It’s hard to believe that today’s wedding was on a 40 degree day. Today’s wedding won me over when the words ‘polka dots’ entered my inbox (really, do people think I like polka dots?) and then had me at the gorgeous dress, the romantic details, the very much in love bride and groom and the sweet heartfelt moments. This, this is what it is all about and oh it is such fun to help tell the story of a couple who had as much fun planning their day as Corrin and Johnny – so I’ll let them kick off the story of their retro-inspired farm wedding.

Corrin recalls the meeting story of her and Johnny. “We first met in slightly unusual circumstances. Johnny had a spinal cord injury surfing in Indonesia and needed rehab back home in New Zealand. At the same time, my brother Jai had just had a spinal cord injury snowboarding in Queenstown and was flown to the same rehab unit. Jai and Johnny became really good mates and after a trip to Sydney to visit Jai, Johnny and I got chatting and realised we had a lot in common including a love of similar bands, eating good food and travel. After making a couple of mixed compilation CDs for one another getting to know each other further via emails and phone calls and several trips to NZ to visit Johnny, we decided that this was something special and needed to be with each other in the same country, so I packed up and moved to NZ.”

Photos today are by Michelle Fiona Photography who has a soft, gentle nature to her imagery- there is a sensitivity to it that is really beautiful.

Corrin loved her makeup artist. “My make up was truly amazing. Zoe Dellis was fantastic and I would highly recommend her.  She did a beautiful job of all the bridesmaids and was very experienced in knowing what would suit each individual, suiting them all in shades of grey and silver. My make up was perfect, she picked a bronze eye-liner which really made my eye colour stand out which I never would have thought. She listened to what I wanted and also made suggestions on what would work for me. It was subtle and minimal but still covered blemishes, looked great in photos, and lasted throughout the very hot day.”

Corrin wore a 1950’s style polka dot dress. “My very fun and pretty dress was a Henry Roth dress called “Zoe”. It was bought and altered to tea length at Dress Sense Bridal Miranda The polka dots made it such a fun dress to wear.”

You can’t have a great dress without great shoes! Corrin remarks “Johnny wore some amazing brown English Loakes his dad sourced from a vintage op shop, and I  brought brown peep toe wedges and had them dyed to the same colour as my dress by a little boutique shop which has been around since 1934, Pastel Shoe Dyers who’s shop was unfortunately destroyed 3 days after our wedding in the Christchurch earthquake.”

The couple were married at Belgenney Farm in Camden NSW. “At the start of our planning a priority of ours was to find a venue where we could have the ceremony and reception at the same place. We also wanted somewhere in the country and an outdoor garden ceremony, which is always a risk with weather. We fell in love with Belgenny Farm as it suited us. It had a relaxed vibe being in the country, was the birthplace of Australian agriculture which interested me (Corrin) having just finished studies in horticulture, had a garden area for ceremonies and a lovely intimate building for the reception – all in the one place and all to our selves.

Lyndal at Belgenny was great. She made planning our wedding from a different country easy and stress free with her organisation and quick responses to emails. She also let us come to the venue the day before the wedding to set up with our family and friends by putting crème Vietnamese lanterns in the tree, setting the tables etc. The reception building was a lovely relief on the day for guests to retreat to after the ceremony for a refreshing drink and to socialise under air con. The building was a barn style with brick floor, tin roof and exposed timber ceiling beams, very rustic and charming!”

Corrin recalls “I walked down the aisle to Regina Spektor’s cover of ‘Real Love’ written by John Lennon. A favourite of both of ours. Johnny loves The Beatles and I love Regina so it was the perfect song.”

A surprise was the gift of a guest’s video camera. “We are fortunate that a lot was captured on video from our friend who did a great job of recording the whole day and getting individual messages for us to watch later. Because as they say the day goes too fast and it feels like you don’t get to talk to all the people you want to. So it was wonderful to go home and see parts of our day play out at times we weren’t present.”

