Every single year, on the 13th of January I stop for a minute and celebrate. Life passes us by in the blink of an eye, and this letter? This post? It is all about me making sure I honour another year for the business that is so much a part of my life. Every year that passes is an amazing achievement for me, especially amid a panorama that has heartbroken our industry for almost three years running.

2021, like it was for everyone else, was a tricky one. It required so much strength and persistence, in a world, and a time, that seemed to keep knocking us down. It was also the year that I toiled and worked with everything I had, to launch our brand new website. Rebuilding a decade old monster of a site from the ground up pretty much took everything I had. Building new systems and processes, designing and coding everything from scratch. And doing it all while a part of the “world’s longest lockdown” was, quite frankly, a different kind of challenge.

But it was worth it. Fifteen years ago, when I started this website, as I say every year, I never believed I would end up here. But I remain as passionate to this day as I was then, about inspiring you to create a wedding uniquely yours, whoever you are. That is the reason I get up every day, show up every day and continue to do the work.

We have never wanted to the biggest, the most popular, the coolest. And now, more than ever, after changing our name in 2020, I was so certain, so passionate to continue down the path of creating a website, a place where everyone feels welcome. Where you feel seen and heard, and where you feel safe. We want to spend our days building a place where you can see yourself represented, no matter who you are. Where you never, ever feel unworthy, less than, or insignificant. Where you never feel like your budget isn’t big enough, your style isn’t cool enough,  where no matter who you are, that as long as you stay true to that and each other you’re enough. Our name change, and the new website, only a part of the work we are doing to make sure that we’re on the road to that.

I am lucky to be supported by an incredible team. Some of whom have been by my side for many years. These women are so incredibly strong. They’re creative, they’re adaptive, they want to make the world a better place. They challenge me, they catch me when I need it most and I am thankful on a daily basis for what they do for Polka Dot Wedding.

Our members are another group who deserve all my thanks. These wedding vendors actually get it. Not only are they talented and amazing at what they do, but they understand our mission at the core, and they support it. They work hard to evolve their businesses, to learn how to do better, be better, and they do it all while creating masterpieces every weekend for weddings across the country. Not only that – they show up every day, despite our industry being one of the hardest-hit throughout the pandemic. Check them out here, because they’re so worthy of your booking.

And you? Whether you are a reader, a vendor, a passerby – all of this? It’s for you. Your stories, your triumphs and heartbreaks, your questions, your concerns. You are why we do what we do. I hope you come away from your time at Polka Dot feeling, well – good.

2022 holds much in store for us, we’re as committed as ever to making sure the content we produce is both diverse and inclusive, and this is the year some of our systems and processes around that kick into gear.  You’re also going to see something brand new from us, in a brand new format that we are really excited about. And on top of that? We’re just really excited about the posts, content and ideas we have for 2022. We’re feeling 2022.

15 years in? This date holds a lot of memories. There is the year Ms Paisley’s toddler daughter surprised us all with a dance in the sunshine. The year where rain threatened and we crashed Ms Gingham’s house and ate cake in her living room, our tenth birthday which was beautiful with a grazing table and an epic rainstorm that had us all running inside carrying trays of cheese during pouring rain, the year we ate our birthday cake, in the dining room of a restaurant, together at Christmas time, after it being frozen for six months and even the past few years, where we haven’t been able to meet, but Mr Polka and I eat cake anyway in anticipation of that one glorious day where the threat has passed and we can jump on planes freely.

This year is one of those years, we’ll be drinking champagne and eating cake together very soon, but today, it is quiet, and perfect for reflection. Accompanied, of course, with a beauty, as always by Miss Ladybird Cakes. Who we commission on a running basis to create our cake and who never gets much guidance from us “just make it polka dot” and knocks it out of the park every. single. time.

Business birthdays for me, are for musing about how grateful I am every day to work on a business that is all about love, passion, and everything I hold dear to my heart. As Oscar speech and woo woo as it is, I never want to stop being thankful for living my days in the midst of that.