Kirstyn and Adam’s Australian Carnival Wedding

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Inspired Weddings,



Kirstyn and Adam

When you love something and infuse it into your wedding – that’s what brews the excitement and passion in the Polka Dot office. Today’s couple Kirstyn and Adam love theatre, they love vintage and they work in events. So their wedding was always going to be packed to the brim with special touches and wild, out of your brain ideas. Kirstyn explains her whole wedding was vintage carnival inspired. “We chose the 1930s and 1940s in particular so that there was continuity across the whole day and each of the three events.”

Kirstyn tells their story. “Adam and I have actually known each other our whole lives; my father and Adam’s mother went to high school together and have remained friends ever since. We didn’t hang out very much as kids because I tended to hang out with Adam’s younger sister when our families got together. When I moved to Melbourne, Adam and I began to spend more time together and the rest is history I guess. Our celebrant, Jon Von Goes, spoke about how our relationship was kind of “out of our hands”… everything has moved on as a natural progression, because it just feels right.”

Photographs today are by Jonathan Ongwho has an innate talent of capturing the mood, atmosphere and all the details to tell the wedding story.

The bride together with B. Designs, designed the stationery.

DIY started from the first moments of the day, Kirstyn remarking, “We made ribbon sticks for the guests to wave at the conclusion of the ceremony. We love theatre, I love the performance side and Adam loves the actual spaces. So we wanted the ceremony to have a dramatic feel about it. We had a red carpet and a backdrop of a large red velvet curtain. Drinks were served prior to the ceremony to create a celebratory atmosphere from the beginning.”

The entire wedding was planned by Kirstym and her mother who owns Kirstyn notes ” My  mother’s company IGBY Productions, is responsible for a good 85% of what was fantastic about the day. The other 15% was due to the other outstanding vendors we chose to work with. My mother, Robyn, and I obviously worked really hard, but the amazing team that we have worked superbly and all of the hard work by everyone showed.”

The Old Newport Rail Workshops was chosen as the ceremony venue, Kirstyn explaining, “As for the ceremony location we actually had another site in mind that fell through 7 months out from the wedding, so my mum and I were frantically trying to find a venue that ticked all of the boxes. Adam and I didn’t really want a garden or beach or anywhere that felt too typically wedding like, but we also wanted a venue that could facilitate the carnival. We also kept in mind that we live in Melbourne and October could be beautiful and sunny or miserable and raining so we also needed the venue to have a wet weather contingency. When my mum discovered the old Newport Rail Workshops, we were so excited because it ticked all of the boxes, plus it was a 3 minute drive away from our reception venue! And as everything turned out we are so happy it was there, nothing would have beaten it.”

Drinks were served prior to the ceremony. “We had beer that Adam went and brewed with a couple of his friends, my sister designed the labels and then Adam and the boys bottled and labelled the “I DO BREW.”

Kirstyn and Adam didn’t hire transport, instead Kirstyn and her bridesmaids hid in a 1940s locomotive awaiting their guests.

Kirstyn walked down the aisle to “Cupid by Amy Winehouse (originally by Sam Cooke) I love the song, and it has a reggae feel to it which suits us both. I later surprised Adam and our guests by singing the same song with the band at the end of the reception.”

Jon Von Goes performed the ceremony. Kirstyn remarking “Our celebrant was amazing and hilarious and really set the tone for the rest of the day, we had a few guests say that it felt like the show had begun. Our vows; although we didn’t write our own vows, we chose them very carefully and they felt really personal. Our celebrant said them loud enough for everyone to hear, then we spoke only so one another could hear. Because we were making those vows to each other and that is all that mattered.”

