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Chelsea & Brendon

Chelsea and Brendon’s original wedding date was set for August 8, 2020, but due to COVID-19 they made the tough decision to “pull the pin” and postpone it to early next year. They chose to do an engagement shoot (with their wedding photographer, Kitty from Lily & Twine) the moment they decided to postpone their wedding as they really wanted to mark that day in a special way. The original wedding date was special to them because of the numeric sequence and auspicious numbers in Chinese culture. Below, Chelsea and Brendon share their engagement story and how their engagement shoot unfolded.

We became engaged in a simplistic family picnic with our fur baby. After seven years of dating and Chelsea thinking it will never happen. I (Brendon) had thought of a grand plans to propose such as the cliché New Years eve, or hot air balloon flight but realised if I had committed to a such a gesture Chelsea would have suspected something was up. So I had decided to organise a Sunday picnic at one of our local parks. I spent all morning getting things in place (e.g. secret photographer to capture the moment, location etc.) whilst Chelsea was none the wiser in preparing the food for the picnic.

We arrived at the park which was extremely busy with other events and families which hid the secret photographer well. Once I had helped setup the picnic, I told Chelsea that I was going to take Tilly for a walk to ‘calm her down’ where we walked far enough for me to slip on a bandanna asking if ‘mummy would you marry my daddy’, and to Chelsea’s surprise and delight I was down on one knee after she realised what the bandanna had said.

The thing we love about each other is the little quirks that is unique to each of us that only each other notice and understand. For example, Brendon playing and signing the same song on replay over and over.

When the day of our engagement shoot arrived, things were looking a bit concerning as it had been pouring rain the night before. During the morning, the rains was still on and off however we still held out hope and went out to purchase the goodies in readiness for the picnic and in the process grabbed a bite at a local café.

It was about 12pm we finished having lunch and the weather situation had not improved in fact it had got heavier with rain. We had organised with our beautiful photographer to meet up at 3pm as such we were still holding out hope and constantly checking the BOM radar.

As 2pm approached, we got a phone call from our photographer Kitty (of Lily & Twine) to say that things were not looking so good with the rain continuing, grey clouds everywhere which left us with the options of having  postponing, choosing an alternative location with shelter or hoping for a small miracle. As Kitty knew how special the day was to us she wanted to do something and worked frantically to look at other potential locations and had decided there was other possible alternatives but that would be going away from what we envisioned of a natural scenic backdrop. We decided to give it to 2:45pm to make the decision whether we postpone or move it to another location.

In that 45-minute window there were some expletives and small meltdowns as we didn’t want to change from the natural scenic location or not doing something to mark the day. We were starting to feel extremely disappointed as how we alternatively wanted to celebrate the day was now not looking possible as well. We still decided to get ready just in case things turned for the better and literally 15 minutes before having to make the call, blue skies had appeared, and the sunshine was out.

We received a phone call from Kitty and she had joked that a small miracle had happened for us with the blue skies and sunshine out with no rain on the BOM radar in site. Kitty was amazing and a trooper where we all raced to the location to ensure we can do the shoot and capture the spectacular last light for the time of the year.

The engagement shoot took place at Belmont Wetlands and a surprise secluded spot that we found on an unplanned adventure we undertook with our wonderful photographer Kitty.

We chose this location as we are adventurous people and love going for walks to explore new sights and nature. We found this location from a bike ride we went on one weekend.

The adventure was an ‘on the run’ decision we all made as we had underestimated the distance to trek in the original plans of having some shots in the wetlands and then proceeding to the beach dunes for a sunset picnic. We took a detour hoping it would be a shortcut to the beach and went on a bit of an adventure through bush and creeks (it was only small puddle of water from the rain but according to Brendon it was a creek) and through this found this hidden spot where we were able to setup our picnic and capture the gorgeous last light and sunset of the day. Although we didn’t find the beach, the secluded spot was a wonderful alternative where our brilliant photographer Kitty was able to capture some of the stunning shots (even though there were some dingo tracks in the area). Although we didn’t find the water, the adventure was a much more memorable moment as we trekked almost 10 kilometres during the day with a picnic basket, high heels, photography equipment and in pitch blackness by the time we found our way out of the bush and wetlands.

