carling reid

Lovelocked: A Fresh New Bridal Fair

A little while ago, an interesting email landed in my inbox… a search for a real-life couple wishing to renew their wedding vows. Only, it wasn’t just an intimate vow renewal, but the chance to dress up and whisper sweet nothings to your loved one in front of an onlooking crowd. Oh, did I mention at a bridal fair? Continue reading “Lovelocked: A Fresh New Bridal Fair”


Day of Lurve…

Andie: Andie Anderson.
Ben: Benjamin Barry.
Andie: Cute.
Ben: Thank you.
Andie: I meant your name.
Ben: Thank you two times.
Andie: Unattached?
Ben: Currently.
Andie: Likewise.
Ben: Surprising.
Andie: Psycho?
Ben: Rarely… Interested?
Andie: Perhaps.
Ben: Hungry?
Andie: Starving.
Ben: Leaving.
Andie: Now.
Happy Valentine’s Lovers!

Eureidvision – Part 3: Cinque Terre

Accommodation | Cozy room in the historial caruggi, Vernazza
Must Do | Watch the sunset from Vernazza harbour, hike at least one trail, enjoy Monterosso beach
Worthy to Note | Extremely limited wi-fi, and trails are subject to close if there’s a rockfall or land slide. Continue reading “Eureidvision – Part 3: Cinque Terre”

Eureidvision – Part 2: Tuscany

Accommodation | Agriturismo Incrociata
Worthy to Note | Get a GPS system and research where good wineries/vineyards are before you head out, and remember siesta really does close down a number of places
Must Do | Lunch in a vineyard, Saturnia thermal springs, Relax and read a book Continue reading “Eureidvision – Part 2: Tuscany”

Eureidvision – Part 1: Rome

Accommodation | Navona Queen B&B
Must Do | Trevi Fountain, Colosseum, Campo de Fiori nightlife
Worthy to Note | Have your accommodation address noted down, along with some simple Italian phrases – our cabbie didn’t speak a word of English and as the tourist it’s our responsibility to try to communicate. Continue reading “Eureidvision – Part 1: Rome”

Eureidvision – Prologue

Our 8-week European adventure started like this: my husband rummaging through our storage unit to find the one box that contained the one file expander that held the contents of two very precious passports. Did we seriously just pack our passports into storage? Yes. But, given the events of the week prior I’m not surprised as we were running on empty… Continue reading “Eureidvision – Prologue”

2014 | Do more of what you love

There’s no better opportunity than the start of a new year to look back on the one past and ponder… What did I achieve? What aspirations came to fruition? What do I want to do more of this year?

It is this last question that really made me think… in 2013, we sold the house we had built together and travelled to two continents – some pretty big bucket list items right there. So, now what? Do we literally just have a year of the daily grind ahead of us?

Whilst the next of the big things may take some further effort, it is in the little things that we find enjoyment, satisfaction, refreshment… they are the smaller stepping stones that get us through to the bigger boulders of life. Thus, my answer was quite simply “do more of what you love”.

DoMore_Poster-06This doesn’t necessarily mean it is the be all and end all of your life – what I love to do may not pay the bills right this minute – but again, don’t think so big… go smaller. Take an hour to flip through your favourite magazine for inspiration, pack a picnic and head to a beautiful spot with a friend, buy a pretty vase and fill it with fresh flowers. Do more of what you love!


And, make it intentional! It’s all too easy to put off day trips in lieu of washing, forego a sleep in order to check off the to-do list, head into the office instead of enjoying the weekend. Sometimes, it’s ok to have a little ‘me’ time. To centre yourself and be refreshed for what comes next.

So, here’s to 2014, and doing more of what you love!


Couple’s Shoots

Couple’s shoots… engagement photos… e-sessions… whatever you want to call them, I’ve become a little obsessed. I think it’s because I’ve seen so many bad ones.

Casual Romance

You know those awkward photos where you can tell the couple have been staring into each others’ eyes for a little too long. Or the ones that see the couple’s bodies pressed together and lip-locked in every.single.frame. Or the ones which make you cringe because they simply look lame…

Well I hope these little guidelines help you to have a great viewer-friendly shoot to celebrate your love! Like the peeps above… I think they’re cute.

Don’t try and be something you’re not… just because everybody else is doing the vintage/retro thing, doesn’t mean you have to if it’s not your style. Be true to who you are as a couple, saying that, if you love to dress up then go for it!

