our wedding.


Striking a pose!


Suits by Vavaggi



We got the photographer to take a photo of us holding the words “Thank” and “You” which we used on our Thank You cards.

Image used on our Thank You cards

We chose the Belvoir Homestead in Upper Swan for our reception venue. It’s a stunning venue with magnificent grounds, wonderful food, great service and special atmosphere. We entered the reception down the winding wooden staircase to “For Once In My Life” by Stevie Wonder.


The reception was really where we got to have some fun. Not only did we get to reinforce the peacock theme, but we also added individual touches throughout to make it more “us”. DJ Paul Stafford provided the fun atmosphere for everyone to enjoy. Gino made the centrepieces and we asked the reception venue to randomly place a card at one place setting at each table telling that lucky guest that they got to take home the centrepiece for that table. We were so surprised at how excited people were when they “won” them and it’s amazing now seeing them in the homes of our friends and family.

Table setup

Peacock table numbers by Simply FKJ on Etsy

We ordered a wooden sign from Etsy seller OffWoodlandLane that said “The Aiello Family, established 10 October 2010” which now hangs in our house.

Family sign

We tried to keep guests engaged and entertained and as a surprise hired magician James Sleight to amuse everyone during the canapés.

Magician entertaining my little brother

We also had a photobooth by Perth Photobooths, which was an absolute hit! There was only one person that didn’t get in there and we have so many happy and silly photos to look back on now. It also worked as an amazing bonbonierre – guests had great photos of themselves to take home and put on the fridge!





We had a “family tree” display set up with our parents and grandparents wedding photos. It was lovely for us to show everyone where we came from, and was a great surprise for the people in the photos to see their own wedding day and reminisce.

Collection of family wedding photos

We weren’t going to have a cake as we were already having dessert, but it was one tradition my Mum really wanted. We thought we’d go with a simple cake and a cake topper that was “us” – a mini version of Gino and I in a car (Gino is a mechanic). It was amazing how many people went crazy about the cake – the comments haven’t stopped! The top and bottom layers were fake (foam) and the centre layer is for us to keep and eat on our first wedding anniversary. We then had a kitchen cake made – a slab that was decorated basically and pre-cut and bagged ready for the reception.


Cake by Just Cakes and cake topper by Minikin Mania.

One of the best parts of the reception for me was the speeches. It was so touching to hear such heartfelt words come from those that we hold dearest. Hearing my Dad tell the room that from the moment he and Mum met Gino they knew he was the one for me, was so special, as was hearing Gino’s best man talk about him and their friendship. Each of my siblings got up and gave their own speech and welcomed Gino in their own way which meant so much to me, as did the speech our Mistress of Ceremonies (a close family friend) gave. Gino’s speech about our first “pre-date” was hilarious and it was so interesting to hear his view on how it happened! I am so happy that I have these on video as these moments are ones that we will treasure forever. Luckily, the whole memory was captured to perfection by the talented team at Launch Film Productions.


We put a lot of effort into selecting our suppliers and we honestly credit the success of our day down to their expertise, enthusiasm and effort. We tried to support small home based businesses and found that this meant we had really personalised service and it allowed us to build a great rapport with our vendors. We decided early on that we were hiring these people because they were experts in their field and therefore tried not to micromanage but rather trust in them and their skills. This ended up working wonderfully for us. We discovered them in a variety of places – we found our cake at a market stall at the beach and even found the invitation designer via Twitter, with the whole design process done exclusively via email (technology!).

We had an absolutely magical day that was filled with so much happiness and gave us so many memories to cherish. And the most important thing is that we are now husband and wife and about to enter a new chapter of our lives – and now as parents! We are expecting a baby and will have a six week old by our first wedding anniversary.


Ms Gingham says: Weddings are such a joyous occasion and what an amazing way to top it off with the newest member of their family due soon too! Double congratulations to Shae and Eugenio and thank you for sharing your beautiful wedding with us on Polka Dot Bride.

Shae describes herself as a bride who is “Wishing I could do it all again! Thoroughly enjoyed the entire process!”

Photos by Joseph Galea of Studio Galea

“We very briefly met at a mutual friend’s wedding back in 2005 but it wasn’t until 2007 that we ran into each other at the St Kilda Festival (Melbourne) late on a Sunday night while I was walking away from the bar and he was walking towards it to get a drink!

