Lake Terrace is set in the beautiful Sunshine Coast Hinterland now not only would it make a great base for getting ready before your Sunshine Coast or Maleny wedding (with a sleeping capacity of ten), but it also doubles as a beautiful location for your honeymoon.
The house has stunning features and they start with the fixtures- from premium hardwood flooring, to soft, warm Alpaca carpets. There’s ducted air conditioning, Austar and digital satellite TV, wireless internet, filtered water and even full laundry facilities.
The first floor of the homestead contains many of the property’s delights- a full, country style kitchen complete with six hob gas range cooker, an inbuilt espresso coffee machine and dishwasher, all which leads onto the beautiful dining area surrounded with wrap around glass windows giving you a perfect view of the hinterland while you dine on your freshly made coffee and pancakes.
The lounge area is beautifully decorated and quiet, though an ipod docking station is included so you can play your favourite tunes as you unwind. Also on this level is the “Queen Bedroom” with it’s own ensuite, sash windows, and French Patio doors opening onto the stunning terrace.
The ground floor of the house features two bedrooms, the “Family Room” complete with private patio, three beds (an an additional foldaway bed) and private BBQ area and the deluxe “Kind Bedroom” room which features it’s own en-suite, king bed and private patio. Also located on this level is the media room complete with reclining chairs and full DVD and widescreen TV setup and a main bathroom.
Not that work will be on your mind, but should you want a place to upload your photographs or …blog.. the property has it’s own study. Complete with wireless internet, WiFi printing and full length desks overlooking that gorgeous views it means you can spend less time on your digital devices and more time enjoying the scenery.
After our amazing wedding that we would happily do again tomorrow, we got impatient and decided waiting for Olly’s Australian Visa to come through before taking our big overseas honeymoon was going to be too long of a wait! A mini Australian honeymoon was what we needed after endless guests, litres of champagne and the daunting mess of a house full of wedding decorations to escape from! Spoilt with Flight Centre Gift Registry credit and a generous wedding gift of discounted accommodation, we set our sights on 5 days in the relaxing, sunny and steamy Port Douglas!
People always told me your honeymoon is something you won’t forget, being the know it all that I am once again I thought; surely it would be as memorable as any other holiday with the love of your life? But needless to say, I was wrong AGAIN. Our honeymoon felt different, it somehow felt fuller, richer, happier, calmer. I can’t explain how much your head and heart change after those two little words “I DO”. Life feels locked in, cemented, complete and you don’t have that fear (which you never would admit that you had) that you might have to forge through life on your own.
Port Douglas was everything we hoped it would be from the second we arrived. I am not one for romance much, so I was happy to have no rose petals on the bed, just a fantastic resort, friendly staff and a clean simple room ready to go. The Mercure Treetops Resort was EXACTLY what we wanted – it was a 2 minute walk from the beach but it felt like you were tucked away hidden in a rainforest. It was far enough out of town to feel isolated, but still a local bus ride or half our slow secluded beach stroll away. We also fell in love with the resident Cockatoo!
Our days were a delightful repetitive routine which started with the hotel buffet breakfast and a very good one at that! I am fairly certain we were the first ones there and the last to leave as my Husband is a bottomless pit for food and well, we did think best to get our money’s worth before we head home for a few months of porridge to pay off the wedding bill! After a LONG breakfast each day we packed a picnic and headed to 4-mile beach for endless games of beach naughts and crosses and all-day-rest with what seemed like a maximum of 4 other people! We packed enough food, bubbles and sunscreen to last us from morning tea to nightfall.
After our beach days we would then head home, freshen up and jump on the local bus to town – door to door pick up and drop off! Brilliant! The bus was full of locals and tourists and really made you feel like you had been there for weeks, not days. Dropping you straight into the main street, we made the most of happy hour enjoying and comparing cocktails at the numerous restaurants and bars each night. We found ourselves back at Treetops, tipsy, full of food and slightly sunburnt happily tucked up in bed by 9.30pm most nights! If this is not your style then perhaps skip Port Douglas as I know we weren’t the only ones on the bus home at 9pm!
We had to set aside one night for our very final wedding task – our thank you cards. We decided that the honeymoon would be the best place to sit back, reflect and write our best words to thank those who had made our day special. I had everything packed and ready to go, spare pens on hand and Olly and I spent a good three plus hours, hand writing each one. We loved being able to say thanks from the place that they all helped us get to, and well we quite liked the newlyweds round of applause at the local Post Office when we bought a hundred stamps to send them (yes I had to have ones that said ‘Port Douglas’ on them! With that job done, we had two other must do’s for the stay, a Great Barrier Reef dive and the local Sunday Markets.
