Alice & Cal’s Classic & Elegant Garden Wedding

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Alice & Cal

Wanting a relaxed and joyful wedding day, Alice and Cal chose the Royal Botanic Gardens for their ceremony. With the gardens as a starting point, the bride and groom then chose sweet and rustic florals and botanic themed styling to put together a beautiful celebration! Little Hurricane Photography captured every detail.

The bride and groom met through mutual friends, sharing, ”To make sure we didn’t miss our opportunity to cross paths again, the wonders (and algorithms) of eHarmony!” Cal spent time designing Alice’s engagement ring, saying,”We based the design on an art deco vintage ring I knew Alice liked, and I was pretty excited when it arrived. That night I asked Alice to help me in the garage where I was working on my racecar. I had her hold something in the car as I secretly put on a playlist and climbed under the car. When “Cockatoo, Malibu” from the Muppets soundtrack came on, I popped my hand up through the door presenting the ring, and asked if she’d marry me! Once she finished screaming in delight I pulled the champers from a box strategically placed in the car and popped it in celebration!”

Alice handmade her stunning gown. She shares, ”After working for a couture bridal label previously I never thought I’d make my own dress knowing how much it involved! But when it came to finding exactly what I wanted I made the decision to make it myself with the help of a lady I worked with (a huge thank you Branka!) I did a lot of research to create a long sleeve lace embellished tulle bodice with a detachable silk chiffon skirt, that I changed over to a shorter tulle skirt for dancing later at the reception. I sourced three different embroidered laces and used these to cut, place and individually hand sew each piece to create the design I envisioned. It actually made the whole experience even more special seeing it come to life from a flat sketch, to calico toiles to get the fit right and into the actual gown. It is something I will treasure and hope will be a family heirloom for years to come.” The bride also made their flower girl’s dress, with the same spotted tulle and appliqued lace flowers. Cal wore a classic white winged collar shirt with a black Country Road suit and a black bow tie. Alice bought him a pair of cufflinks with cog parts set in resin as a nod to his passion for engineering.

With the garden surrounding them, Alice and Cal planned their ceremony to be relaxed, yet heartfelt. They share, ”We wanted to share and enjoy the moment with our closest family and friends. Our 4 year old niece Niovi walked down the aisle carrying our weddings bands tied into a bird’s nest that Jeannine (Callum’s Mother) had carefully decorated with paper flowers and ribbon. These were then passed around to be blessed by everyone. Callum’s Uncle Ashley read a passage from ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ and two close friends Amy and Athina read ‘Union’ by Robert Fulgham which expressed our views on marriage. Our celebrant did a wonderful job of weaving in our story to the ceremony to make it unique to us.” The bride was walked down the aisle by her Father to ‘Magic’ by Coldplay, while the bride and groom’s Mother’s were asked to be witnesses during the ceremony.

Using Glasshaus as both their florist and reception venue, Alice was thrilled with their creativity. She tells, ”I took an inspiration image of a trailing bouquet to our florist and entrusted them to source and use the most seasonally appropriate flowers to achieve the look, including olive leaves, jasmine, roses and hydrangeas. For the bridesmaids bouquets we incorporated some lavender hydrangeas and sea holly to compliment the colour of the groomsmen’s shirts.”

Having Kristin from Little Hurricane Photography come to their engagement party to take some photos sealed the deal for the bride and groom! They share, ”We initially got her to do a one hour shoot for us at our engagement BBQ and she was so lovely! We connected with Kristin straight away. She promised less images than another photographer we had met, but we felt quality was much more important than quantity. She wasn’t formulaic in her approach and we liked her fly on the wall style, capturing the day as it happened and with not too many posed shots.”

Choosing the Royal Botanic Gardens, Blakes Feast for their ceremony set the tone, with Alice telling, ”We have always loved the botanical gardens! That started off the idea of a garden theme, then our choice of venue for the reception also reflected this and it naturally fitted in well with the floral motif stationary, wooden tree place holders and Alice’s floral dress. We did a lot of research online before going to Glasshaus Inside, but it was the only reception venue we looked at in person, once we saw it we knew this was the place. It is a 1920s industrial warehouse that operates as a nursery and florist during the day. The advantage of all the flowers and plants is that it doesn’t require too much more decoration, it already has so much!”

Happy to support a local business, the bride and groom chose The Farm Cafe to cater their reception. They share, ”They made the process of planning a wedding very easy as they offered event styling, catering and bar staff for the day. Our event manager went above and beyond to not only organise furniture for the reception, but also our ceremony which otherwise she was not connected to as it was booked through a different vendor. It was also great that she made the effort to come out with us and visit Glasshaus, bringing the chef who would be creating our menu to see the space.”

Getting a little bit crafty, Alice and Cal made CD’s for their friends and family. They tell, ”We made CD’s for our guests of our favourite songs, including what we walked down the aisle to, our first dance as well as a few fun hits. The CD sleeves were made by Etsy store ‘A lil bit Different’ who also made the name place cards, bar and wishing well signs all to match into the garden theme with a floral motif.”

