Saturday, July 2, 2011

Our Destination Wedding

I thought I'd share some photos from our wedding on Hamilton Island, in Queensland, Australia. We had 42 guests join us for our special day. The Australian guests travelled from Sydney, Brisbane, Barcaldine & Mackay, which is quite a feat in itself. However, 13 of us travelled all the way from Canada (Alberta, Quebec & New Brunswick to be more specific) and we had to negotiate everyone's itinerary; a logistical nightmare!

The ceremony was at 4pm at All Saints Chapel, followed by a reception at the Hamilton Island Yacht Club. It stopped raining an hour before the ceremony and turned out to be a beautiful day.

Hamilton Island Weddings were able to do ANYTHING we wanted, however it all came with a hefty price tag. We could have hired I Do Events Whitsundays to do simple table decorations at the reception for $1274, however we managed to do it ourselves for $410.

I set up everything at home and took photos of what the tables would look like then packed everything into 2 big boxes which we took to the island with us on the boat. I then had an army of angels swoop into the reception venue the morning of the wedding and had everything set up in under an hour.

Here's what we did ourselves:

  • We found chair sashes and table runners online at Tablecloths Factory. Even with the international shipping, it worked out cheaper than having I Do Events put down a table runner and wrap each chair.
  • We improvised our own centerpieces, combining IKEA glass plates and candles with starfish and seashells found on eBay.
  • All of our invitations, ceremony booklets, table numbers and thank you cards were DIY, purchased from
  • We managed to save on flowers by bringing our own to the island... but they were FAKE. Jodie from Flowers by the Vase did an AMAZING job and so many guests commented on how fresh they looked. It wasn't until someone tried to smell my roses that I revealed they were fake. They are now sitting in a nice vase on our dining room table and I get to keep them forever :)
  • I made our "Just Married" banner, after being inspired by this Martha Stewart Wedding and we attached it to the back of our golf buggy after the wedding.
  • The dress was handmade by a dressmaker who my family has used for quite some time. She made my dress, my bridesmaids dresses, my mothers outfit, my grandmothers jacket and the groomsmen's vests and ties (She also did the same for my sister-in-laws wedding). It was a bit tricky sending her my measurements from Canada and I only saw the dress two weeks before the wedding, but it was exactly what I had pictured.
  • Our biggest splurge was the wedding cake, which we all agreed could NOT be brought over on our yacht from mainland. It was a wise decision because we hit 3m swells getting to the island and were holding on for dear life. A cake would not have survived.
  • Our next biggest splurge was the bonbonniere for each guest. We fell in love with these tiny suitcases then set up a candy bar for guests to help themselves.
  • We also brought our own priest! For some reason, having Hamilton Island weddings bring a catholic priest to the island was double the price of all other religious denominations, so my mum paid for flights and accommodation for her parish priest to come and it cost us a lot less.
So there you have it! A lot of stress in the lead up to it, but it's all over now and it was a lovely day. I was SO honoured to have friends travel so far for such a short weekend and seeing them made it all worth it.

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