Retro {See more of Cassie + Bennett’s Playful Outdoor Engagement}

Why so serious…? The best couple shoots are full of fun and laughter and sweet sweet love. Like these two – how I wish they were a couple – their chemistry is out of this world!


But if you’re as cool as these cats below… then you’re allowed to be a little serious.

Cool Cats{see more of Shaylee + Phil’s Hippie Chic Love}

Bring it back to nature… the outdoors is beautifully scenic and makes your images look more like personal snaps from holiday as opposed to a staged shoot. Maybe just lose the corny wooden letters.

Into the WildernessWork with a theme… try picking something you love and center the shoot around that time of year, season, event, etc.

Christmas Love

Snow Kiss

Keep a homely feel… if it makes you feel more comfortable, shoot within your own environment. Simply expand on what you’d usually do at home, whether it be cooking, movie nights, or playing with your fluffball of a pooch.

Living Room Fort{See more of Devin + Adam’s Living Room Fort}

Embrace the rain… let’s face it – rain is not only a whole lot of fun, it’s a bit sexy too

In the Rain

Make a statement through an experience… if you really want the wow factor, then make the shoot an experience of its own

Hot Air Balloon

It goes without saying, but keep it PG… yes some people want to do the boudoir shoots… but I beg you not to post those to Facebook. We don’t need to see that much detail. Really.

Bedroom Signage

Above all, maintain contact… being connected to one another within the shoot will speak volumes of your relationship and love for one another. Don’t pose awkwardly like teenagers at prom. A little PDA is more than appropriate here.

PS I love youHave fun!

Friday Favourites Double: Ryan + Antonia

Our friends’ beautiful wedding was featured on The Lane this week, with images from the talented Brooke Adams.

We had the privilege of attending Ryan + Toni’s wedding on a sunny winter’s day in Maleny recently – this is one stunning couple who are a whole lot of fun! Plus it’s not every day that you get a wedding dress named after you – Grace Loves Lace will have the ‘Antonia’ dress available for purchase shortly – wow!

Although all of their images are amazing, I can’t help but be drawn to the black and white… simply breathtaking!










Friday Favourites Double: Gerard + Tracey

Happy Friday! Gosh I love that this weekend is almost upon us… I also love that I have come across two beautiful weddings this week so you’re in luck with a Friday Favourites Double-dose of loving.

Although we share a surname, I have never met Gerard + Tracey, yet their photos and styling choices just spoke to me when I saw their images on Polka Dot Bride.

It might be the fact that they wove South African and Australian touches throughout their wedding in a tasteful way, or the classic use of black and white in their attire, invitations, and individual cakes… either way, I think their wedding looked gorgeous!






Images by Veronique Photography

Friday Favourites: Spring has Sprung

JR442{Image by Vellum Studios}

I have come to a decision that Spring is my favourite season… I love the warmth of summer, the colours of Autumn, and the cosiness of winter, but Spring is truly when I feel like I start fresh again. It’s a chance to reset and shake off any icy blues. To do a spring clean, both in my physical home and spiritual home. To re-evaluate and make sure that everything is as it should be.

That’s why Spring is the perfect season for…

Spring - barefoot{…padding around home barefoot}

Spring - fashion{…transitioning your wardrobe}

Spring - getaway{…a beachside getaway with cool breeze}

Spring - motivation{… renewing goals and getting motivated}

Spring - peachy makeup{…shedding the heaviness of winter makeup in favour of something fresh}

Spring - watercolour{…seeing flowers bloom and colour come out of hiding}

Spring - wedding season

{… weddings, romance, and good old fashioned l.o.v.e.}Spring positivity{…re-evaluating the important things in life}

So, what’s on your Spring to-do list?

The Wedding Collective

The Wedding Collective is a collaboration of the creme de la creme of Queensland’s very own wedding suppliers that have joined forces to provide a one-stop shop for couples who want their vision for their dream wedding day realised”. This was certainly evident in their recent 2013 Gala Showcase as the partners worked together to create a wedding expo with a difference.

For a rundown on the night’s events, check out my review here.

- twc-2013-08-21-0321

- twc-2013-08-21-0471

- twc-2013-08-21-0073


The Wedding Countdown – 5 Months

What a week it has been for our bride Teagen and groom Darren! They were involved in a surprise wedding, Teagen needs to start packing to move house, and somewhere along the way they have not only a wedding but an engagement party to plan… so here is how they are travelling at their 5 months-to-go mark


D+T_WEB-72-2{Images by Alcorn Images}

Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival Bridal Show Wows

I admit that I had an inner squeal of excitement as I received the invitation to attend the Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival Bridal Show… actually, I think it may have been more of an audible squeal, but nonetheless, I was excited!

