This is the reason we adore our Polka Dot You blog so much. It truly lets our couples tell us all about their day in their own words. It’s like sitting down with a terrific book of short love stories, and falling head over heels for each couple! And Haylee & Danny’s Classically Romantic Bayside Wedding captured by ATEIA Photography is no exception! I’ll let Haylee regale you with the story of how she and her gorgeous groom came to be… 

My husband Danny & I met 7 years ago at a birthday dinner at The Groove Train in Frankston. I noticed Danny straight away as he was my type, but we barely spoke that night. The next day all of the people I had met that night added me on Facebook, except Danny. Danny was actually contemplating all week whether to add me, as it turns out he was interested in me. He eventually added me, and we started our first conversation after Danny made a Facebook post about football. I’m a massive football fan too so I messaged Danny. This is where our friendship started. As our friendship continued to grow in strength, I started to realise that Danny was everything I had ever looked for in a partner. And Danny had also been secretly thinking the same thing. We had our first catch up and ended up spending every night that week together.

Danny took me on our first date after that week to mini-golf, and then a week after that I celebrated my 24th birthday. Danny gave me a pink Pandora ring and a card. Inside my birthday card, Danny wrote ‘Will you be my girlfriend, partner and best friend?’ We have been inseparable ever since & I knew right from the start that he was the one!

Danny proposed at our housewarming! I’m the hardest person to surprise and keep a secret from so I was definitely not expecting it. Also Danny had my ring for 18 MONTHS!! He was waiting for the right time as he wanted to propose at some point of building our house. Our slab went down, our frame went up, we moved in but they all didnt seem right. So that’s why he chose our housewarming to pop the question.

Two days later I went straight into wedding mode as I had dreamed of my wedding since I was a little girl. I knew exactly what I wanted & I’m the most organised person you’ll ever meet. One week later I went to my first wedding dress store and SAID YES TO THE DRESS! We booked our wedding venue two weeks after getting engaged & everything else was booked shortly after!

Our wedding was scheduled to be 1 year after we got engaged, April 26th 2020. Then 6 weeks before our wedding the unimaginable happened – a worldwide pandemic. The week after our bachelor & bachelorette parties, our wedding was postponed. We chose to postpone it exactly a year later & keep our original wedding date as we had been saying this date for a year & had all our personalised items (wishing well, welcome sign, bubble labels, guestbook, coathangers & so on) so it was a lot easier to just contact the vendors and get a ‘1’ label sent out rather than changing the whole date or having to repurchase new items. The vendors were all amazing about it all, so helpful & compassionate. And because we scheduled it a year away all of our vendors were available on that date again.

Living in Melbourne we spent most of 2020 in lockdown. Most of the most significant milestones for us were all meant to be in 2020. Danny turned 30, I turned 30, our wedding & our honeymoon. It was the hardest year of our lives, but we were coping with Melbourne’s constant lockdowns pretty good. I was able to work from home which I loved & Danny didn’t lose his job either so we were just trying to stay positive & get through each day, especially after all the milestones of ours that were cancelled. Then in August 2020 we received the most shockingly devastating news. Danny’s youngest brother unexpectedly passed away. To make the most heartbreaking situation even worse, we were in stage 4 restrictions at the time. So we were not allowed to see anyone, we weren’t at that time even allowed to drive more than 5 kms from our home. Only 10 people were allowed at his brother’s funeral & we just had to deal with this by ourselves, no comfort from friends and family, just at home in lockdown. Our 2020 was just the most nightmare year for us and was almost too much to handle.

We needed some light in all that dark, so thankfully, before we knew it, our wedding day on April 26th 2021 arrived! Our wedding was at the Sandringham Yacht Club which overlooked the beach outside for our ceremony & also inside for our reception. Our wedding theme was romantic, elegant & classic with lots of pink & white roses accompanied by lots of greenery.

My wedding dress was from Jullia Bridal and was off the shoulder, sweetheart, mermaid style with a tulle bottom. Corset top with lots of sparkle, 3d flowers, lace, a glitter layer & most importantly a PINK tulle layer, as pink is my favourite colour. It wouldn’t of been my wedding dress without it being pink. The second I put it on I knew it was the one. It was absolutely everything I had ever dreamed of in a dress and exactly how I envisioned myself looking as a bride on my wedding day. My dress’s name is coincidentally my middle name ‘Margaret’ which is after my dad’s mum who I was never able to meet. So this was a sign that it was meant to be and a beautiful representation of her in our wedding. This was definitely one of my favourite parts of my wedding experience. Trying on dresses and feeling like an absolute princess – I had always dreamed of being a bride one day.

My groom wore black pants, black shoes, white shirt, black tie & his main statement piece was a grey blazer. It was modern, very slim and tailored looking. It suited him perfectly and we both loved the grey. It’s something that won’t go out of fashion and he won’t look back and regret it. He was very happy when he found all his pieces, all from Politix!

Our flowers were pink and white roses with silver suede, some baby’s breath and lots of greenery. The florist, Tyabb Roses, was absolutely amazing, beyond my expectations. She designed all of our flower arrangements with absolute perfection and was definitely one of the highlights of my day. Walking down the aisle to see our flowers and walking into our reception space, I was blown away! I truly couldn’t believe that was my wedding, it was my absolute dream vision come to life! Like all the inspiration I had ever saved.

I walked down the aisle to ‘Unbelievable’ by Craig David. Danny and I both love Craig David, and that song suited a wedding aisle song so perfectly. The perfect tempo & atmosphere we were going for!

