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Styling by Form over Function

I recently spent the day walking around one of the most gorgeous parts of Sydney looking at reception venues for our lovely Polka Dot Bride readers.  On The Trippas White Open Day, I popped into The Mint on Macquarie Street, then I headed down to The Pavilion (which is opposite the Art Gallery of New South Wales) and the Botanic Gardens Restaurant, which is nestled amongst the treetops in the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens.

If you’re a city person at heart, you might want to consider having your reception at one of these stunning venues. Here’s a little taste of each…

The Mint – 10 Macquarie St, Sydney

You’ll love The Mint if:

  • You like options
  • You’re after loads of character
  • You want something just a little bit different

The best thing about The Mint is that they can accommodate for a large reception (100 sit-down or 250 cocktail) in their glass auditorium that looks out onto a sandstone courtyard. There’s also a raised grass area where you can have your service. A separate bar adjoins the glass auditorium and it can be turned into a dance floor if you wish.

They also accommodates for smaller receptions upstairs in the Mint Café. You have a few options up here. You can dine alfresco on the verandah with up to 60 guests, or hold an intimate dinner in the dining room with up to 30 guests. You can also combine those two options and have a cocktail style affair with up to 100 guests.

Our Tip
For the courtyard and glass auditorium reception – hold it on a Saturday night so everyone can have a boogie on the dance floor and sip wine under the stars.

For the intimate dining experience – a lunch or dinner works here (there are packages for both) and make sure you soak up some sun on the front or back verandah.

The Pavilion – 1 Art Gallery Road, The Domain, Sydney

You’ll love The Pavilion if:

  • You’re a laidback couple
  • You like clean, bright spaces
  • You think simplicity is best

When you walk into the Pavilion, you’re hit with a fresh, light and airy vibe. It’s a circular room with a terrace attached that looks out onto the park. The great thing about this venue is that you can make it as formal or as casual as you want. Its style is modern and neutral, so you can really make the space your own with your wedding’s theme and/or colours.

There are sit-down and cocktail options and either will appeal to everyone’s inner foodie. They haven’t forgotten the kids either and there are some good meal options for them as well. For sit-down you can have up to 160 guests and for cocktail you can have up to 250.

Our Tip
You can have a breakfast reception here – the circular room would look amazing filled with the morning light. Also, if you’re after a relaxed feel, go with the canapés and cocktails because this place is perfect for it.

Botanic Gardens Restaurant – Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney

You’ll love the Botanic Gardens Restaurant if:

  • You’re after a fantastic view
  • Your style is contemporary
  • You want a private oasis for you and your guests

If you love tree houses, tropical holidays and beautiful gardens, then you must have a look at the Botanic Gardens Restaurant. It overlooks a tranquil pond and you really feel secluded standing up on the balcony amongst trees. Inside, it’s very contemporary and it’s a spectacular place if you want your reception to have that chilled out, city style that Sydney is famous for.

Like The Mint and The Pavilion, there are sit-down and cocktail options. For sit-down you can have up to 145 guests with a dance floor and with cocktail you can have up to 250. They offer some great deals too – there are special winter discounts and they also offer a complimentary lunch for the couple to celebrate their first wedding anniversary.

Our Tip
Embrace the tranquility of the area and hold your wedding on the nearby lawns or in one of the themed gardens. This will also make for a quick trip back to the venue to continue your celebrations.

I absolutely love getting to know industry professionals- I am incredibly blessed to work with such talented people every single day!

This video showed up in my reader today and I wanted to share it with you. Not because of the fantastic singing (though that is a plus on a cold Tuesday!) But because of the fun behind the scenes aspect! A smile and a laugh provides the perfect insight into the personalities of two fun loving photographers.

Video is a pretty powerful tool in blogging, I can’t wait to share more videos with you soon!

Here’s Julian (of Kariz-Matik Photography who we featured on Polka Dot Bride Monday) and Steven of Steven Elmer Photography.

Kariz-Matik & Steven Elmer Photography from Julian Beattie on Vimeo.

Amsale scores big brownie points with me because their dresses are elegant, sophisticated and timeless. “Twenty years after the wedding, I want a bride to be able to look at her pictures and be as happy with the way she looked as she was on her wedding day,” says designer Amsale Aberra.

It was a cold Thursday night when I was lucky enough to see the Amsale (pronounced Ahm-sah’-leh) collection at Angela Wilson’s New York Bridal Gala. These beautiful bridal gowns, little white dresses and bridesmaid dresses are now available to Aussie brides thanks to Angela.  It was a fun night – sipping on bubbles, eating polka dot cake (a stunner by Faye Cahill) and looking at a bridal collection that really has something to offer everyone. What a tough job!

As the models paraded down the catwalk, it was obvious that these dresses are comfortable to wear. Most of the designs are floaty and feminine, but even the more-fitted of the collection don’t cling to the body – they skim and give shape. While I was watching them go by, I could imagine most of the bridal gowns and bridesmaids dresses working in a variety of different weddings: from formal church ceremonies, to an informal garden wedding or a laid-back beach affair.

First up were the bridesmaids, featuring a palette of Amsale’s favourite colours: deep reds and greens, violets and soft pinks. Perfect for Spring and Summer weddings, especially with the chiffon material and the oh-so-pretty floral detail that features on some of the designs. The majority were floor-length numbers (with a slight Romanesque feel) which some bridesmaids might have trouble wearing again. However, the short styles were gems and could fast become their new cocktail or even out-to-dinner favourite.

The little white dresses were next up. They are perfect for the anti-brides out there or for those brides who simply don’t want to wear a more traditional gown. Again, there was a range of styles here – from the more corporate, courthouse look to softer designs with lace, bows and A-line skirts.

The real stars of the show though were the bridal gowns.  They truly encapsulate Amsale’s understated and classic style.  What’s great about these gowns is that they will most likely look amazing on any body type and also with or without a veil. This collection also offers more than strapless gowns and has a variety of strappy dresses (ruffle halter-necks, spaghetti and one-shoulder). Another plus is that the hems on the bridal gowns glide nicely just above the ground and the skirts didn’t appear to be heavy as the models were able to pose and move swiftly with ease.

After eating my last piece of polka dot cake (yum!), I hurried home to type up all my thoughts for you, dear readers, because I think lots of you will appreciate the beautiful simplicity of this collection.

Note from Ms Polka Dot : Ms Floral has come on board as our Sydney features editor, what do you think? Can we convince her to cover more fantastic events for us? On that note, we’re opening up our guest contributors feature soon so stay tuned and get your words ready!

Photos by gm photographics