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Erin & Dejan

A wedding full of Polish, Russian and Serbian traditions, babushka dolls, vodka and dancing, set against the backdrop of beautiful, rainy Melbourne? A must-see. Erin and Dejan, who married in November last year at Melbourne Town Hall, had their hearts set on an elegant, city wedding that would be a lot of fun for their guests. The pair nailed their brief, with a picture perfect ceremony, iconic Melbourne portraits and a joyful reception with lots of celebrating at Fenix Events. The couple’s special day was captured by photographer Courtney Laura. Below, Erin tells us how her special day unfolded.

Dejan proposed to me on a trip to Europe in 2018. We were in Slovenia visiting his parents. Dejan had gone out the day before to buy the ring with his dad. He convinced me to climb to the top of the castle in Ljubljana and that’s where he proposed!

For my dress, I knew I wanted something very simple and timeless. I’m not a huge fan of lace on myself so that immediately eliminated a lot of dresses! In the end, I only went to two bridal shops, tried on about eight dresses and picked the one I liked the most! It was by Mikaella Bridal. Done and dusted in one day!

I went outside the box for my shoes. I knew that I wanted a red pair and ended up with a red/multi coloured pair that were perfect!

For my flowers, I knew that I wanted natives. I love waratahs so that was my feature flower and colour. My bouquet was made up of waratahs, small straw flowers, billy buttons, proteas, leukadendrons, flannel flowers, gum leaves and gum nuts. It was so heavy!

The groom wore a blue Bell & Barnett suit as he didn’t want black. We went with plain white shirts and ties with deep red flowers to match the bouquets.

Our ceremony was at Melbourne Town Hall. Dejan and I love the city we live in so we knew we wanted a city wedding. We looked at lots of different venues but in the end we chose Melbourne Town Hall for the simplicity of the balcony.

My dad walked me down the aisle to ‘Only You’ by Joshua Radin. It was a cover of the Yazoo original.

For my wedding ring, my mum gave me my nana’s engagement and wedding rings and I had them redesigned into one ring.

We wanted our ceremony to be very simple and not too long! We asked One of Dejan’s groomsmen to do a short reading for us called ‘A Lovely Love Story’ by Edward Monkton. We chose it because it made us laugh.

We originally thought about writing our own vows but in the end we decided on the traditional ones and were glad that we did.

Our celebrant was Meriki Comito and she was perfect! Easy to work with and helped us create our perfect ceremony.

During our ceremony we thought we would have a bit of fun. Once we were pronounced husband and wife, we had a shot of vodka as a nod to my Polish and Russian side of the family.

Our photographer was Courtney Laura. We had seen her work at a wedding fair that we went to at the last minute. She came and met us for lunch and showed us some of her work and we made our decision! She made us feel so comfortable when we were doing our portraits and got lots of natural photos. We knew we wanted urban/city shots and they are fantastic!
Our reception was at Fenix Events in Richmond. We chose Fenix for the beautiful scenery along The Yarra. The staff at Fenix were also extremely helpful and answered all our questions, and were more than willing to accommodate the little extra things we wanted as part of our reception.
We had two babushka dolls as our wedding cake topper because I love them and they represent my paternal nana. Our cake was by Miss Ladybird Cakes.
Our table runner was made up of the same flowers as my bouquet, and our centre pieces were random mixes of the flowers to sit on the base of the candles. The natives fit in perfectly with view of the gum trees on the banks of The Yarra. The beauty of natives is that they last a really long time. I had my bouquet in a vase at home for weeks afterwards and we still have two of the centrepieces on our bedside tables!
Dejan’s family are Serbian so we had a few traditions thrown in as well. He had his cousin hand around the buklija, a big flask filled with rakija to all the guests throughout the reception. We also had periods of the evening where we danced to kolo, a traditional circle dance where all the guests join hands to dance.

We also had lots of vodka and rakija flowing throughout the reception which I’m sure helped all of the guests get up and dance!

