Zora & Michael’s Vintage Inspired Little Church Wedding

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Zora & Michael

I am so very smitten with the vintage charm of Zora and Michael’s wedding. The bride’s gorgeous vintage-inspired gown won me over first, and then the little white church setting where everyone celebrates with sunshine, drinks and music? Well, you have my kind of party. But my favourite touch just might be the homemade cocktail mixes the couple whipped up as take-home wedding favours. Every part beautifully captured by Smith + Archer. So pour yourself a glass of their signature Honeysuckle Fizz and let’s dive in!

After meeting through an app, Michael and Zora decided to get married on a date that lined up with family visits – although they came to the realisation separately! Zora explaining “I was pregnant and had just gotten back from Switzerland, where I visited my family (I was born and grew up there before moving to Australia in 2009). My family had told me that they would be coming to visit in October 2017, when the baby would be 4 months old, so I suggested to Michael that we should get married while they were here. Little did I know that he already had everything planned.

On this day we had to go to Bendigo for an ultrasound and to run some errands. On the drive there, Michael suggested that we should go to the Goldmines Hotel (the pub where we had met for the first time, which also happens to have a stunning, romantic garden) for lunch. I replied that the Goldmines was on the other side of town from where we were going and that it wouldn’t be open anyway. But Michael convinced me to at least call them and ask if they were open (they had in fact opened just for us when Michael told them about his proposal plans). I finally gave in and we headed to the Goldmines Hotel, where we grabbed a drink and went to find a table out the back. Michael then talked me into a walk around the gardens (being pregnant and it being a hot day, I wasn’t too keen on the idea).

We got to the pond, where there was a little table set up in the rotunda with a bunch of flowers, a cheese platter and a bottle of alcohol-free sparkling wine. Michael got down on one knee and asked me to marry him and despite my efforts to sabotage the whole proposal, of course, I said yes!”

“All of our vendors were amazing,” says Zora. “But I would like to mention my fabulous friend, Jacinta, even though she isn’t technically a vendor. I had asked her if she’d do my hair and makeup on the day (she isn’t a professional hair and makeup artist, just very good with a makeup brush). She was a little nervous but agreed to do it as long as we had a practice session in advance. She ended up doing a fantastic job at creating that vintage, old Hollywood glamour look and I can’t thank her enough for that.”

Zora purchased her gown online and worked with JACH Textiles to tailor it to her own style. She tells “I had never wanted to spend a huge amount of money on a dress I would only wear once and wasn’t sure if I wanted a traditional wedding dress. I ended up finding a dress for sale online which had been used once for a pin-up competition. It was a beautiful vintage style and I decided at that price it was worth the risk that it wouldn’t end up fitting me (I was still pregnant at this stage).

The dress ended up fitting me and the style was quite forgiving and flattering, but as the wedding got closer I realised that I really wanted a lace dress. I found a local dressmaker, who suggested that we use the existing dress, but add the lace over the top and add some sleeves. This was exactly what we ended up doing, and I couldn’t have been happier with the decision and the process. The dress was everything I hoped for, it was unique and custom made and it even allowed me to breastfeed my daughter on the day!”

The couple’s daughter, baby Ella arrived at the church in a floral adorned cart. Zora explaining  “I got it in my head early in the planning stages, that our Anatolian Shepherd Dog Arzu would pull a cart with our daughter Ella in it to the church. I think in the beginning everyone was convinced I’d lost my mind, but eventually, I got Michael to agree and my family helped decorate the cart (which our friend Marcus had customised) with wattle and gum leaves. It looked beautiful and Arzu seemed so pleased with herself when she spotted the crowd of people waiting out the front of the church. I’m pretty sure she thought they were all there to celebrate her.”

The Little Church At Spring Hill set the scene for the day to unfold. “We live in Spring Hill, so getting married there meant a lot to us. It’s a beautiful little church and the grounds are stunning. Luckily the weather couldn’t have been more perfect!”