Our wedding ceremony was nothing short of perfect. Everything and more than we could have ever imagined. I wanted it to be emotional, personalised but also extremely happy and playful. It was all of those things. I couldn’t stop smiling the whole time and just couldn’t wait to get out there! I wasn’t as emotional as I thought I would be – the excitement & happiness just took over!

The ceremony has always been the most important part to me. It’s the emotional, personal, genuine declaration of our love to one another and committing in front of all our closest loved ones to join as one for the rest of our lives. Writing our own vows was always exactly what I had wanted. I wanted to hear the heartfelt words that my husband-to-be thinks of me and us, and to in return share my sincere feelings too. It’s the only time in your life where you’ll stand in front of each other in silence & declare your deepest emotions that you feel to one another. Love is the most beautiful feeling so why not express what your individual & unique love is and means.

Our dogs are our absolute world so it was a dream to have them be our ring bearers. If it rained or was really windy we would have had to take our ceremony inside and that would mean our dogs couldn’t walk down the aisle. So the fact that they got to be there and bring our rings to us, I could cry a million times thinking about that moment.

My favourite photograph of the day has got to be the one at our ceremony where we are holding hands and laughing. It sums up our whole day perfectly. It frames us, our brothers and both of our parents in the photo so it literally includes our most special people and we are all smiling and laughing. This is exactly how I see our wedding day – just pure happiness and joy in the moment where we are officially pronounced husband & wife. The weather was perfection & so were our flowers which this is all included in the photo too.

Our photographer was ATEIA Photography and they were absolutely amazing. The quality of the photos are incredible and they captured so many of our special moments of our wedding day. Ramy the owner, our photographer Laura, and videographer Jake were so lovely to deal with our whole wedding experience. The utmost professional customer service and genuine people.

As part of our wedding party, we had my brother and a friend on my side, and Danny had his one brother, as he didn’t want to replace his brother who passed with anyone else.

When we got engaged my main worry was ‘I hope it doesn’t rain on our wedding day!’ because I’d always dreamed of an outdoor beach ceremony. When our wedding was postponed, it rained right at 4 pm when our ceremony was due to begin on the original date! This year the weather was truly perfect. It wasn’t the warm, sunny, blue sky weather I’d always dreamed of. It was 17 and cloudy but no rain and no wind! Over the past 2 years that we’ve been to our venue, we have never ever seen it as still and peaceful as it was on our wedding day. It was so warm all day and the clouds were a beautiful white and blue. So honestly we wouldn’t have asked for any other weather!

Sandringham Yacht Club were also beyond expectations. Our dream venue, all in one overlooking the beach. Indoor option was just as amazing as the outdoor ceremony option. Everything included was perfect, barely had to decorate or add much to the venue at all. Our coordinator and the wait staff that night were all amazing. So helpful and friendly throughout our whole wedding experience. The food was out of this world and all our guests agreed – they couldn’t stop raving about the food. And of course the amazing beach views from our ceremony space and reception space! It doesn’t get any better!

One of my favourite details of our day and was a must-have was that we had a special memorial table for our loved ones who couldn’t physically be there. Unfortunately, a few months after we got engaged we lost my nanna, my grandpa & Danny’s aunty all within 3 months of one another. I collected photos of all our loved ones on their wedding days and had them printed in black and white, and framed them all, and had a candle lit in the middle, with name tags the same as the ones on the wedding guest tables. It was a lovely reminder that they were all there with us and to represent them on our special day. Mum had my nanna’s necklace made into 2 bracelets for us both to wear, as I mentioned my dress was named after my dad’s mum, and roses were my nanna & grandpas favourite flowers so we found lots of ways to represent our loved ones who couldn’t be there.

I organised our whole entire wedding myself and am a very detail orientated person so every single detail was covered and to perfection. I even made our wedding name cards for our guests out of marble cards from Kmart. I cut them to shape then wrote everyone’s names myself with a calligraphy pen. It saved a lot of money as I love saving money, getting a bargain where I can, and also a nice little personal touch to know that I personally contributed.

Our first dance was to our song ‘Thinking Out Loud’ by Ed Sheeran. Ed Sheeran is our favourite artist and the song came out when we first got together. I even flew Danny to Perth after 6 months together to see Ed Sheeran perform live as the Melbourne concert was sold out! We even taught ourselves the dance from the film clip as our first dance! Our reception space had fairy lights covering the whole ceiling so it was truly magical.

My advice to future couples is just to remember your wedding day is YOUR wedding day. People will shock you when it comes to planning your own wedding but do what YOU want, it’s YOUR day. And as cliched as it is just enjoy EVERY single moment. Try to slow the day down & look at everything & really take it all in. Be very careful with who you pick as a wedding party if any at all. The day is about you two and you can still include close loved ones in your day. Also, dont be afraid to do things out of the norm, like I said the day is yours, you can celebrate it however you want. I like a lot of traditional things but there’s also a lot of traditional things I didn’t see any value in so I didn’t include them. We wanted to have our dogs, we wanted to write our own vows, I didn’t want the garter toss or bouquet throw, we wanted a sit-down dinner, we wanted a fun photobooth, I wanted my brother on my side of the bridal party. There were a lot of traditional and untraditional things we had at our wedding, and I LOVED every single part because it was OUR wedding specifically designed by us for us, and it was our fairytale day. Absolutely everything we could have ever imagined & more!

Thank you Haylee & Danny for sharing your beautiful day with us. And to ATEIA Photography for allowing us to showcase these gorgeous images and film!