Gemma and Scott’s Canberra Garden Wedding

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


Gemma & Scott

Nothing beats an at home wedding and today’s bride is the sixth generation, on the farm just outside of Yass. How special is that? Gemma and Scott’s wedding is the epitome of a garden wedding- filled with sunshine, romance and the beautiful backdrop of Mother Nature.

The couple have known each other for a long time! Gemma tells, “Scottie and I are high school sweet hearts. We first met at the end of year 10 (year 2000), at Scottie’s friend’s house, when some friends and I dropped around briefly one afternoon. About a year later, in 2001, we were at a mutual friend’s birthday party. It was later that night that we shared our first kiss. We have been together ever since.”

Photographs today are by Beata English Photography who has a beautiful softness and romance to her photographs.

The bride and her bridesmaids all wore Melissa Vivienne Westwood Lady Dragon Love Heart shoes in various colours.

Gemma wore a gown custom made by an Etsy seller. She remarks,  “My dress is a 1940’s inspired dress made from vintage French lace. I love it! It honestly made me feel like a princess on the day. I wore a mantilla veil for the ceremony which matched my dress perfectly. After the ceremony, I changed headpieces, to a small vintage birdcage veil.”

Gemma and Scott chose Gemma’s parents farm in Yass for the ceremony. Gemma being the sixth generation of her family to have lived there! Gemma walked down the aisle to “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” played on a classical guitar.

Gemma describes the day as, “Extremely overwhelming but wonderful at the same time; we wouldn’t change a thing. We were both really nervous during the ceremony but when we looked around and saw lots of familiar faces looking back at us, it felt very special.”

Gemma and her mum arranged the bridal party flowers together. Gemma recalls, ” We used succulents in the bouquets and button holes. Mum and I picked the flowers and succulents for the bouquets etc from the garden the day before the wedding. We both really enjoyed doing this and it saved us lots of money by doing it ourselves.”

Of their photographer, Gemma says, “Beata was there all day. She has a great talent for capturing detail and telling a story with her shots. Beata is such a great person and really fit in with the whole wedding. Beata is beautiful inside and out.”

Guests headed back to The Lobby Restaurant in Canberra for the reception- and cake! Gemma remembers “Mum made the wedding cake, which was a rich chocolate mudcake with white chocolate fencing wrapped with ribbon and topped with icing flowers. It looked beautiful and tasted delicious.”

Guests received a potted succulent as a wedding favor. Gemma explains “have always loved succulents so with the help of my mum and her garden club, we gave succulents as gifts to our guests. We wrapped the small pot plants with recycled brown paper and then tied with green twine.”

The first dance was as casual and fun as the rest of the wedding, Gemma recalls. “We danced to ‘Loving You Is Sweet Than Ever’ by the Four Tops. Scottie and I can’t dance so it wasn’t too serious! We had fun though! We got our bridal party and other guests to come join us 1 minute into the song.”

Congratulations Gemma and Scott! Thank you for sharing your story with us! Thank you Beata English Photography for today’s gorgeous imagery!

Photographer: Beata English Photography / Bride's Dress: Custom By An Etsy Seller / Bride's Shoes: Melissa Vivienne Westwood Lady Dragon Love Heart / Bride's Jewellery: Brides Mother / Groom & Groomsmen's Attire: Black Tie By Xavier / Bridesmaid Dresses: Etsy / Bridesmaid Shoes: Melissa Vivienne Westwood Lady Dragon Love Heart / Hairstylist: A family friend / Makeup Artist: May (Bridesmaid) / Bride Party Flowers: Bride & her mother / Reception Flowers: Poetry in Flowers, Canberra / Invitations & Stationery: Maud (Bridesmaid) / Ceremony Venue: Family Farm, Yass / Ceremony Officiant: Judy Aulich / Reception Venue: The Lobby Restaurant / Wedding Cake: Brides Mother
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Monika and John’s Sydney Black Tie Wedding Film

by | Australia - New South Wales, Bride, Inspired Wedding Films


The gorgeous wedding of Monika and John was such a beauty to share this morning so I’m thrilled to bring you their wedding film captured by No Limit Pictures. It captures the elegant grace of the beautiful wedding day.

