Jessica and Ari’s Upstate New York Wedding

by | Bride, Inspired Weddings, International,


Jessica & Ari

I am so glad to finally share this Upstate New York wedding that we’ve been trying to coordinate for some time, with you.

Jessica recalls how she and Ari met. “We met when we were freshman at Cornell University. We lived down the hall from each other in the same dorm. We were both dating other people at the time, but we became very close friends and remained as such for 2 years. We were both single one summer between sophomore and junior year and were working as interns in New York City. We started spending a lot of time alone together and suddenly started to like each other as more than friends. We had our first kiss outside of a nightclub we went dancing at for a friend’s birthday party and the rest is history. We got married at Cornell, the very place we met, 7 years later.”

Photographs are by Tajana Pitt who has a classic, timeless style to her photography.

Jessica wore a gown from Monique Lhuillier with  Jimmy Choo shoes and bespoke jewels from Beny Sofer. The groom wore a suit from Ferragamo and the bridesmaids, gowns from Watters and Wtoo.

Jessica and Ari met for photos before the ceremony. Of their photographers, Jessica says, “Our photographers were truly wonderful. We met them in NYC almost a year earlier and had spent a lot of time with them leading up to the wedding so by the time we got married we felt very comfortable around them, they were our friends! They spent 3 hours with us outside in the dead of winter in NYC to do the most beautiful engagement shoot for us in the snow. After that we expected great things, and they still managed to exceed our expectations on wedding day. They are very artistic people and that was what I wanted, creative and candid shots. I didn’t want posed photos. I wanted everything to look and feel organic and they delivered.”

The couple hired Cornell University A Cappella group, The Hangovers for their ceremony music. For her walk down the aisle, Jessica chose  a live rendition of “Sea of Love” that was performed by a student at Cornell named Claire Schmidt.

The couple were married at Sage Chapel at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Jessica explains “We had our ceremony in Sage Chapel which is a gorgeous non-denominational chapel at Cornell University (where we met). The Chapel sits on the top of the hill where the University is, overlooking Cayuga Lake. It is truly breathtaking.”

Friend’s transported wedding guests in  yellow school buses.

Escort cards were decorated with cinnamon sticks. As favors, Jessica recalls “We gave mini apples from a local orchard in Ithaca with miniature jars of honey from the local farmer’s market packaged in apple stamped muslin bags with a note about the Jewish New Year tradition of dipping apples in honey to signify a sweet beginning to the new year (Rosh Hashanah, Jewish New Year, was 4 days after our wedding) ”

The reception, says Jessica “was held at the John Joseph Inn and Elizabeth Restaurant, a beautiful bed & breakfast where we stayed with our immediate family members for the weekend. They have English gardens and several acres of open pasture where they keep live sheep. Our venue was out in the middle of nowhere in farm country and it was very peaceful and lovely. Cocktail hour was hosted in the gardens and dinner and dancing was under a tent nearby.”

The cultural traditions continued at the reception. Jessica explains ” I put together a packet at each table which included a havdalah candle, a spice box, and a set of matches for everyone to participate in a short havdalah service before dinner (a candle lighting ceremony that signifies the end of Shabbat).

Jessica remembers the first dance. “Our first dance was to the song “You Belong to Me” – the version by Jason Wade. When we had first started dating in college, I went to study abroad in Argentina for a semester (we were apart for 5 months after only 6 months of dating) and it tore my heart out to leave Ari behind. I made him a music mix to listen to when he missed me. I listened to it everyday when I was away too. This song is about traveling the world and remembering your true love waiting is for you back at home. It was very sentimental to us ☺ We took professional dance lessons and had a whole choreographed dance to the song, but we got stage fright performing in front of all of our guests and forgot the routine so we had to wing it! ”

Jessica’s family gave her a very memorable surprise at the ceremony. Jessica recalls “One of my favourite moments at the wedding was when my entire immediate family got up on stage with the band and surprised me and all of our guests with a rendition of “Say A Little Prayer”. My father gave his speech/toast, and ended his toast say, “Jessica, now I would like to say a little prayer for you”. Then the band started playing and he started singing words he had made up to the song “Say a little prayer for you”. Then slowly my mother joined him, my sister got up and joined him, my stepmother got up and joined, my brother got up and joined and then my sister-in-law and then Ari, my husband! It turned out they had secretly been writing and practicing this song without my knowledge and then they performed it in front of everyone. It was so touching, hysterically funny because none of them can sing well, and I was completely surprised. It was awesome!”

