Wedding stories of all kinds are our jam here at Polka Dot Wedding, and the romance that comes afterwards, in the form of an incredible (sparkle-filled) vow renewal? Right up our romantic, story-loving alley. And what’s even better? The vow renewal for a wedding photographer we’ve known and loved for years!

This is the story of how Sandie (who we know as West Creative) tied the knot, for the second (!) time to her beloved Dan on their tenth anniversary.  “We met living in Paris almost 15 years ago” explains Sandie. “I am half french/half Australian and had moved back to work in Paris (photographer at the Moulin Rouge) and Daniel – also Aussie, was managing the bar next door!

This was our 10th anniversary vow renewal. For our original wedding – we had two, one in Paris where we were living and one in Perth. Both, we loved but we are in a very different place in our lives now. We have two kids (4 and 8 years old – AJ and Madeleine) and we are even happier now than we were when we got married, who wouldn’t want to celebrate that!”

And with her work in the wedding industry, these two had firm friends they chose as vendors – in fact, one of the details we know you’re going to love (apart from Sandie’s golden, sparkly wedding dress and matching golden sneakers all captured magnificently by photographer James Simmons) was the celebrant trio of dear friends that remarried the couple together.  She tells “We were so being so lucky to have the vendors all be friends of ours – from the dress to flowers, hair and makeup, celebrants etc – really just made us so relaxed on the day I loved telling my friends/vendors ‘you do you’.  They are all so so good at what they do, and knew us so well too – I had complete trust.”

Dan purchased Sandie a Polly Pocket ring box for her beautiful engagement & wedding ring – in honour of her love of the toy while growing up.

The day was truly a family occasion, just as Sandie & Dan wanted it. “We loved having our children be a part of the ceremony and vows (not the dinner, they went home with Nanna by then!) they are our life now, so to celebrate with them was a must.”

If there was ever a time to wear a golden, disco ball wedding gown, it’s your vow renewal! Says Sandie “I have worked with Louise from Nuku Bridal before and just knew I had to have her design my dress – there were a few different elements from different gowns I loved and I just knew Louise would be able to make them all come together to make something perfect!  I also loved that it was a two-piece – so for the dinner, I swapped the skirt for some dress pants and heels.” Nuku Bridal also making a matching flower girl’s dress for Madeleine.

The stunning moody blooms of the day were the work of “Alisha from The Bohemian Flower Collective is a close friend and just extremely talented! We had also worked together so much in the past! There was no brief at all for Alisha, I just said ‘You do you’ and it was just incredible and blew me away!”

Dan’s look started with a beautiful chocolate brown jacket from Nordstrom, tells Sandie, “We were wanting a rich chocolate brown jacket – this was before brown came back into fashion for men’s suits! We shopped through London and Paris a few months before the day to try to find something there, and then hunted high and low through many shops in Perth too and struggled to find anything!
We ended up finding it online in the U.S. and had to have it shipped to a friend before he could send it to us!”

The couple held their wedding at  Rebel Rebel Wedding Chapel. Explains Sandie  “It was just perfect for what we wanted,  it wasn’t too big so was perfect for our amount of guests. It was vibrant and fun and decorated to perfection.”

With Sandie having her turn to walk down the aisle ten years ago, the couple decided that their vow renewal made it Dan’s turn! “I had to do it already 10 years ago – so this time it was Dan’s turn!! And to break the ice he came in to ‘I came in on a wrecking ball’ (with a wrecking ball in hand!) our friends surprised him with a banner he had to run through as he came in too!”

Sandie and Dan’s ceremony was orchestrated by not one, but three celebrants! The couple chose Belinda Clinton, Dilhari of Kiss Me You Fool Marriage Celebrant and Kirk Samuel Goodsell. “We had our three close friends who are all wedding celebrants do our ceremony together – this was one of our ‘must haves’ for the day. It was fun, uplifting, and casual but also emotional and very special.
We did ninja vows (where we wrote each other and didn’t know what we were saying until the day), one of the best parts of the day for me was when they started the music and handed me the vows Dan did for me (love style on cards!) so I didn’t even have to say anything!”

The trio of celebrants kept an important promise for the end of the ceremony. “I had previously made a joke that our celebrants must all do a ritual dance around us – which they made happen – I still laugh about it now! They surrounded us with streamers while dancing around us.”

Ditching traditional wedding rings, Sandie and Dan had a tattoo artist tattoo their wedding rings. “So so happy our tattoo artist and the chapel both allowed this to happen straight after our vows!
I got a diamond on my ring finger, and Dan got the Roman numerals of the date of our 10th anniversary (while we were getting them, our closest friends and family were still there with us sipping champagne and celebrating with us) just perfect!”

“We loved not following any rules” notes Sandie “We just did it our way, we didn’t care if things ‘didn’t match’ weren’t on time, were traditional – it was just ‘us’ and we like that the most. I would advise other couples to do what you want! You don’t need to follow rules – it’s your day to break the mould!”

How does a wedding photographer find their wedding photographer? How do they even live up to expectations? Luckily Sandie & Dan’s choice certainly did and more! “James Simmons – what can I even say, he really is just an amazing person and photographer” raves Sandie. “Being a wedding photographer myself and having so many friends that are all wedding photographers it was always going to be my decision and not Dan’s!
Dan had met James a few times before and agreed he was perfect for what we wanted – he was just awesome energy to have around – made us all so relaxed and comfortable, and the photos are something that will be forever treasured.”

After the ceremony, the small group of guests gathered at a local restaurant for an intimate dinner, tells Sandie “We loved not travelling too much – we got ready and had our ceremony photos and dinner all very close to each other – it made it so easy on the guests as well as us, meant we could spend more time with everyone and less time sitting in a car.”

Congratulations on making it ten years and doing it all again Sandie and Dan! Thank you for sharing the stories of your beautiful vow renewal with us and thank you to James Simmons for today’s beautiful images.