Monika and John’s Sydney Black Tie Wedding

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


Monika and John

I am a sucker for the tradition and beauty of a classic, black tie wedding. The bride walking down the aisle to the strains of string musicians, the beautiful tiered wedding cake, the sense of formality and occasion. Monika and John’s wedding was a beauty – black tie, in one of Sydney’s most beautiful cathedrals and a beautiful story to match.

Monika tells their story. “On the 4th of August 2007, only two days after my 18th birthday, John and I were introduced by a mutual friend. It seemed a coincidence that nearly every weekend after our initial meeting, John happened to be turning up at the same bar, restaurant or social outing as me. Little did I know, that he was in contact with our mutual friend on a regular basis trying to figure out where we would be on the weekend and to make sure that I was there. Week by week, we slowly became better friends, and by that Christmas I was introducing John to my family as my boyfriend. The rest is history…”

Photographs today are by John Benavente Photography who captures weddings with such a depth and magic. What an eye he has!

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John wore a custom made suit from Herringbone Couture. Monika remarks, “The most precious touch for me on the wedding day was a special treat from my late grandfather. My late grandfather in Croatia made the grappa that the groomsmen drank and toasted with in the morning. It meant the world to me to feel as though a little part of him was celebrating with us.”

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Special guests? There were plenty, says the bride. “My grandmother flew down from Croatia just to be here for my wedding.”

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Monika wore a gown by Rhonda Hemmingway Bridal Couture.

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St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney was chosen as the couple’s ceremony venue.

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Monika walked down the aisle to a seven piece string band ( Opus 4 String Band) playing Canon in D by Pachelbel. One of Monika’s most treasured memories is, “My dad walking me down the aisle in the same suit and bowtie that he got married in. That moment and what I felt at the time, I will never forget.”

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Monika remarks, “The 17th of November 2012 can only be described as the happiest, most romantic, emotional and most memorable day of our lives as we committed ourselves to one another in front of the people we love and care about the most.”

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White roses, arranged by Sweet Art were a theme throughout the day, from the bouquets to the reception. Monika tells “I absolutely loved how our reception was decorated! It was more perfect than I had pictured. The main flowers used in my bouquet and on the centrepieces were white roses. White roses are very sentimental to me as they remind of some special people in my life and bring back some fondest memories. Thus, for every special occasion John gives me a bunch of white roses. Looking at those roses reminded me of special times with my husband and of my precious family who could not be there.”

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Of their photographer, Monika says, “You know you have a good photographer when you barely notice that someone is there, then you see your photos and they leave you speechless. John and his team captured the most special moments of our day that reveal every emotion that were felt at that moment. Even when it was time for some posed photos with our bridal party, everyone mentioned how comfortable and casual it all felt. John is a genuine and great person to work with, and the sheer genius of his talent is exemplified in his photos.”

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For their reception, Monika tells, “We used Doltone House at Jones Bay Wharf. The staff were extremely professional and evidently highly experienced in their areas of expertise. The entire process of planning the wedding with them was a pleasure and completely smooth. On the night, the food and service was exquisite! From the bridal room provided where we would safely leave our things, to every request and question being answered with such ease and friendliness. What a wonderful experience!”

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Not only did Sweet Art make the wedding cake, decorated with a trailing cascade of sugar flowers, but  Sweet Art also planned, styled and themed the entire wedding.

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Guests received alternating favors of piccolos of Moet champagne and Designer Chocolates from Chocolate Works.

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Monika remembers, “A special detail for my husband organised by my father in law was a box of Muirheads silver seal single malt scotch whisky distilled in 1987, the year of my husband’s birth. My husband was so proud and excited about this; it was a very sentimental detail.”

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“Each and every speech that was given touched our hearts deeply. John and I were blown away and humbled by the effort our dads, best man and maid of honour went to, to make their speeches so personal, touching and perfectly humorous. My beautiful husband, his speech deserves a special mention. I may be biased, but it left me speechless and it was absolutely perfect. – I finally got to marry my best friend.”

