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Muriel & Simon’s Intimate Hamilton Island Wedding

by | Honeymoons, Inspired Destination Weddings, Inspired Weddings


Polka Dot Bride

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Muriel & Simon

There are few more spectacular places in Australian than the Whitsundays and today’s intimate Hamilton island wedding captured all the gorgeous scenery with an small, romantic wedding for one loved couple who simply wanted a stylish and intimate occasion. They chose Emily Doran to capture their day and Hamilton Island Weddings to plan it all.

On how they met, Muriel remembers, “We were first introduced by a mutual friend. Naturally, sparks flew and it was a perfect match.”

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Muriel chose a gown from Moira Hughes Couture, noting, “I wore the Willow gown, created in a delicate hand beaded French lace on a pure silk bodice by Moira Hughes Couture, Paddington, Sydney. This glamorous gown, very befitting for the location.”

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The couple met before the ceremony for a first look.

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The couple were married at All Saints Chapel , the bride telling, “Hamilton Island has been an annual holiday location for both of us since arriving in Australia in 2004. The chapel is surrounded by all the splendour of the Great Barrier Reef.”

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The bride walked down the aisle to “Rondeau played eloquently as the bridal march, by French composer Jean-Joseph Mouret”.

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“Special would have to be the white roses which we associate with peace & love. Familiar items such as the music, wedding favours, great food and a fabulous location were a must. We really wanted this beautiful day to be an intimate private occasion and enjoyed the whole day. Hamilton Island is an amazing romantic place to us.”

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The newlyweds celebrated with an intimate dinner at Qualia , noting, “The reception venue is a world class luxury resort, Qualia, situated on the secluded northern most tip of Hamilton Island.”

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Of their first dance, the newlyweds chose, “Ellie Goulding – How long will you love me! Chosen because both heard this song for the first time together on Hamilton Island, 2013.”

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Photographer: Emily Doran / Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Hamilton Island Weddings / Wedding Stylist: Hamilton Island Weddings / Bride’s Dress: Moira Hughes Couture / Bride’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin / Bride’s Jewelry: Tiffany & Co / Groom’s Attire: Tom Ford / Groom’s Attire: Hugo Boss / Groomsmen Attire: Harrolds, Sydney / Hairstylist: Island Hair and Beauty (Muriel) / Makeup Artist: Island Hair and Beauty (Muriel) / Ceremony Venue: All Saints Chapel / Ceremony Officiant: Fr. Bill / Reception Venue: Qualia / Favors: Jameson Whiskey / Cake Baker: Crystalbrook Patisserie / Wedding Rings: Tiffany & Co

Paradise Found – Idyllic Lord Howe Island

by | Destinations, Honeymoons, Location Australia


Ms Chinoiserie

Peter Aitchison121Image by Peter Aitchison

What better way to start married life together than a glorious honeymoon scuba diving, snorkelling or enjoying some of Australia’s best – and least crowded – surf. Or perhaps starting married life in a luxury suite, enjoying couples’ massages and taking a dip in your own private plunge pool is at the top of your list? Or do you want it all? Then definitely check out Lord Howe Island, a paradise island that’s has the perfect balance of action, adventure, rest and relaxation! And not to forget romance!!

With great weather all year round, Lord Howe Island has everything you need to celebrate your nuptials and begin your married life together. There is absolutely nothing to spoil the idyllic view – no highrises, traffic jams or pollution  Serenity is also assured as Lord Howe Island offers only limited wifi and no phone reception at all  As the island is a world heritage site, only 400 tourists are allowed on it at any one time which allows you to enjoy an intimate break with your new spouse. It’s also just a short two-hour flight from Sydney, so you don’t have to fly half way around the world to enjoy your romantic adventure.

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Thrill seeking couples should check out one of Lord Howe’s impressive peaks. Standing at 875 metres, Mt Gower is the island’s highest mountain and is rated as one of Australia’s best day walks. The hike is a challenging eight-hour return trek, complete with rope-assisted climbs and dizzying drops. But once you and your spouse are standing atop Gower’s iconic peak, amongst the misty forest, experiencing breathtaking views of the island and its crystal clear waters, you will truly feel on top of the world.

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Newlyweds can also enjoy the wonderful pristine waters and beaches of Lord Howe Island. At Ned’s Beach you can hand feed fish and snorkel the calm waters above colourful coral. Use the masks, fins and snorkels for the cost of a contribution to the ‘honesty box’ for an ‘up close and personal’ experience with our fishy friends! For those who prefer to go a little deeper underwater, Lord Howe Island’s abundant marine life and crystal-clear waters attract divers from around the world to explore some of the best diving on the planet. The underwater topography of trenches, caves and volcanic drop offs ensure awe-inspiring, unforgettable diving experience for you and your partner!

Pinetrees-boatshedPinetrees Lodge Boat Shed image via Lord Howe Island

Couples hoping to unwind after planning their wedding will love the island’s luxury spas, where you can enjoy calm and serenity in an idyllic setting. Lord Howe Island has a range of lodges, guesthouses and self-contained apartments for those who want peace and privacy. Intimate, exclusive and romantic – Lord Howe Island is at the top of my list!