Ms Floral Says: Congratulations Erin and Dejan on a tradition-filled and fun-filled wedding! What an incredible celebration you pulled off in your gorgeous city of Melbourne. So happy you embraced the rain to get those stunning portraits. Wishing you all the very best in your married life together.

Polka Dot Dream Team...

The below wedding vendors made this magic happen and are an approved part of the Polka Dot Directory. Visit their portfolios to learn more and enquire about their services!

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.

Alina & Wayne

Today’s sentimental and shabby chic wedding is beautiful and touching for so many reasons. The bride and groom, Alina and Wayne, married on what would have been their daughter’s second birthday. Sadly, their daughter, Aila, passed away from SIDS in April 2018. The couple chose this special date to marry on to honour Aila’s life. Alina and Wayne were surrounded by 300 loved ones, plus a large bridal party, making for an amazing and emotional day. Below, Alina details her and Wayne’s wedding journey, plus all the thoughtful and handmade details they included in their big day.

Wayne and I met online and dated for a brief time, but went our separate ways. I then discovered I was pregnant and so we agreed to co-parent our daughter, Aila. After she was born we were spending time as a family and got back together and were very happy. Unfortunately, Aila passed away at 10 weeks from SIDS, and so we have worked hard to get through that experience together and have grown stronger and honoured our promise to her that we would stay together.

We married on January 18, 2020 at St Mark’s Uniting Church Mornington on what would have been Aila’s second birthday. We held the ceremony at St Mark’s Uniting Church as that is where we farewelled our daughter.

The groom is a very funky dresser and his favourite brand is Jack London – so his suit and jacket were from there. His shoes were chosen to stand out and match his suit.

I already had a dress, but I wasn’t happy with it. Then I walked into Bariano and knew that the dress I saw there was my dream dress.

I also had my late grandmother’s engagement ring pinned inside my dress.

I walked down the aisle to ‘Here With Me’ by Dido.

We wanted our ceremony to be a special acknowledgement of what Wayne and I have been through to make it to our wedding day, and also honour Aila and other special people who couldn’t be there with us. Our readings included a Native American prayer to remember those not with us and a reading called ‘Desiderata’.

Mark from One White Day was our photographer on the day and he was excellent. We hardly noticed he was there and the finished product was amazing.

The moment we went to inspect The Cloisters at Toorak College we knew it was where we would have our reception. The theme was shabby chic. I collected all the ornaments and decorations from an op shop and made lots of tea cup candles for the tables. The atmosphere was one of celebration. We also included lots of acknowledgement of Aila and those special people, such as my father and Wayne’s mum, who are no longer with us.

As you can see from the big bridal party, there were people from all areas of our life involved. The children who were involved all belonged to my bridesmaids.

The things that made our wedding special was that it was Aila’s second birthday, so there was both celebration, happiness, hope and some sadness. Also, my sister Carla (my maid of honour) and her partner travelled from Vancouver via Ireland to be there for the day.

It was great to see how all my little homemade touches were noticed by people. Having kids there with a face painter, tepee and a balloon artist was great too.

My jewellery, designed by Precious Touch Jewellery, had Aila’s finger print on it (ring and bracelet).

We loved that all our friends and family, who have supported us through the tough times, were there to celebrate what a special union it was.

Alina and Wayne’s wedding video by Cliff Elliot

Ms Floral Says: Thank you Alina for sharing your story with us. What a beautiful wedding to celebrate your union, as well as remember your precious Aila. The Polka Dot team all wish you the very best in your new chapter as husband and wife.

 

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.

  • DJ
  • CHASD Entertainment

Laura & Matt

For Laura and Matt, being surrounded by family and friends while enjoying good food and music in an incredible location was extremely important to them on their wedding day. The couple created their perfect day and celebrating their love at the stunning Gabbinbar Homestead in Toowoomba. They chose the talented Luke Middlemiss to capture the celebrations, as well as all the elegant details (including the bride’s perfect gown, gorgeous shades of red, and a lush reception setup. Below, Laura shares her and Matt’s story, and all the special moments from their intimate wedding day.

