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Image by Brooke Miles Photography

What better place to say ‘I do’ than in the Whitsundays! Situated on the same latitude as Rio de Janeiro and Tahiti, the region enjoys a tropical climate with an average of 274 sunny days per year. If you are looking for warm waters, sunny skies and a tropical paradise to declare your love forever, then look no further than our favourite six locations.

Venue Locations

Villa Botanica 

Exclusive and private, the journey to Villa Botanica is a destination in itself. Travelling up through the natural bushland, you arrive at this secluded retreat. Imagine walking down the aisle surrounded by landscaped tropical gardens, sweeping 180 degree views of the Coral Sea and the soft breeze swirling through the air. After your nuptials, a myriad of photo location opportunities await such as the unique Cactarium.

Meet up and start the celebrations with your guests on the Sea Deck for drinks and canapes as you watch the stunning sunset across Whitsunday Bay in shades of pinks and purples. Follow the fairy lights into the twinkling 30-metre-long seaside verandah where your reception will commence accompanied with an extraordinary culinary experience to delight all the tastebuds.

Lure Whitsundays 

Make an extravagant entrance to your reception by land, air or sea at Lure! Located on the waterfront in the heart of Abell Point Marina, this is certainly the spot for nautical luxury. Whether it be the sunset views from the balcony or the sparkle of the moon over the water by night, falling in love with Lure is not hard to do.

Attention to detail accompanies the exquisite décor from the hand painted Mariners Compass to American Oak ship timbers and the stunning lighting which dresses the room. We were treated to a delicious wedding dinner featuring truffle and porcini risotto as well as classic profiteroles topped with molten Danish chocolate sauce. Yum!!

Coral Sea Resort 

Positioned on the absolute oceanfront, Coral Sea Resort has a large array of ceremony and receptions options to choose from! My absolute favourite was the intimate jetty which can be transformed into your own personal reception space, filled with fairy lights and water views as far as the eye can see. This is just one option along with the stunning ceremony location on the manicured lawns next to the Rotunda, the fully air conditioned Nautilus Room or the restaurant with views of the pool and ocean beyond you are certainly spoilt for choice!

The added benefit of the Coral Sea Resort is the on site accommodation, handy for guests that are travelling to a destination wedding. With a range of hotel suites, superior apartments and luxury all round, you’ll be spoilt for choice. the resort is also known for personal little touches like a Sangria Bar for guests which is filled with an array of tropical fruits, juices and champagne to top your selection off. Sublime!

Earlando

One of the most secluded properties available for your big day is Earlando. Where the bush and beach truly meet, you have 6,000 acres of private land to create your dream day without running into any one but your nearest and dearest. Another location where you have the option of arriving via land, sea or air, nuptials can take place under one of two handmade ocean view pavilions or at any area on site – the choice is yours.

With extensive photo opportunities anywhere from the mountain range looking out to the private jetty to secluded beach views and rustic cattle yards there are memories to be created here that will last a lifetime.

TeepeEvents created a stunning set up for us as an example of what your day could look like! Incorporating that rustic theme, imagine hay bales for guests to lounge on and then dance away under a sky of stars!

Ceremony Beach Locations

Whitehaven Beach

Renowned for its silica white sand and clear blue water, Whitehaven Beach is simply the most intimate and unique location to get married. Whether it be an elopement just for two or a small gathering, Whitehaven Beach is accessed via air or sea. Private charters are also available for a number of guests.

Sumptuous catering options that can be enjoyed on the beach include gourmet platters and picnic hampers by Peach & Pear Catering who specialise in showcasing beautifully presented local produce.

Bowen’s Beaches

Located a mere 45 minutes north of Airlie Beach lies the charming little town of Bowen. Showcasing some of the country’s most secluded bays and beaches, any of them are perfect for an intimate wedding. Coral Cove, Rose Bay, Murray Bay and Horseshoe Bay are ideal ceremony locations whereas Flagstaff Hill offers 360 degree views of the islands and Bowen Foreshore. With a number of accommodation options available in the area, this is truly one of the best destination wedding spots in the Whitsundays!