Ms Floral Says: What a special way to honour your ‘should-have-been-wedding-day’! Thank you for sharing your story and we wish you all the best for your wedding next year.

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Danni & Aaron

There was a long road to get to today’s wedding, but it was truly meant to be and couldn’t have come at a better time. Sneaking in just before COVID-19 restrictions, Danni and Aaron said their vows and celebrated their marriage at Summerfields Estate & Country House on the Mornington Peninsula. Capturing the love and beautiful details? Aesthete Wedding Photography. Below, Danni shares their story and why their day was incredibly special to them but also especially meaningful to their loves ones. 

My husband Aaron and I have been together now for 7.5 years. We met online in 2012 and after six months together I went off to Europe for three months! We said “I love you” at the airport for the first time and decided to stay together.

It wasn’t exactly smooth sailing, because when I returned Aaron was diagnosed with depression and it was something that heavily affected our lives for the next few years.

In 2018, I went away with a girlfriend on a holiday and when I returned home from the airport Aaron proposed in front of a library he built to house all my antique books!

After the proposal it seemed the universe tested us. We had our engagement at a barefoot bowls club and went out dancing afterwards, and Aaron was assaulted at a nightclub and ended up in hospital for four days after being king hit.

In the midst of planning the wedding, we also both had job changes and I started up my own business. Aaron brought home a dog from the pound and told me he had adopted him. Aaaand that’s how we got a dog.

Both of our dads were then diagnosed with cancer, and were told they had no more that a few years left.

I poured every spare minute I had sourcing things for the wedding and planning it, as my theme of 1940s and 1950s made everything difficult to source or looking after my dad when I wasn’t working.

We were married on March 7, the week before Melbourne weddings started having restrictions or were stopped all together!

A lot of things were sourced online, like the bridesmaid dresses and shoes and my dress.
I wanted the wedding to look like ‘Pearl Harbour and The Stepford Wives’. We had 114 guests at Summerfields Estate & Country House on the Mornington Peninsula.
We had an Andrew Sisters type band (The Trebelettes) that sang when people arrived and during the cocktail hour.
The girls walked down the aisle to Doris Day. I walked down the aisle to Etta James with my dad.
Aaron was crying!
We were married underneath the big gum tree down by the lake. We wrote our own vows and we finished our ceremony with a fake butterfly release, songs by The Beatles and giant party poppers. We had the lawn games and photos afterwards in the gardens, and then followed by dinner and dancing.
I sourced at lot of the props from antique shops and op shops, my spare room was full of it for about a year! The table centrepieces were all antique silver teas sets and crystal pieces like decanters and vases and the table numbers were old vintage photos of couples on their wedding days. Our wedding favour ‘book’ was actually a big ceramic pot everyone signed and now sits in our living room on display with a nice plant in it. I didn’t want something sitting on a shelf we’d never look at.
We had donuts for our wedding favours and played ‘the newlywed game’ instead of having traditional speeches.

Our first dance was to Jimmy Durante’s ‘Hello Young Lovers’ and we played a lot of vintage 40s and 50s music too while everyone was eating. We finished the night with a sparkler exit and stayed the night with family at Summerfields. We had breakfast together the next day before everyone helped us pack up.

We left for Cambodia five days later, but had to come home only six days later due to border closures. Our honeymoon became two weeks quarantine at home which was very peaceful!

Sadly, we lost Aaron’s dad a week into our quarantine, and six weeks after we lost my dad. I’m sure they were both just hanging on for the wedding. So now after having to close my business three times this year due to COVID, I realise how much joy our wedding brought everyone involved as it was something else to talk about and share photos of. We feel very lucky we were able to have our wedding, and my heart goes out to anyone who has had to postpone theirs.

