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Image: Leo Farrell

Wedding dress vibes and styles have changed so much over the last few years. From higher necklines to princess gowns, to two-piece sets, to the bridal jumpsuit. It’s so refreshing to see more and more people dressing to reflect their personality and personal style. And for an increasing number of people – that means choosing to sparkle on their special day in sequins and beading. I know what you are thinking and I am going to stop you right there. Hear this now. Yes, you CAN pull off a sequin gown. Yes, it IS appropriate for your wedding style. Sparkles and sequins are definitely for the modern bride. The iconic sequin gown look has evolved, it has matured and it can be as classic and elegant, and as we already know it’s dramatic and playful.

Here are three arguments for going the full sparkle monty wedding gown.

1. SURPRISINGLY COMFORTABLE

It’s a common myth that sequin gowns are cumbersome to wear. These days, most sequin and beaded fabrics come on a lightweight backing such as tulle or silk georgette so they fall beautifully and don’t add extra weight. This means this look need not be reserved only for winter weddings. If you are going full length, your dress maker or retailer should advise you to consider a train and wrist loop and/or bustle to make it easy to walk and dance the night away.

Images: Leo Farrell

2. STYLES AND COLOURS APLENTY

Brides are spoilt for choice with bead and sequin combinations, i.e. just sequin, mirrored pieces, various sized sequins, graduating patterns with heavy fading and more.

And it’s not all about white, as we know more and more people are choosing to opt for colour for their big day. The popular colour choices range from white, ivory, gold, silver, bronze to black, but hey if you want ruby red or electric blue… your gown wish is my command.

Long sleeves are definitely back in and look fabulous in sparkle. Some brides also go with a shorter length sparkly gown for their second reception dress.

 

Images: Jaclyn Smith Photography

3. LESS IS OFTEN MORE

If you are too overwhelmed by a full sparkle wedding gown, then you can always select an element of your dress to sparkle instead. Ideas? How about a beaded or sequin bodice to accompany a plainer skirt, or a feature belt or a reveal sparkle skirt under a big tulle skirt that comes off for the reception. Boom.

Image: Lady Drewniak

TAKE NOTE, SPARKLES COME WITH A COST

As much as I am all for the more sparkle the better… It is best you do keep in mind that there is a considerable amount of work that goes into making beaded and sequin fabrics. This combined with the purchase or construction of a bespoke gown will mean that sparkles are certainly on the pricier side.

The sparkle wedding gown is timeless as sequin has been around forever. And it’s not going anywhere. It’s just such a joy to see people choosing to wear it on their special day. After all, it’s your day to shine.

Ms Floral Says: The boldness and elegance of a sparkly wedding gown sure does make it a showstopper!

About Elly Louise: Elly Louise  is a made to measure bridal dressmaker that aims to make every bride feel beautiful. It is a specialised service where each bride collaborates on her design to create all the elements of her dream dress, even if that is a combination of four dresses in one. The beauty of designing and having your dress made is that you get everything you want for your big day.

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!

Polka Dot Bride Shop

Zoe Pook Jewellery specialise in creating ethical and bespoke wedding and engagement rings that are truly stunning. Using conflict-free diamonds, precious gems and recycled or Fairtrade Gold, these quality pieces are one of a kind and a joy to design, according to Zoe and her team. Below, we chat to Zoe about the design process, what she loves about wedding jewellery, and the styles her clients tend to gravitate towards.

Where are you based?
I have two studios, one in Pitt Street in Sydney and one in my hometown of Cobargo on the NSW south coast.

Do you have a showroom?
Yes, in both places.

What about an online store?
Yes, we are currently expanding our website to include all the new pieces we have, watch this space 🙂


How long have you been a jeweller?
About 15 years now. I started when I was pregnant with my first daughter – not an ideal time to start a small business!

What do you love about making wedding jewellery in particular?
The stories. Each couple is unique and wants designs that suit them in whatever way that is.

What does a typical work day look like for you?
A bit of procrastination over coffee, then a glance at the jobs board spins me into work mode, some emails / designs / get to the bench / banter with my staff / lunch on the go / more of the same after lunch until I realise it’s time to go home.


What are your favourite materials to work with?
Yellow gold from a makers’ perspective, it’s lovely to work with. Rose gold for looks (but it’s a pain in the arse to work with…)

What should bridal couples bring along when designing a ring with you?
Just ideas – ideas on design / budget / if they want matching or not. Anything is fine – images / sketches / a description.

What’s the design process like?
Varied. Some people have a very clear idea others not so much, both are fine. We will chat about what you want then sketch up some designs for you to choose from. We back and forth a bit until the design is perfect and then get started making the piece.


How long does it usually take to create a ring?
From when the design is finalised, about six to eight weeks.