Ms Liberty travelled to the Whitsundays courtesy of Tourism Whitsundays.

Unless otherwise stated, images via Tourism Whitsundays.

Ms Chinoiserie Says: Six beautiful Whitsundays locations; all of them a little slice of romantic paradise!

Polka Dot Honeymoons Directory Mid Banner

Five Reasons Why You Need A Wedding Planner For Your Destination Wedding

Image by Terralogical

Do I really need a wedding planner for my destination wedding? Wouldn’t it be more fun…and less expensive…to do all the planning myself? Everything I need to know is online. It is after all, the most important day of my life.

Precisely… so why risk everything going pear shaped ? Before you head off into the uncertain blue yonder of “do-your-own destination wedding planning”, spend a minute with us at Botanica Weddings to find out exactly what’s involved.

1. Does anyone really care about my wedding?

To you it’s the most important day of your life. But sadly to some destination venues, you’re just another date on their calendar. The hard truth is, if they’re also running functions and corporate events or if they’re resorts with thousands of hotel guests to look after, your wedding is just a tiny speck on their very busy horizon. It’s common for brides to feel like they’re stuck on a wedding assembly line.

Do I Really Need A Wedding Planner For My Destination Wedding? 

Image by Iconic Bride Photography

Image by Light and Love Bali

2. Hello, is anyone out there?

Typically how most weddings venues work is that the sales person will have an initial Skype call with you to reassure you that everything will be fine on the day and answer any questions you may have.

Then, you’re pretty much left on your own until six months out from the wedding when you are assigned a coordinator. They’ll ask you a few questions about guest numbers and menu choices then point you in the direction of a whole bunch of people who you then have to contact to ask about providing all the ancillary services. Not so easy when they’re thousands of miles from home.

Image by Terralogical

3. I can’t believe it’s 3am and I’m worrying about whether my vegan niece will have anything to eat.

As the wedding day looms closer, it’s common for brides to feel like they’re drowning in a sea of decisions with nobody to haul them out. Think about how many suppliers you have to deal with and areas you need to cover…venue, guest list, celebrants, accommodation, tours, invitations, RSVPs, photographers, videographers, the dress, what your bridal party will be wearing, hair and makeup, flowers, decorations, transport, childcare, DJ, first dance, seating plans, favours, the menu, the drinks, cake…and if you really want to go all out: fireworks, doves, butterflies, live entertainment, and the scariest one of all – managing the budget!

Images by Playback Studios

4. I’m not a bride to be, I’m a travel agent!

They say the most stressful part of a destination wedding isn’t the day itself, it’s looking after all your guests. One minute you’re organising your wedding, the next you’ve become a travel agent, worrying about all your family and friends, how they’ll get there, where they’ll stay, what they’ll do….days spent hunched over your inbox trying to find out things like whether the hotel has a ground floor room because of Uncle Bill’s bad hip!

Image by Nga Dang

5. Budget blow outs

This is definitely the elephant in the reception room. Try asking someone what your wedding is going to cost; “that’s totally up to you” can often be the response. Which isn’t very helpful when you’ve never done this before.

I need help.

If possible, try to find a venue that only offers destination weddings; they’d have to be good because that’s all they do. These venues offer a unique guided approach where every couple is stepped through the process by an expert, dedicated planner who takes everything in hand from day one. Nothing is left to chance.

To make your experience doubly relaxed, at Botanica Weddings we also offer POPPY, an online wedding planner that manages every one of the key 24 aspects involved in organising your wedding. POPPY provides you with :

  • 41 pages of information and images
  • 33 how to videos
  • 28 interactive pages e.g load up your guest list, do your seating plan, upload your music.
  • 27 shopping pages : choose your hair and make up/flowers/fireworks

….all in the one easy to find location, that’s been designed around your wedding.

With the help of a planner, your destination wedding of your dreams really will come true!