Zora tells ” One of my favourite photos from the day is of my dad, sister and I walking down the road between our home and the church, closely followed by the one of me and my new husband walking down the same road later in the day.”

The bride walked down the aisle with her father to Cat Power’s ‘Sea Of Love’.

With  Sweet Wonderful You officiating, Zora & Michael held not just a wedding ceremony, but a naming ceremony, explains Zora “We decided to combine a naming day ceremony for our daughter Ella Rose and our wedding ceremony as it was such a unique opportunity having all our family from Switzerland and Australia in the same place. Our celebrant did a fantastic job combining the two. My dad also surprised us with an amazing speech in German, which my little sister translated into English. Our band played some songs during the ceremony and I think everyone enjoyed the relaxed, personal and fun feel of the ceremony.”

Adding to the relaxed feel of the day, the bride made the wedding cake. She tells “We did DIY quite a few things. The biggest was probably the wedding cake, a two-tiered semi-naked orange and almond cake with an orange blossom buttercream icing, which my big sister and I baked together. It was nerve wracking baking my own wedding cake as an amateur who had never baked a cake on a similar scale, but ultimately extremely rewarding. It also tasted amazing (if I do say so myself) and my little sister has already requested that we bake the cake for her wedding in September 2018 as well.”

Guests took home favours of homemade “Honeysuckle Fizz” made by the couple.

Of their photographer, Zora remarks “Ali was amazing, and we’re so glad we found her! From the first time we met up with her, we just clicked and knew she was the right person to photograph our big day. For my birthday earlier in the year, my sister contacted Ali, and my family gifted me a newborn photo shoot with her after the birth of our daughter Ella. She took some stunning photos that day as well!
It was very important to us to get some great photos of all our guests as well as us, since we may never have both our families together like this again. Neither of us really like having our photo taken, but she made us feel very comfortable and at ease.”

As the sun set, guests gathered for speeches “Neither of us enjoy public speaking and I said early on that I didn’t feel like we needed to have any speeches, but Michael insisted that he would have to say something. He agonised over what to say for ages and then held the most amazing speech! There wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd after his speech and he got standing ovations” tells the bride.

And then, dancing was on for one and all tells the bride. “Neither of us is dancers and I was adamant I would break tradition and not have the first dance. But as the night went on (and I’d had a few drinks), when the band started to play All I Want Is You by Barry Louis Polisar (from the Juno soundtrack), one of the songs we had requested, we couldn’t resist and had a spontaneous dance.”


Congratulations Zora & Michael! Thank you for sharing the beautiful stories of your day! Thank you also to Smith + Archer for sharing today’s wedding with us!

Photographer: Smith + Archer / Bride's Dress: JACH Textiles / Groom's Attire: Asos / Makeup Artist: Jacinta Mew / Flowers: About Flowers / Venue: The Little Church At Spring Hill / Ceremony Officiant: Sweet Wonderful You / Catering: Alexander Perry / Rental Furniture: Kyneton Hire / Band: Ann Metry / Band: Francesca Li Donni / Wedding Ring: Megan Webb Jeweller
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Friday Roundup

by | Blog News, Bride


Photo by Lina Hayes Photography via What Would They Know? Sarah Johnston of Girl Friday Weddings

Happy Friday Dotties! We have been so busy with content this week. Big beautiful weddings and working on some fun new projects we are launching soon. I am so excited for what is coming up this year on Polka Dot Bride and can’t wait for a big sleep this weekend to get ready for it. What about you? What have you been busy doing this week?

We’ve shared so many gorgeous weddings, tips and tricks, honeymoons and tutorials around the Polka blogs this week. Let’s dive in!

Meet Sydney wedding planner Sarah of Girl Friday Weddings as we chat with her in What Would They know?

Laura shares her post-wedding thoughts in Inspired Words

Five feel-good tips to get you excited for your honeymoon

Pop the question! A little insight we’re sharing into engagement traditions from around the world

We get a behind the scenes look into Flos Botanical Studio

Loving these foliage name cards! Check out the tutorial here.