The bridesmaids wore ” Yellow dresses 1950’s style with a full skirt and all different style tops to suit each body type mostly hand made by my very talented mum and lovely Aunty with one made by my sister and her business partner. Each bridesmaid wearing a charcoal grey sash tied around the waist secured with a button broach I had made.”

The florist, was a family favourite. Corrin explains ” We used Francis Dunn Florist. Francis Dunn florist made the bouquets look incredible! I wanted to use Francis Dunn as she made my mum’s bouquets at her wedding and my two Aunty’s weddings 25 or so years ago and now her daughter Janelle does the flowers along with her daughters. For our wedding they arranged Yellow Calla Lillies, white freesias, Dusty Millar, roses, Singapore orchids and green berries bundled together in a messy, natural looking posy tied up with a crème satin ribbon. Just perfect! The boys wore yellow calla lilies on their chests that turned out to be rather large trumpets, but looked great!”

The boys wore New Zealand tailored outfits. “The boys all wore thin wool trousers (not ideal for super hot days), with a black belt and thin black tie all from Hallensteins, New Zealand and their own white shirt and black shoes. Johnny wore the same but with brown Loakes and a yellow paisley silk tie and grey vest, which was ditched right after the ceremony due to the heat!”

Music played a big role in the day. “We made up a couple of CDs to be played throughout the day with music that we liked on it, which was really great, to be out getting photos and hear a song we knew come on, it made us feel relaxed. For the dancing we had a lot of classic rockin’, swinging, music including The Beatles ‘Saw her standing there’ and ‘Twist and Shout’ and Chuck Berry which got everyone up dancing.”

The dessert had a special touch from Corrin’s mother and more sweet treats to share. Corrin recalls “We had a dessert as part of the package of the 3-course menu, however, my mum insisted she make a cake for us so we could keep the tradition of ‘cutting the cake’. The cake she made was beautiful. It was a double layered white chocolate mud cake with white chocolate icing and a ‘hat’ made by our florist decorating its top of Singapore orchids and freesias, and a nest of dodda vine that the cake sat on. Alongside the cake, we had organised as favours a Lindt Macaroon pyramid (From Lindt Miranda – (02 9531 8180) in colours of champagne, yellows, and browns which looked incredible. And because it was really hot the macaroons just melted in your mouth – divine! “

The stationery was designed by Johnny. Corrin explains”I love making cards so I wanted to hand make the invites. We didn’t have a theme at the stage of making the invites, but I had hand sewn a button onto different textured cardboard and Johnny being the computer literate of us both designed the insides and map to the venue. We then had buttons throughout on the stationery, from the menus and boys’ boutonnieres.

We thought it was important to put out personal touch on our day so we tried to DIY where we could to make it easy and save money. It was quite fun being involved in the process of designing and making things for our wedding including all the stationary designed by Johnny on computer using the same font throughout (invite, name cards, programs and menu).”

The day was truly reflective of Corrin & Johnny and just what Corrin wanted “We wanted to keep traditional elements for our wedding but to shape it to be unique to us.  Therefore, we followed the traditional speech patterns and have my father walk me down the aisle. We put our own touch on things with details such as the lanterns in the tree and having a framed photo of Johnny’s brother, Callum on the registry and bridal table.”

Corrin remarks “The moment Johnny and I snuck outside after dinner for 5 minutes by ourselves to get fresh air was special because it was the first time we were alone as husband and wife.  It was brief but something I’ll never forget.”

The first dance, held after sunset was a special, unexpected moment for the newlyweds. Corrin explains “The wedding day came around quite quickly and with all the other planning going on around us, we had picked a song but we hadn’t really thought of any dance moves until we were heading to the dance floor. To our surprise, the dancing seemed to just come to us and we just made it up as the music played along, with a couple of whispers to each other of “dip now’ or ‘twirl’. We danced along to Dean Martin’s ‘Memories are made of this’ as it’s such a great classic old song with a recipe for a wonderful marriage.”

Congratulations Corrin and Johnny! Thank you for allowing us to share your wedding day on Polka Dot Bride! Thank you also to Michelle Fiona Photography for today’s imagery!