Milly & James

If there is one thing that is clear, it’s that we don’t see enough of Tasmania on Polka Dot Bride. So I always get excited to have beautiful weddings such as today’s land in my inbox- plus it’s a New Year’s eve wedding! I love the idea of new year’s celebration- a new year, a new start, and a new marriage to kick it all off with!

Milly recalls their story. “We both met when living and working in Dubai – on the beach with a group of friends. We returned to Australia a year later and have not looked back.”

Making their Polka Dot Bride debut are photographers Fred+Hannah, I love the bright, fun captures they’ve taken of today’s wedding!

St. Davids Cathedral, Hobart  was the location chosen by the couple for the ceremony. Milly says, “We chose a church ceremony as we are both quite traditional, and we wanted to get married in Tasmania as it is my home state. We selected New Years Eve as it included the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race and Taste Festival. Fortunately the Cathedral had recently finished a full restoration and was a magical venue including a fully restored organ that sounded beautiful.”

Milly wore a strapless Pronovias gown with shoes from Valentino.

For their ceremony music, Milly recalls “We chose Pachelbels Canon in D played on the Cathedral’s organ for the ceremony, and as James is a huge rugby fan, the organist also played the hymn ‘I Vow to Thee My Country’ which is used as the Rugby World Cup anthem.”

The bridesmaids wore gowns in shades of peach, tangerine and watermelon red by Carl Kapp .

Of their photographers, Milly says “My mother knew Hannah as she taught her Pilates class at Hobart University – she organised a meeting with her and partner, Fred Assenheimer who were starting their own professional photography business. We loved both of them immediately and appreciated their artistic style and beautiful use of natural light. They were great to hang out with on the day and were really easy to work with, we were very happy with the end result.”

Milly and James walked with their guests to the dock where they caught a ferry to the reception venue. A chance meeting led to the bridal party and their guests being led to the sound of bagpipes. Milly says, “The bagpiper was a busker we had met on the street months earlier and asked to turn up on the day to play ‘Amazing Grace’. When he was standing outside the Church we were both completely blown away that he had remembered!

You can’t hear them in the photos, but the Church Bells after the ceremony and the Bagpiper leading the wedding party from the Cathedral to the Boat were really atmospheric and made the occasion special.”

For their reception venue, the couple chose MONA. Milly explains “We chose the recently opened Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) for the reception after visiting earlier in the year and being blown away by the art, architecture and quality of food by their chef, Phillip Laban, who combines mostly local, seasonal produce and those from his homeland of France in a modern, fresh and simple way. We were not even aware it would be available as a venue, but they were amazingly accommodating, letting guests amble through the galleries while we had our photos done and not once referring to missing out on their own new years celebrations. They provided transport by boat to and from the venue from the heart of Hobart so our guests did not have to worry about transport, they ended up back right where they started. We also made use of 5 of the 8 stunning pavilions on site for accommodation for the wedding party which worked perfectly.”

The bouquets were all handmade. Milly recalls,  “The bridesmaids and mother of the bride prepared the bouquets on the big day, including dried rose petals in paper cones to use as confetti after the ceremony. One of the girls picked some gum leaves off a tree outside the pavilion we were staying in to complete the bouquets and finished them with grosgrain ribbon bought from Spotlight and an old brooch from the bride’s grandmother – they looked amazing.”

For the reception, Milly changed into a floor length halterneck gown made by Carl Kapp .

Milly describes the wedding as “A magical Journey through inspiring spaces.”

The macaron tower was created by Sweet Envy.

The first dance didn’t quite go as planned, Milly explains. “It was a disaster and we are both terrible dancers, we chose the song ‘All I Want is You’ by U2 played live by the band, though in retrospect I would have used a recording and practised before the big day!! We were awkward and the guests were sick of looking at us by then, in fact, I would not have danced at all!”. The couple hired The Baker Boys who kept guests dancing long after the first dance!

After dinner and just before midnight, the guests were escorted to  Constitution Dock for the conclusion of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race which had plenty of fireworks!. Milly says “We organised a Hobart water taxi to take the wedding party back from the Docks to the venue/accommodation at 2.30am – they were so gracious and generous with us they deserve a mention!”

Congratulations Milly & James! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Fred+Hannah, for sharing their gorgeous photographs with us!