A little floral fun with Jarod’s wedding day look

Destination? Umbria! Loving the story of Hamish and Alexandra’s Umbrian destination wedding.

Yum yum! Sharing QT Melbourne Spiced Pear Cocktail

The hidden value of wedding vendor reviews

Tim shares his emotional wedding day moment- his favourite memory!

Wedding photographer Georgia Verrells has teamed up with Park Street Dining to offer one lucky couple the chance to win a free wedding valued at over $21,000! From flowers to a celebrant – it’s all included! Visit her website for more, including details on how to enter.

Stunning weekend wedding venue Lindenderry is hosting a wedding fair on Sunday 18th of February. The venue will be showcasing their beautiful spaces (including newly renovated Hecker Guthrie interiors) and their favourite vendors, along with plenty of champagne and food to enjoy! Visit their Facebook page for more details.

If you are looking for an inner city Melbourne wedding venue, let us introduce Alfred Place by Rockpool Events  This Alfred Place venue is in the heart of the city and they’re hosting an open day for you very soon! Held on Saturday 24th of February from 11am to 4pm at the venue (located at 7 Alfred Place in Melbourne CBD) will open it’s doors with the opportunity to win a $5000 dining voucher, meet their favourite suppliers and fill your belly with amazing food from the Rockpool restaurants (of course available for your own big day!) Visit the website for more information and register your information to go into the prize draw by emailing

Our film of the week is from the team at Memento Films. The beautiful celebration on Fraser Island was such a beautifully relaxed celebration, with champagne popping at sunset, bliss! So pick up a cocktail (of coffee) and settle in!

Natalie & Meketu’s Luxe Canberra Maori Wedding

by | Australia - ACT, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Natalie & Meketu

Incorporating tradition and culture, this luxe Canberra Maori wedding has captured our heart and soul! From the gorgeous detailing to the tears and emotional Haka, every moment is divine! All captured beautifully by Anthea and Lyndon.

Despite both playing it very cool the first time they met, the bride and groom fell for each other after Mex sought Natalie out. Natalie tells of Mex’s proposal, ”It was a Christmas Day proposal. He was up at 5am asking me to open my presents but I stalled all day. It was probably 4pm and who knows how many nervous beers later for Mex by the time I finally sat down with him. Firstly a beautiful bottle of champagne, followed by glasses engraved with ‘will you marry me?’ and finally the stunning ring! There were tears all round.” Christmas doesn’t get much better than that!

Deciding to go with the best of both worlds, Natalie shares, ”I tried on a beaded, feathery dress. It felt like a fun party dress but I wasn’t sure it would suit the church ceremony. I also tried on a number of princess gowns and loved the feel. Not wanting to miss out on either I went for a big skirt to go over the dress, creating two different looks. I felt like a real princess in the big skirt and loved taking it off and feeling free to move and dance the night away at the reception.” Telling also of the groom’s outfit, she shares, ”Mex loves blue so we went with a classic navy suit. He wanted a little something fun so we found him some floral suspenders that he could show off at the reception. We actually got a set for all the boys but they caused some serious wedgies and had to be ditched for the belts!”

Choosing a venue held special importance to the bride and groom, with Natalie telling, ”We were both keen to get married in a church due to our faith (and so Mex wouldn’t sweat so much outside). We checked out a number of traditional churches in Canberra and fell in love with the building and history of All Saints Anglican Church, Ainslie. We wanted to incorporate our faith, family and culture.” The readings during the ceremony included a passage from the Bible of Romans 12:9-18, and He Korero Aroha (a Maori poem). The bride was walked down the aisle by her father to John Legend’s ‘So High’, sung by Mex’s sister Hamo.

