Johanna Johnson ‘Still Is The Night’ Collection Spring Summer 2013

by | Bridal Fashion, Bride


The brand new Spring Summer 2013 collection from Australian designer Johanna Johnson “Still is The Night, Not So My Heart” was inspired by New York including the 1920s famous chorus girls, the Ziegfeld Follies. Falling into line with Johanna’s classic art deco style, the gowns are filled with vintage detailing and beautiful embellishments, but have a new softness that Johanna has introduced into her work.

As always, Johanna has created a range of hairpieces, cuffs and accessories just right for changing up your look from ceremony to reception or just making your gown truly your own.

Images by Johanna Johnson

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Vendor of the Week – Flower Sanctuary

by | Blog News, Bride


Happy Monday Dotties! What a weekend we’ve had, I wonder if it will slow down or just get busier as the year goes on? How is your year looking?

Let’s take a look at our directory. We have beautiful, talented creators of Ms Polka Dot’s Wedding Directory! We have Flowers, Bridal Gowns, Hair & Beauty, Photobooth Hire, Specialised Services, Venues and to pull it all together? Wedding Planners!

The wedding directory is always growing with new vendors being added every week- great ones, passionate ones and colourful ones! Check it out and find your awesome wedding vendors!

melbourne wedding flowers

This week’s vendor of the week, Flower Sanctuary is a Melbourne based floral studio creating beautiful bunches of blossoms for weddings across Victoria. Owner Meghan has been designing beautiful floral arrangements for the past six years and has wide and varied experience with everything from classic to modern bouquets.

We asked Meghan from Flower Sanctuary five questions in five minutes –

What is your favourite after five drink?

Corona. However, my husband and I have an ongoing joke when we’re on holiday (wherever we are) that we order a “Tom Collins” – purely because we like the name and it seems to be a universal drink available anywhere.
It is a cocktail made with Gin, Lemon Juice, Sugar and Soda Water (with a slice of lemon or lime) and is refreshingly delicious in hot weather.

Your favourite weekend getaway?

Falls Creek, snowboarding…….. We even managed to get up there this year with our five month old baby in tow (although I didn’t feel so cool snowboarding in a feeding singlet)……..

Favourite restaurant?

Taxi Boat in Westgarth – Modern Asian, a local restaurant we like to wander up to and the food and service is consistently good.

What can we find you eating for breakfast on a Sunday morning?

A Foxy Breakfast…… at Foxy Brown in Northcote, another local we like to wander up to (there seems to be a theme of wandering up to locals), great cafe, organic produce, fair-trade coffee and toys for my four year old to play with.

Your favourite wedding story?

Good friends of ours were due to get married on 01/02/03 at Falls Creek. This was the year of the bush fires at Falls Creek and the wedding had to be cancelled up there at the last minute. Our friends were determined to get married on that particular date (who wouldn’t want 01/02/03 as a wedding date – even most men could remember that one), so a last minute wedding was put together. The wedding ended up being a late afternoon ceremony at Kellybrook Winery followed by a reception at a beautiful nursery in Warrandyte. Everyone in attendance was so pleased that the wedding still went ahead that the atmosphere at the wedding was so happy and everyone was in the mood to celebrate. It was one of the nicest weddings I’ve ever been to and you would have never known that it was put together in a week or two!

Visit Flower Sanctuary’s page to find out more about our Vendor Of The Week. Flower Sanctuary is a member of Ms Polka Dot’s Directory

Vivian and Lloyd’s Urban Engagement Photos

by | Bride, Engagements


Vivian and Lloyd

Although today’s engagement takes place in some what of an inner city oasis, (Paddington Reservoir) the photographs have distinctly urban, moody feel. Samantha from Papertree Photography captured so many stunning moments against the architecture and details of the reservoir that just added a sense of depth to the photographs.

Vivian tells how they met. “My best friend was going out with one of Lloyd’s best mates when we were about 18 years old, so we met through them, but it wasn’t until about 6 years later when Lloyd unexpectedly put his best moves on me and we’ve been together ever since! ”

Lloyd proposed on the day of another milestone for the couple, Vivian remembers. “The day that we received the keys to our new apartment we had bought together, Lloyd planned a surprise candlelight dinner in our new home. I had a hunch that ‘the question’ was coming, but as we finished dinner with no question asked I thought that was it for the night. As I went to look around our new place I knocked over a candle all over our new floor. So basically in the dark I was asking Lloyd to help me out to clean up the mess, but he couldn’t stand up otherwise I would see that he was trying to conceal the ring he had bought that was in his pocket. So with candle wax all over me and our floor he got down on one knee and popped the question. In the end it was a big surprise! ”

Lloyd tells the story. “As with any woman, it takes a lot to convince them that despite first impressions a man is not a complete dork. Vivian was no exception to this rule, for the first 5 years of our friendship Vivian didn’t have much time for me. But with some smooth moves and lots of ignorant persistence I managed to make Vivian see otherwise.”

“We had discovered the Paddington Reservoir as we had recently bought an apartment in the area. We loved the hidden garden and that it was such a quiet and peaceful retreat from busy Oxford Street above, plus it’s unique history with it’s beginnings as Sydney’s water reservoir back in the mid 1860s. It’s a definite little hidden gem.”

Joanne and Michael’s Romantic Hunter Valley Wedding

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


Joanne & Michael

The Hunter Valley always seems like the ultimate Australian location for romance, so it makes the most wonderful location for a wedding! Joanne’s romantic pink ballgown paired with the couple’s own sense of fun and romance makes today’s wedding a beautiful tale to tell.