Ms Chinoiserie Says: With a dedicated planner taking care of your special day, all you need do is relax and enjoy every moment!

About Botanica Weddings: Perched on the edge of the Coral Sea in the glorious Whitsundays, Villa Botanica’s superb gardens and architecture make for a destination wedding venue simply unmatched anywhere in Australia. Only minutes from Airlie Beach, yet totally private and exclusively yours for the day.

Nyree & Sole

If there is one place the world seems to love for destination weddings, well, it has to be Hawaii and Nyree and Sole’s glam (right down to the gold pineapples!) chic Hawaiian destination wedding certainly ticks all the boxes when it comes to a wedding that was, in the bride’s words “Chic, modern, touch of tropical “. The couple chose Kayla Maree Photography to capture their big day.

Nyree kicks us off with the story of how the happy couple came to be. “We met at a house party about 11 years ago now, I was only 16 and he was 17. We both have different versions of the story but my version is that when we got introduced he got very nervous and dropped his drink and spilt it everywhere because of me!! After being introduced we talked and realised we lived one street apart. We went for a walk the next day and after that, the rest is kind of history!”

J’Aton Couture  created the bride’s high neck gown. Nyree remarking “I chose to get my dress made by J’Aton, which was probably the easiest decision I had to make for the wedding. I always loved their designs, and I knew they could create me something amazing. I gave the boys a lot of free range with most parts as I trusted their opinion completely, the only requests I had was for a higher neckline, sheer and something I can move in! The experience was one of the easiest. They made me feel so comfortable and each time I went was more fun than anything.”

Nyree remembers “One of the most special moments of the day was when my dad saw me in my dress for the first time.”

The couple chose to marry at the beautiful Lanikuhonua, noting “The venue was at Lanikuhonua Cultural Institute aka “Where heaven meets earth”. It’s an ocean front estate which shows you all of Hawaii’s natural beauty. We wanted all our guests to know that they were in Hawaii.”

Nyree walked down the aisle to Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – Somewhere Over The Rainbow.

Rev. James Chun officiated the ceremony, the bride noting “We ended up choosing an ‘unplugged’ ceremony. We had chosen such a beautiful place and everyone travelled far to be there, we just wanted everyone to be in the moment with us. Our Rev.James Chun spoke such beautiful words and gave the most relaxed vibe which suited us perfectly.”

Nyree and Sole worked with Michelle Garibay Events to plan and style the wedding, which included plenty of tropical touches. “I really wanted to keep with the tropical Hawaiian theme. I love pineapples and had to have them included somewhere in the wedding, so the florist sprayed them gold to go in theme and they were our main centre piece. We also had a lei on each person’s chair to really give the Hawaiian vibe.”

Of their first dance, the bride remembers “We chose “It feels like home” by Chantal Kreviazuk. This wasn’t a specific song of ours, but we felt it the most suited to how we felt about each other.”

Congratulations on your marriage Nyree and Sole! Thank you for sharing the stories of your day with us! Thank you also to Kayla Maree Photography for sharing today’s celebration with us!

Photographer: Kayla Maree Photography / Cinematographer: Evolve Digital Media / Wedding Planner: Michelle Garibay Events / Styling: Michelle Garibay Events / Bride's Dress: J'Aton Couture / Bride's Shoes: Stuart Weitzman / Groom's Attire: Calibre / Groom's Shoes: Aquila / Groomsmen Attire: Calibre / Groomsmen Shoes: Aquila / Bridesmaid Dresses: Zimmermann / Bridesmaid Shoes: Tony Bianco / Bridesmaid Accessories: Lovisa / Hairstylist: Leslie Fair / Makeup Artist: Leslie Fair / Flowers: Okika Hawaii / Invitations & Stationery: Hoop Studio / Venue: Lanikuhonua / Ceremony Officiant: Rev. James Chun / Ceremony Musicians: The Hawaiian Wedding Singer / DJ: DJ Tron Michael / Catering: Memoirs Hawaii / Wedding Ring: Anton Jewellery