Today’s Ask Ms Polka Dot is all about seeing inspiration and making it your own- at any price point! Have a styling, inspiration or just want to toss around ideas for your wedding day style? Email me!

 Dear Polka Dot Bride

Whilst your emails are very inspiring and have lovely photos – they make me feel a bit depressed.  Who can afford to spend all this money on a wedding?  Gucci shoes?  That’s about my whole budget there!

Could I please make a request for some affordable wedding ideas, so I feel like my wedding is an achievable dream instead of feeling sad that it wont be anything compared to these beautiful emails?


Hi there!

The idea behind the Polka Dot Bride blog has always been to inspire brides to think beyond the ordinary and make their wedding their own, using inspiration from the pictures they see on the blog.

So for instance instead of the bronze Gucci shoes – adapt the idea and find other bronze shoes that you love and at a price point you feel comfortable with. With Claire and Tim’s wedding posted for example, the ‘feel’ of their wedding is very different. If you can’t do the icecream van, set up an ice cream station at your reception with different flavoured  icecreams, scoops, lollies, chocolate shavings – what ever you find delectable. Make it fun! Their cake was made by a relative. Do you have a friend or relative who could do this for you as their gift to you? Use flowers and greenery from friend’s and relative’s gardens – be sure the bunches are large and generous looking. Use buttons, ribbons, paper doilies in creative ways e.g. cut paper doilies and glue around glass votives for a feminine look. One bride we heard of asked guests to bring flowers to the wedding, from which she made the bouquets on the spot. People you know might have urns, vases, candelabra, linen etc they may be willing to lend you. A lot of the weddings we have posted will provide inspiration to use everyday things in new ways. Take some time to look at our ‘Real Weddings’ section and you will find many ideas there.

We try to use weddings that are very different and from all kinds of budgets (admittedly we don’t know the couple’s budget, simply a guess through the photos they submit). The special touches are what draws us to a wedding. Our rule for photos? The couple has to emit joy! (Too many photos without a bride smiling a sad Polka Dot Bride makes!).

If you can borrow or buy a copy of Martha Stewart Wedding magazine Fall 2009 you will find amongst other things all sorts of paper crafts you could adapt for your own decorations. Also doughnut balls dipped in coloured sugar. Do you have a doughnut shop in your area that could supply these to you and someone dip them in coloured sugar for you? If so pile them into generous pyramids, alongside toffee apples and caramel popcorn for a fun sweet table. Keep your cake plain with little or no iced decoration and embellish with fresh flowers or ribbon. Don’t buy favours – just send each and every guest a heartfelt note of thanks after the wedding – often more appreciated anyway especially by the older generation.

Visit wedding blogs or home decorating blogs on the net. You will find loads of inspiration here – especially from the home blogs! Don’t ever feel that you have to copy the things you see slavishly – just let these inspire you and adapt them to your situation.

Make an inspiration board. Collect pictures of the things, cakes, flowers, dresses, shoes etc you love and place them in a folder until you feel you have enough. Lie them all out on a table and edit these until you have just the look and feel you want for your wedding. Think outside the square and enlist the help of family and friends with discussions of how you can achieve the look but in a budget conscious way. Glue all the pictures on a sheet of cardboard to help you stay close to your plan, when there will be many things to distract you!

Go to ‘Inspirations’ on the Polka Dot Bride blog and read Mother Polka’s Musings. The wedding is just one day in your life of the many days you will spend with your husband.

The whole point is to be imaginative, not get bogged down with the feeling that your wedding will ‘not measure up’ to your dreams. Some of our most favourite weddings are those in which there has been a lot of thought and effort put into personal touches that have been homemade or given to the bride as a loving gift by friends and family.

You wedding will be beautiful because it is yours and your fiance’s. I have no doubt in my mind about that.

x Ms Polka Dot