Then it was time for the carnival to begin. “After the ceremony and lots of hugs, kisses, confetti, Champagne and signing on the dotted line, we accompanied our guests to the carnival that was set up about 300m away. It was fantastic! We had ice-cream, pop corn, fairy floss, a pie judging stand, cocktails, I do brew, more bubbles and then there was the games.. There was face in the hole, knock ‘em down, milk cans, ring toss, clowns, hook a duck, lucky dips, a kissing booth, kewpie dolls and a roaming magician. There were sign posts directing guests into and around the ceremony/carnival location. Adam’s dad made the posts and the actual sings but Adam and I did all of the sign writing.”

“There were heaps of DIY elements, we felt like we had craft activities every night in the months leading up to the wedding. We made hundreds of paper pinwheels, some were used on centrepieces, others at the carnival and ceremony. It worked really well because it was continuous throughout the day. I had also made some into corsages and button holes for the VIPs (close family and friends that helped) but ended up forgetting to bring them on the day.”

“Even though I had been involved in planning every detail, I was blown away, Adam knew everything that was going to be there but didn’t really know what to expect, and couldn’t believe how much effort was put into everything. It was such fun. There were a few games and things that were brought in by other companies, but most of it was set up by the fabulous staff from IGBY.”

Kirstyn’s wedding gown was made by a family friend and accessorised with a hairpiece from Alannah Hill and ruby slippers from Wittner. Connie Fedele created the bridal party flowers.

Of their photographer, Kirstyn says, “We decided not to go ahead with a videographer, so it was really important to us that we had a photographer that would be able to capture every last detail of our beautiful day. We wanted to be able to re-live the day through the images. We have a friend who is an amazing wedding photographer but decided to get someone else, equally as amazing, to take our photographs. We wanted our friend to be a guest and enjoy the day. We found Jonathan Ong, who is not only a brilliant photographer, he is so easy going that it just felt right to have him involved in our day. Jon was like a photo ninja! He was running around all day, we didn’t even see him eat or drink although he assures us that he did! Jon captured everything perfectly. All of the small details and special touches, all of the precious moments. We can look over our photos and laugh, smile and even shed a tear, because each photo has an ensuing story to be told. We got to just enjoy our day and know that it was being documented. We couldn’t be happier with the photos!”

“I gave all of my bridesmaids a vintage brooch which they all wore either on their dress or in their hair on the day. All of the groomsmen and bridesman were given fabulously flamboyant socks which they also wore on the day.”

australian circus wedding62

Kirstyn and Adam held their reception at The Substation, Newport. Kirstyn says “We booked The Substation not long after being engaged, the space is amazing and suited us perfectly. We love the history of the building as well as all of the imperfections and raw edges that have been left on show. The function coordinator Amanda and I hit it off and we felt really excited about having our wedding reception there. The whole look and feel of the day started with inspiration from The Substation.”

carnival wedding

“After a few hours of feeling like a child again, everyone made their way to The Substation for cocktail hour and the reception. As the venues were so close, some guests walked which was really lovely. Adam and I love things with an earthy, rustic, organic feeling so we tried to have that throughout. During cocktail hour the guests were in the foyer area of The Substation for some delicious canapés and drinks. Our friend, Austin, stood on the stairs performing with his guitar, also stopping people from walking up the stairs to the main area. There is an art gallery on the ground floor and there was an exhibition on at the time, so guests were able to go through and admire the art while having a drink.”

“We had a huge ceiling installation that had large balls of flowers, wire balls, moss balls and pendant lights. It looked like something out of a movie. We were completely floored when we had a sneak peak at the room before the guests went in, just breath taking. As we had event coordinators working for us on the night, everything went off without a hitch.. apparently there were hitches but we didn’t notice, nor did our guests. We just did what we were told and it was fabulous to not have to stress that everything was happening on time.”

“Once it was time to move into the main ballroom, the large red curtains were drawn to reveal the tables and decor. Adam and I, along with our parents, stood at the entry to the main area and greeted everyone as they came through. This was so we knew we had definitely acknowledged each and every guest and thanked them for coming. It was also great to see everyone’s reactions as they walked in, it felt like all of our hard work had paid off. In the room we had 3 long tables that each sat about 50 people. The chairs were the same as those used at the ceremony.”

