Amber & Jack

Their fairytale began 7 years ago and in six short months, they exchanged vows at Jack’s home town of Castlemaine. Choosing to show off everything local, they enlisted the help of Will & Jac to plan their dream day. From the rustic, Australiana colour palette to going against the norm and choosing a gold, glittering dress, Amber and Jack enjoyed an unforgettable day with their family and friends. On hand to capture the sparkle and the meaningful moments was photographer Leo Farrell. Amber details their incredible day…

Earlier this year we were away camping up the Sapphire Coast in NSW. From Jervis Bay we drove to this town called Gerroa. Jack was faffing around googling the best beaches to visit and I was starting to get annoyed at him because I was hungry and he couldn’t make up his mind on where we’d go! As per usual, he found me a snack and I calmed down. We went for a swim in this beautiful and very cold ocean rock pool at a beach in the town over called Gerringong.

Whilst there we met a lovely older couple and Jack ignited a friendship with them instantly. After going for a swim, we took our esky down to the beach and sat for an hour or so and chatted. I didn’t realise at the time, but Jack was getting me to reflect on all the beaches we’d ever visited and weigh them up against each other. After confirming that Gerringong was by far the loveliest beach we’d ever been to, Jack suddenly got very serious and a bit misty eyed. Then it all clicked! The next thing I knew he was on one knee with a ring box.

I honestly didn’t really hear what he said as I was hysterically, ugly crying! However, I remember he had to confirm my answer was yes! Once I stopped crying, we asked two ladies walking past if they would take a photo of us.

I also found out after that he had wanted to do it in Jervis Bay originally, however he panicked and changed his mind because our campsite was terrible and smelt like a bin for the whole time!!! He also wanted to do it at the rock pool but we had befriended the older couple and he couldn’t. Ever the perfectionist, Jack got there in the end!

Jack and I are both very sentimental. The house and Castlemaine has been a place of many happy memories for us. As our day was about us becoming each others’ family, it just made sense to have it at Jack’s family home and the space and landscape served us perfectly for such a big party!

Jack’s dad dropped off a present from Jack in the morning to the house where I was getting ready. The present was a wooden box of “memories” and Jack had written down special memories from our 7 years together. In there was a beautiful note to me on my wedding day. It meant so much and was a very special memento to start the day with.

We were initially going to have the ceremony at the house too however we love Castlemaine and wanted to showcase the town as well. The gardens seemed like the perfect place to do this and they are always beautiful at this time of year. We also wanted to stage the event and the house just seemed like the perfect backdrop for the reception.

Our vibe for the wedding was rustic Australian bush, which was really a no brainer for us due to the house already being all of these things! We both love Australian native flowers and the bush and our reception venue really came pre-decorated with the natural landscape. It just seemed to make sense and fit perfectly.

My amazing dress was made by Elly Louise and took about 4 months. I had an image in my mind so my Dad sketched up what I wanted and even did a visual.
I always knew that I did not want to wear white as I like wearing colour in my everyday life. I wanted to make my wedding dress the best dress I will ever wear and that to me was a gold dress! I also thought that the gold colour would look excellent against the green and rustic backdrops.

I spent some time on Pinterest and Hello May and found a image of bridesmaids in a certain theme however with different dresses. This really appealed to me as my bridesmaids have really beautiful and different styles from each other and I wanted them to feel comfortable on the day and show their own personalities. I also wanted them to be able to wear them again. I gave them the colour palette and theme and they bought their own dresses and wore similar shoes. It worked out really well and looked fun and bright on the day which was great!

Marriage to us as a couple is absolute commitment to one another as partners but also as family. To be there for each other, have each others back and stand by each other through the highs and lows of life.

We tried wherever possible to go with local Castlemaine or central Victorian vendors for our wedding as we really wanted our wedding to paint a picture of the area and everything it has to offer. We also wanted the food and wine to be local and sustainable and support the local businesses where possible.

To choose a favourite vendor is a tough one as every vendor we worked with was amazing and we would highly recommend to anyone planning their big day! However, Will and Jac were up there with the best. Working with these lovely ladies was literally the best decision we made in regards to planning the day. Not only were they so lovely and made us feel at ease throughout the whole process, the girls at Will and Jac were very professional and managed the whole day seamlessly so neither ourselves or our families had to worry about a thing on the day.

Clare and Catherine supported us in the lead up to the wedding and were there for every question or concern we had – and also made sure that our guests and ourselves could enjoy the day. We could not recommend the girls highly enough!
And, Leo Farrell – Leo is an incredibly talented photographer and we instantly hit it off with Leo on a personal level and in regards to the sort of photos we wanted to tell the story of our day.

