Giada & Heanock’s Relaxed Urban Engagement Photos

by | Australia - Western Australia, Bride, Engagements


Giada & Heanock

Captured by Ashleigh Sky Photography, I wasn’t sure which piece of today’s relaxed urban engagement photos I loved more – the city backdrop? The bright and gorgeous graffiti walls? The Saturday loving vibes? Nope. I am pretty sure it was Giada and Heanock and their gorgeous love for each other, their joy for being that is in every single photo. Give me a couple who laughs as much as this and I will happily sneak into their house and beg them to share a glass of wine with me and share their story. Luckily we get to share it all today, through words and such incredibly beautiful photos.

On what they love about one another, the pair note, “It may sound bit cheesy but we truly are each other’s better half. We are so similar yet so different and we just love spending time with each other. We are each other’s best friend and we wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Giada tells the story of how they became engaged. “Heanock blindfolded me and drove me to the cafe where we had our first date. Still blindfolded he got me the exact coffee I had on that day. Then (still blindfolded) he drove to the park where we had our second date and there he proposed to me. It was only the two of us plus his sister was there recording the proposal. It was so meaningful yet so simple.”

Visit Ms Polka Dot's Directory

Michael & Nathan’s Intimate Bellarine Peninsula Vineyard Wedding

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Inspired Weddings, LGBTQ Weddings,


Michael & Nathan

I always love a wedding which combines two beautiful settings. The intimate Bellarine Peninsula vineyard wedding of Michael and Nathan, saw the couple ferrying guests across the rocks to their seaside ceremony, before vines made the most beautiful backdrop for the celebrations about to get underway. Blue Print Photography captured every moment.

The modern classic tale of an online meeting with a cafe date was just the beginning of the couple’s love story. The proposal, as told by Michael was a complete surprise for Nathan. Michael telling, “I had never really thought about getting married. It had always seemed to be something outside of my reality as a gay man. On the other hand, I felt that it was something important to Nathan, that it signified a stronger and deeper commitment. I realised that for him, marriage encapsulated a very deep meaning that took the idea of relationship and commitment to a very important place. Understanding this about him, made it easy for me to allow myself the opportunity to see a marriage between two men, between us, in a new light.

We were in Bali on holiday. We were drinking red wine in our villa’s pool when I told him that I had something important to say and then proceeded to ask him to marry me before presenting him with a ring. He was speechless for a little too long. I panicked, to be honest, feeling that perhaps I had completely misread him, misunderstood where we were in our relationship. After what felt like a very long silence, he broke into tears and said ‘yes’ somewhat dumbfounded by my question. Following his ‘yes’ he said, ‘I thought you were going to tell me that you wanted to sleep with women!’ To this day, I have no idea where that response came from. I put the ring on his finger, we cried, we laughed and well, the rest is history!”

The grooms got ready together, both choosing Hugo Boss suits for their day. Michael noting, “We wore matching Hugo Boss black suits with white shirts, black bow ties, suspenders and matching silk handkerchiefs. I’m biased of course but think we looked dashingly handsome together.”

Michael chose special pieces to honour his family for the day, noting, “My Father had recently died. He had a beautiful Tag Heuer watch that he passed on to his two-year-old Grandson (my nephew) prior to his passing. The watch had been in a box in my care up until that time. I wore his watch at our wedding to have him close by and the following day I passed the watch on to my nephew via his Mum, my sister Michelle.”

The couple chose the beautiful Bellarine Peninsula venue of Terindah Estate for their wedding, Michael explaining, “Terindah Estate is a beautiful winery sitting on the Bellarine Peninsula. I work in the events industry and was thoroughly impressed at the level of service and care we were given in the planning of our wedding. The main restaurant has spectacular views of the peninsula and we were blessed with a warm summer’s evening. The beach is quite inaccessible without four-wheel drives and the venue was very accommodating at helping us plan the ceremony on the beach. It was the first wedding on the beach and it took quite a bit of planning to accomplish. We are very grateful for their support in helping make it happen.”

Against the ocean, the couple said their vows. Michael remembers, “We read our vows to one another which we wrote earlier in the day together. It was quite a fantastic experience. We spent the day in our PJs, writing vows and rehearsing them with each other, seeing and feeling how they sat with us. We read our vows in front of our families and friends and it felt honest and real. It felt like us, exactly what we wanted to say and exactly how and what we felt.”

Says Michael, “The whole day seemed to merge into something very special and profound. From the ceremony to just being with our families.”

Of their photographer, Michael remarks, “Chris has been a dear friend of mine since high school. He was amazing! He had a graceful and gentle way of getting the most beautiful shots without us ever feeling like we were being distracted away from the overall event experience. He captured us beautifully and I couldn’t be prouder of the moments we’ll enjoy for the rest of our lives.”

Michael notes “I love the photo of Nathan and I, foreheads pressed together amongst the vines, oblivious of our dear friend and photographer Chris Bekos snapping away.”