Jamie proposed on a cold July morning in Benalla at the Gliding Club of Victoria! Now… to explain why we were there I need to start at the beginning. We had decided to go for a drive one weekend to Bright (up in the Victorian mountains) as we like to get away on mini road trips on weekends. Jamie was up surprising early and suggested we get on the road as soon as we have breakfast as there was a few hours of driving ahead. I didn’t think anything of it as this was not unusual behaviour (for him to be up early – however it was a Saturday morning and I wanted to sleep in!!) We started driving and stopped at a small bakery for jam & scones and of course a coffee to warm ourselves up. While we were there Jamie said there was a friend of his that works as a flight instructor at one of the air fields close by and could we stop by to see if he was working? (Jamie has a Commercial Pilots Licence and has a love of flying which again was why this was not out of the ordinary!)

When we arrived he told me to stay in the car while he popped inside and I was more than happy to stay in the car drinking my coffee. Five minutes went by and he came out with a smile on his face telling me his friend wasn’t working BUT they have offered us a free flight in a Glider as they didn’t have any bookings that morning (a glider is an engineless plane that glides down to the ground, just google ‘Gliding Club of Victoria’) Anyway, to cut this story short, they all had me going that this was a free flight, yet there were at least 6 people all helping, being ever so lovely, taking photos for us while we were getting strapped in and ready for take off… they were going to a lot of effort – put it that way. Still I had no idea…

When we were all set to go, Jamie took off and then I did (we both had our own pilots with us in the aircraft). I was looking across at him in the air, waving as we looked down at the Victorian mountains and countryside. It was beautiful. The next minute I felt a tap on my shoulder and the pilot I was with, whose name was Gary, handed me a box he was asked to give me… Well, I think with the thrill of being in the air, then being given a little square box my heart skipped a thousand beats and I started crying!! (Happy tears of course!) I opened the box and yes, Gary was there to take a photo of me right in the action, tears and all!! Jamie kept looking over at me smiling and waving in the air and when we landed we ran up to each other and he lifted me up with a big hug and asked me to marry him.”

“So when was our wedding? May 13th 2010, in Central Park, New York City!

For us as a couple, when we decided on a small intimate wedding, we wanted to go somewhere that was unique and romantic, somewhere we could experience an amazing holiday with plenty of things to see and do. At the same time New York is very easy to legally get married, as opposed to many European countries which was why it was an easy choice for us in the end.

At the beginning of the wedding-planning process, we agreed that above all, we wanted our wedding day to honor our love.  We wanted to make sure we kept the day about our commitment to each other and about the love that we have for one another. We wanted the day to be joyous and stress-free!  We began by planning a traditional wedding, but it didn’t take long for us to realize that we had lost sight of our above-mentioned goals. It was then that we re-focused and decided that it would be best for us to have a small intimate ceremony.”

Hair by Anna Miller (my cousin)Head Stylist @ KOH Haircutters Yarraville phone  (03) 9689 5953
Make-Up –  Once Upon a Bride – phone (212) 353-2350 (New York)

“The day had arrived after a full on few days already in NYC!

Our wedding obviously had a modern fresh feel to it with Jamie and I having a quiet breakfast the morning before, then going our separate ways to start getting ready! The girls and I headed up to our Manhattan master suite overlooking Times Square which was amazing and the boys headed to the gym and went out for coffee before getting ready in another suite at the Hotel.

The wedding ceremony was just beautiful and more than I could have imagined. The weather had just changed and compared the last 4 days of rain and ice cold winds, the day was a steady 23 degrees and full of sunshine. We literally couldn’t believe our luck. Jamie and I were married ‘on the rocks’ at Hernshed Central Park at 1.00pm on Thursday May 13th 2010. My father walked me down the path! (instead of the aisle) amongst an array of flora and blooming spring flowers leading up to our spot. The ceremony was situated on one of the many lakes throughout Central Park which was surrounded by huge leafy trees and the NYC skyline. It was a magical place.
My Father gave me away and it was a very relaxed and stress free ceremony. We all laughed and smiled throughout our vows which was a traditional and civil ceremony.

Jamie and I chose Pachelbel in D to have playing when our ceremony began and soft classical music  played softly throughout while we said our vows.”

“I was not nervous at all; I was completely relaxed and ready for the day to begin. I was looking forward to enjoying the day with Jamie more than anything as the day had finally arrived and we were in the one of the most romantic cities in the world! However we always had in the back of my minds our close friends and family back home who could not be there and they were very much in our thoughts on the day.”