We had so many highlights, however despite the stress at times and the work involved, we are so glad we had the wedding at the house. It just made it so much more special and meaningful and the house looked amazing.
We don’t regret anything! Everything was absolutely perfect for us. We wouldn’t change a thing.

Our favourite detail of the day was our handmade cake topper of Jack and myself that my dad who is a an artist made for us! It was fun and made our cake feel extra special. The setting at the house was also a favourite of ours. All our hard work paid off and the house made for an amazing and warm venue!

Jack’s brother and best man dragged us away half way through the night and got us some food. We had a moment away together, sitting and looking over the party. It was a nice chance to catch up and just watch the reception in motion together. It all goes so quickly so it was really nice to have a moment to be present and take everything in.

Jack and I both love music and chose ‘Stand By Me’ which is a song we’ve always loved and the words resonated with us and what we want from our marriage!

The sandwich bar at the end of the reception is a long standing tradition at Jack’s family events so of course we had to include it on our day too!

Advice we got from another friend was pick the top 3 things you want to make really special and spend money on them! Plus if you’re having a wedding or party on a large property, hire Will & Jac immediately. Seriously, anyone doing a large at home property celebration, hiring an event coordinator to be there on the day to bring it all together and ensure that you and your family/friends will have a great stress free day is the best thing you can do.

Ms Zebra Says: We couldn’t be happier for you two – the biggest congratulations on starting this new chapter of your lives 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!


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Taro & Tanya’s romance was born at work for Tanya and Taro who chose an elegant, sophisticated black tie wedding in Melbourne for their nuptials. The dashing couple admit they wanted music to be a highlight of the day as they took to the dance floor with their friends and family! Filled with so much beauty from the incredible dress of the bride to the dapper suit worn by the groom, hints of rose and subtle pinks adorned the flowers and cake. Tanya shares the details of their glamorous day as Jerome Cole Photography captured the moments that matter!

I had four bridesmaids, my sister, two best friends and sister in law and Taro had four of his best mates (one of which is my brother in law). We also had my nieces and nephews as the page boys and flower girls.

My dress was simple, yet grand. I chose it because it made me feel incredibly special, and it felt completely me. Con Ilio the designer was amazing, the experience I received was like no other. I felt comfortable, excited and in safe hands. We took a chance and changed the fade out of the skirt from white to bone, and he nailed it! He made the dress to me, and could not have been more precise and thorough. He dressed me on the day, and made sure it was absolutely perfect.

For our flowers I chose long stemmed white roses. Simple yet elegant which was the overall theme. The reception flowers were a combination of variations of pink and white florals.

Taro chose to wear a Hugo Boss dark navy tailored tux – he chose to wear this as he wanted to look elegant and timeless, yet stand out from his groomsmen who wore classic all black tuxedos.

We had so many great vendors, but our stand out was definitely our celebrant, Lara Williams. It’s rare that you get the opportunity to reflect and talk about the ins and outs of your relationship to someone for such a long period of time. It can be confronting talking about your feelings, but I loved re-connecting with the why’s and casting my mind back to when we first met, and hearing about what qualities my partner loves and values most in me. It’s quite beautiful really.

I walked down the aisle to a twist on “Simply the best” by Tina Turner. Tobi Tobi played this live for us, they were brilliant!

Our ceremony was on the lawns at Garden’s House. They are stunning and we were surrounded by so much greenery, beautiful plants and grand trees. The venue had a House we could access in the instance it rained which was just as beautiful.

Our reception was at Alto – the high ceilings, grand glass windows, bar, balcony and modern vibe is what attracted us to this venue. It’s surrounded by beautiful iconic Melbourne city buildings and we loved the idea of having two long tables and sitting amongst our guests. Tevany was our wedding planner at ALTO, she was incredibly helpful and made this a fantastic experience for us.

We wanted our ceremony to feel heart felt, funny but not cheesy. We laughed and cried when reading our ceremony for the first time, it was perfect. This is exactly the reaction our guests had too, who did not stop raving about all of the above.

Our photographer was Jerome Cole – we chose him because of the beautiful statement photos he takes, he was so easy to deal with. Energetic, hilarious and made us feel so comfortable to be around and have as part of our special day.

We had a few DIY elements. These included the menu’s, seating chart and welcome sign – my best friend has access to brilliant fonts, so we designed our own and printed these off ourselves.

A few of our favourite moments from the day are difficult to choose from and we can’t name just one! The combination of getting ready, the ceremony, speeches and music.

It was really important for us to have great music. We feel music sets the scene at any event, so it was important we got this right. We had TobiTobi play for us live at our ceremony, and we had a DJ, a saxophone player and a rapper at the reception. They were brilliant!

