Sarah and Dan’s romantic destination wedding is a perfect combination of vintage coastal style and quality time spent with loved ones throughout their ‘wedding week’. Think waterfront ceremony, cocktail hour on the wharf at sunset, and an evening of dining and dancing beneath a canopy of lights!
The Planning Experience
“At first I thought it would be a burden to plan a destination wedding (we are based in the Torres Strait for work), but you can do everything and anything you want via the internet! I started planning around 15 months out, which gave me heaps of time to research and be comfortable with the direction the planning was going. I also loved that Dan was happy with most of my ideas, so that made things a lot easier!”
Styling The Ceremony
“Located in a beautiful little cove, we had freestanding timber L.O.V.E. letters styled with trailing green ferns and blush pink florals, positioned to frame us both before the stunning ocean backdrop. White timber benches formed our aisle, each end adorned with a gold jar of florals. Two antique rattan chairs were also paired with an elegant white signing table.”
Finding The Dress
“My mum, bridal party and I met in Melbourne one weekend for a catch up and to find the dress. I literally had three days to find it as I wasn’t going to be able to travel from the other end of the country again until just before the wedding! I had a fair idea of what sort of style I wanted and tried on approximately ten until I found the perfect dress. I knew by the way it felt on my body and the looks on everyone’s faces that it was the one.”
“We had a gorgeous arbour positioned at the beginning of the Sugar Wharf that welcomed guests through to our cocktail hour. The deck of the wharf was styled with rustic furniture that included a bohemian lounge setting and white wrought iron cocktail tables topped with pink florals in gold vases.
After cocktail hour, guests were invited inside to find their seat at one of two long tables. Running through the centre were jars and glass vases filled with matching florals, including pops of hot pink for an added tropical feel. The space was lit up with Edison bulb festoons that zigzagged down its length, and a gorgeous crystal chandelier as a feature.”
“The most important thing for me was ensuring that I gave my guests enough time to plan to come to Port Douglas to share in our day. I wanted to make sure everything was locked in for our date so I could get our invites out six months before, to give everyone time to save, take leave and make travel plans. Our day wouldn’t have been as incredible if it wasn’t for my family and friends being able to be with us. I wanted everyone to enjoy and relax, so hiring a wedding stylist was the best thing I ever did as we worried about nothing! It was worth the added cost.”
The Day After
“We also wanted everyone to take the opportunity to make a real holiday out of it, so we organised a seafood BBQ for the day after the wedding at the oceanfront ‘palace’ we rented with my bridal party. This was one of the highlights of our ‘wedding week’ and I would highly recommend planning something like this for after the wedding. I felt like I was able to relax more as there was no pressure or nerves! I also didn’t get to catch up properly with all of the guests on my wedding day, so it was great to float around the pool with a wine, hang out and share all the stories from the night before.”
1. Trust yourself.
2. Don’t let family get too involved. It’s your wedding, do things the way you would like to, but don’t sweat the small stuff. In the grand scheme of life, does it really matter if you give in to your mum wanting that cousin invited that you haven’t seen in 100 years?
3. Spend money on a videographer – I so thought I wouldn’t need one! This is the only regret as you are running on adrenaline and moments pass by too quickly.
Location: Port Douglas, Queensland | Photography: Matthew Evans Photography | Ceremony: Little Cove Beach | Reception: Sugar Wharf | Styling, Hire & Flowers: The Vintage Hire Company | Bouquets: Floral Edge | Cake: Passion For Cakes | Gown: Raffaele Ciuca | Hair & Makeup: Tokunai Hair | Suits: Origin Clothing | Accommodation: The Boutique Collection