“One of our most memorable moments from the ceremony would have been when our celebrant (Rev. Annie Lawrence) decided to give us a warm New York congratulations. When she pronounced us husband and wife, we had a round of applause from all the onlookers as well as people in row boats on the lake to congratulate us. It was a feel good moment.”

“I wore a Collette Dinnigan fitted lace gown, hair piece from Brides of Melbourne, handmade veil from a small wedding boutique in South Yarra, , shoes from My Glass Slipper in NYC. I wore my grandmother’s eternity ring and also found a thin diamante bracelet in a little accessories shop on Fifth Ave the day before!
My cousin and my Mum set out on our wedding gown adventure and at the start couldn’t find anything!! Then as soon as we walked into Collette Dinnigan I could have worn everything she had in her collection! I walked out in this dress and both my Mum and cousin said “that’s the one” at the same time!
My dress traveled in a huge bag and dress cover from Collette Dinnigan, I was able to hang it up on the plane and only had to carry it between transfers – being lace it didn’t crease.”

Jamie wore a stunning Hugo Boss suit (shirt and tie), fitted and tailored by Bloomingdales in NYC, shoes from Gucci (161 Collins Street, Melbourne), cuff links from Cartier.

“Overall I enjoyed  planning our destination wedding very much. It was definitely challenging at times being so far away as well as time differences making it hard to speak to people via email or over the phone. As I didn’t know anyone else who had done this before I did struggle finding other peoples’ experiences and where they recommended getting married for a small group of guests. As NYC is so big, working out logistics of where to stay, how long it would take to get to the venue etc was also hard not having been there before. I suppose the biggest challenge was finding reliable people to deal with, when I hadn’t met them before, over the internet.

There were a few considerations we had when planning our overseas wedding:
– Getting everyone over there! We had 8 guests in total and a few that couldn’t attend so it was a very hard decision to go ahead with the wedding having a few close family members and friends that were unable to attend.
– Organising the wedding day/logistics – How long will it take from the Hotel? How long will it take to get to the reception from the venue? All these questions made it challenging to co-ordinate the day.
– Contingency plan for an outdoor garden ceremony, what do we do if it rains? Is there somewhere undercover?

– Working out how to transport my wedding dress and does Jamie take over his suit or does he buy one over there?

We didn’t hire a wedding planner. In regards to suppliers we were fortunate enough to have a contact that was able to recommend a few suppliers prior to us booking which was like gold! When we arrived in New York (4 days prior to the wedding day) we did visit the venue and met with suppliers.

We had fun and didn’t take it all too seriously! Jamie and I would do our research together, read plenty of books and have many late night discussions.
Obviously there was a little apprehension for both of us with the unknown.”

Sarah’s fur jacket was from Bloomingdales NYC.

“My flowers were arranged by a florist in Broadway – Peters Flowers who were very helpful and delivered to the hotel the morning of the wedding. I have always loved white roses so that was one of the easiest decisions I had to make! My Mother, Father and Jamie all wore a single white rose also. Our photographer was a lady by the name of Amber Johnson who was with us for the entire afternoon, she planned our whole itinerary from photos in Central Park to all over NYC giving us a variety of backdrops to create lasting memories on our wedding day. We hired a stretch Limousine for the day which was our mode of transport (EMJ Limousines). It’s difficult at the best of times to get through traffic in and around New York City.”

“As we were not catering for a large group of guests, we wanted a venue to have some kind of view, atmosphere and intimacy while we all dined together. We chose a Michelin star restaurant  – The River Café  located under the Brooklyn Bridge overlooking the Manhattan skyline which became more beautiful as the sun went down. However the biggest surprise of all was the arrangement of flowers throughout the restaurant, they were truly fairy like. I felt like a princess amongst a secret garden! We drank wine from the Nappa Valley region and chose from a 3 course set menu with the option for a mini chocolate Brooklyn Bridge creation for dessert! It was truly an amazing evening.”

” We spent the next few days after the wedding in New York doing our last minute shopping and sightseeing before heading north. We made our way up to Canada to explore the famous Rocky Mountains which included the town of Banff, Lake Louise and the iconic drive along the Icefields Parkway. Then to get completely off the beaten track, we headed up to British Columbia (close to the Alaskan boarder) to sail through the inside passage on a grizzly bear safari!
We were away for three and a half weeks in total.
Yes most definitely, for a couple that likes adventure, the outdoors and amazing scenery, Canada is a fantastic place to explore.”

