Emma and Jarrod – Chapel and coca chu

Jarrod and I were introduced by his sister Melissa (also my sisters name!), who I had played competitive Saturday netball with. Jarrod will tell you I’m lying but I did see the proposal coming.

I had planned a trip to Hamilton Island as a surprise for Jarrod to see the Super League triathlon in March 2017. Jarrod asked me to watch the sunrise with him on the Sunday morning. We left early and set up at the picnic tables at One Tree Hill overlooking Catseye Beach.

Jarrod told me he wanted to take a photo of us so set up his Go Pro on a tripod. He then came over, gave me a hug and asked me if I was having a good weekend, to which I obviously replied yes.  This prompted him to return to the golf buggy, grab the ring, walk back over to me and say he had one more question he had to ask me!

The process of planning the wedding was quite easy. My wedding planner set up continual meetings over the year which were structured and planned beforehand so we had specific items we had to speak about on each call – this meant we didn’t miss anything and I could plan for the questions I needed answered and vice versa. Everyone was so calm leading up to the wedding and confident in what I had organised which made me feel comfortable with the whole day. We met the crew and everyone beforehand so there were no surprises and it all ran smoothly and to time on the day.

Jarrod and I decided to stay together the night before as we weren’t being very traditional as it was. On the morning of the wedding we actually woke up and climbed Passage Peak with a bunch of friends! It was the best way to wake up and start the day (although the reality of “wedding day” hit on the way down and the nerves kicked in).

Once we finished the climb, Jarrod and his niece ran parkrun, before we parted ways at about 9am. Jarrod and “the boys” went to play golf that morning, while my bridesmaids and I relaxed to 90s RnB at the house. The morning went pretty slow actually – I spent a lot of my time laying on the lounge and relaxing, or looking at my phone! Things kicked off at about 11am when the hair dressers arrived and time sped off after that.

We had the two Audis for private transfer as part of our package, so my bridesmaids and Mum went in one car, Dad and I in the next. It was a lovely way to arrive. We chose the All Saints Chapel as our ceremony venue because we had looked at it randomly on the day we got engaged and thought it was so perfect and quaint.

The most important and meaningful part of our wedding was the day we chose being the same day as my parents wedding in 1979, and my grandparents wedding in 1956. The fact that May 5 fell on a Saturday and All Saints Chapel was available, was too big a blessing to let slide.

Our ceremony finished around 5.10pm and after we were married our guests then made their way to the reception venue to enjoy canapés and drinks from 5.30pm whilst we had photos. I didn’t mind too much where our photos were taken, just as long as we had the sunset in the background! Our photos down at the jetty in the Hamilton Island marina were perfect.

Our reception was held at coca chu. We were lucky enough to be given this venue and were able to have it closed to the public for the night. This venue holds a special place in our hearts as well as it’s where we were dining 3 years earlier when we said we loved each other for the first time. Plus the food and location is incredible!

The venue was perfect by itself but we just added some green and white to make it stand out. Our brief for the styling was simplicity. Our stylist and the team at AVPartners were great. We had no issues on set up or organisation, they were fast and efficient, as well as being creative which was amazing.

The food at coca chu is second to none. We had the banquet menu and even now, well after our wedding, our guests are still talking about it! We decided not to have a cake and went with the dessert from coca chu. It was definitely enough.  The food was everyone’s favourite part for sure. That, and the fact everyone was on holidays, relaxing and in no rush to leave!

My favourite detail on the day was actually something I hadn’t asked for or expected. The team at AVpartners had taken the exact font from the menu’s I had designed, and drawn our names on the massive chalk board in coca chu! We hadn’t asked for it but it was a great backdrop for the night and really stood out.

It’s hard to choose one memorable moment from the day but I think walking in to the chapel was a really special (mostly because my husband-to-be was crying!), but it was a once in a lifetime moment and something I’m so glad was captured on camera. We had told our photographer the day before what we wanted to capture (our grandparents, first dance and family pictures) and he got it all.

We also selected Horses by Darryl Braithwaite to play right near the end of the night, where the whole wedding was on the dancefloor, singing and dancing together. That was definitely a highlight to end the night.

I honestly thought our time on Hamilton Island would have had an element of stress, trying to accommodate everyone and make sure people were having fun – all while I was finalising a wedding and making sure I was relaxed. But the whole experience of a destination wedding was absolutely incredible! Just being able to walk around the island and run into friends and family who were having the best time, relaxing and enjoying themselves, just made us feel so much more comfortable and happy with our decision. It’s not always easy to ask people to spend money to come and celebrate you, but when you see how happy your choice makes everyone else – it’s so worth it. Plus, who doesn’t love Hamilton Island as a holiday destination?

Fast five:

  1. In three words how would you describe your wedding?   Full of love!
  2. Any tips for someone planning a wedding on Hamilton Island? Trust that the team know what they’re talking about. They are professionals and have been doing it for a long time. But make sure you have done your research! It will make the planning process easier. The team really do make dreams come true.
  3. Any decisions you made for the wedding which served you well? We decided to climb Passage Peak for sunrise and it was the best start to the day! I am a morning person though, so it was a personal decision that may not suit everyone but it worked for me. It cleared my head and distracted me from being nervous about the wedding.
  4. What was your favourite part of the day? This may sound weird but my favourite part of the day was the end of the reception! BUT, that was because once it finished around 11pm, we actually walked, completely alone, along the beach in just the moonlight, toward the Beach Club where we were spending the night. It was so romantic and such a perfect way to finish the day.
  5. Anything you’d like to add: We would do it all over again in a heartbeat!

Emma and Jarrod’s dream team

Ceremony: All Saints Chapel

Reception Venue: coca chu

Styling: AV Partners

Photography: Hamilton Island Photography

Hair and Make-up: Hamilton Island Hair and Beauty

Flowers: Floral Collections

Planner: Hamilton Island Weddings