Five years ago, we both swiped right for each other on Tinder, and happened to find the love of a lifetime. We began talking from 3pm until midnight everyday for a week, and then arranged our first date.

Our first date was a movie and Mexican dinner. It ended with our first kiss at Kangaroo Point, which has an amazing view of Brisbane city at night. Since this time we have shared so many memories and experiences together; traveling, moving in together, getting our diving licenses, getting our degrees, achieving in our careers, growing into adults, and gaining each other as a best friend.

Matt’s proposal was a complete surprise, in fact, probably the biggest surprise of my life. It was a Friday afternoon at work, when I received an email from Matt asking if we could do date night that evening. I agreed and didn’t think too much of it. After work, we picked up sushi from our favourite place, packed some drinks in an Esky, and had a picnic in front of the city view at Kangaroo Point cliffs. The same spot where we had our first kiss four years earlier. Matt all of a sudden got down on one knee and pulled out the ring box. I said, “Oh my god” for about five minutes (as I said, biggest shock of my life), before saying yes.

My wedding dress search was a fairly long process. I spent about a year looking. Early in the process, I tried on the Alyssa Dress by Anna Campbell, with the accessories and veil, and absolutely loved it. I felt like I should look around more though as this was only the second shop I had been to. A year later, and I couldn’t stop thinking about the Alyssa dress. So my parents, and Matt, went on a Melbourne trip where my mum and I went to the Anna Campbell boutique and bought my dress. I absolutely loved wearing my dress, and didn’t want to take it off. The level of detail on the dress, the elegancy, the shape, and the matching accessories was everything I wanted in a wedding dress.


The bridesmaids had the same colour dress but in different styles to suit their own personal style sense. We used a velvet burgundy ribbon around the waist of each dress, which tied them both together beautifully. The burgundy colour also looked amazing in the photographs and matched the vintage feel of the venue. My bridesmaids were my two cousins. I liked the idea of having the girls as they’re family, and keeping it very family-oriented.

The groomsmen all went with a three-piece suit. Matt wore a silver tie to match my bone coloured dress, and the groomsmen wore a burgundy tie to match the bridesmaids. Matt’s groomsmen were his brother and his closet friend since high school.

Our ceremony and reception were both held at Gabbinbar Homestead, a historic estate in Toowoomba. The venue has multiple ceremony locations. We chose The Pavilion.


The bridesmaids and I walked down the aisle to ‘The One’ by Kodaline. It’s such a beautiful song, and perfect for a wedding.

Our ceremony was very personal to us as a couple. It told our story, with humour. It had a laid back approach, which was perfect for us. We both wrote our own vows where we shared our promises and also what we love most about each other.

At Gabbinbar, the homestead has multiple rooms including living rooms with fireplaces, a large dining room, ballroom, bride’s retreat and groom’s retreat. It was perfect for us. We made the venue extra personal by displaying our family photos around the homestead.


Our wedding remained completely true to us as a couple. We made sure that we prioritised all of the elements that were important to us such as: great location, great food, great music, great drinks and amazing photography. We also kept it small so that it was intimate and allowed for quality time with our closest friends and family. We had such as special day, and wouldn’t change a thing.


During the reception, we did a fully choreographed dance to ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ by Elvis Presley, which involved a few lifts, and got us some pretty good photos.

The rest of the night was spent mingling, dancing, drinking, and using the Kombi van (which was a photo booth). We ended the night with a mock sparkler exit surrounded by all of our guests.

Ms Floral Says: Congratulations to Laura and Matt on their marriage and a stunning wedding in such a picturesque location. Everything worked so well together, and your focus on family, friends and food were perfect for your intimate celebration.

 

Polka Dot Dream Team...

The below wedding vendors made this magic happen and are an approved part of the Polka Dot Directory. Visit their portfolios to learn more and enquire about their services!

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.

  • Groom & Groomsmen Attire
  • Studio 193