An Adventurous Hawaiian Island Honeymoon

by | Destinations, Honeymoons, Location USA, Reviews


Anika Reynolds

Kauai coastline

With its rugged coastline, azure waters and lush rainforest, the Hawaiian island of Kauai is the perfect honeymoon destination for lovers of the outdoors. Also known as the Garden Isle, it’s the fourth largest island in Hawaii and the oldest in the Hawaiian archipelago.

So pack your bags, set your watch to island time and rent some wheels – there is so much to discover!

To Experience:

Take an aerial tour. Fasten those seatbelts – we’re heading skywards! A helicopter tour is the best way to truly appreciate Kauai’s spectacular geography. From hovering above steep canyons, to dipping into verdant valleys, marvelling at cascading waterfalls and cruising along the famous Na Pali Coast, a honeymoon helicopter flight promises to be an unforgettable start to married life.

Kauai waterfalls

Mauna Loa Helicopters offers private flights, so you and your love can enjoy the views sans other tourists. After an extra thrill? Opt for a ‘doors off’ experience and feel the wind rushing through your hair – just try not to look down! For a luxury option, try Blue Hawaiian Helicopters and enjoy Bose headsets, a spacious interior and panoramic windows.

Best for: Keen photographers.

Sail away: Fruity cocktails, a luxe mega yacht and your true love by your side; this is honeymoon bliss! For seafaring spouses, a sunset dinner sail along the dramatic Na Pali coastline is a fantastic way to explore, with equal parts of relaxation and adventure!

Capt. Andy’s takes tours aboard its deluxe catamaran fleet departing from Port Allen Harbour. Spot sea turtles bobbing in the waves, hang out on the deck, enjoy the views and tuck into a chef-prepared three-course dinner. The knowledgeable crew will point out striking geographical elements along the way (think caves, blow holes, natural arches and lava tubes) and if you ask nicely, the skipper might even let you take the wheel for a moment or two!

If a sunset expedition is not for you, book a snorkel tour or rafting experience – there is definitely something for every kind of sailor.

Best for: Ocean lovers who don’t mind salty hair and sea spray.

Sailing Kauai

Sunset Sail

Zip through the treetops: If you and your love have always wanted to try ziplining, then Kauai is an amazing place to give it a go! Boasting truly cinematic backdrops (parts of Jurassic park and Pirates of the Caribbean were filmed here), it’s certainly a scenic spot to enjoy a bird’s eye view.

Join a tour with Outfitters Kauai, which offers a variety of zipline treks, including tours with extra activities like hiking and kayaking. The ‘Zipline Trek Nui Nui Loa’ takes place on the sprawling Kipu Ranch, the filming location of The Descendants. This tour will appeal to both novice (and nervous!) zipliners and seasoned ‘zippers’ alike, and its varied course includes suspension bridges and tandem lines – so you can wave at your partner as you whiz by!

Best for: Movie buffs and Go Pro enthusiasts.

To Eat:

Morning: Start your day with a caffeine hit at the Kauai Coffee Company – located near old Koloa town on the island’s south shore.

The expansive plantation is home to four million coffee trees – making it the largest coffee farm in the United States! Take a self-guided stroll around the plantation and sample the estate-grown brews; try the ‘Kauai Blue Mountain’ for a wake-up call, Hawaii style.

Afternoon: For lunch on the run, drop into Bubba’s Burgers for an all-American burger with a little aloha. Try the most popular burger on the menu, the ‘Double Bubba’ – hold the lettuce and tomato (the way the locals like it) and wash it down with a shake.

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Evening: Named after historic surfing legend and Olympian Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, Duke’s is a must-visit. Nestled on the shores of Kalapaki Beach, downstairs is the Barefoot Bar, serving island-style cocktails and casual Hawaiian eats, while upstairs is an authentic open-air restaurant plating up Hawaiian fusion cuisine. Ask for your fish ‘Duke’s Style’ and don’t forget to save room for dessert – Hula pie!

To Stay:

At the end of an adventurous day, it’s time for a little island-style relaxation, and Kauai has no shortage of honeymoon-worthy accommodation.

Kauai Marriott Resort is a beachfront, tropical haven with landscaped gardens, an 18-hole golf course and spa. Kick back by the epic swimming pool, enjoy a dip in the ocean or partake in the free activities like hula performances and yoga.

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Kauai Marriott Resort

Images by Anika Reynolds.

For the ultimate in seaside elegance, check in to the St. Regis Princeville. Indulge in a rejuvenating spa treatment and enjoy candlelit private dining before retreating to your opulently appointed suite – ahh.


Image via St. Regis Princeville

On the South Shore lies the Sheraton Kauai Resort, a picturesque island hideaway, with low-rise accommodation no taller than a coconut tree. Take an after dinner beach walk with your love and regale the day’s events by the fire pits at the Ocean Courtyard lounge – perfect.


Image via Sheraton Kauai Resort

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: The perfect honeymoon get-away for romance, adventure and the aloha spirit!

About Anika: I’m a freelance writer with a love of weddings and creatively styled events. I have a penchant for pretty stationery and perfectly put together cheese plates, and a never-ending sense of wanderlust!

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