Lachlan & Josh’s Paired Back Paradise Wedding in Port Douglas

by | Groom, Inspired Weddings, Inspired Weddings,

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lach Cooper
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Lachlan & Josh

It was a day that truly reflected the couple and their dreams to marry each other. The feeling was refined and relaxed yet heartfelt and meaningful – just the way a wedding should be! The couple chose the shores of Port Douglas to say ‘I do’ as their guests travelled from wintery Melbourne to celebrate with them. Including traditional elements, the couple also chose to do it their way, with ‘best people’ by their side and Perspectives Photography capturing each loving moment. The menu was designed by the couple, including favourite dishes from Ottolenghi and of course, the dance floor and great music was of utmost importance! Lachlan shares their day with us and details how it all came to be!

We met nine years ago in a series of random coincidences. I was out with my friend at a concert in Melbourne where I ran into another friend who was with Josh. We started talking and I was surprised when he said he was going to start at the same cafe I was working at the next day.

We started working together and instantly clicked. We had to get separated from shifts because we started to neglect the customers when we were constantly laughing hysterically. We both had recently come out of relationships so took things slowly at first, which gave us a great chance to really get to know each other. A sneaky kiss at the work Christmas party and the rest is history!

We designed all our graphics from the invites, table settings and signage. We wanted to make sure that the feeling and overall vibe of the day was echoed in the printed details. We used a simple, classic font in all the written components.

We wanted one big party that was relaxed and had minimal formalities. By choosing to have a destination wedding, we wanted to emphasise that it was everyone’s holiday too and we wanted this to be reflective in how we approached and executed the wedding. We didn’t feel strongly about keeping to many of the formalities of a “traditional” wedding, bar the essential ones.

Our approach to the wedding was that we wanted it to feel effortless (even though our wedding planner can testify that it was certainly not). We wanted minimal fuss and decoration so that we could keep it classic and still sophisticated. It was also convenient to keep our budget in check! Everyone was on holiday and away from the cold, southern winter, so we definitely got the big party vibes we had dreamed of.

Being Melbourne boys who had moved to Sydney a few years ago, we were torn between where to have our wedding. On one hand, Melbourne seemed the obvious choice but we had always envisaged an outdoor wedding and the weather is too temperamental down there. Sydney was still relatively new and while we have made amazing friends there, it wasn’t enough to justify having our wedding in the harbour city.

We finally decided on Port Douglas in Far North Queensland. This place is very special to me and is where I had the majority of my family holidays for the past 30 years (and still going). Josh has of course now been a part of these family holidays and we felt the town was the perfect setting for what we were after. We also had a venue in mind when choosing Port Douglas; the Sugar Wharf was a beautiful, heritage wharf that jutted out into the Coral Sea backed by the mountains of the Daintree rainforest. This was our location for the reception. A short walk around the point is Little Cove, which is a beautiful secluded beach/park flanked by palm trees and was the ideal setting for our ceremony.

We wanted the ceremony to be short and sweet, packed full of all the emotion and sense of importance of the day. We decided that we wanted our guests to have an arrival drink before entering the ceremony so they could relax, catch up with whoever and start to get excited for what was to come.

It also gave us the chance to play some of our favourite music to set the tone. My parents had rather fortuitously booked a house that overlooked where the ceremony was, so I could check out what was happening without being seen. We were extremely blessed to have the BEST celebrants you could ever hope for.

We had only met Anna once a year before but instantly clicked and could tell she was so invested in us and wanted nothing but the best for us. This really translated to how she delivered her reading, even getting very teary during most of it. It was super sweet and there was apparently not a dry eye in the house, as they say. Josh and I wrote our own vows and tried to take in every moment because it was the best moment in our lives and the beginning of something wonderful.

No dresses for either of the grooms (unfortunately!), although I’m sure Josh could have pulled off a lacy white gown. Initially, our thoughts of a tropical climate wedding was linen suits. After the first meeting with our tailors, we both were a bit unsure about the choice of fabric and cut looking a little too relaxed. We went with different tailors, which added to the surprise of the big reveal on the day. We both wanted to work with very neutral, classic colours that suited our complexion and reflected and normal style.

Josh went with P.Johnson Tailors and had a great experience with their tailors. They took one look at him and, after hearing his brief, put forward the fabric that he absolutely loved and ended up wearing on the day. He wore a mushroom-hued woollen suit with clean lines, open-collared crispy white shirt and black Oxford shoes.

