Maria & Paul

We don’t see a lot of vintage-inspired weddings these days on Polka Dot Bride, but when we do, they’re completely unforgettable. Take today’s beautiful bride, Maria for example. Not only did she wear a vintage gown but so did her bridesmaids. Each of them donning a beautiful emerald green and black dress from the 1950s. The retro styling a beautiful contrast to the magnificent steel structure of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, I know you’ll agree with us when we say we’re pretty thankful that the duo of Fiona and Bobby Photography joined these two to capture it all so we can share it with you!

Oh and of course, being The Invitation Issue, we had to make sure this suite was worthy, and with the retro, vintage style, it completely fits the bill.

Let’s start the story with how these two came to be, in bride Maria’s words “We met in a pub and bonded over our music interests. We talked the night away until they had to kick us out at the end of the night, and that was that!”

Paul popped the question while the pair were on holiday. “We were on holiday in the UK, visiting Paul’s family in his hometown, Derby. One morning Paul asked me to put on comfortable walking shoes and told me we were off going for a day out walking in the Derbyshire Dales.

Paul packed a backpack and his dad drove us out to the village of Hathersage, and we walked out into the beautiful Peak District countryside. I thought we would be going for a short walk before heading back to the village for some lunch.

Little did I know that Paul had planned a 7-hour walk which would lead us out to Stanage Edge and back. About two hours into the walk, Paul pointed in the distance and said, ‘Do you see that huge mountain like rock edge in the distance? We are going to climb that’. I was oblivious as to how far and high it really was and thought, “That’s not so bad”.

Once we reached the bottom of the edge, I was pretty exhausted but Paul encouraged me to push on and said, ‘Don’t worry, it will be worth it once we get to the top’. We finally reached the top and out of breath, we stopped and took in the amazing view.
We finally sat on a huge rock to have a drink of water and rest. It was then that Paul reached into the bag for the ring and got on one knee. He asked the question and of course, I said “Yes”!

Paul reached into the bag again where he had a bottle of chilled champagne and two plastic flutes ready to celebrate. Paul chose this spot, not only because it is one of the most beautiful views in the Peak District, but because of its romantic sentiment, as it was the setting in Jane Eyre and for a while the home of its author, Charlotte Bronte.”

Groom Paul knew exactly what he wanted for the couple’s wedding stationery, Maria sharing “Paul designed the invitations and then hand letter pressed them all, as well as the inserts. He also made the debossed folders which the invitations were wrapped in. This was a pretty intensive piece but we thought turned out well.

Paul also designed the canvas welcome sign for our guests to see on arrival, as well as a seating plan, both items were printed by a local print shop. He designed & printed all the name tags as well as the menus.”

The impeccable vintage styling started with the bride’s and bridesmaids’ dresses all sourced from Forever Vintage. Maria sharing “My dress was a boat necklace and tulle tea-length number from Forever Vintage, and so were all five bridesmaids dresses. Each dress was a unique pre-owned 1940-60’s designer dress.”

Maria walked down the aisle on the arm of her father to “This Must be the Place”‘ by Talking Heads performed by Jasmine Strings.

Maria and Paul were married by Maria Nati on the pier at  Pier One Sydney Harbour, the bride remembering “We had our ceremony on the Pier, with all of our family and friends present. We wanted it to have a warm and intimate feel. Our celebrant Maria Nati helped with making us feel comfortable on the day. We both shared our vows and had two readings on the day by Paul’s friend Andy and my cousin Amelia.”

The Fabled Florette styled the beautiful floral details for the day. Maria telling “We wanted burgundy, white, ivory, beige, green and grey tones – mainly unconstructed and large blooms, some native.”

Maria could not speak highly enough of their image capturers for the day, sharing “Our photographers Fiona and Bobby are simply amazing – both as photographers & human beings. They made us feel utterly relaxed and we love the shots they got. They have an amazing style which caught our eye when we were planning, and the finished work was superb.”

An evening of celebration soon got underway at Pier One Sydney Harbour. Maria noting “We chose Pier One for our ceremony and reception, mostly because of the beautiful venue and setting which we loved, but also as we had a fair few overseas visitors and it made a lot of sense to have all the proceedings in the same place.”

Maria and Paul chose a stack of cheese from Formaggi Ocello in place of a traditional wedding cake, the bride reminiscing “We loved experimenting with the cheese as we constructed our cake.”

“I just couldn’t pick out a single thing as my favourite…everything was superb and went just the way we wanted” tells the bride.

 Paul continued his creative streak by creating the stationery for the reception, including a fun twist on a guest book. Maria tells “We wanted to have everyone complete us a vintage postcard rather than having a regular guest book. We wanted every postcard to be illustrating with a place of meaning to us. It took months to source them all, and a suitcase to store them in which we thought would be in fitting with the rest of the decor.”


The dance floor kicked off with Maria and Paul to “You Got What I Need” by Freddie Scott. “It’s a nice soul song that encourages twirling!” laughs Maria. Then traditional Greek dancing, with all 150 on the dance floor made this wedding one to remember forever.

Congratulations Maria and Paul! Thank you for sharing your beautiful wedding day! Thank you also to Fiona and Bobby Photography for today’s beautiful images!