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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!

Lolly & Olly Engagement by Andy McFeate

If one is allowed, I have to confess I am a ‘fan’ of my own love story.  After years single and despising anyone that said to me “when you know you just know!”. I smirk to know that my wise old friends were dare I say it… ( ooh here goes the word I rarely say) “right”!

Girlfriends Cerryn, Emma and I were on a trip around Cambodia. It was the 14th August, 2009 and our last night in the quiet beachside town of Sihanoukville. Sadly Emma was sick in bed, so Cerryn and I decided to head out. Much later that evening at ‘The Dolphin Shack’ I had decided the bar guy was amazing. He was entertaining, friendly and had the cutest English accent. What wasn’t to like!

Lolly & Olly Engagement by Andy McFeate

A few hours on, I made my move, only to quickly realise that he wasn’t the most amazing bartender that was everywhere… he was in fact a twin (correctly speaking a triplet! – the other was still in London). It was at that point I sobered up and saw two men, seemingly identical only 8 metres from one another. Oops! It was at this moment I was told I was talking to Tom… when in fact it was Oliver that I had my eye on. Why had Cerryn and I not noticed there were two? The beer perhaps? Awkward! Needless to say, Tom and I giggled and parted ways and I headed back to the bar. This time… I got the right man, Oliver.

Olly, as I found out he preferred to be called, and I spent the rest of the night together, talking until the sun came up and listening to my music. He wrote my name and the words ‘Bon Iver: Skinny Love’ (It was the song we’d listened to all morning) in his notebook – we hoped Facebook would reconnect us one-day.

Lolly & Olly Engagement by Andy McFeate

Lolly & Olly Engagement by Andy McFeate

Lolly & Olly Engagement by Andy McFeate

Olly and Tom’s story: They had been backpacking for 6 months and they were planning on heading to Australia in November and then onto New Zealand before heading back to London.

I was happily home, I knew in the back of my mind Olly was headed my way. I ‘tracked’ his footsteps on Facebook. Yes ‘tracked’. I know what you are thinking… No no, it’s not ‘stalking’ *wink*. We emailed almost daily, I lived to get to work every day to check my email, a heart pumping rush of excitement I can’t explain.

Olly arrived in Melbourne on the 3rd of January, 2010. He only had three days in Melbourne! We made sure we spent every waking hour together. It was in one word ‘perfect’. We laughed, we smiled, we fought (yes on day three!), we cuddled – he was the puzzle piece I was missing.

Lolly & Olly Engagement by Andy McFeate

Lolly & Olly Engagement by Andy McFeate

Sadly Olly left for New Zealand on the 5th January. It was his plan after all… I was quietly devastated. We spoke everyday on the phone and a month slowly passed. Olly then decided it was time to come back to me; he parted ways with Tom, changing their entire plan. I was sad for Tom but selfishly ecstatic!

Olly could only stay one month, as he had a return flight home. It was one of the best months of my life and we knew that “this was it” and plans for our future started to form. Olly was to return to England and I would go to visit in three weeks time (a trip that was already planned!). I truly believe everything happens for a reason!

After a great but again brief few days in London meeting friends and family, we took off to Spain and Italy to continue our adventure. Close to a month side by side, it was like a honeymoon. Olly called it our “Jammy-Moon”. (“Jammy” is London slang for “Lucky”). A week into the trip whilst we were in Barcelona, Olly bought a temporary engagement ring – I had kind of joked him into it; not thinking he was serious! On April 15th, 2010 and honestly to my complete surprise, he got down on one knee on a gondola in Venice and asked me to be his wife. I was gob smacked and beyond words. Two things that rarely happen to me!

Sadly AGAIN we had to part ways, Olly had decided he was going to wrap up life in England as he knew it. We were to be married and live together. On May 3rd, 2010 he arrived in Australia. We had an engagement party in Melbourne shortly after his arrival!

Lolly & Olly Engagement by Andy McFeate

Lolly & Olly Engagement by Andy McFeate

Lolly & Olly Engagement by Andy McFeate

Speed forward 9 months… wedding planning is underway – THE DATE: April 15th, 2011! (Yes a year to the date he proposed!)

Ms Polka Dot says: What a lovely story! All around the world (well, almost!) with a very happy ending! Thank you Lauren and Olly for sharing your engagement story with us!

Lauren tells us: I am a 28 year old, Melbournite. Originally from Queensland, I 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!

Photography by Andy MacFeate – Red Shandy Designs (who happens to also be my best friend/bridesmaid’s husband!)