“We had collected Italian tomato cans and potted little succulents in them, we used succulents throughout the day, in the bouquets and button holes as well as the centrepieces. So it was nice to have some from the garden used too.”

“The centrepieces ran the whole length of the tables with many different elements so that they were not only eye catching as you walked in but when you sat down there were lots of details to admire. There were large gold candle stick holders, moss, flowers in jars and bottles, pin wheels, Carnival terrariums with merry-go-rounds and elephants and lots of candles.”

Homemade favors? Kirstyn and Adam made “Jars of olives from our huge olive tree that we cured and jarred ourselves.”

The first dance was one of Kirstyn’s favourite moments. “Adam really doesn’t like being the centre of attention and the thought of dancing in front of everyone made him very uneasy. However, he knew that having a first dance was important to me so we began our marriage with a compromise. We danced for about 45 seconds by ourselves, then the bridal party joined us and slowly everyone else joined in too. As it happened, Adam wasn’t nervous at all and we just enjoyed dancing with each other. Our song was “Love and Happiness” by Al Green, it was a really special moment that gave me goose bumps… I still get goose bumps just thinking about it!”

“My dress was so fitted that it made going to the bathroom quite a mission and although I had organised that my bridesmaids would help me each time I needed to go, Adam ended up being the one who came to help me each time. Which as it turns out was really special because it gave up little breaks away to have a chat, and recap on everything that was happening.”

“One really special story is that Adam’s grandmother who had been very unwell for a really long time came to our wedding all dressed up and so excited that her grandson was getting married. She generally isn’t very mobile due to her illnesses, but on the night she got up and danced and sang and had a fabulous time! Adam and I each had a dance with her, and Jonathan Ong managed to capture the special moment of Adam dancing with his Nonna. After the wedding she became quite sick and ended up passing away exactly 4 weeks after the wedding, almost to the hour of when she would have been up dancing with her grandson. We all feel really blessed that she was able to go out with a bang, and that she had such a fun night, which is how we can all remember her!”

Congratulations Kirstyn and Adam! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Jonathan Ong  for sharing today’s wedding with us!

Photographer: Jonathan Ong / Wedding Planner & Stylist: IGBY Productions / Bride's Dress: Created by a family friend / Bride's Shoes: Wittner / Bride's Veil/Hair Accessories: Alannah Hill / Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss / Groom's Shoes: Asos / Groomsmen Attire: Myer, Zara / Bridesmaid Dresses: A mix of different places / Hairstylist: Mary Posterino - Salon Symmetry / Hairstylist: Adam DiBiase - Salon Jenaire On the Waterfront / Makeup Artist: Sadie Tate Makeup Artist / Wedding Party Flowers: Connie Fedele / Reception Flowers: IGBY Productions / Invitations & Stationery: Bride together with B. Designs / Ceremony Venue: The Old Newport Rail Workshops / Ceremony Officiant: JVG / Reception Venue: The Substation, Newport / Band: Austin Busch / Band: Anthony Murray & Mamakusa / Favors: Homegrown olives with labels from Lajari Design / Catering: Melbourne Catering Company / Wedding Cake: Jennifer Kidd
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Baccini & Hill White Label Collection

by | Bridal Fashion, Bride


Baccini & Hill is somewhat of a stalwart in the Melbourne bridal scene. They have been around for as long as I can remember and with their fresh new Collins St premises it seems only natural for the brand to progress to a “Ready To Wear” collection, entitled Baccini & Hill “White”. The collection is wide and varied- ballgowns, Grecian goddess styles, beautiful mermaid designs and even a short polka dot number!

The focus is on texture and fabric, and creative styles that can work for a wide variety of figures. Designer Angelina Baccini says of this collection, “I wanted to create a collection of gowns based on the various silhouettes that are both flattering and adaptable. Fabric choice was paramount to the design and each gown has a different texture and feel. Soft tulles, chiffons, guipure lace, and beaded organzas have all been showcased in this range.”