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For their first dance, Monika recalls, “Our gym trainer who was a former dance teacher taught us our first dance. John and I are a relaxed and fun couple, and that’s just how we wanted our first dance to be. We didn’t just want to do a traditional serious waltz; we wanted it to be something with a fun flare that we both enjoyed doing. With that in mind, we chose Frank Sinatra’s ‘The Way You Look Tonight’, which was an obvious choice from the moment we heard it – it was also a song featured on the first CD music mix I made John. We thought we may feel nervous doing the dance, but both of have never had more fun or felt more relaxed. It was perfect.”

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Monika tells one last story. “This is a humorous memory I enjoy telling from the day. My husband, his best friend Theo and I have an ongoing joke about how I am the third wheel when the three of us are together, and that Theo is the son we never had. To say the least, Theo had one too many drinks on the night and was very keen to be part of every moment. The night was nearly over and John was removing my garter, when I notice Theo coming directly behind John and starting to dance on him. There is one photo that captures the moment perfectly as I’m telling Theo to stop, and all you can see is his torso down to his feet midway dancing. We find this photo and moment hilarious, especially considering the context of our friendship! On a slightly more serious note, the main story to tell is that I have never seen all of our closest friends and family laughing and dancing as much as we did, whether it were to Greek music or Rhianna, every single person there made our night. And from what we heard, they had as memorable a night as we did.”

Congratulations Monika and John! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you to John Benavente Photography for sharing today’s wedding with us!

Photographer: John Benavente Photography / Cinematographer: No Limit Pictures / Wedding Planner: Chris Saban from Sweet Art / Bride's Dress: Rhomnda Hemmingway Couture / Bride's Shoes: Peeptoe / Bride's Jewellery: Georgini / Groom's Attire: Herringbone Couture / Groomsmen Attire: Gibson / Bridesmaid Dresses: By Weave / Bridesmaid Shoes: Tony Bianco / Bridesmaid Accessories: Angelique / Hairstylist: Peter Heart / Makeup Artist: Olivia Clee from Flawless Makeup / Flowers. Decor & Styling: Chris Saban from Sweet Art / Invitations & Stationery: Alannah Rose Stationery Boutique / Ceremony Venue: St Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney / Reception Venue: Doltone House at Jones Bay Wharf / Ceremony Musicians: Opus 4 String Quartet / DJ: Sydney Music Events DJ / Favors: Designer Chocolates from Chocolate Works / Wedding Cake: Chris Saban from Sweet Art / Wedding Rings: Simon's Jewellers, Wollongong (02) 4229 9430 / Transport: Roll up in a Rolls / Lighting Hire: Decorative Events

Win a Jannie Baltzer Headpiece

by | Bride, Competitions


Jannie Baltzer has an eye for beauty, and her unique hand-crafted headpieces have graced the pages of Vogue, Elle and Cosmopolitan (just to name a few!), as well has adorning the head of Crown Princess Mary’s sister at the Danish royal twin’s christening. And now one lucky Polka Dot reader could be amongst this impressive list!

Jannie is influenced by French bohemianism of the early 1900s, the details of the Art Deco movement and the glamour of the 1920s. Everything is handmade in her studio in Copenhagen, using hand-made flowers, and beautiful Preciosa crystals and pearls. Her work is full of whimsy and magic, and no piece is the same.

To celebrate the launch of her 2013 Collection, Jannie has teamed with Polka Dot Bride today to offer one lucky reader the chance to choose any headpiece from her gorgeous online collection. How can you just choose one!? We love the bohemian Bridget, with her halo of Czech crystals and beads, handmade flowers, vintage velvet millinery leaves and mix of Preciosa pearls. Just stunning!

 To win a Jannie Baltzer headpiece, valued at over $300, simply leave a comment on this post and tell us which is your favourite Jannie Baltzer headpiece, and why you love it.

 Terms & Conditions

The winner will be chosen by the Polka Dot Bride team and will be informed by Polka Dot Bride. Entrants must have an Australian shipping address. If no contact is made within one month, the prize will be reallocated to another contestant. This prize is not redeemable for cash. Entrants must be aged 18 or older. This competition is a game of skill; no chance enters into deciding the winner. No late entries will be considered. This Competition closes 26 February 2013, 5pm Australian Daylight Saving Time.