Image: Russell Stratford Photography

Even with a pandemic trying its hardest to keep people apart, couples in 2020, more than ever before, have proven that love can not be canceled and have still managed to find ways to celebrate a day that some have been dreaming of for years!

There has been a definite shift in the style of weddings—social distancing measures, travel bans and restrictions on guest numbers have meant that many couples who were planning a grand celebration, have had to adjust their original plans. Opting for smaller, more intimate ceremonies and even elopements to ensure they can still tie the knot. Regardless of how your wedding day might have changed though, the one thing that will ensure it’s still a celebration to remember is LIVE MUSIC!

We may be biased, but we think one of the best parts of your ceremony and reception is the atmosphere that is created with live music. It is one thing to have a great playlist lined up with your favourite songs, but live music featuring duos and small bands take the experience to a whole new level. If you’re planning your intimate wedding or elopement and are looking to level up the celebration, we’re here to help!


Elopements have become quite popular over the past year due to venue capacities and guest numbers being cut down, and elopements will only become more common in the coming years. With limited styling needed, couples often opt for locations such as parks and beaches that provide a natural backdrop for their ceremony location. Elopements are great for those wanting to share their nuptials with one another in a quiet setting and it creates the perfect opportunity to add the complement of beautiful ceremony music to accompany you.

Our couples who have opted to elope have loved the addition of a simple and serene solo guitarist vocalist, or the elegance of a delicate and nuanced string duo, The moment you say “I do” is beautiful and emotional and being able to have music to match turns that beautiful moment into an unforgettable memory.

Image: Russell Stratford Photography

Intimate Weddings

Intimate weddings usually consist of 10 to 20 of your closest family and friends and have allowed couples to get creative on where to tie the knot and celebrate post-ceremony! While some opt for an official ceremony and reception venue, others love to keep it personal and familiar with a backyard celebration followed by a small lunch in the same space, or a dinner at a nearby restaurant.

If you’re looking to create the perfect atmosphere for you and your guests, our acoustic duos are guaranteed to fill your intimate wedding with a musical performance you’ll cherish for a lifetime. One of the things that we love to do (and feel is incredibly important in creating a song list that is uniquely your own) is to get to know our couples and how they want to feel on their wedding day. 

There is a sincere emotion behind each song that we play, so whether you are wanting to have something to match the happy tears as you walk down the aisle towards your forever person, or something a bit more upbeat while your guests are enjoying a drink and a bite to eat, we’ve got you covered.  

Choosing music is one of the most personal decisions of the wedding planning process and we want to make sure every couple is perfectly matched to the very best musicians. Getting to know them and their musical preferences is our key to providing great, live acoustic music on the perfect wedding day.

Image: Russell Stratford Photography

Small Weddings

For couples looking for a guest list that includes a few more attendees (up to 50 guests,) taking that acoustic duo and expanding them into a small band is a great way to keep the party going into the night! 

We love being able to create a fun experience for you and every one of your guests, and with the addition of a few more musicians or a DJ to kick off the night and open up the dance floor—there is no doubt you will boogie the night away making it one  to remember for years to come! You’ve probably been to a wedding or two where the music didn’t seem to match the vibe or was lulling you into an early bedtime rather than making you want to get out on the dance floor and show off your moves (don’t worry, we won’t tell anybody). We’re here to make sure that doesn’t happen!

If you’re ready to toss the playlist to the side and take your wedding day music to the next level, consider having live music at your elopement or smaller, more intimate ceremony!

Ms Floral Says: Oh how I love live music! Thanks for these wonderful tips about including it in smaller weddings!

About Event Entertainers: From Guitarists & Vocalists, Acoustic Duos, DJs, String Musicians, and Party Bands, we customise entertainment to best fit our client’s ideas. Our family of artists and our consulting team are dedicated to creating beautiful musical experiences with you that will last a lifetime. We specialise in supplying dedicated one-on-one service and producing bespoke entertainment solutions. This means consistently working with the best and brightest talent, artists, and bands, crafting our work to provide the most vibrant and unique event entertainment for our wonderful clients.


