Andy and Serena

Hi lovely Polka Dot Bride readers! It’s Serena from Pretty Fluffy and I’m so excited to be sharing my wedding with you today. Planning a wedding was one of the most enjoyable times of my life. Bringing together loved ones, poring over beautiful imagery day after day and creating my very own wedding wonderland to say ‘I Do’ was such a special time in my life.

My fiance and I decided early on that we wanted our wedding to be in the Hunter Valley (where we got engaged) and decided on a three day celebration full of everything the Australian vineyard location has to offer – good food, gorgeous scenery and great wine! Our wedding was made up of a welcome BBQ on the Friday night, the wedding and reception on the Saturday, and a farewell brunch on the Sunday. The main thing we wanted was for people to be able to getaway and enjoy the weekend as well as celebrating with us.

If it wasn’t for Polka Dot Bride I would have never found my perfect wedding dress. I think I visited every wedding dress shop in Sydney, I even visited Vera Wang whilst on holiday in New York! However I still hadn’t found ‘the one’. Meanwhile I kept on going back to a picture of a dress that I saw by dressmaker, Leonie Grace. The only problem was it was mentioned online that Leonie had made that dress as a favour to a family friend and it was a one-off. You can imagine my delight when a few weeks later I read on Polka Dot Bride that Leonie Grace had announced they were taking on new clients! I rang Leonie Grace and booked in straight away. The end result was a gown made of raw silk with an organza overlay, featuring a figure hugging bodice and a flowing skirt with just enough tulle underneath to add that ‘fairy princess’ feeling.

Possibly the most personalised detail of our wedding was the inclusion of our Border Collie, Soda. I have had Soda for 11 years now and as my fiance Andy found out, we’re a ‘package deal’. Considering she is part of our family there was never any question of her inclusion. Luckily Andy loves Soda just as much as I do and we both wanted her to be part of the wedding. We decided on giving her the title of ‘Flower-Dog’ and my dressmaker made a special bow for her to wear on the day. She was even allowed to sit up the front of the church and be there for our vows! Walking out of that church as our own little family of three was one of the memories I’ll cherish forever.

Once we saw Muse at Hungerford Hill we knew we had found our venue. With its cathedral high glass ceiling, traditional sandstone fireplace, and to-die-for food and wine selection we were set. We used the Hunter Valley as inspiration in choosing colours (taupe, black and ivory) and ‘themeing’ for the wedding – we wanted a combination of rustic elegance and timeless beauty.

We enlisted the help of Rouba from The Style Salon to help style our event. As we didn’t want to sit on a ‘bridal table’, Rouba suggested three grand long tables for us and our guests. The 3 long tables allowed everyone to mix and mingle with each other and the mix of crystal stemware, gorgeous floral centerpieces and a sea of glittering candles brought our inspiration to life. My favourite keepsake were the floral wreaths on the backs of our bride and groom chairs handcrafted for the occasion. We decided to forgo traditional favors and instead made a donation to our favourite animal welfare charity in each guest’s name. As the sun came down over the room, the combination of twilight, crystal and candlelight made for a breathtaking moment.

Possibly the most popular feature of the night was the dessert bar which was made up of our wedding cake, a mixture of petit fours made by Muse’s head chef (cupcakes, Turkish delight, marshmallow squares, mini custard tarts, shortbread) and ivory lollies in antique candy jars. Instead of the traditional guestbook, we had vintage postcards made up where guests could write personalised messages to us. A sentimental addition was the inclusion old B&W photos of our parents and grandparents on their wedding days on display on the dessert bar table. For those that couldn’t be there on the day, through the photos they were there in spirit.

Wedding Photography: Inlighten Photography / Wedding Dress: Leonie Grace / Bridesmaid Dresses: Leonie Grace / Reception Venue: Muse at Hungerford Hill / Flowers, Cake & Styling: The Style Salon / Invitations & Paper: Papier D’amour

Ms Gingham says: I absolutely love the styling at Serena’s wedding. The dessert buffet is so scrumptious and looks like it was balanced just right! Gorgeous.

About Serena: Serena Faber Nelson is a television producer, writer and fluffy dog owner in Sydney, Australia. Healthily obsessed with home decor, fashion, lifestyle and dogs – she set about creating Pretty Fluffy as a go-to-guide for the modern pet owner.