Photos by Baccini & Hill

Vendor of the Week – Merge Photography

by | Blog News, Bride


Happy Monday Dotties! I can’t believe it’s the last week of February. Things are rolling around quickly at Polka Dot HQ and I’m looking forward to the cooler weather, though I will be sad to say good bye to gin and tonics in the balmy sunshine!

Monday morning tradition at Polka Dot Bride is to shine a spotlight bright on a randomly chosen member of our fab wedding directory, Ms Polka Dot’s Directory. But before we get into our randomly chosen vendor of the week, be sure to head on over and take a peek at some of our fabulous members!  We have fantastic celebrants, the most divine of wedding cake artists, hair & beauty, stationery & paper goods and so much more. We add new vendors every week and our members are always updating their portfolios with their best and freshest work. So take a moment to check it out!

merge photography wedding photographers

Photography is one of my great passions in life – I’ll never be as talented as people like today’s vendor of the week but I certainly appreciate a beautifully snapped shot when I see one! Perth based Merge Photography is a fabulous photography studio delivering fun, stylish and beautiful wedding images. The dynamic duo of Jodie and Karolina make it a point to get to know their clients on a personal level so they’re able to capture the moments of the wedding day in the most personal, beautiful way.

We asked Jodie and Karolina from Merge Photography five questions in five minutes –

What is your favourite after five drink?

Jodie: I love a glass of Wine, White (SSB) in summer and Red (Shiraz) in the winter BUT My more common after five drink would probably be a herbal tea!

Karolina: On the weekend that would be White wine usually an SSB or a Shiraz if it’s cold, otherwise vodka and grapefruit juice goes down well. During the week I enjoy a good old green tea.

Your favourite weekend getaway?

Jodie: Albany/Denmark in the Great Southern Region of WA… and also my Parents house in Donnybrook (Rural South West).

Karolina: To my mum’s place for a good old Sunday dinner (love mums Polish recipes!) But lately it has been my back yard as a new puppy (Jaxx) has joined our family (Ron & I)!

Favourite restaurant?

Jodie: Toto’s Vietnamese in East Victoria Park (they have a menu like a novel… I’m slowly making my way thru it all!)

Karolina: Recently moved and haven’t discovered anything north yet but my usual was the Corner Thai Restaurant in Applecross (just the best Green Chicken Curry ever and gorgeous Pad Thai)

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

Jodie: Eggs Benedict… yum!

Karolina:My fiancé cooks the best eggs & bacon with one of my favourites the good old bake beans (plus coffee and the newspaper off course)

Your favourite wedding story?

Jodie: It’s not so much a wedding story as a memory of the very first wedding I photographed over 10 years ago. I still remember looking at that Bride as she stepped out of the room for the first time in her wedding dress and seeing everyone’s reaction to how stunning she was and just being overwhelmed by the emotion in the room. The reactions of her mum and dad, to this day, are still the most beautiful reactions I have ever seen and its stayed with me ever since. It reminds me why I do what I do.

Karolina: I am a pretty emotional person and what a better day to experience emotions then on someone’s wedding day. So when I hear these awesome speeches made by the bride’s dad about his little girl or a speech by the groom to his new wife you will see tears on my face. Over the last 12 years there have been many favourite wedding stories but the one that sticks in my mind is of a bride that had a very sick dad. He was in and out of hospital with cancer so no one knew how long he had. The day came and everyone at the ceremony was so overwhelmed when she walked down the aisle with her dad by her side. Even though he just had surgery he found enough strength to walk her down the aisle. It was such a beautiful moment. I love to capture these snippets in time that are so special and irreplaceable!

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

Snapshot Sunday – All That Glitters

by | Bride, Snapshot Sundays


Photo by Starr Photography