Ms Floral Says: A huge congratulations to Danni and Aaron on their beautiful vintage wedding. What a journey you walked together to get there, and to put this incredible celebration together while having A LOT on your plate is inspiring. What a day for you and your loved ones to remember. We wish you both all the very best!

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This post features the following wedding vendors. If you've been featured below, we'd love to get to know you. Click here to join Polka Dot Bride.

  • Transport
  • Sherbrooke Car Hire

Hannah & Chris

Today’s wedding is super special in so many ways, one being that Hannah (aka Ms Zebra) is a member of the Polka Dot Bride team! Hannah married Chris in a beautiful rooftop ceremony in the heart of Melbourne, six weeks after deciding they would elope and with their baby Archie in tow. There to capture the vows and intimate celebration that followed was photographer Ali Bailey and videographer Lochlan Tangas from Tango Films. Below, Hannah shares how she and Chris met, as well as how they pulled together a stylish and sophisticated celebration in such a short timeframe.

Chris and I met via Tinder five years ago! There was a feature at the time when someone could “superlike” you… Chris “superliked” me, which, I tease him of often and once we connected, it turned out we had many crossovers and were unsure how we hadn’t already met! One of my best friends actually worked at a bar with him for years and was dating one of his good mates. Strange how these things work out! I suppose the rest as they say, is history.

Fast forward to our wedding and the style and theme was very classic, intimate and special – oh and a surprise! It was the ultimate throw together, COVID wedding. We only decided about six weeks in advance we were going to do it. Luckily, the numbers allowed to attend had increased from 5 to 20, so we were able to share it with our gorgeous family and some close friends. We were just as prepared to have the day with only Lara Williams (our celebrant), photographer and videographer – and our little son, Archie.

Although, it was only part one! We can’t wait to be able to celebrate with a massive party and all of our friends. It was so hard capping the guests but I know all of our friends felt it was incredibly special to be there.

Getting ready with Chris and our baby Archie was so much fun.

How I chose my dress is a funny story! Having a limited amount of time and the fact that I was about two months post giving birth and we’d just been in total lockdown, this certainly wasn’t your average bridal dress selection process!

Initially when we were planning and only Chris, myself and Archie were going to be there, I had a vision of a simple white skirt, white top and killer Manolo Blahnik heels as my ultimate attire. However, as the day progressed and snowballed (like most weddings!) my little outfit became a little underdone.
My sister-in-law took me by the hand and we trudged around Chadstone trying to find a special white dress, in stock, that fit and was complementary to my post baby figure! To no avail, we left. She even pulled some amazing strings to fit me in with the amazing Capellazzo Couture but my brain just couldn’t compute pulling that together so quickly! I don’t think I’d ever thought of myself or seen myself in a traditional wedding gown and nothing about this wedding was traditional!

Instead, a dress I’d seen online, I decided I would try on. It was from Bec & Bridge, champagne in colour and fit like a glove. I suppose it was meant to be. I had it slightly altered in a few places but it was mainly ready to go.
My shoes were found online as well at Eternal Bridal, delivered in the last days leading up to the wedding and the colour matched perfectly!

Chris wore a tuxedo that he’d had made by Angela Nicolades, when he was a groomsman for one of his best mates. He had always imagined wearing a tuxedo to get married and had a special jacket made for the day. Having worked with Angela on a few different pieces now has always been a great experience. She’s so good at what she does, knows the fit and style that will suit and in my opinion, he looked pretty dapper in his get up on the day!

When it came to the flowers, I actually approached a few bigger companies about doing a small range for our day. They laughed at me, told me no and that I wasn’t spending enough to make it worthy of their time. To be honest, I was a bit deflated about the whole thing.

However, a girl I went to school with in the year below has a business – Rosa Rose Flor – and after contacting her she was more than happy to help. I was so grateful and not to mention, she’s incredibly talented!