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Polka Dot Bride Shop

On a mission to ditch the traditional wedding ‘uniform’, Megan Ziems founded Grace Loves Lace and created gowns that have soul, originality and authenticity. Cue brides around the world falling in love with the effortless luxury, quality and style of Grace Loves Lace designs and dresses! Below, we chat to Megan about her journey from small start-up to the company that has the most pinned wedding dress in the world!

How was Grace Loves Lace born?
Grace Loves Lace was born when I saw a huge gap in the market for wedding dresses that I would want to wear. When I was searching for my own wedding dress, I was floored by the lack of creativity and quality. There was nothing exciting about bridal back then so I wanted to bring something to the market that like-minded women would be drawn to and connect with. We are the largest direct to consumer, made in house bridal brand in the world now and what makes that so special is that we’ve scaled whilst staying true to our values and beliefs around designing and manufacturing in a sustainable and traditional fashion.

How have bridal gown trends changed since then?
I think the key word there is “trend.” Bridal gowns weren’t trendy, in fact, there was almost a strict uniform that women just assumed they wore. The strapless, corseted dress with a heavy skirt and uncomfortable structure. These days, bridal has almost become closer to fashion, being very trendy and pushing the envelope. The trick is to create wedding dresses that are exciting yet classic – you don’t want a dress that in a few years’ time you look back on and think, “Why did I wear that?”

We pay tribute to tradition by using traditional fabrics like silks, laces and embroideries. We design and create in a very traditional manner, whilst innovating the way the dresses are constructed and fit. We balance tradition with contemporary flavours so that women can feel comfortable, empowered and beautiful.

Image: Mikayla Carter

Where do new ideas for gowns come from?
We start from almost anywhere – the fabrics, the feel and emotion we have, exciting ideas we’ve had, the creative brief, feedback from our team and brides. I’m a huge day dreamer and love my quiet creative time on my own, which is when I come up with any good idea I might have. Driving in my car with my playlists blaring is also one of the most creative parts of my day – it just floods in! Music inspires me more than anything.

What’s been your favourite Grace Loves Lace collection so far?
It always seems to be the latest one – so right now, it’s Elysian. I would confidently say that I would find my dream dress in there and my teams excitement levels went to new heights when they all saw it, which says a lot!

Image: Pierre Toussaint

What about dress?
If I had to choose a dress tomorrow it would be Star, worn with the Monet veil.

Tell us about your latest collection, Elysian. What was the inspiration behind it?
I felt very grounded when working on the creative for Elysian, I wanted it to be honest, emotive, tell a story and really show people an even deeper side to us. The collection was made up of 12 gowns that each told a story, they are very poetic and magical, naturally beautiful but with really exceptional finishes and details. We wanted a high impact collection that had a lot of soul.

Images: Pierre Toussaint & Mikayla Carter

Where do you source your fabrics?
We source our fabrics and trims from many countries – the UK, US, Australia, Italy, France, China, Japan, Turkey and Spain mainly.

Where are your gowns made?
Australia. We manufacture every gown in our own studio based in Burleigh Heads, where they are also designed. For us it’s a big talking point, as over 80% of the world’s wedding dresses are produced in Chinese factories and sold at very high prices.  From day one we have been very passionate and committed to our ethical manufacturing position and are determined to make the bridal industry more honest.

What’s the ordering process like? How early should a bride order her gown?
Typically, our brides order 6-12 months before their wedding, however in 2020 we have seen a lot of brides opt for our Ready To Wear offering which has a much shorter turnaround time for elopements or courthouse weddings.

You say that GLL woman is at the core of everything you do. Who is the GLL woman?
She’s a woman of style, substance and passion. She is effortlessly stylish and walks to the beat of her own drum, she cares about how and who makes her dress and recognises quality and authenticity, she wants a dress that has character and allows her to dance and move freely. Her wedding dress has to make her feel something, it’s a purchase that represents her. It’s been front of mind from day 1 that we design for the woman – who she is – and not simply “the bride”, we build out everything about her in her everyday life.

