Lure at Abell Point Marina by Brooke Miles Photography
Thinking of eloping or planning a destination wedding in the Whitsundays? You’re not alone! We love tropical weddings. With a chilled out vibe, gently lapping shorelines and glorious sunshine to bask in, the honeymoon seems to begin in the Whitsundays before you’ve even said your vows. We’ve gathered up some of the brightest, in-the-know Whitsundays wedding experts to share their tips, tricks and secrets with you. Book your plane tickets now.
I Do Events by Summer Rain Photography
The Wedding Stylist: Rachel Boots of I Do Events
I Do Events Whitsundays proudly provide outstanding wedding styling for any size ceremony, elopement or reception. Dedication to quality and service are paramount while ensuring your special day is styled to your personal taste and budget. Rachel shares her tips below.
– Our biggest secret would be…get married in Winter! Winter is, without a doubt, the best time of the year to get married in the Whitsundays. The weather is amazing plus you can wear a suit and makeup comfortably without feeling like you’re in a sauna. We have the most beautiful sunsets and sunrises in winter which make for amazing photo opportunities.
– Rick The Wedding DJ is the best in the business – and you can hire him out as ‘a best man’ if you need him!
– We have unique venues. Check out the Dent Island Heli Pad on Hamilton Island. We recently styled there – alongside Floral Collections – it’s an amazing venue and having the Whitsunday Islands as your backdrop is truly spectacular.
– Your guests will never be bored. Having a wedding in the Whitsundays is so beneficial as it’s a holiday destination where your wedding guests can do as little or as much as possible: whether it’s visiting Whitehaven Beach, exploring the Great Barrier Reef or relaxing by the lagoon.
– Keep in mind, the main challenge for us styling your wedding in the Whitsundays is the weather. As we typically style outdoor weddings, the humidity can be difficult to work in during the wet season.
Loll Doll Makeup by Brooke Miles Photography
The Make-Up Artist: Lauriely Taylor of Loll Doll Makeup
Lauriely is a professional Whitsunday wedding makeup artist based in Airlie Beach. Offering a mobile service, she will come to you so that you can have your wedding makeup done in the comfort of your home, resort room or bridal villa. Lauriely shares her tips below.
– Using sunscreen under make-up does get a little tricky! It is to do with the “flash back” that happens in some photos, where the titanium oxide or silica in the sunscreen flashes back and you end up looking white. To combat this it is important to chat with your photographer to use the right type of flash. Use your SPF well before make-up application so that it has time to soak in. I also tend to use Youngblood Mineral Powder – just a light dusting over the top of the make-up and around the neck and shoulders – as this has an SPF12.
– My trick for make-up not melting? I use an Element2 Airbrush make-up canvas blend, which is water and transfer resistant; it lasts 12-14hrs. I also use a setting spray to further enhance the staying power. I have had one bride, who did a trash the dress the following day in her same make-up from the night before!
– Don’t be tempted to go sunbathing as soon as you arrive. Be especially aware of your sun exposure in order to avoid any unwanted strap marks or tan lines on the big day.
– If you are planning on wearing a strapless dress, remember not to wear a bra on the morning of your wedding, this will ensure that you don’t have any indentations on your skin from the straps. Don’t forget to pack – the most practical outfits – for the morning of your special day, a cotton dressing gown, strapless sundress or jumpsuit. Choose cotton and not polyester as it is lightweight, breathable and perfect for the Whitsunday climate.
– For your makeup look, do embrace the Whitsundays surroundings. So go natural with good contouring and highlighting to give that sunkissed glow.
Coral Sea Resort by Iconic Bride
The Wedding Coordinator: Sharon Gregory of Coral Sea Resort
The award-winning Coral Sea Resort, in the exclusive sea side enclave of Airlie Beach, offers the ideal location for an oceanfront beach wedding venue, breathtaking reception (their jetty is magical when strung with lights by night) or romantic honeymoon. Sharon shares her tips below.
– During an outdoor ceremony on hot days in particular, remind your wedding party it’s ok and encouraged to shuffle and redistribute their weight on their feet every now and then. This keeps everybody relaxed and loose and somehow magically helps to prevent fainting.