For my suit, I went with Oscar Hunt Tailors where a friend was a tailor at. Needless to say, I had a fantastic experience where they really went above and beyond. I can be quite fussy when it comes to clothing (Josh will say that’s the understatement of the year) so I had my pants tailored quite a few times to get it right. I was really happy with the final result. I wore a navy, woollen suit also with a crisp white, open-collared shirt and black oxford shoes. We both had our initials embroidered on our suits and the date of our wedding embroidered on the underside of our jacket collars. Who knew wool breathed so well in a tropical climate?!

We both had two best people. For me, I had my oldest friend Jack who I’ve known since I was 10 years old from school. I also had my other best friend Sally who I also went to school with but didn’t become close friends with until after school. We ended up doing our second university degrees in Interior Design together in Melbourne and then fortuitously ended up working together a few years later.

For Josh, he had his oldest friend Amy who he went to school with back on the Mornington Peninsula. He also had his other best friend Jake who he has known for the past 13 years. They are all legends in their own right, not to mention what a good looking bunch of humans they are!

We had been recommended Isaac at Perspectives Photography by our wedding planner. Having viewed many photographers on Instagram, Isaac stood out for his beautiful, natural style of photography. We spoke to Isaac via Skype a handful of times before the big day and each time he was very professional and filled us with confidence that he would do an incredible job.

On the day he did not disappoint. Our brief to him was that we wanted the photography of the day to be natural and not forced; a true depiction of the love and happiness of the day. We also spoke to Isaac about wanting the ‘couple’ photos of the day not being the stereotypical type of ‘beach wedding’ imagery. Isaac managed to find a really beautiful area in the outskirts of town which was abundant with tropical foliage. The images speak for themselves, we are so happy with them.

As I mentioned before, we had always wanted an outdoor wedding. For the ceremony, Little Cove had the right amount of seclusion, natural beauty and proximity to the reception venue. Little Cove ticked all the boxes! About a five minute walk from Little Cove was the very picturesque heritage Sugar Wharf.

An old working Sugar Wharf built in 1904, it juts out into the coral sea and faces west to get the famed sunsets that Port Douglas is known for. The wharf has an indoor area but we were determined (weather permitting, of course) to have it all outside under the stars.

A favourite detail of the day I think was, the simplicity of the paper lantern lighting above the two long dining tables under the open night sky. You really can’t beat nature!

For our flowers, we actually decided to go with a ‘foliage-only’ approach incorporating mainly tropical foliage and ruscus for the table runner and large tropical leaves for the flower arrangements.

We went with a more low-key entrance arriving into the cocktail party. We’re not super comfortable having so much attention just on the two of us so we wanted to take some of that potential awkwardness out of some of the night. A bit hard when it’s your own wedding!

Both our wedding planner and celebrant were standouts to us. They were so thoughtful and professional. It was important to us that the vendors we engaged understood our vision for the big day. Throughout the lead up to the wedding, both Bec (wedding planner) and Anna (celebrant) were extremely helpful and guided us to what our friends and family believe was one of the best weddings they had experienced.

After dinner and the hilarious speeches, it was time for our first dance. We chose the song ‘Baby’ by Ariel Pink. It is such a beautiful song that echoed our love for one another. We are two people who do not love having the spotlight on us, so we spoke to our wedding planner, Bec, about encouraging people to join us around two minutes into the dance. In the end, this made for such a heartwarming moment, in the most beautiful of locations.

It was important to us that we included an acknowledgement of country and recognition of the traditional land owners in the celebrants welcome. We also included two of Josh’s grandparents, who have passed, favourite songs, so they were there with us all on the day.

We decided to have a gelato cart for dessert instead of a traditional wedding cake. Having been to quite a few weddings where the cake is left uneaten and also given the warm climate, we wanted to have a dessert that was refreshing and a spin on tradition. Based on the response on the night, it was a good decision.

Hard to pick just one favourite photo from the day! We really loved all of our best people photos but the dance floor photos are hilarious and capture the feeling of the night.

Our advice to other couples is to make sure you take a few moments throughout the day to step back and enjoy it all. The day flies, so doing this ensures that it sticks in your memory. You only have one special day like this in your life, so make sure you lap every moment up.

The beauty of a great photographer is the documentation of the love and happiness of the day but it is the overall feeling is something that only can be captured in memory. We also believe that a wedding planner is worth every dollar, It take so much stress out of the organisation and scheduling of the big day.

Ms Zebra Says: Congratulations to this gorgeous couple! The entire day looked simply magical and so special! Thank you for sharing it with us. 

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