Image: Mikayla Carter

Is there a particular style of wedding you think your gowns suit best?
Our brides tend to be the freer spirited and don’t want to be constricted on their wedding day in comfort or wedding style. They so often go against the norms of tradition. We see a lot of epic outdoor weddings. Everything from beaches and islands to country weddings to mountain hiking brides, I love seeing a bride in a GLL gown matched with a pair of hiking boots. We are so fortunate that our brides really represent everything we stand for, so their wedding albums they share with us are a true representation of our brand.

Can you share any lovely stories or testimonials from your brides?
I have heard of some incredible stories and testimonials from our real brides over my time. One simple testimonial that stood out to me was this.

“I chose Grace Loves Lace because what I wore made me feel incredible and comfortable… I wanted to feel like myself, and I got exactly that.”

Comfortability and feeling like oneself is what we always come back to. We want our brides to feel authentic and to be able to dance the night away. I am so happy to hear these kinds of testimonials because I know that we are giving brides exactly what they want.

Images: Mikayla Carter

What’s your approach when it comes to designing bridesmaid, and now flower girl, attire?
Similar to our bridal gowns, comfort and style is key. We also look at how our bridesmaid styles will sit together.  We never look at one single bridesmaid style on its own, for example we look at the fit and the colour palette, and how all the styles complement each other so brides can build out their bridesmaids looks to suit every body shape and still complement each other and the bride.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learnt working in the wedding industry?
To stay true to your values and brand. We’ve seen the industry grow so much over the years, yet the values are not often there – it’s not a very honest industry. For me it’s not good enough that most wedding dresses are mass produced – often off pre-designed look books – in China. It’s a one-off purchase that holds so much value to the woman wearing it and brides should use their power of finding out exactly where the dress is made and who designed it. Despite our growth, we have stayed true to our values and continue to design our collections and manufacture them in our Aussie studio.

Image: Emily Abay

What do you love most about your job?
I’m happy when I am creating, and I love seeing a project from start to finish. I also absolutely love my team and seeing the brand that we’ve created.  I also love checking out our hashtags at the end of a weekend and seeing our beautiful brides share their images from their weddings that weekend.

And what’s the most challenging part of it?
I would say the most challenging part is balancing being a mum of two busy boys. Growing a business from a start-up to the size it is now over a relatively short amount of time – and throw in having two children along the way – has been a juggle!

What exciting things are on the horizon for Grace Loves Lace in 2021?

We’ve got plenty of new showrooms opening so that we broaden our ability to create beautiful spaces and provide exceptional experiences to brides. We have some exciting new bridesmaids and occasion pieces dropping soon, our new little girls’ range will be expanding, and of course, epic wedding dresses. We will also continue to focus on our sustainable offering, and I am enjoying learning more in this space.

Image: Georges Antoni

Thanks so much for sharing the Grace Loves Lace story with us, Megan! You have revolutionised the bridal gown space with your vision and beautiful gowns. To find out more about Grace Loves Lace, including their latest collection Elysian, head to their website.

Headshot by Libby Dodd

I am definitely in love with weddings full of rustic charm. There is something about incorporating the Australian landscape, the open air and some stunning native florals that just takes weddings to the next level. They create an environment where guests can relax and enjoy themselves while surrounded by natural beauty at its best.
All images: Elsa Campbell

Ms Floral Says: I totally agree, Lauren! And what beautiful images you’ve chosen to show off the rustic style and your incredible venue.

About The Farm Cafe: At The Farm Cafe, we love creating weddings that are personal, meaningful and an authentic reflection of the couple being married. We think the recipe for an amazing wedding is pretty simple: good people, incredible food, great drinks and the perfect atmosphere. A wedding is the best party you’ll ever throw, and we’re here to help make that happen.

Polka Dot Dream Team...

The below wedding vendors made this magic happen and are an approved part of the Polka Dot Directory. Visit their portfolios to learn more and enquire about their services!