Brisbane’s newly restored City Hall played backdrop to the Bridal Show and I was lead to an enviable front row seat to wait with others for the show to begin. After sponsor messages, the lights were dimmed and cameras readied to capture what we had all been waiting for – an exquisite line up of bridal gown glory.

My pick of the night is below – for more ooh’s and ahh’s, check out my dreamy dozen here!

- FAVE DeVarga-12

Green Smoothies


I have a friend’s wedding in a month, my 10-year reunion in just over 7 weeks, and then we jet off to Europe for a much-needed holiday… cue wanting to look and feel good!

I’m not going to diet as such, but I am going to put in a concerted effort to hit the gym, cut the CRAP (Carbs/carbonated drinks, Refined sugar, Artificial anything, and Processed foods), and pay a little more attention to “me”.

Friends of mine have been chugging back “green smoothies” so I thought I would find out a little more on this craze. Simple Green Smoothies explains that Green Smoothies are a simple way to incorporate large amounts of greens into your diet”. I was dubious at first to jump on the bandwagon, until it hit me through a near-fainting episode at the gym that this would actually be very good for my iron levels. I know a lot of ladies out there are iron-deficient, whether they eat too little red-meat and leafy-greens, or like me just have trouble getting enough of it into our systems. Whilst iron tablets are super helpful, I also like the thought of assisting my body as much as possible in the most natural way.

Admittedly I was also worried that the green smoothie wouldn’t fill me up enough to be a meal replacement, however after making my first one at 7.30am, the hunger-bug only hit around 11.30am! I adjusted Simple Green Smoothies’ Strawberry Banana and Blueberry recipe to suit what I had in stock:

  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Juice from 1 orange
  • 1 cup mixed froxen berries and fresh strawberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tablespoon protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons linseed meal (flaxseed)

I was surprised that I couldn’t taste the spinach at all! The consistency was perfect for how I like smoothies – not too watery but also far from gluggy. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised and will try to incorporate green smoothies into my meal plans over the next month.

TIP: Add a few ice cubes after blending to keep cold!

strawberrybananablueberry_SGSWhat are your favourite green smoothie combos?

Friday Favourites: Wedding Expo’s

cropped-jr072.jpgI like it when wedding expo’s are more than just an army of vendors battling it out to secure your business… it is, after all, your wedding day!

Earlier this week my attention was drawn to Lovelocked, a fresh new bridal fair alternative, to be held at Brisbane Powerhouse on Sunday 12 January 2014. What most grabbed me was their intention to stage a ‘fake’ wedding and make the fair a complete interactive experience. The Lovelocked 2013 Couple Search is looking for an already married couple that are unhappy with the result of their current wedding photos, or want to reignite that spark!

So if you’re a Queenslander, legally married, and want the chance to re-do your wedding, then make sure you enter by Friday 1 November 2013 to be in with a chance!

Lovelocked Couple SearchOther Upcoming Bridal Expo’s that might take your fancy:

Byron Bay Bridal Showcase | TOMORROW Saturday 17 August:

Byron Bridal Showcase

The Wedding Collective Gala Showcase | Wednesday 21 August:

The Wedding Collective

Eco Wedding Fair | Sunday 25 August 2013:eco-brides-wedding-fair

Queensland Brides Wedding Expo | Friday 11 – Sunday 13 October 2013:

Queensland Brides Wedding Expo

The Wedding Countdown – 5.5 Months

A couple of weeks ago we introduced you to Darren and Teagen – a couple with cheeks so sore from smiling due to the proposal and congratulations that flowed in the weeks that followed. In this next edition of The Wedding Countdown, we take a look at how D + T’s wedding and engagement party plans are coming along, and learn how helpful gyoza can be!

Wedding Planning Team

Friday Favourites: In Spaces Between

A little while ago I discovered a blog by the talented Rachel MacDonald: In Spaces Between. Everything about this blog is gorgeous… everything!

It starts with the name of the blog, described by Rach as “…a reminder. To take pause in the spaces between doing ‘stuff’ – between work, hammering it out on the treadmill, toggling between 10 screens on the computer whilst wolfing down a salad sandwich – to consciously do the things that make you smile from the inside out.” Nice huh?