Jessica remembers “Dinner and dancing had to end by 11pm so we continued the party inside the inn where we had beer and wine and we ordered pizza from one of our favourite pizza places in Ithaca (The Nines) for all of the guests. From 11pm – 1am we had a house party essentially inside the inn, it was great! ”

Congratulations on your marriage Jessica and Ari! Thanks for sharing your day with Polka Dot Bride! Thank you also to Tajana Pitt for sharing the photographs!

Photographer: Tatjana Pitt / Cinematographer: Erin Davies / Wedding Planner: Jennifer Lawrence Birnbaum of Ceremonies & Events Planning of the Fingerlakes / Bride's Dress: Monique Lhuillier / Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bride's Jewellery: Beny Sofer / Groom's Attire: Ferragamo / Groomsmen Attire: Their Own / Bridesmaid Dresses: "Inga” by Watters / Hairstylist: Meredith Towsand / Makeup Artist: Essie Cohen of Xpressivefaces / Flowers & Decor: Backyard Garden Florist / Invitations & Stationery: Monumental Designs / Ceremony Venue: Sage Chapel at Cornell University Ithaca, NY / Ceremony Officiant: Cantor Abbe Lyons / Ceremony Musicians: The Hangovers / Reception Venue: John Joseph Inn & Elizabeth Restaurant, Groton, NY / Band: Joe D'Elia and the All Star Band / Cake Baker: Marion Cardwell-Ferrer of Sincredible Pastries / Transport- Bride: Fitzgerald Brothers
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Babushka Ballerina Bridal

by | Bridal Fashion, Bride


I was so excited to stumble upon the gorgeous collection of Brisbane designer Babushka Ballerina. A bridal boutique itself, stocking many Australian labels (including Anna Campbell and Two Bird Bridesmaids).

But I wanted to discover and explore was the collection of owner Sierra Ramke who has created such a beautiful collection of vintage inspired wedding gowns. Inspired by the 1920s & 1930s, Sierra’s gowns feature beautiful laces, art deco style embellishments, long elegant sleeves and boned bodices.

The elements of her gowns are interchangeable – a bride can choose to add an embellished cap sleeve, a beautiful sparkly belt or change the bodice lace. Sierra’s dream is designing for women who appreciate fashion and have a style of their own.

Photos by Lana Ivanova Photography for Babushka Ballerina

Vendor of the Week – Lucy Spartalis Photography

by | Blog News, Bride


Is that Spring I smell in the air? Spring and a Monday morning with a week ahead of wedding goodness, let’s kick it off!

First up, as is Monday morning tradition, nod and a bow to the members of Ms Polka Dot’s Directory

Please take a moment and check out our awesome directory members. We have vendors who specialise in Photobooth Hire, CelebrantsCakes Styling & Hire just to name a few of the many suppliers who make up the pages of our wedding directory!

Lovely vendor of the week Lucy of Lucy Spartalis Photography started her photography career in Adelaide (and she loves to travel back there to shoot weddings!). She now lives in Melbourne and not only captures weddings but everything in between- like fantastic music artists and street fashion too! I love Lucy’s photos they have a friendliness to them, much like Lucy herself! Her photos capture lots of light, bright moments and beautiful ones too!

We asked Lucy from Lucy Spartalis Photography five questions in five minutes –

Favourite after work drink:

For a long time it was a Kahlua and Soda (people often question it but trust me – so good), but now I go for a Pimm’s and lemonade, filled with chunks of lime and orange. Perfectly refreshing for a hot summer’s day.

Favourite weekend getaway:

I’m an ex South Australian, so I’d have to say trip down to a shack on Hindmarsh Island will always be my absolute fave, but in Victoria I’d have to say Sandy Point – the most secluded, lush coastal town… so green and beautiful. Throw in a few bottles of wine, a bunch of cheeses and smallgoods, and as many board games as I can find – perfect weekend away.

Favourite restaurant:

Definitely Cafe Bedda on High St, Northcote. I’ve never eaten more authentic, delicious Italian cuisine (except for in Italy of course, but even then – it’s close!). Plus the service is exceptional every time.

Sunday Morning Breakfast:

I often try to get to The Green Refectory on Sydney Rd, Brunswick for their amazing Breakfast Stack. Poached eggs, pancetta, spinach, some sort of tomato concoction and a huge chunk of fried halloumi, all stacked on a bed of the tastiest hash brown ever. I’d give a better description, but I usually inhale it in about 1.7 seconds, so I don’t quite remember…

My favourite wedding story:

There are far too many to chose from! I’ll go with a little detail from this last weekend’s wedding (the gorgeous Alice + Jon) that made my heart melt: Their flower girl and pageboy were allowed to wear whatever they wanted to for walking down the isle, so they chose to be dressed as a pink fairy… and Spiderman. Adorable.

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

Snapshot Sunday – Thank You Stars

by | Bride, Snapshot Sundays


Photo by Lakshal Perera