Ryan and I both grew up in a small town in New South Wales. We met whilst having a casual drink one evening. We then became very good friends but our lives then took us in separate directions for a few years. It was years later, that we rekindled our relationship into something a little more than friends… And as they say “The rest is history”.
Weeks out from expecting our son Ellis into the world, Ryan organised a weekend away. As part of the holiday we had a pregnancy “bump” photoshoot arranged. Later, that night Ryan arranged a dinner in the city for the two of us. As part of the night we ended up on a Ferris wheel, which I thought was strange at the time, as Ryan and I are both scared of heights. Yet, it suddenly made sense when I saw the beautiful sparkling ring and realised Ryan was asking me to marry him.
Ryan and I always wanted a destination wedding, so the big day wasn’t over in a blink of an eye. We wanted a relaxed environment, where all of our close family and friends could join us in continuing with the celebrations after the big day. We also wanted breathtaking photos with a backdrop that looked surreal. Hamilton Island definitely ticked that box and produced photos, which we can cherish forever.
Originally, we were going to get married at Santorini in the Greek Islands. Ryan and I had recently visited Europe and it was absolutely beautiful. However, we realised it wasn’t realistic, as we didn’t want to have our grandparents travel such a long distance.
I had been to Hamilton Island previously with some friends. It was then that I had admired the chapel and dreamt of one day walking down this aisle there, so I threw Hamilton Island out there as a suggestion to Ryan. He agreed straight away without hesitation and without ever visiting the place before. Luckily, the photos of the island drew him in straight away, and wow what a great decision we made.
Everything was so very relaxed and stress free. The entire process and planning was an absolute breeze. The team at Hamilton Island Weddings were fabulous. As soon as we made an enquiry prior to our big day, we were allocated a wedding coordinator and had regular meetings where we discussed several items each time. This made it so easy and we were never overwhelmed with too many decisions at once.
We arrived on the island three days before our wedding day and I would highly recommend this to give yourself plenty of time leading up to the big day. It gave us both enough time to have a look around the island and familiarise ourselves. It also gave me time to have very important spa appointments for myself and my bridal party.
The day prior to our wedding, our photographer and videographer picked Ryan and I up to explore photo options around the island. It was great to have all of this organised prior to the wedding day.
On the day, I woke up with my son Ellis and we enjoyed breakfast together. My bridal party then arrived, we cracked open the champagne and started having our hair and makeup done. I decided to have the hairdresser and beautician come to us and it made the process really relaxed and more enjoyable.
Ryan meanwhile spent the night with his mates and groomsmen. In the morning, it was very similar for Ryan, he had the photographer with him whilst he was getting ready. They then enjoyed a lunch together and a few beverages, before going to the ceremony.
We had 56 guests join us in our ceremony and reception. Our ceremony was held at the beautiful All Saints Chapel. This venue would have to be one the most beautiful chapels I have ever had walked in to.
Our ceremony was the stand out part of the day for me… we choose to personalise our service with our lovely celebrant Kylie McIntosh. It was so special, every part related to Ryan and I. There were parts that made us laugh and cry, it was absolutely beautiful. It was also a very special moment for both our mother’s to be our witnesses, as well as having our son Ellis by our side.
Our reception was held at the Hamilton Island Yacht Club. We originally planned on using the Bommie Deck (the outdoor section of the Yacht Club), however we moved inside to the Ketch Room and this room did not disappoint. It had magical views on the night and we loved its perfect little side balcony.
We choose to have canapés rather than a sit-down meal as we wanted a relaxed environment, where all of guests could mingle all evening. We didn’t want to choose who our guests had to sit next to. On the night we had beautiful food flowing the whole evening and all of our guests had plenty to eat.
For theming, we wanted a sophisticated but elegant look. The team absolutely met our expectations and made this happen. Ryan and I had a little sneak peak of the room prior to the arrival of our guests, we both walked in the room and said WOW.
We had all of our beautiful flowers from the ceremony relocated to decorate the room and we had candles and little fairy lights on the tables, the room was just breathtaking. My favourite detail were the flowers, which were magical. I wanted bright floral styling and the team made this happen. It just made our theme come to life!
Everything was great. All of our guests commented on what a wonderful time they all had. Majority of our guests stayed on the island for the whole week to continue with the celebrations and of course take in all Hamilton Island has to offer. We loved being able to enjoy our wedding and combine it with a relaxed holiday with all of our beautiful guests. Days after the wedding, Ryan and I would drive our golf buggy back to the chapel, to just sit out the front, admire and reminisce on our wonderful day all over again.
Advice? Most of all remember to stop and enjoy the moment, everything else will just fall into place.
In three words how would you describe the vision for your wedding? Relaxed, magical and breathtaking.
Tell us about the dress: My dress was a huge gamble. I was scrolling through Instagram and found the most beautiful dress. It was everything that I had dreamt of and I knew it was exactly what I wanted. The dress was made by a designer in Cape Town, South Africa. In order to get the dress everything was done via correspondence. When the package arrived I quickly unwrapped the box and tried it on straight away. Luckily for me it was a wow moment and the perfect dress. It fit so beautifully. It was such a risk, but so worth it in the end.
Did you get a video made? Yes, we cannot wait for our video completion, so we can re-live this moment over and over again.
Tips for activities outside of the wedding itself? The guys were couldn’t wait to play a round at the Hamilton Island golf course and we arranged a day for them to play golf, which they loved. All the ladies took the chance to relax with spa appointments and some cocktails.