Natalie and Meketu found their dream reception venue at EQ Cafe Lounge. The bride recalls, ”When it came to the reception we were after a fun, intimate venue with great food EQ Cafe Lounge came to mind straight away. Their food is delicious, I love all the timber and greenery as well as their indoor/outdoor options. I approached them and managed to convince them that holding a wedding for the first time was a great idea. It turned out to be absolutely perfect!” The flowers by both Laurel and Lace and Pia & Jade were neutral, white and coffee coloured, with loads of foliage. Natalie shares of their reception decor, ”I let the professionals work their magic and they sure did! I wanted to include the scripture from Song of Solomon 3:4, ‘I have found the one whom my soul loves’. The sign was one of my favourite details. She captured my vision and brought it to life bigger and better than I imagined.”

Culture played an essential role in Natalie and Meketu’s wedding, with Meketu’s family singing after every speech at the reception, as well as at the ceremony earlier in the day. Natalie tells, ”They performed the best Haka we’ve ever seen! We were all a bit emotional after the most heartfelt speeches and music.” Delighted with their experience with their chosen photographers, the bride also shares, ”We had our friends Anthea and Lyndon. They are genuinely the nicest people and do the most incredible job. We couldn’t have picked better people to spend so much of our day with.”

Pristine Video Productions  also made a beautiful heartfelt film of the day.

A special thank you and congratulations to our stunning bride and groom on your beautiful wedding day! Thank you also to Anthea and Lyndon for sharing your magnificent photos!

Photographer: Anthea and Lyndon / Bride's Dress: Demetrios / Bridal Salon: Nouveau Riche Boutique / Bridesmaid Dresses: Sheike / Groom's Attire: Peter Jacksons / Hairstylist: Kriss Kross Barbershop & Salon / Makeup Artist: Tara Florence Artistry / Flowers: Laurel and Lace / Flowers & Decor: Pia & Jade / Ceremony Officiant: Rev. Chris Lewis / Ceremony Musicians: Hamo Dell / Ceremony Venue: All Saints Anglican Church, Ainslie / Band: Simon Anau Music / DJ: DJ NU / Signage: Pia & Jade / Invitations & Stationery: Pia & Jade / Reception Venue: EQ Cafe Lounge / Wedding Cake: Little Bird Custom Cakes / Engagement Ring: Paradise Jewellers / Cinematographer: Pristine Video Productions / Transport: Horsepower Limousines

Alex & Chris’ Autumnal Wedding In The Southern Highlands

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


Alex & Chris

It is Autumn that has my heart – this much is evident through my gushing about Autumn every time I get a glimpse of its beauty, but weddings like Alex and Chris’ stunning Autumnal wedding in the Southern Highlands are proof that there is so much beauty to this season, and that is something that can’t go uncelebrated. Captured beautifully by Fox & Kin, the couple chose elements of their day to reflect the Autumnal hues of the Southern Highlands. Beautiful peachy pink and raisin bouquets, deep dark greenery and cozy, warmth wove their way through every aspect of the day. it was indeed a day of Autumn splendour.

The two water lovers met on the dance floor before the groom proposed on a weekend away. Alex explains. “We are both surf boat rowers, and at the notorious “mad Monday” of the Aussie Surf Lifesaving championships we met on the dance floor! We were inseparable for the rest of the day and night! And then forever!!

When he proposed, it was my birthday weekend and we planned to spend the weekend away in Agnes in Queensland.

On Friday night my sister Sarah and her fiancé Nick surprised me by arriving at our apartment which was SO exciting. On Saturday morning Chris and I both woke up about 6.30am, and it was my birthday. Chris said, “Do you want your birthday present?” I was thinking, isn’t it a bit early for pressies.. but sure! So he handed me a gift bag and I looked inside and it was a little jewellery box. I thought, oh yeah, a nice piece of jewellery for my birthday, I love jewellery! So I pulled out the box and opened it, and it was an engagement ring! I was shocked and excited because I had NO idea it was coming!!! I was thinking “is this just a ring, or is this an actual engagement ring!!” So I looked at the ring, and back at Chris who was staring at me with a GIANT smile on his face and then I said: “SAY SOMETHING!!!” Then he said “Alex, will you marry me?” and of course I said “yes!” and gave him a big hug! Then we laid in bed talking about how he planned the ring, the engagement, and the weekend.