I sent through a Pinterest concept board and left the rest with her. She’s the professional, so I had trust in her decisions! She came back with a few different options and we were beyond stoked with the result. Chris was a little hesitant when we were describing the flower stands at the altar but they definitely anchored where we said ‘I do’ and added to the aesthetic of the day. He’s since admitted he’s glad I insisted on doing it!

The wedding was on June 20, 2020 at the Siglo rooftop in Melbourne. The reception was held around the corner at Recoleta. Both spaces are managed by Spring St Events Group.

We were so lucky (in many senses of the word) that during this 2020 COVID scenario, most venues were pretty free! We chose a date with Lara first, booked in Ali and Lochlan and only then considered where we actually wanted to say ‘I do’.

I had always joked about getting married at Siglo. My mother-in- law is catholic and even though we were never getting married in a church, at least she could see St Patrick’s Cathedral!

However, we toyed with a spot in Flinders, an Air BnB and then Chris found Recoleta. When we went to visit the space, we enquired about the Siglo rooftop and Jess took us through both venues. Then we went away, thought about it and decided it would work well to marry there, then move onto the reception at Recoleta.

It was a wonderful and cohesive day, that flowed well and was perfect for guests to mill post ceremony before only walking the short distance to the reception dinner. Everyone was super helpful and we had a great time!

I walked down the aisle to ‘Sweetest Thing’ by Allman Brown.

The ceremony was relatively short and sweet. It was made up of lovely words from Lara, then Chris and myself wrote our own vows. I found it a bit daunting (even in front of only a few close friends) to be the centre of attention, but when standing up there together, I could only see Chris and everything else faded away! It was super special.

Side note: we were also super lucky that the protest that had been held at parliament that morning had dissipated and we were cheered by police as I arrived with my dad!

All our vendors were fantastic. Ali and Lochy, Lara, Rosie and Elle and of course, Jess of Spring Street Events – we couldn’t have done it without them all and it all came together so beautifully! We feel very lucky to have had such an amazing team. Bring on part two post COVID!

A favourite detail of the day was the flowers. They made such a beautiful impact – and I loved my bouquet. They complemented everything so perfectly!

Our photographer, Ali Bailey, was AMAZING! She’s such a gorgeous person and made both of us feel so comfortable and happy. She worked with us (and a baby) and made the day feel effortless. So grateful for all her hard work and of course, we love and adore the images!

The shots in the cactus garden are by far my favourite image. Chris whispered to me at the time, “What the heck are we doing in the garden?” and I replied, “Trust Ali, it will be amazing.” And it was! I loved the photography on the day because each venue and spot Ali chose looked like we could’ve been anywhere in the world. It showcases just how amazing Melbourne is!

We entered the upstairs venue for dinner to ‘Always Be My Baby’ by Anderson East.

It was all the most fun and sensational blur. Our friends laugh with us that it was the last hurrah before Melbourne went into complete lockdown for 2020!

The entire day was quite special in the end! It really went from just Chris, myself and Archie eloping (with COVID restrictions) to being able to include friends and family. The day was filled with so much love and being so intimate, I believe, created such a special atmosphere. It was truly about us getting married and making that commitment to each other to become a family without much of the other noise associated with wedding days!

I think COVID has really changed the way people see weddings, and how they will do weddings in the future. For us, we were really able to focus on the marriage part of the day and saying ‘I do’ to the person you love more than anyone in this world. If you can keep that at the forefront of your day, everything will fall into place, and everything else doesn’t really matter.

Hannah and Chris’ elopement teaser video by Tango Films

Ms Floral Says: Congratulations Hannah and Chris on such a picture perfect and special elopement. How lucky you were with the timing! Everyone here at Polka Dot Bride sends their love to your little family and we thank you for allowing us to share your story and beautiful day. Poring over every detail of it has been such a treat!

Credits

This post features the following wedding vendors. If you've been featured below, we'd love to get to know you. Click here to join Polka Dot Bride.

  • Bride's Jewellery
  • Family heirlooms
  • Groom's Attire
  • Angela Nicolades
  • Groom's Shoes
  • Angela Nicolades