Joanne tells the story of how she and Michael met. “I met Mike on my first night in Sydney. I was traveling after finishing uni in 2005 and met two of Mike’s friends in Fiji. When I landed in Sydney I went to meet up with them at the pub and Mike was there. My first impressions were he was very cute and talked nonsense – his pick up chatter is not impressive! Despite that, we both tried our hardest to be wherever the other one was throughout my time in Sydney. When I left I honestly didn’t know whether I would ever see him again but we kept in contact throughout the rest of my travels. He used to call me on the pay phone outside of his uni in between lectures! After I returned to London we still kept in contact through texts, emails and a regular weekly phone call. I even came back to meet him for Christmas. After 2 years of long distance and spending a total of 8 weeks together, Mike finally moved over to London to spend 6 months with me and we both knew that if that worked it would be the start of something big. It obviously did and here we are!”

Photographs today are by Pictures & Hearts who always captures such a sense of glamour and elegance with her photographs.

Martha of D’Makeup Station  styled the bride and her bridesmaid’s hair and makeup. Joanne recalls, “My makeup artist Martha Mok was a miracle worker. I wanted to look the best I’d ever looked and I felt she definitely achieved that! The women is like the fairy god mother on fast forward and was able to glam up 9 women with the flick of her magic brush!” Joanne wore a wedding gown by Designs By Melanie Ford .

Joanne and Michael married at the Hunter Valley Gardens. Joanne explaining why. “Our first official ‘date’ when I came back to Australia was at the Gardens and I have very fond memories of us running around like little kids in the Story Book Garden. So the decision on ceremony venue was easy!”

Joanne recalls, “I walked down the aisle to one of Mike’s best friends from his school days playing ‘Still the One’ on his guitar. It was the song that came on the radio in the car after Mike confirmed he’d booked his tickets to come to the UK for 6 months. The first verse totally summed us up.”

Wed By Kez performed the ceremony.

Of their photographer, Joanne says, “Our photographer was Amelia Soegijono of Pictures and Hearts Photography. I was very picky when it came to the photographer as I didn’t want the usual wedding photos, I wanted something that reflected our relationship – bright, colourful and full of fun. Amelia’s pictures captured that perfectly and I really felt she was telling our story. I also needed someone that I could feel comfortable spending our wedding day with (you spend a lot of time with your photographer). While we hadn’t met before we started speaking to her about shooting our wedding, I would now consider her a friend for life.”

The reception was held at Tempus Two, Joanne explaining, “We chose Tempus Two for the reception to fulfill my Harry Potter fantasy of long Hogwarts style tables in a grand dining room! Mike would say that we DIY’d everything! Traditional weddings are lovely, but I really wanted to put our stamp on the wedding, and do something really personal that reflected exactly how we wanted our day to be. It made things a bit more hectic, particularly in the last week before the wedding, but I was incredibly happy with how beautiful the day turned out. I can’t take full credit though, I had so much help from all my very talented family and friends and I can’t thank them enough!”

Joanne made sure to put her own touch on the day! She recalls “I really wanted something different as a centrepieces for the tables, rather than the traditional floral bouquets, so I went with terrariums filled with succulents! It turned out to be a great way for people to contribute to the wedding. A lot of people donated succulents from their garden, or donated jars and tins for the succulents to go in. Mike’s Mum, Fiona, put the terrariums together for us (both of us are indoor plant killers). She spent months on them – her house looked more like the garden section of Bunnings! She thought nothing of diving out into the freezing rain in the middle of the night to make sure the terrariums didn’t get waterlogged. She was also the talent behind the string decorated jars, and the paper cones for the flower petals. I wanted to have some elements of the wedding reflect my Asian heritage so the cones, and the paper cranes used to hold the name cards, were made of Japanese washi paper. I made the name cards myself, cutting the edges with a corner cutter.”

“Of course, in the end I decided I needed some flowers to add some colour, but wanted them to look less formal, so bought the flowers wholesale rather than as bouquets. Mike’s aunt Elizabeth arranged them in jars and tins the day before, and they looked so amazing I am sure she has missed her true calling! The seating chart, Menu and our ‘guest book’ were all planks of pine bought at Bunnings. Mike blow torched the big items on the boards and then I wrote the details in. Finally my friend Sarah surprised me on the day with decorations for the signing table – a vertical garden and bride and groom cacti! Set up the day before took all day, and needed the help of 8 family members, but I couldn’t have been happier with the results. While planning the wedding I remember looking at pictures of other people’s weddings on the internet and hoping ours could be nearly as beautiful. Because every single detail of our wedding reminds me of all our loved ones efforts in putting it together, for me no wedding will ever be as beautiful.”

For their first dance? Joanne notes, “It’s embarrassing, our friends were making bets that we would have a cheesy, choreographed first dance – and they weren’t wrong! We did a half ballroom, half salsa, all cheese routine to ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ (the Glee version). The dance was taught to us by Mike’s ever patient, ever understanding sister and her boyfriend – they managed to put together something fun and entertaining despite our very limited dancing skills!”

Congratulations Joanne and Michael! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Pictures & Hearts for sharing today’s wedding photos with us!

Photographer: Pictures & Hearts / Bride's Dress: Designs By Melanie Ford / Haior & Makeup Artist: D'Makeup Station / Ceremony Venue: Hunter Valley Gardens / Ceremony Officiant: Wed By Kez / Reception Venue: Tempus Two / Band: The Phonic