Rachel recently married Ramai and you can check out their beautiful wedding here… it’s a palette of deliciousness from the pastels to the natives to the sweet location. They then went on honeymoon and (lucky for me!) have visited a load of places that hubby and I are planning for our own trip. I love the tips, the insights, the stories, and the stunning imagery – it seriously makes me excited for our own European adventure.

Below I’ve linked the first 4 Parts of their travels for your viewing pleasure… after a sneaky wedding photo that I couldn’t help including because not only are they one attractive couple, but the colours from the backdrop are incredibly pretty. Happy Friday!

In Spaces Between - R+R_516

Travelling in Rome: Tales from Our Trip Part 1

In Spaces Between - Rome

Travelling in Positano: Tales from Our Trip Part 2

In Spaces Between - Positano

Travelling in Capri: Tales from Our Trip Part 3

In Spaces Between - Capri

In Spaces Between - Cinque Terre

Lady Lamington’s French Martini

French Martini 1 Cocktail Friday   Lady Lamingtons French Martini Recipe

Lady Lamington is spelled out with large turfed letters for all of Brunswick Street to see. This French-inspired cocktail bar and restaurant has everything to love – cute stools, a rooftop bar, and the best seasoned fries and aioli I’ve ever had! For now though, they have closed their doors due to renovations, so until they open again (fingers crossed!), try your hand at some of their favourite cocktails:

French Martini Recipe


– 30 ml vodka

– 30 ml chambord

– 45 ml pineapple juice

– 15 ml Monin vanilla syrup


1. Add all ingredients into Boston mixing glass

2. Fill mixing glass with ice and shake till chilled

3. Double strain into chilled martini glass

4. Garnish with flower, strawberry, and raspberries


From Bended Knee: Ben & Dashelle

If I could create a reality TV series, I would want it to follow the moments leading up to the big question: will you marry me?

I LOVE hearing proposal stories and all of the behind-the-scenes stuff  that reflects on the effort guys will go to for their lady.

So, I thought I would ask a bunch of modern day gents to tell me their stories, starting with Ben + Dashelle on today’s PDB Groom post.

Byron Proposal

The Wedding Countdown – 6 Months

So my little brother is getting married… and I’m blogging their wedding planning journey via Polka Dot Bride… read about The Proposal here!

????????{Elana Germain Photography}

Dreamy Dozen: Travel Planning

It has been travel-central lately with good friends departing in a few weeks for their 4-month global journey, and others moving on from one destination to another on their nomadic trip of a lifetime… and for us, it’s now just 3 months to go!

I had a goal to have all of our accommodation booked by the end of June, and whilst I’m not quite there yet, airbnb has definitely become my best friend and we have spent many many hours together. I have turned into somewhat of a hawk watching the currency exchange and perusing every hotel deal that drops into my inbox.

We have a budget – not quite backpacker rates but certainly not flashy hotel standards – and so research has become paramount in getting the best value for money. I’m picky about location and access to transport (it needs to be fairly central), about bed size (with a tall hubby I’m not willing to share a double bed for 8 weeks), and in some places where we’re staying for close to a week then facilities become more important too (like a kitchen/lounge).

The line-up so far:

1. RomeKing-size room in Rome between Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps | ITALY

2. Tuscany Tuscan farmhouse apartment with friends | ITALY

3. Cinque Terre Private room in the fishing village of Vernazza | ITALY

4. French Riviera Private room in a duplex apartment in Nice | FRANCE

5. Barcelona Split-level private studio apartment in La Barceloneta | SPAIN

6. Venice Still to book… Venice is doing my head in… seriously | ITALY

7. Switzerland Double room at a Swiss lodge in Engelberg | SWITZERLAND

8. Paris Still to book… I really don’t want to get it wrong in Paris. Looking near Le Marais | FRANCE
^Credit to Elana Germain Photography – I hope we can take amazing pics like these!

9. Scotland Still to book… Need to work in a day trip / overnighter to Highlands | SCOTLAND

10. Ireland Bagged a deal at Doubletree by Hilton Dublin, followed by Taste of Ireland Tour | IRELAND

11. England Staying with rellies in Halifax, but the search for London continues | ENGLAND

??????????????I guess home will feel like a destination in itself as we appreciate all that is AUSTRALIA!

