It just doesn’t get any dreamier than destination weddings. The proof? This perfect pair saying “I Do” on the shoreline surrounded salty air and stunning sea views. The palm-lined beach made for a postcard setting and the perfect place for their ukulele laced ceremony, while Sass Studios captured every happy moment for us to see, here!
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From the beautiful Bride… Rob and I celebrated the start of our married life on the shores of the Coral Sea in tropical Far North Queensland, Australia. The stunning palm-lined beach of Palm Cove offered the postcard setting for a relaxed and happy celebration with 60 of our closest friends and family.
Palm Cove is located on a narrow strip of palm fringed beach between two World Heritage areas. The Daintree Rainforest steeply rises up from the mountains behind the village, and offshore lives the Great Barrier Reef.
We chose to have a destination wedding, as our friends and family are scattered far and wide. Regardless of where we chose to celebrate the occasion, a large majority of our guests would be traveling to join us. With that in mind, we decided to choose somewhere that everyone could look forward to traveling to. Far North Queensland is beautiful, relaxed and completely unique in its environment. It offered our guests the opportunity to explore tropical islands, the Great Barrier Reef, crocodiles in the Daintree river, fresh local food and plenty of beautiful places to do nothing at all! It was important for us to choose a location that offered something for everyone’s budget. With accommodation options ranging from budget to five star, Palm Cove fit the bill perfectly.
With the challenges of organizing a wedding from a distance, we opted to book the function at one of the resorts. This was the best decision we made. There was no way we could have traveled with everything, done DIY 1600km from our home, and still had time to enjoy ourselves. The function staff at the resort made everything easy, arranging the permit for the beach ceremony, back up wet weather options in place and dealt locally with their trusted suppliers. It meant more time for us to enjoy planning the details and the swim up bar!
At first we were shy of booking a resort due to cost – we did not have an unlimited budget! After some comparisons however the inclusions in a resort setting made it quite a competitive option. We were able to negotiate what was included and were able to get extras like candles, microphones, lighting, chair upgrades etc thrown in for free.
We spent a week in total at the destination. Most of our family arrived before the wedding and this gave us a very special few days with our closest family finalizing the last of the details and enjoying being on holidays. Many of our friends stayed on in the days after the wedding and we organized a day trip snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef. My memories from our wedding are memories from the entire week, it wasn’t just about one day. Having those other relaxed times to enjoy the company of my loved ones on the days around the wedding took the pressure off trying to get around to talk to everyone on the wedding day itself.
My dad and I walked down the beach to the ceremony with my brother walking a few meters in front guiding the way as he played Elvis’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love” on his ukulele. He is a guitarist and learned the ukulele just to play it to walk with me down the isle. It was magic!
Our flowers were local, a mix of Heliconias, orchids and ginger plants which grow in the region. It was important to me that the flowers reflected the spirit of the destination. The Esplanade in Palm Cove is beautifully landscaped with lush gardens that line the footpath, filled with tropical plants. The bouquets reflected the local flavor perfectly. The florist thanked me when she delivered the flowers as she was so grateful to use the locally grown flowers instead of the roses usually requested which need to be flown up from the colder southern climates.
I bought my Karen Willis Holmes dress secondhand on the website Still White. It was in perfect condition and I paid less than half price. A fantastic way to save some money without compromising on a designer dress.
Our ring box was an old vintage novel turned into a ring box by my cousin. He made if for us as a wedding gift and made sure we opened it before the day. It suited us perfectly as, unknown to my cousin, our best man was a librarian!
We used a knot tying ritual in our ceremony, the fisherman’s knot. The fisherman’s knot is the strongest there is, becoming ever stronger under pressure. It was a richly symbolic gesture of our two individual lives intertwining and becoming ever stronger as we promise a future together.
The ceremony was followed by drinks and canapés on the open air deck at the front of the resort looking out over the ocean. We chose to have our photographs taken before the ceremony so that we could join our guests straight after the ceremony for the canapés – I would highly recommend this to any couple. Seeing Rob before the ceremony took all my nerves away! As soon as I saw him I felt relaxed and we had such a fun time enjoying each others company for the photos! It also meant that my hair and makeup was at its best.
Canapés were followed by a poolside reception lit up by candles and lighting in the lush surrounding resort gardens. The warm tropical night was ideal for the outdoors setting and thankfully no one fell into the pool! We opted for very simple style for out tables: white tablecloths and tea light candles. The setting itself was so lovely it really didn’t need any more decoration.
We chose a local produce buffet for dinner which included crocodile, prawns, mango and pineapple salad, marinated kangaroo and many other treats. There were tables of food and it had all been presented although it was in a magazine spread. Flowers, fruits, decorative presentations on platters – no bain-maries in sight. My only regret was that I hadn’t talked so much so I could have eaten more!
Our friends and family are still reminiscing about the holiday we all shared together. Rob and I can’t wait to travel back to beautiful Palm Cove to celebrate our first wedding anniversary.
Bridesmaids' Dresses: Gorman | Celebrant: Melanie Serafin | Dress: Still White | Floral Design: Pink Moss | Getting Ready Gowns: Plum Pretty Sugar | Hair And Makeup: Tropical Beauty By Shae Howlett | Photography: Sass Studios | Wedding Dress: Karen Willis Holmes | Wedding Venue: Peppers Beach Club And Spa Palm Cove