What have been some of your favourite designs over the past year?
A gorgeously romantic rose gold and sherry coloured zircon from Tanzania, it had a twisted band and ornate detail around the gem. A bad ass rough diamond split band with a stunning cognac coloured diamond from Australia.

Are there any particular styles your clients gravitate towards?
Different – not the run of the mill, even if it’s a slight twist on the traditional – there’s always something that makes it unique.


What styles and trends are you noticing in men’s wedding bands right now?
Colour – men are starting to discover yellow and rose gold more, they look great on the skin – so warm.

Best testimonial you’ve ever received?
“I cried when I saw the ring, you nailed it, I couldn’t be happier. I’ll be recommending you to everyone.”

Three things you love about your job?
Creativity, my staff, gems.


What sets you apart from other jewellers?
We are one of only three jewellers in all of Australia who are licensed to use Fairtrade Gold. We ask the questions from our suppliers that our clients want to know in regards to sourcing.

When you’re not making jewellery, we’d find you…
Rebuilding our farm on the south coast after the fires…

Thank you so much for sharing your story and your incredibly beautiful work with us, Zoe! To find out more about Zoe Pook Jewellery, head to the Zoe Pook Jewellery website or check them out on the Polka Dot Directory.

All images via Zoe Pook Jewellery

Fluffy and Soft Whites

Image: Clarity Photography / Venue: Dryridge Estate / Wedding Couple: Georgie and Trent / Florist: Blue Mountains Floral Designs

I personally always avoided the white wedding. Starchy white chairs and chiffon was a scar tissue from the 90s on a stylist’s inspiration, especially in the earthy Blue Mountains.
However, white is making an emergence, with no sign of stepping back anytime soon. This time around the stark starchy whites have been kept in the closet to reveal a romantic, soft, organic and classic approach to styling.

Think beautiful white cross back chairs, white cushions softening natural furnishings and beautiful classic white florals on mass, with structural and purposeful floral styling.

These days, white is used to soften the silver gum landscape of the Blue Mountains, giving it a fresh and clean life, and I’m totally onboard.

Drink Stations

Image: Ona Janssen / Florist: Botanica Bird / Venue: Waldara

Drink stations and whisky bars are making a comeback!! A beautifully styled drink station is perfect for those who want to make the most out of their wedding styling budget, whilst serving up the goods to your guests.

Big, bright drink dispensers filled with delicious drinks (don’t forget the cucumber water on hot days), beautiful glassware and big buckets of beers.
Later in the evening, whiskey decanters twinkle in the candlelight, with ice buckets and tongs.

Drink stations are not only offer a place for beautiful styling, but are interactive and an experience guests don’t have the pleasure of every day!

These days we need to keep COVID in check, so having a bar person with an RSA to support with pouring and serving is a good idea.

Dried and Natural

Image: Lauren Elyse Photography / Shot for Blue Mountains Love Magazine / Venue: Dantosa Retreat / Florist: Blue Mountains Floral Designs

Natural tones are here to stay. With the trend originating in the beachy locations using large leaf dried palms and grasses styled against natural furnishings made from timber and wicker, this trend shows no signs of dwindling soon.

Brides are asking for soft furnishings in  natural linens and warm earthy tones of peach, blush, with a touch of white, to blend, rather than contrast with the dried palms, grasses and florals.

Though we do ask in the Blue Mountains to give some very careful thought to ensuring your florist is aware of the noxious weeds, so that your wedding is a distant memory in the future for all the good vibes, and not what was left behind in a sea of weeded seed pods in our precious heritage listed national park.

Colour Me a Rainbow

Fun loving and fancy-free couples are opting for colour, and lots of it! Bright bold blooms, contrasting coloured candle and glassware and beautiful bright furnishings.

These couples aren’t shy when it comes to making an impact with their styling against our natural backdrop. Pinks, greens, yellows and corals are the trends in these colourful palettes, ensuring a warm and festive feel to their celebrations.

The Photo Opportunity

Photo booths are another piece making a comeback, but put away the kooky glasses and silly hats.

In 2021, clients are asking for back drops with beautiful florals, lights and loads of sass! The special event is ensuring these are photos to keep forever with an added touch of class by including beautiful furnishings and supporting the fun loving nature of their wedding celebration.

Ms Floral Says: Thank you so much for sharing these trends with us. I love that beautiful regions around Australia can inspire weddings anywhere!

About Nicole Bull of Penny Lane Studio: With a career of 22 years born in a city of bright lights and beautiful events, Nicole Bull opened Penny Lane Studio on settling in the beautiful the Blue Mountains, NSW to support couples with a platter of beautiful quality decor + furniture and a super relaxed approach to event design and styling for their weddings + celebrations.With a team of experienced event professionals to support with execution, you can call on Nicole for the full bespoke design, styling and installation experience, or simply to hire from Penny Lane Studio’s range of beautiful props and decor.