A colourful creation by Miss Ladybird Cakes

Polka Dot Bride sat down with our resident sweet-treat queens, Miss Ladybird Cakes, Dark Cherry and Bakes by Jean to chat about two of our favourite things – Colour & Cake.

Check out these stunning creations, using both subtle and boundary pushing colour techniques. I dare you not to drool.

Dark Cherry: 

What was the inspiration behind this colourful creation
DC: The theme for this cake was ‘boho elegance’ with a colour palette including oranges and burgundies. I included a little gold leaf detailing and golden sugar pearls so the sun would catch and make them shine.
What are the details of the design and the delicious flavours?
DC: The flavour of this cake was chocolate orange with layers of light and fluffy chocolate cake filled with layers of choc/orange ganache and covered in vanilla bean Swiss meringue buttercream. The design includes my love of juxtaposed styles and techniques with smooth sides topped with textured top edges, using the gold leaf to highlight the organic lines of the tier tops.
I love the little hints of blue that peek through in the buttercream palette. It includes a combination of fresh and preserved florals which pick up those elements of the colour palette that work nicely together, bright orange ranunculus teamed with burgundy cattails and preserved hydrangea with a few fresh roses as well.
As the theme was boho, I also created a little bamboo teepee structure to sit over the top of the cake!
Why do you love this cake?
DC: I love the simplicity of the overall design but the high level of textural detail. Plus, the flavour of choc/orange takes me back to my childhood where sucking the red coating off Jaffas was great fun!
Miss Ladybird Cakes:
What was the inspiration behind this colourful creation?
MLB: Adam and Rye got married in Ubud Bali and  had a small registry at Altar Electric organised, so they wanted something fun and eclectic to tie in with some tropical inspired foliage. Bringing the two events together.
What are the details of the design and the delicious flavours?
MLB: Three tier buttercream finish with layers of texture and gold hidden beneath sheer layers of white buttercream. Touches of gold leaf and decorated with tropical inspired foliage.
On Top: Citrus cake – Middle: Chocolate salted caramel – Bottom: Champagne strawberry
Why do you love this cake?
MLB: I love this cake because those sheer bits of buttercream reveal all this colourful fun happening underneath and no bit looks the same!
Bakes By Jean: 
Cakes by Bakes by Jean 

What was the inspiration behind these colourful creations?

Teal Cake: Shona, the bride knew that she loved colour and wanted an extra-ordinary cake!

Floral Cake: The bride Bonnie loves flowers. And with a sweet name like hers, she wanted floral but understated. A cake that made an impact but one that was also elegant.

What are the details of the designs &  delicious flavours?

Teal Cake: Pressed flowers from Kylie at Babylon Flowers and some spray painted gold. Chocolate Caramel with Honeycomb, Nuts About Nutella with Tim Tam chunks and Lemon Delicious with Biscuit crumbs and crushed Meringue pieces.

Floral Cake: The cake flavours were Caramel Delight, Full of Passion and PB ’n’ J with Peanut Brittle. All of that hidden inside this beautiful cake.

Why do you love these cakes?

Teal Cake: I love the bold orchids against the teal frosting of the cake.

Floral Cake: I love this cake so much. It was my first time using dried pressed flowers on cake. I sourced the Lavender from a friends garden and the Cornflower and Fern from my balcony. Which I then ironed to dry and pressed them. I was a bag of nerves! But the end result is beyond stunning.

Ms Zebra Says: These colourful creations not only look fab, but I’m sure taste sensational too! Thank you to our fabulous vendors for sharing!

When a photographer says they produce images that are relaxed, real and rad, you know you’re on to a winner. Fran Jorgensen of Fran Jorgensen Photography is all about chasing emotions and un-staged moments, and building connections with her couples. She wants them to feel as if they are transported back in time to their big days so they can feel all the feels again! Today we chat about what a typical day on the job looks like for Fran, how her background in family and lifestyle photography helps her in her wedding photography, and what stages of the wedding day she most likes to shoot.

Where are you based?
I am based in Victoria.

What are your favourite local spots to take wedding photos?
I just love the beach. I grew up in a city two hours away from the beach, so the beach has always been my happy place, in winter and summer, there is something about the ocean that I find soothing and it keeps me calm.

How long have you been a wedding photographer?
I have been a wedding photographer for three years but a lifestyle family photographer for five, my kids are now a bit older and that means that I can be away from them for longer periods of time.

How would you describe your photography style?
I am a sucker for emotions and wild laughs. I love connection and relaxed vibes, that sometimes can be hard to find in a wedding day. I work really hard to make my couples feel at ease and connected on the day. I want my couples to remember what the day felt like.

What sets you apart from other wedding photographers?
I have been told by my couples that my flexibility is a great bonus, sometimes plans change and we have to make do with what we have, I love to be challenged and create great images in common places, so just when something looks boring I think that with a different point of view or perspective it can be turned into a great image.

What’s a typical work day look like for you?
ALWAYS START WITH A COFFEE and most likely a coffee in my car while I drive at 5am for some ocean rowing training, winter and summer. The ocean is what keeps me going, and having a crew rowing as one while the sun rises is just an incredible feeling, even if some winter days we have to scrape the dew from our seats and I wonder why I do that to myself. I am back at home by 7am when everyone I starting to rise and the manic process of getting everyone to school on time starts. Once back from drop off I would catch up with socials and I go into my editing cave. I will emerge at around lunch time to have a break, and in the afternoon it will be all about content creation and blogging.

How early should a couple book you in?
The early bird catches the worm! Probably six months to a year in advance is ideal, it allows us to get to know each other better in the process. I am always thinking of how I can help my couples in the planning process.