– Have your event coordinator or wedding planner remind the groom and groomsmen to take off their sunglasses a few minutes before the bride starts her walk down the aisle. Put it in the run sheet! This gives them time to adapt to the sunshine – you don’t want squinting in photos and you sure don’t want the groom to miss the bride’s appearance or first few steps while they adjust.
– Gents, leave the three piece suit at home. It doesn’t suit the weather or the backdrop and a full-on suit will leave you looking hot (and not in the right way). Consider wearing a more casual, lighter look one of the benefits of getting married in the Whitsundays.
– When seating the bride’s and groom’s families, consider seating them on the opposite side than what is considered traditional. So sit the bride’s relative behind the groom and the groom’s relatives behind the bride. This way, during the most important part when the couple turns to one another to say their vows, their closest loved ones can see their faces. It’s tiny, thoughtful details like this that make working with experienced event experts essential.
Photography by Brooke Miles Photography
The Photographer: Brooke Miles of Brooke Miles Photography
Brooke has had a camera in her hand since she was 16. Establishing her business in 2004, she has been shooting weddings in the Whitsundays for over 6 years. Her studio is a beautiful, custom-designed space on the beachfront overlooking the Coral Sea. Brooke shares her tips below.
– We’re quite lucky in that our light is pretty amazing all day! However, I would have to say after 4pm is the best for soft romantic light, or midday on the beach with flash/lighting if you’re after that Whitsunday pop of blue!
– For shooting locations, we have more than the beach! We have the rainforest, cane paddocks and even a little waterfall if you’re keen to go exploring to get different backdrops!
– Consider a night-time reception. All Whitsundays wedding venues are perfectly placed in their own way for sunset views and often star-gazing on balconies.
– Stay longer! Those who only come for a few days always wished they’d booked for longer. My big tip would be, come for a week or two if you can!
– Grooms: we do have a tropical climate for 9 months of the year, so it’s good to be aware of that when trying on that five-piece suit in the air-conditioned studio in the city! Going for a lighter, destination wedding look and feel can add to the comfort on the actual day. And it looks amazing in beach shoots!
The Wedding Planners by Russ Benning Photography
The Wedding Planner: Jess Lawrence of The Wedding Planners
With an intimate knowledge of Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays plus relationships with quality local wedding venues and suppliers, The Wedding Planners Whitsundays thrive on ensuring that your wedding day runs seamlessly from the first phone call to the last goodbye. Jess shares her tips below.
– One of our top venue choices is Earlando. OMG, it’s a 6,000-acre property just outside of Airlie Beach and is truly the hidden gem of Whitsunday wedding venues. It has a beach-meets-bush feel to it and the aura/ambience of the venue is amazing. It’s tranquil, relaxed and bit luxurious all at the same time! Not to mention the staff at Earlando will go above and beyond for you and your guests, I’ve never met a friendlier team.
– We also love Lure. Have you seen photos of Lure? It’s a design masterpiece! If I had my wedding there I honestly wouldn’t go OTT with any décor, Lure takes the beach/nautical theme to the next level with every inch of the space perfectly styled.
– Another hot tip is Paradise Cove. Airlie Beach’s newest wedding venue is young and fun. Guests are transported by boat to an amazing venue with a private beach, lush lawn and amazing pool. The pool reminds me of a tropical luxe pool party, very on-trend, especially here in the Whitsundays. There is also on-site accommodation for up to 32 guests including a heavenly villa for the bride and groom.
– Don’t feel locked into having to have your wedding in one space. The main areas of the Whitsundays (Airlie Beach, Hamilton Island, Daydream Island, Bowen) are not big areas, individually speaking. So many couples fret about having ceremony and reception at one location. But, when over 20 locations are all within five minutes of each other, there’s no reason not to have your favourites, even if that means different venues.
– Whitsundays wedding suppliers can deliver the same tailored level of service that metropolitan vendors do. We love the unique. So, for example, when one of our couples wanted to have a piñata smash instead of a cake cutting we couldn’t have been more excited!
Lure at Abell Point Marina by Brooke Miles Photography
Note: After Cyclone Debbie occurred in March 2017, most places in the Whitsundays have bounced back. Hamilton Island, Airlie Beach, Long Island and Whitehaven are open. Hayman Island and Daydream Island are expected to reopen mid-2018.