Our reef tour in one word was ‘outstanding’. We decided upon recommendation from family members to go with Poseidon. They were fabulous and a fantastic mix of families, couples, young and old. The instructors were young, confident, and bubbly with the good old Aussie tongue in cheek attitude that I love to show off to Olly. We were very lucky (surely our luck was due to run out soon we thought!) to see both dolphins and whales on our trip back from the reef – something that others do specific tours for! Because the entire boat agreed to stay out longer, they pulled up, threw ropes out and we were able to jump back in the water and have the whales swim beneath us! A truly amazing experience and we hope others are lucky enough to experience it too. Don’t plan anything too massive after the reef day out, we were simply exhausted, Olly was the only person of 70 to get stung by a bluebottle too so he needed plenty of TLC! The cruise makes it back to the harbour in time for happy hour (AGAIN!) which includes one dollar oysters, ten dollar buckets of fresh prawns and three dollar glasses of bubbles! An hour spent watching the sun go down was a fabulous end to what will be a day we won’t forget. (Yes we were sucked in to buy the professional photos taken and I am glad now we did!).
If you happen to be in Port Douglas on a Sunday, don’t miss the markets at the end of the main street, they are full of the most adorable handmade art and crafts, not to mention the characters that make them! Make sure you grab yourself a fresh coconut cut in front of you by the local family that sells them, it was humbling to see their whole family at work together adding that touch of tropical goodness that one craves at such a destination! A wander around the markets will take hours, so a stop off at the beach inlet to try to spot some crocodiles (no we didn’t see any whilst I was sitting there thankfully!) and a tour of the local church and another sunset on the peir is another perfect end to another perfect day!
St Mary’s By The Sea is the beachside Chapel that stole my heart, I would get married there tomorrow if I could. In fact my bridesmaid’s sister did a few months ago and the photos of her day take your breath away. So if you are planning a destination wedding and this looks like the spot for you – book it now!
Had we have had Olly’s Visa we most likely would have headed overseas for our honeymoon, but in many ways I am glad we didn’t. I couldn’t have hoped for a more loving, relaxing holiday and despite what I had prepared for, it didn’t cost us the earth! Port Douglas is a honeymoon destination that you must consider as it is magical – we will certainly be heading back early in the new year, this time on our Babymoon! Yes that’s right; we have a baby on the way!
What a big year it has been, now I guess in EVERY sense of the word!
Underwater Photography by Oak Beach Productions
All other photography from Olly and Lauren’s collection
Ms Gingham says: “It’s been so nice to see Lolly and Olly’s journey, from engagement, planning, wedding and now the honeymoon. Extra congratulations on your pregnancy! What a massive year!”
Lauren says: “28 year old Queensland born girl, who grew up in Adelaide and has called Melbourne home for the past 7 years! A Chatterbox, some say I could ‘talk under wet cement with a mouth full of marbles’! Organised, bossy, love to exaggerate a good story when I don’t remember parts! I love to play jokes and spoil my friends and family. Obsessed with my furry babies, Basil the Chi x Jack Russell and tabby cat hunter. Head over heels in love with my Pommy Bear Grylls look-a-like fiancé! Living a lucky life and extremely thankful for it!”
You can read all about Lauren and Olly’s journey from engagement to wedding day here.
As if we can’t get enough of dreamy destinations, we’re adding destination weddings to the Polka Dot Honeymoons roster- kicking it off with this magical qualia wedding that took place on Hamilton Island. Dale proposed to Pru in a spectacular event at the Burj al-Arab in Dubai and the couple decided a destination wedding would suit their lifestyle perfectly. Photos today are by Adam Finch of Studio Impressions. I love Adam’s clean, stunning captures of this wedding- I want to dive right into that pool, sit down at the table and enjoy the food and dance with the guests at the reception, Feeling a part of the action is just how wedding photographs should be.
Pru wore a polka dot Jane Hill gown paired with Jimmy Choo shoes. Pru remarks “I chose Jane Hill to design my dress as she works with your body – she talks about what suits your shape and you’re guaranteed it’s a one-off. The design grew from the material – French-spotted tulle Jane had purchased in Paris. It was a simple style of silver sequins under the layer of tulle to create a sparkling effect in the sun”. Fotini Hatzis styled the girl’s hair & makeup while Brett Currell styled the flowers.
Pru and Dale held their destination wedding at qualia on Hamilton Island. Pru recalls “Dale and I flew to Hamilton Island in August 2008 and fell in love with the island. I visited qualia for the first time while we were there and was blown away with its picturesque setting. As soon as I entered the gates – I was sold”
Brett Currell styled the ceremony and reception using two long tables poolside decorated with tall crystal vases filled with creamy white orchids. Driftwood and candles and glass jars ran down the centre of the tables.
Guests’ favors also acted as place cards – each name was placed in a clear frame, also a gift for guests to take home.
For their first dance, the couple chose the song which was playing as Dale proposed in Dubai “Just The Two of Us” by Bill Withers.
Congratulations Pru and Dale! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us on Polka Dot Honeymoons! Thank you also to Studio Impressions for sharing today’s destination wedding with us!
Polka Dot Dream Team...
The below wedding vendors made this magic happen and are an approved part of the Polka Dot Directory. Visit their portfolios to learn more and enquire about their services!