How do you make a connection with your couples? Why is it so important?
To me photography is ALL ABOUT connection and storytelling. I believe that connection only comes when people are authentic but not only #authentic, more like when you are relaxed and in a happy place and you can see that everyone is letting their guards down, and the only way of doing that is when everyone is relaxed. This is exactly why I recommend having an engagement session, it doesn’t have to be corny, it’s a way for me to be able to get to know you and to know you story that way later on your wedding I am not a stranger that just showed up.

You also do family photography. Do you find that helps with your wedding photography, perhaps in making connections with people?
Family photography to me it’s like going to the gym, it’s for me a way to keep pushing my creativity, there is nothing like managing to connect with a two year old that just had a tantrum … one of the most challenging situations! Over the years, I have also learned that time seems to accelerate when you have little ones, some days seem to last forever but when you look back, they are only little for such a short time and photography is the only way I have found to try and keep them little for a little longer.

What are your favourite weddings to shoot?
MEANINGFUL weddings and weddings with a great story. I feel that we spend so much time thinking about the ins and outs and the logistics. It’s important to remember why we are doing this to start with and what are the challenges we have had to go through to get this far in our relationship.

Are there parts of the wedding day that stand out – that you particularly enjoy photographing?
I love photographing the first look, that moment when the couple sees each other for the first time on the day, the time seems to stop.

Are you available for destination weddings?
Yes please! I have just done an elopement in Greece and a wedding in France late last year. I am fluent in French and Spanish so anything I can do to help with the logistics I will!

Favourite place you’ve travelled for a wedding?
France and Chile, they are both part of my story so I have a soft spot for them.

Top three wedding venues?
I love beer so I will have to say a great brewery or distillery, my favourite for weddings are: Colonial Brewing Co, Stomping Ground Brewing Co, and The Craft and Co.

The best thing about shooting weddings is…
THE PARTY! I also love the moments before leaving for the ceremony, that’s when everything starts to sink in and where you can find great stories.

What’s something people would be surprised to know about wedding photographers?
That it can get very lonely! It’s great to have the flexibility and not being stuck to the 9 to 5 daily grind, but editing days can get very long. Over the years, I have been lucky enough to meet some amazing creatives in my area, and we have become some great friends.

When you’re not shooting weddings, where would we find you?
In my editing cave! Or if I am lucky enough, running near the beach or rowing!


Thank you Fran for letting us into your world and sharing your style and approach to wedding photography. Building connections is so important but you’re obviously a pro at this as your work really shows the love and happiness felt by your couples. To find out more about Fran Jorgensen Photography, head to their website or check them out on the Polka Dot Directory.

Headshot by Lives on Love Street

Image by Kyra Boyer via Loran & Simon’s Botanical Inspired City Wedding at Glasshaus Inside

It’s been a horror summer of bushfires for many towns across Australia, and it’s normal to feel helpless and perhaps even guilty if you’re busy planning your wedding day in the midst of such devastation. But the good news is there’s a way to give back – to any cause that’s close to your heart – and make it part of your celebrations. Asking for charity donations instead of gifts or giving to a charity in lieu of wedding favours is a really positive and meaningful way of making a difference on your special day.

Here’s how to go about giving back on your wedding day:

Step One: Choose a charity you’re both passionate about and proud to support. It may relate to health and finding a cure for illness, the environment, education, or social justice. Your choice of charity may be a very obvious decision or it may require discussion – whatever you choose, be true to yourselves and your shared values.

Step Two: Decide how you’d like to incorporate charity fundraising into your wedding day – would you like to encourage donations instead of gifts, or would you prefer to contribute to a charity in lieu of wedding favours. Either way, they are very thoughtful and generous gestures and your guests will likely see it that way too.

Charity donations in lieu of gifts

The best way to ask for a donation rather than a gift is by including this on your wedding invitations and your wedding website (if you have one). Keep the wording simple, for example: “Instead of gifts, we ask for your help in giving back on our wedding day. We would greatly appreciate a donation to our favourite charity…”. Make sure you note whether your chosen charity is tax deductible. You may decide to also include a more traditional gift registry option too, so that you’re giving your guests a choice.

Charity donations in lieu of wedding favours

This is becoming increasingly popular at weddings (and even engagement parties). Instead of giving out wedding favours or bonbonnieres, you’ll make a small donation per guest, and in return you’ll receive a card for each guest from your chosen charity, informing them you’ve made a donation in their honour.

Need inspiration?
Here are some of our great charities making a difference:

The Starlight Children’s Foundation, dedicated to helping sick kids, will supply you with a card and special pin, when you make a donation per guest, in lieu of wedding favours:

Starlight Wedding Favour

At The Australian Cancer Research Foundation, you’ll also receive a card to form part of your place settings, letting each guest know their wedding favour is a donation in their honour:

It’s a similar set up at Dementia Australia and anti-domestic violence organisation, White Ribbon Australia

The RSPCA has two options for fundraising on your wedding day. You may opt for wedding favours or alternatively, you can direct your guests to your own fundraising page.

If you register your wedding with Breast Cancer Network Australia, they will send you envelopes (to be sent to your guests as part of your invitations), asking them to make their own donation:

The Royal Flying Doctor Service allows you to build your own personal fundraising page, making it easy for your guests to donate:

There are also websites that will host your fundraising page, so all you have to do is choose a charity then provide your guests with a link to your page:

Finally, congratulations on your upcoming wedding and for considering celebrating your love by giving back!

Ms Zebra Says: We recently did this at our engagement party and LOVED it! It felt so nice to give back to those going through tough times, rather than piling up the gifts at home that let’s face it, we don’t really need!

About Melissa Polimeni Marriage Celebrant: As a celebrant, my job is getting to know couples and crafting memorable and engaging marriage ceremonies. I will treat your wedding day as I would my own special occasion – with joy, excitement, care and consideration, careful attention to detail and constant support.