Anna Campbell “Gossamer” 2013 Made To Measure Collection

I couldn’t help but post a link to PDB’s Anna Campbell “Gossamer” Collection – these gowns in one word are exquisite!

Looking back it’s no wonder – I pretty much love all of her collections.

If you’re in Queensland then The Babushka Ballerina is the stockist to go to. Have fun dress shopping!


The Great Guest List Debate – Part 2

So you have mastered the art of drafting the guest list (see here for The Great Guest List Debate – Part 1), and it’s now time to seat your lovely fam & friends.

What’s the best way of doing this? Find out here on Polka Dot Bride.

Image by Vellum Studios-06_1{Image by Vellum Studios}

Friday Favourites: Celebrations

It has been a week of celebrating as the youngest Dakers popped the question and wedding planning commenced in full swing.

It took me back to two weddings from two of my favourite photographers – Naomi + Caleb (by Ryder Evans Photography) and Ryan + Breony (by Shane Shepherd Photography).

I love the joy captured in these weddings, the scenic marquee receptions they held, and of course two very different but gorgeous wedding gowns.

Click the above links for more imagery as below is just a snapshot of each. Happy Friday!

{naomi + caleb}




{ryan + breony}

Ryan & Breony 15(pp_w701_h467)

Ryan & Breony 53(pp_w701_h467)

Ryan & Breony 118(pp_w701_h467)

Friday Favourites: French Riviera

The Côte d’Azur, better known as the French Riviera to us Aussies, is stop No. 4 on our European getaway.

It neighbours the second smallest country in the world: Monaco, and includes Mediterranean cities such as Cannes, Antibes, Saint-Tropez, and Nice.

It is here in Nice that we will base ourselves, booking this beautiful bargain through Airbnb for just $60 AUD per night… and yes, it is centrally located within a 1 minute walk to Place Massena and just 5 minutes stroll to the beach!

P.S. How good are these large french windows… I can definitely picture myself watching the street come alive with a croissant in hand as we plan the day’s activities.

f17ccfddf22da6a453fc77b607926f8b e1a3232aafd9e6ddbdaeaab78e577f65 621b02ee96ba2f2600059d1878cd4018 69be71d8de424737fa58750c28a1a928 9fb837cbef70994af877fc8d09419948 9beccbd24fea024c5b90fded98f51778 9b23059a92ea66bbd21c25475c9512a3 7e0344e1120cf1b5489c8f62c7e66a9c

and a few of Monaco…

Monaco 1 Monaco 2 Monaco 3 Monaco 4P.P.S. Someone buy me a boat?!

Planning an Eco-Friendly Wedding

Firstly, these images blow me away… such an incredibly beautiful setting in the Scenic Rim, a whole lotta creativity flowing throughout the design, and don’t even get me started on the most adorable flower girl dress in the world!

Jess and Ryan’s Eco-Friendly Wedding was captured by Vellum Studios (my own wedding photographers) and the newlywed couple kindly filled me in on what it was like to plan a vegan and sustainable wedding.



The London Club’s Bohemian Mojito

The London Club is literally 2 blocks from our new apartment and I am loving being able to take a walk down the tree-lined streets of Teneriffe and pop in for a visit.

On a sunny Saturday not long ago, I tried their Bohemian Mojito…!

Check out the ingredients and more information about The London Club via my post for PDB’s Cocktail Friday.

P.S. This is just one of the amazing places taking part in this year’s Teneriffe Festival.

Bohemian Mojito 2

Interior Design Your Wedding

I am a massive fan of The Block and have been exploring the relationship between Interior Design and Wedding Styling. How do these two relate? How do they work together? And how can you incorporate a personal homely touch into your own wedding day?

I chatted with Elisha Bryant, both friend and Director & Interior Designer of Wink and Co. Not only does she have looks similar to Jen Hawkins, but she has an incredible eye for detail and a stylish flair to boot.

So grab a cup of herbal tea (I know Elisha will have one in hand right now!) and read about how to Interior Design Your Wedding.

Images by Shane ShepherdFiAg722rd21xZTzIWt67rq4CQFNkXt8AOfU20r_spfQ

Sundowners and Safari

Today on Polka Dot Bride I remember our stay at Botlierskop Private Game Reserve.

What an incredible experience that I will never forget – luxury tented accommodation, walking with lions, exhilarating safari drives – read all about it here!

Main Lodge New 0.5mb (Large).preview

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