We slow danced for around 30 seconds before the chorus kicked in, which is where our guests joined in. Our first dance was to “Sky full of stars – Coldplay”.

If we have any advice for future couples, it would be to enjoy every part of the day! It’s a celebration of your marriage with the people you love most, that’s all that matters.

Ms Zebra Says: We are sending these two divine love birds the biggest congratulations! All the best in this new chapter of your lives!


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.

  • MC
  • Steve Wallace (Bride's Brother)

Penny & Hugh

For a couple who were as relaxed as they were awesome, Penny and Hugh used the back streets of Melbourne to their fullest and in an ultra Melbourne ceremony and reception, the tall ceiling of Two Ton Max provided the backdrop. It’s no accident we’ve also featured this sensational wedding for our first week of The Suit Issue as we can’t look past the eye-catching jumpsuit that adorned Penny for the day. Luckily, they entrusted Sally of Tori and Sal Photography to capture the laughter, love and positive vibes! Bride Penny shares their day and all the moments in between.

We didn’t have a theme or a particular style for our wedding day. We just wanted to create a fun, relaxed atmosphere. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and we wanted the wedding to reflect that. Nothing over the top, nothing old-fashioned or traditional. We wanted lots of colour, beautiful lighting and amazing music.

I chose my jumpsuit from Georgia Young Couture. I only looked at two places and loved Georgia’s style immediately. Originally I was looking for a black dress because I just never imagined myself in a traditional, white dress. But when I tried on the jumpsuit I felt so comfortable and decided to go with it. I didn’t want to over think it. I found something that I loved, fitted well and felt extremely comfortable in.

When asked about the Groom’s attire, Hugh replied, I was doing a corporate wellbeing presentation for Politix and at the back of the room, they had a display of their new suits. I concluded my presentation by saying, “By the way, I’m getting married in two months and I haven’t got a suit, any chance you guys could help me out?”

We chose the wonderful florist, Little Lady Blooms who is based in Carlton. She was so easy to work with and did the most incredible job. We wanted the colour palette to be bold – dark reds, greens and purple and we were keen to have lots of native flowers. She completely nailed the brief. The bouquets were so stunning I wanted to hold mine the whole night!

Our bridal party was made up of, Jac, Em, Sal, Kirsty and the Groomsmen were Hugh’s brother Josh and friends Chris, Al, Tim and Elias!

We were lucky enough to have Sally Goodall from Tori & Sal. She was just the best. Such a pleasure to work with, so organised and most importantly, she takes incredible shots! It’s so hard to choose a favourite photo as Sal did such an exceptional job with the whole day! One of my favourite pictures is of Hugh and I on the dance floor. It’s blurred but you can see so much joy on our faces and it captured the energy and fun of the night.

We chose Two Ton Max because it was modern, it could fit the number of people we wanted and it also had a really cosy atmosphere. It was the perfect place for us.

We used an illustrator called Musings from the Moon to do our wedding invitations. We then used the same drawing of Hugh, Benji and myself on some of the signage on the day and it was one of my favourite details of the day.

We walked down the aisle together (along with our 2 year old son, Benji). Our good friend, Tom who is a musician, sung Can’t Help Falling In Love by Elvis with Hugh’s cousin James on piano. This was one of the most special parts of the whole wedding.

We wanted the ceremony to be quick, but also very heartfelt. We decided not to include any readings or extra formalities. We simply wanted to tell each other, in front of all our families and friends how much we loved each other.

We didn’t want it to be too serious, which is why it was so important for us to choose the right celebrant. When we met Lara we knew we had the perfect person to bring humour, light-heartedness and class to the ceremony. She did the most incredible job setting the tone for the whole night.

All of our vendors were outstanding. Our DJ Steve Lobo was so lovely and did an amazing job, and we were stoked with the bespoke arbour from The Arbourists. It was so fun and colourful.

We used wedding planners Will & Jac. Catherine and Claire were so delightful to work with and they made the whole process so seamless and fun. They are true wedding professionals and we would recommend them to anyone!

Neither of us are very good dancers so we decided to outsource the first dance to our friends who are professional dancers! We chose the song Ain’t Nobody by Felix Jaehn and started the dance together. Then we ducked into the hallway and our friends came out with masks of us on their faces and did the most hilariously over the top choreographed dance in our place.

We were so lucky to have Hugh’s brother, cousins and friend form a band for the night. They played around 8 songs and brought the house down.

When asked about any advice for future couples, Penny shares,

Don’t feel pressured to include things in your wedding that you don’t feel comfortable with. Do it your own way and don’t take it too seriously!

Ms Zebra Says: We are sending this fabulous couple the biggest of congratulations and well wishes for their lives together. We LOVED seeing this wedding in full and ogling that incredible jumpsuit!!

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!


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.