“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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Nine months to plan a wedding – easy we think – mainly because we knew what we wanted AND well… I am organised and super bossy! We wanted something fresh, bright, vintage, and cute, with an element of birds – a theme that would flow on from the vibe of our Engagement Party. Yellow, being our joint favourite colour, would be combined with grey and white. We had our hearts set on getting married beach side at sundown, a reminder of when we met!

Over a month we threw up ideas of getting married in Bali or the Whitsundays, but with family needing to travel from London, Spain and Adelaide and Queensland… we decided on Melbourne.  We had one venue in mind: The Harbour Room, at the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron in St Kilda (Victoria) and they’ve been fabulous to deal with. We fell in love with the plan for a rooftop ceremony and then the reception downstairs!

Harbour Room View

Image by Lauren and Olly

The Harbour Room View! It was Venue love at first sight!

Lauren Harbour Room Excitement!

Image by Lauren and Olly

Olly busting me twirling with excitement in the venue… can you see that view?!

I will not avoid mentioning straight away, the stress of the logistics of this wedding were simply overwhelming at times. I also often wondered ‘why do weddings bring out the worst in people before the good?’. The main issue we have faced was the ‘feedback’ (a word I place in inverted commas with much sarcasm) that we had on our decision to not have children under 11 years of age attend the ceremony or reception. I must stress to all Brides; everyone will have an opinion, but at the end of the day, you know you are planning rationally and not selfishly and that is all that should matter in the end.

Weddings with so many guests traveling long distances to attend,  too seem like an impossible task (we simply couldn’t afford 2 weddings!). I assume this is the same issue that organising a destination wedding would have, so I feel for the brides out there going through that process also!

We decided to email all traveling guests a ‘save the date’ and our wedding website that I created, 8 months out, to give them time to decline without pressure. Invites were sent earlier than the norm, 4 months out in fact. The plan worked and logistically things have gone very smoothly. Initially we thought 120 guests, but we now have 90. Perfect.

An example of our wedding invite suite… where the theme-ing ideas began – from Etsy store Inviting Moments!

L&O RSVP Front Cover

The bridal party was an easy choice; Olly would have Tom and Dominic his triplet brothers (standby for photos in my next post to see if YOU can tell them apart!) and I would have Jane and Sharon my two best friends. I would also have my two sisters, Eden, 15, as junior bridesmaid and Taylor, 11, as flower girl.

Now it was time to start spending! This leads me to confess… I am now addicted to “Etsy”. Etsy has provided me with the save the date, invites, menus, thumbprint guest tree, bridesmaid dresses, my hair piece, bridesmaids’ earrings (from Venice), hair clips for the girls, pom poms for above the dance floor, ‘fun’ cufflinks for the groomsmen and more! I won’t assume all Polkadot Brides know of Etsy… if you don’t, you need to – ASAP!

The girls are wearing a grey silk knee length dress, with yellow accessories. The boys are all in grey, with white shirts and tan accessories. Olly’s suit is a ‘concrete’ grey and his brother’s suits are ‘ash’ grey. I am wearing an ivory Allure Bridal gown with a simple train and beading on the  lower bust and straps. I decided against a veil (beachside & veils in my mind spell lipstick disaster) – instead I have a beaded hair piece which will adorn a soft curl bob hairstyle, a la Charlize Theron. The venue, the bridal party and I would be engulfed with beautiful vintage inspired flowers in white and yellow designed by our most talented friend and florist Kate Hill.

A snippet of our look book – without giving any bride secrets away!

L&OWedding LookBook

Grey dress from YongS, birdcage (image from Lauren), bouquet via Prima Donna Bride, Earrings from Etsy seller Betsy, Thumb print tree from Inviting Moments, dove cake topper from Magical Day, pom poms from PartyPoms, image from Erin Hearts Court via Once Wed

Throughout the planning my mind constantly wondered and I felt slightly panicked… why?… Olly is English, his 12 month working visa expires 3 weeks after our wedding. I hoped with all my heart the government will let us live together here in our home. Our honeymoon – well sadly it can only be set and organised when we have the Visa issues behind us (for that reason we decided on a Flight Centre Gift Registry, so we’d have the ability to use it to be together no matter what the outcome).

Olly and I have loved organising the wedding, we knew what we wanted and agreed on EVERYTHING! Olly became so excited about the day, hardly believing how fast he got dressed to come with me to pick up bridesmaid shoes, or how he clapped his hands in excitement after our art and craft night making our entrance sign! The wedding planning bonded us like I hadn’t imagined ever possible (that said we haven’t done the seating arrangements or picked our music play lists yet!)

We have decided to remain positive with April the 15th fast approaching, in our minds ~everything happens for a reason~

Ms Polka Dot says: Don’t you just love this pretty colour scheme of grey and yellow? So elegant and it will pick up the colours of their wished for sunset wedding. Less than a month until the wedding now so we send our warm wishes to Lauren and Olly for a wonderful wedding day. Thank you for sharing these snippets of your wedding planning journey with us!

Lauren says: I’m a 28 year old, Melbournite. Originally from Queensland, spent 11 years in Adelaide on the way to Melbourne. Engaged to an Englishman and in the process of starting a life together and planning a wedding!