I poked my head into Sarah and Nick’s room and said “hey Sarah, look what I got for my birthday” I poked my hand around the door frame and she immediately started bawling her eyes out because she was so happy for us and she had an idea that it would happen after something Mum and Dad had said to her. Then we all walked along the beach to brekky and talked about weddings and later drank lots of champagne and wine. It was the best.”

The bride worked with designer Lisa Gowing to create her vintage-inspired gown. She tells “The first thing I did after we got engaged was start dress shopping. I tried on SO many dresses, I reckon over 50. I had never paid attention to wedding dresses, their styles, fabrics, different colours, nothing, so I really had no idea what I was looking for. After about six months I found love in Lisa Gowing because of the high quality of fabric she uses which is so soft, and I love her style which I think leans towards vintage and classic. Her style definitely suited me better than anything else I had tried.”

“Getting ready was awesome. I almost forgot that all the other guests were coming because I was so excited about seeing Chris and kept wondering what he was up to” notes Alex.

Alex and Chris chose the beautiful Briars Country Lodge & Historic Inn, Bowral  for their big day. “My Dad had been there for a few functions and said it was really good because there is also accommodation there, which is ideal having so many people travelling to the wedding (almost everyone)” says Alex, continuing “My Aunty Leonie and Uncle Peter also got married there some years ago so it was pretty cool to have that (slightly) historic family connection there.”

“Our dog Fergus was part of our ceremony. After Chris and I walked back down the aisle together at the conclusion of the ceremony, Fergus walked up to me and laid down on the train of my veil and dress which was about 2 metres long combined! I couldn’t move and the veil was being tugged from my hair!”

 The bride walked down to an acoustic version of “Higher & Higher” by Jackie Wilson with her parents on her arms.  

Janice Oxenbould performed the ceremony, of which Alex notes “We wanted the ceremony to be traditional, easy, and short!”

“Chris chose five friends from his hometown in Gladstone, all of which he rowed with at Tannum Sands. I chose my sister as maid of honour, two friends from high school, a friend from work and my brother. It was great having my brother part of the bridal party!”

Of their photographer, the bride remarks “I went to High school with Nic (Fox & Kin) so we have known each other for a very long time. She was also the photographer for my best friend’s wedding and I loved the photos she took on the day, and the way she worked with them so it was a no-brainer to have her photograph our wedding as well. Chris is very awkward in photos and Nikki made him feel very relaxed which was important. Everything was very natural with her.”

Redbud Floristry styled the Autumnal floral details of the day, the bride telling “I really wanted to highlight the autumn colours because they are so amazing in the Southern Highlands at that time of year, so I opted for really dark and warm flower colours like burgundy and dark green. I was also inspired mostly by a vintage/rustic theme but was very easy going when it came to decorations. I wanted vintage looking flowers, I trusted my florist to come up with something perfect. The florist chose white and burgundy roses and a mix of florist things that I have no idea about! They were amazing!”

“Both Chris and I loved all the speeches. They couldn’t have been better! There was so much laughter in the room, it was great. The cheering also topped it off.”

The couple chose Sam Cooke’s “Bring it home to me” for their first dance, before inviting their guests to join them on the dance floor led by Impression DJs  “Rochana at Impression DJs was amazing,” says the bride “She helped create such an awesome vibe at the reception. Her set up was awesome and she said we had an awesome crowd which was even better.”

Congratulations Alex & Chris! Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us! Thank you also to  Fox & Kin for sharing today’s stunning images.

Photographer: Fox & Kin / Bride's Dress: Lisa Gowing / Groom's Attire: Peter Jacksons / Makeup Artist: Mae You Be / Flowers: Redbud Floristry / Venue: Briars Country Lodge & Historic Inn, Bowral / Ceremony Officiant: Janice Oxenbould / Ceremony Musicians: George Brougham / DJ: Impression DJs / Wedding Cake: Gumnut Patisserie / Engagement Ring: Blue Nile / Wedding Ring: Linda & Co Jewellers