Adding a lot of heartfelt touches to their day, the couple set up family photos of their grandparents and parents. They share, ”This made for a great talking point (as well as pretty props). Alice’s sister Sophie made their late Grandma Dolly’s shortbread from her recipe for guests to help themselves to with tea and coffee, and Callum’s 89 year old Grandad Warren flew over from New Zealand to meet Alice for the first time. The speeches were an amazing part of the day. We had 4 bridesmaids and 4 groomsmen, they all said a few words each. One of our bridesmaids Emer found a hilarious book from the op shop ‘Wedding Etiquette for all denominations’ published in the 1960s and she recounted to us a few key points! Sophie also quoted a favourite childhood book of theirs ‘Little Women’ when Amy said to Meg ‘You don’t need scores of suitors…you only need one if he’s the right one.’ As she welcomed Callum into our family as her Brother a few tears were shed.”

The newlyweds had their first dance to ‘Unchained Melody’ by The Righteous Brothers. Alice shares, ”We didn’t rehearse and just enjoyed the moment, some of our favourite photos of the day are from our first dance, we just look so in love and happy. At the reception a hot gin punch was served up in blue and white teacups,  everyone thought it was going to be a very sober night, why was everyone drinking tea already?! But it wasn’t long before people were trying sips of other people’s ‘gin tea’ and then dashing to the bar to get their own. The punch ran out a couple of times and the bar staff quickly made more!”

Thank you to our gorgeous bride and groom for sharing your stunning wedding day, and congratulations! Thank you also to Little Hurricane Photography for your beautiful images!

Photographer: Little Hurricane Photography / Bride's Dress: Handmade by the bride / Bride's Shoes: Billy Ella via Anthropologie / Bridesmaid Dresses: Asos / Groom's Attire: Country Road / Makeup Artist: Jessica Schifferle / Flowers: Glasshaus / Ceremony Venue: Royal Botanic Gardens, Blakes Feast / Ceremony Officiant: Suzanne Midolo / Reception Venue: Glasshaus Inside / Catering: The Farm Cafe / Wedding Cake: Zephyr & Bloom Cakes / Cake Topper: Foote & Flame / Rentals: The Small Things Co.
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Friday Roundup

by | Blog News, Bride


Photo by Oleg Breslavtsev  via Evgeniy and Eugenia’s Sunset Bali Elopement

Happy Friday Dotties! We are a little sad to say farewell as we celebrate our last working day of the year around these parts! We’re taking a little break to rest up for 2019 and have spent months planning content to go live while we’re off enjoying the sunshine. We do want to take a moment though and thank you for all for your support throughout 2018. It’s been such a big year and we have been thankful for every visit, every comment, every like, every pin. Because it’s you that give us the greatest joy in doing what we do.

So for the last Friday Roundup of the year, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite posts across the Polka Blogs (and a little festive fun!) so let’s dive in!

We’re giving away a prize pack for The Summer Issue valued at over $350! Enter here!

Best of Polka Dot Honeymoons 2018

Top Polka Dot Wisdom Posts 2018

Best of Polka Dot Groom 2018

All the top posts of Polka Dot Made for 2018

Top 10 posts for Polka Dot Weddings in 2018

Whip up Fred & Ginger Catering’s Pomegranate Saketini this Christmas

A little festive charm with Ms Honeycomb’s gingerbread favour and wishing tree tutorial

All the gorgeousness in this Bali sunset elopement

And with the December vibes in our minds, we’re handing it over to the crew at Club Band with their rendition of “I’ve Got That Feeling” which seems like just the ticket for today!

Caitlin & Kurt’s Dark & Moody Newcastle Wedding

by | Australia - New South Wales, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Caitlin & Kurt

From the deep marsala flowers to the tonal shades, the romantic florals and the industrial style setting, for Caitlin and Kurt, the reality of their wedding  day fit the bill of what they’d dreamt. “We wanted our design to be dark, moody and something people will remember for a long time” tells Caitlin. “We love to party and have a good time with our family and friends so we just wanted our day to be a big party and celebration.”

And what a party it was, with Curly Tree Photography capturing every detail. they couple wed in front of their favourite people, before celebrating their nuptials with an epic party in a converted church. Throughout it all. they carefully planned details that honoured not just their relationship, but what was important to them.
And how did they begin? After meeting via a mutual friend, the couple kept bumping into each other until Caitlin made the first move. It was Kurt, however who popped the question, says the bride. “Kurt took me to a beautiful spot looking over Dudley in Newcastle with our dog Winston, I thought we were just taking the dog for a walk. But Kurt surprised me and got on one knee and proposed, he accidentally did have the ring facing him though. It was perfect and our puppy Winston being there made it even more special.”

Kurt and his groomsmen dressed in dapper three-piece suits, complete with marsala bow ties from Rundle Tailoring.

