For us at Polka Dot Bride, it is all abut the story. The story of the details, of the relationship, of the day unfolding – these are the stories that carry us away. Kristy and Ben’s chic restaurant wedding carried so many beautiful stories on a day that was designed to be intimate and relaxed, but most of all meaningful. I am so delighted to share these with you today, along with their stunning wedding photographs captured by Andy of All Grown Up Weddings.

The good old pub brought these two together, Kristy remembering “Ben & I met when we both worked together at a local pub. There was always a spark between us but we were both in relationships at the time when we first met. When we were both finally single, I sent Ben a text and asked if he would like to have a drink with me. Luckily he said yes and our first date was in St Kilda. We were both absolutely smitten. That first date was 9 years ago and now we are married!”

The groom wore a black and white tuxedo by Briggins, wanting something a little different that would surprise his future wife.

Kristy and Ben chose Cecilia Fox to create their floral arrangements for the day in deep greens and white. Kristy tells “All of the companies we had dealt with were so great to work with. To be honest we had an absolute ball planning our special day and managed to avoid any stressful moments during the planning!”

The bride worked with a dressmaker to create her dream gown. “I always knew I’d pick something very simple and classic. As soon as I saw my dress I know it was the dress I wanted to get married in. I found the design and had a fabulous dressmaker custom make the dress for me. The dress was floor length with natural georgette sequin and silk lining. I am still in love with the dress, the dressmaker did a fantastic job.”

The beautiful  Melbourne Royal Botanical Gardens set the scene for the sunny Summer ceremony.

Callisto String Quartet  played the bride down the aisle. “We are both a huge Pete Murray fan and had always loved his song “Saving Grace”. We had a string quartet play the song while I walked down the aisle. I’m sure nobody else knew what song they were playing, but it was special to us.”

Kristy and Ben were married by Tim Manger, the bride remarking “The ceremony was at Nymphaea Lake East right next to the gorgeous colourful blooms.

Ben & I decided to do our own vows which meant a lot to us. Our celebrant was great and had complete control of the crowd while sharing our story so far. The celebrant is a big Magpies supporter as is Ben, which made our decision very easy. We decided to involve both of our parents by including a ring blessing into the ceremony. Our parents formed a circle around us and each made a wish as they held our rings. It was very sweet.”

With the belief it isn’t a celebration without champagne, the bride and groom finished their ceremony with a champagne tower! “I am such a lover of champagne so I had to include a champagne tower! It was great to pour the champagne together over the tower just after we said I do. Our guests got to enjoy the champagne while we had our photos taken.”

Of their photographer, the bride noting  “Our photographer, Andy ( and his partner Jackie) from All Grown Up Weddings were an absolute dream to work with. Andy managed to capture the entire day beautifully. We adore the photos of Ben & I with the sunlight behind us in the cactus garden. Andy listened to exactly what we were after and got some beautiful candid shots. As we didn’t have a bridal party, we were able to spend the time getting some shots with our family and friends just after the ceremony. Our good friend Macca also got some incredible shots of the entire day which we will cherish forever. ”

Kristy and Ben celebrated with their guests at The Botanical. Kristy explaining “It was important to make the day as easy as possible for our guests so when we had decided on getting married at the Royal Botanical Gardens, The Botanical across from the gardens was an obvious choice for us. We loved the relaxed atmosphere at The Botanical. We knew the food was delicious bistro style modern European fare that everyone would enjoy, they had a great beer & wine selection and had the most perfect private dining room with a glass ceiling for the sunshine to stream through when we entered as well as a vertical garden to suit our theme. The staff at the Botanical were just amazing to deal with leading up to the wedding and also on the night. Both Ben and I had such a wonderful night celebrating with all of the people we love.”

Guests took home mini terrariums complete with name tags designed by Cake Ink. “In keeping with our botanical theme, we made some gorgeous succulent & cactus plants as wedding favours for our guests to take home. We had some cute mini name tags made by Samone at Cake Ink to match our invites and signage and had them sticking out of each plant with a small message for our guests.”

“Our good friend Lauren baked our wedding cake, which was an incredible two tiers of rich chocolate Guinness and fresh lime (limes were homegrown from Lauren’s tree) with a coconut cream cheese frosting. So delicious!!”

The newlyweds chose an old favourite for their impromptu first dance, Kristy remembering “Ben and I were unsure if we were going to do a first dance. Late into the dinner, we had decided that we would although hadn’t prepared a song. We had the most amazing singer & guitarist duo perform on the night which just made everyone relax and feel comfortable. We asked them to play a song which ended up being “Let’ stay together” by Al Green. It was a great choice. Halfway through the song we got our friends up for a dance which was really special. I’m glad we decided to do our first dance as man & wife.”

Congratulations on your beautiful day Kristy and Ben! Thank you for sharing your stories with us and thank you to All Grown Up Weddings for sharing the photographs of the day!