“The best advice for our actual wedding day was – “enjoy YOUR day, and above all else have fun” these are the memories that stay in your mind forever. There is no use planning for this BIG day if you can’t enjoy it. Simple but true.

What tips and tricks would you give to other brides planning a destination wedding?
I would tell them to contact myself if they are planning a New York City wedding (Ed: see information below)! After going through the planning process and learning so much about what is required to set up your dream wedding for a small intimate group, I decided to set up my own NYC weddings company for other couples wanting to do the same thing. This takes all the guess work out of it for them and brides to be can tell me exactly how they envisage their special wedding day in New York City…

Let’s hear it for New York
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
There’s nothing you can’t do,
Now you’re in New York!!!
These streets will make you feel brand new,
the lights will inspire you,
Let’s hear it for New York, New York, New York!!

“The wedding was our dream come true.  All of our energy and focus was on one another. There were no distractions and no last minute seat juggling or family politics.  We were able to determine our schedule as we went along and we never felt rushed through the day. Choosing a place like New York was perfect not only because it is one of the most incredible cities in the world but also because legally it makes it very easy simple to say ‘I do’.

If anyone reading this is considering a small intimate wedding you won’t be disappointed. Make the day yours and stretch your imagination to make the day exactly how you envision it to be.  The memories you make that day will be with you forever.”

Ms Polka Dot says: What a delightful wedding this is! Sarah and Jamieson’s happiness shines out in every image, made all the more joyous by being in one of the most exciting cities in the world. Thank you Sarah and Jamieson for sharing your NYC wedding with us.

Sarah had such a lovely time having her wedding in NYC, that she has set up a business organizing destination weddings to NYC from Australia. Email her at [email protected]
so that you too can enjoy the excitement of traveling to New York for your wedding! Her new website is at

Photography by Amber Johnson

Reception images by Sarah’s father

Such a lovely wedding today! Karlie and Nick were married on Hyams Beach on the beautiful NSW South Coast on the 5th of November.  Attended by close family and friends they had their wedding reception at the Hyams Beach Café.  Photography by Nora Devai Photography

“My sister is married to Nick’s cousin and we first met at their wedding seven years ago. We were instantly attracted to each other. Nick came over from England for this wedding. After spending 2 amazing weeks together, he told me he wanted to come back to Australia to be with me. After 3 months of being apart, Nick arrived back in Oz after quitting his chef’s job and our loved blossomed from there. I always love telling people the story of how we met as people say its like a fairytale and it has been like a fairytale since the day we met

Our wonderful photographer Nora Devai did such an amazing job of perfectly capturing our day exactly how it was.  We could not be happier with how our wedding turned out and our photos really reflect this.

Thank you so much again Nora for making Nick and my day, and the whole experience just amazing..”

Karlie wore a gown from Bridal Factory Wetherill Park and the bouquets were styled by As A Whisper.

Karlie and Nick were married on Hyams Beach by celebrant Dallas McMaugh.

“We had a small and intimate wedding with 40 of our closest family and friends. We had guests come from England which where Nick’s family and his best man. The rest of the guests traveled from Sydney. Immediate family from both sides (Nick & I) traveled down to Hyams Beach the week before as we wanted to make it a holiday all together as one big family.

We chose Hyams Beach because we have fallen in love with the place since first visiting it on holidays. The week prior was full of fun and parties which included both the bucks party and hens, a Halloween party and a Melbourne cup party. Then finally the biggest party of the whole week -THE WEDDING!!!”

“We held our reception at Hyams Beach Cafe. The highlight of our night was seeing everyone enjoy the lolly buffet on offer (set up by Sugarcube). The guests were eager from the minute they walked into the reception to fill up their little boxes. The buzz in the room was incredible and to see guests go back to refill their boxes was so worth every part of the organisation process. Niky the owner of the company who supplied the lollies had gone above and beyond to add extra touches to the buffet by putting MR & MRS Gudgin on Nick’s and my boxes, which was a huge surprise to us on the night.”

Ms Polka Dot Says: What a stunning beach side wedding Karlie and Nick had! With the sweet touches like the soft pink bridesmaid’s gown, the chalkboard message, and delicious lolly buffet – I love how Karlie and Nick brought the fun of their personalities and added it to their wedding day! Thank you for sharing it with us Karlie and Nick!

Photography by Nora Devai Photography


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