The bride unexpectedly fell in love with her Grace Loves Lace gown, she explains “My mum, my two sisters in law and myself made the trip to the Gold Coast as I was eyeing off a completely different dress in the store (I hated it). I then tried on my dress as the last one and it was perfect. Everyone cried and I knew it was the one!”

“We chose Centennial Park Cooks Hill for our ceremony as it has amazing established trees and we wanted to get married outside” explains Caitlin.

Caitlin and Kurt worked with The Wedding Designer on their flowers, they also enlisted the company to style their wedding and take care of all the last minute details. Caitlin telling “I wanted to include the ‘celosia’ flower throughout our floral design as it has always been my favourite. Thankfully I had an amazing stylist, Jess from The Wedding Designer who helped me with our floral designs! The best thing about having The Wedding Designers style and set up our wedding was we had to do nothing at all! This saved the stress and worry about creating our own pieces for the day.”

The bride walked down the aisle to “My Girl” by The Temptations on the arms of her two brothers.

Caitlin and Kurt were married by  Timothy Jackson. Caitlin remembering “We wanted the ceremony to be short and sweet so we could get on to the party! And so our guests didn’t get bored.”

“We loved having photos taken at the Seven Seas pub and enjoying a beverage with some of the locals, ” remembers Caitlin “Kurt’s best man Damian even enjoyed a skulling comp with a local.”

The bride’s father passed just months before the wedding day, so the newlyweds included plenty of photos and special nods to him throughout the day. Caitlin explaining “Our favourite photo is of us kissing in front of the ‘Seven Seas’ pub in Carrington. My dad grew up in Carrington and visited the pub many times so it was something special for me.”

Tells the bride of their photographer,  “Caitlin from Curly Tree Photography was the perfect choice for us. After stalking her on Instagram before even being engaged I knew she was going to shoot our wedding. Caitlin’s relaxed style was exactly what we wanted and did not make us feel like we were posing for photos all day!”

The industrial setting of 48 Watt Street, a converted church set the scene for an evening reception. “It was the only venue we looked at. Immediately we knew it’s where we wanted our wedding as the architecture is incredible, being an old church. We also knew the set up in the incredible space would be amazing!” tells Caitlin.

“Planning the day with Kurt was really special but including my mum was so special too. Nothing like planning your wedding day with your mum!” says Caitlin.

“We also loved the speeches at our wedding, full of laughs and tears, couldn’t have been more special,” Caitlin remembers.

INXS “Never Tear Us Apart” was the groom’s choice for the first dance, Caitlin remarking “It was always on the top of Kurt’s list for our wedding and it suited us perfectly!”

A big congratulations on your marriage Caitlin and Kurt! Thank you for sharing the stories of your beautiful day with us. Thank you also to  Curly Tree Photography for sharing today’s images.

Photographer: Curly Tree Photography / Styling: The Wedding Designer / Bride's Dress: Grace Loves Lace / Bridesmaid Dresses: Bridesmaids Etc / Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Rundle Tailoring / Makeup Artist: Tarra Gow / Makeup Artist: Lisa Fowler Hair & Makeup / Flowers: The Wedding Designer / Ceremony Venue: Centennial Park Cooks Hill / Ceremony Officiant: Timothy Jackson / Reception Venue: 48 Watt Street / Catering: Sprout Catering / Wedding Cake: I-Do Wedding Cakes / Band: Master Blaster

Polka Dot Gift Guide – For The Mothers & Fathers

by | Bride, Gift Guide


With the fifth and final gift guide of 2019, we’re paying homage to the ones who love us the most. The mothers and fathers! Today, we’re wrapping things up with plenty of gift ideas for the mothers & fathers of the bride and groom.

From the sentimental pieces, they’ll have forever, to the fun, brain food gifts that inspire their own loves and hobbies. We’ve made sure to fill the guide with plenty of ideas to say ‘thank you’ and ‘I love you’ to the figures in our lives who guide us along the way.

Ralph Lauren Home Champagne Cooler, The Wedding Nest Gold Crown Arched Leg Plant Pot, Terrain Herb Markers, Highbrow, Lowbrow, Brilliant,Despicable : Fifty Years of New York Magazine by The Editors of New York Magazine, Amara Garden Tool Set, T2 Tea Bonnie & Neil Magnolia Teapot, Blacklist Guest Book, Wheel & Barrow Gin & Tonic Set, Canon Mini Photo Printer, Wayfaren Push Pin World Map, Pottery Barn Tristan Bar Cart

Joyful By Ingrid Fetell Lee, Cardtorial Wooden Keepsake Box, Les Jardins de la Comtesse Marine Picnic Basket, Stelton Espresso Maker, Anthropologie Marble Dominos, Terrain Plant Mister, Lila x Lola Eucalyptus Leaf Print, De Bortoli Botrytis Semillon , Anthropologie Lilia Pie Dish, Bluegrass Fairway Personalised Leather Scorecard Holder, Country Road Cricket Set, Murchison-Hume Clean KIt
Inartisan Twisted Handle Basket