The speeches were a favourite part of the day for Michael, who remembers, “It was my opportunity to share what I really felt and it was something that was recited from the heart. I felt deeply honoured to have been able to share my feelings with my nearest and dearest around me.”

Congratulations on your marriage Michael and Nathan! Thank you for allowing us to share your day! Thank you also to Blue Print Photography for sharing today’s celebration with us!

Photographer: Blue Print Photography / Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss / Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss / Flowers: In Full Bloom / Venue: Terindah Estate / Wedding Cake: Let Them Eat Cake / Accommodation: Peppers Resort Torquay

Friday Roundup

by | Blog News, Bride


Mary’s Mule Tide recipe over on Polka Dot Made


It has been a week Dotties! As we wrap up all of our content ahead of next week, we’re spending the day together celebrating the year that was – it’s a little harder this year as suddenly, we’re all over the world and the country, so we’re raising a lot of (actual this time, not virtual) glasses, to the patterned people far away – what a year it has been!

And what a week it has been – from engagement stories to amazing shoots, to tips and tricks. We’re certainly wrapping up the year in style, let’s round up the week that was!



Let’s get festive with our cocktail of the week – Mary’s Mule Tide!

We talk wedding ceremonies with celebrant Russ Macumber

Loved reading Fiona’s post-wedding thoughts and advice

Booking a honeymoon next year? We’re rounding up our best December picks!

We adored this beautiful story over on Polka Dot Groom this week

‘Tis the season to get hitched! Sharing tips for festive season proposals

Loving Daniel’s navy suit in groom style

Guess who said yes? Bridal designer Begitta shares her engagement story!

Talk about an epic grazing table in this delicious Renaissance wedding styled shoot. 

Love this moment from Matthew’s wedding

The most delicious chocolate recipes for Christmas

Want honeymoon advice from real couples? We’re rounding up some of our favourite stories!



Sydney wedding planners Girl Friday Weddings have launched their “Pop Up Weddings”. For one all-inclusive price, they’ll create a beautiful ceremony setup, look after all the details like flowers,  venue hire – even cold drinks – and all you have to do is show up! The stress-free experience is a must book if fuss is not your style. Check their website for details.


The InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort recently took home four awards in the Gold Coast & Hinterland Bride Choice Awards ahead of the announcement of their partnership with fashion illustrator Kerrie Hess. Kerrie’s partnership means couples marrying at the resort allows them to commission Kerrie’s talents for a custom bridal portrait as a part of their wedding package – a beautiful addition to an already beautiful venue!


Want to win a $10,000 wedding? Mickleham wedding venue Marnong Estate is giving away a $10,000 wedding package to one lucky couple. Enjoy rolling vines as you say your ‘I do’s’ before enjoying a three-course feast! Visit this website to enter.



Our song of the week comes from the crew at The White Tree. With a little bit of Ed, a little bit of rock and roll and a little bit of something mellow – it’s the best playlist to dance away to the weekend.


Modern Secret Garden Party Inspiration

by | Bride, Inspiration Shoot, Pre Wedding Parties, Styling, Wedding Inspiration,


If there was ever a wedding inspiration shoot that was utterly enchanting, might I suggest this one of modern secret garden party inspiration might just be it?

From the bright neon lights by Neon Poodle to the towering plants from Pop Up Gardens, the carefully crafted paper blooms by Paper Fleur Designs and real ones by Foxglove Flora, it was all about bringing the outside in to create a party worthy of a modern storybook.

With Samantha Heather Photography behind the camera, stylist Upside Down Events used the neutral white venue to play with plenty of colour.

Led by hand-lettered signage created by Signed by Bird, our three guests (dressed in white robes from  Cookies & Ry with beautiful hair and makeup by Morgan Hair Co and Sonia Allen) were guided to a lounge area of woven geometric rugs, a low table and tropical blooms, succulents and cacti. They toasted to the bride with ornate glasses filled with red wine, sitting by the light of tapered candles held in vintage candelabras.

Samantha explains, “The Secret Garden was inspired by all those storybooks that we used to love growing up – think Little Women, Anne of the Green Gables and of course, The Secret Garden. These stories captivated our imaginations and the rural farmstead and garden images that feature so prominently in them were the basis of our shoot.”

It was the stuff of a dream pre-wedding party – flowers, wine and fun (and a little smoke for atmosphere from the crew at Coloured Smoke Australia of course) as our guests celebrated their friendship together.

Photographer: Samantha Heather Photography / Styling: Upside Down Events / Cinematographer: The Mountain Folk Films / Flowers: Foxglove Flora / Paper Flowers: Paper Fleur Designs / Plants: Pop Up Gardens / Bride's Dress: Cookies & Ry / Signage: Neon Poodle / Signage: Signed by Bird / Hairstylist: Morgan Hair Co / Makeup Artist: Sonia Allen / Coloured Smoke: Coloured Smoke Australia