SJ and David – Whitehaven Beach and Hamilton Island

June 29, 2017 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Intimate,Real Weddings


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Ceremony: Whitehaven Beach
Reception: Hamilton Island
Celebrant: Deanna Kent
Photography: Chloe Tanner
Wedding Coordinator: Hamilton Island Weddings
Decorator: Claudia Delbianco – a close friend from the uK
Hair: Hamilton Island Hair and Beauty
Make-up: Hamilton Island Hair and Beauty
Flowers: Synthetic White Flowers – as we were on Whitehaven Beach
Dress: Brought in the UK – Morri Lee
Cake: Hamilton Island Bakery – Simple Chocolate Cake
Accommodation: Reef Hotel and Palm Bungalows
Transport: Jaguar and Golf Cart


Your Love Story…

SJ and I met at the British Airways Volleyball Club on October 1999 where we discovered we both worked for the same airline. We immediately became friends but did not get together until about ten years later.

I had been travelling the world for a number of years (since 1993) originating from Sydney, SJ is English born but has lived in a number of different countries as she grew up. We have two of the most amazing children, my son Tasman who was my best man and our daughter we have together Holly. Both of who are our greatest achievements in our life and bring us so much pride, fun and laughter in everything we do together. We have done things in reverse, have children, buy our home, then get married……we plan the stag and hen parties when we get back to the UK.

Our life has been centred around working for British Airways, living in London and all the amazing opportunities that it has made available to us and our family. Allowing us to travel the world together. So we talked about getting married and so I decided to make it a proposal to remember. After getting approval from the Director of Flight Operations and with the help of a number of people at work I decided to propose to SJ onboard one of our British Airways aircraft as we flew to the French Alps to go snowboarding for the first time without the children. So when all was quiet mid flight the crew took me to the front of the aircraft where I took the Tannoy, got down on one knee and proposed in front of an aircraft full of people. I am not quite sure she realised what I was asking as she rushed back to her seat. After some encouragement she came back and we toasted our engagement to a round of applause from all the passengers and the pilots come out and congratulated us.

Without doubt SJ is my everything! She comes into a room and her positivity and glowing smile lights up the room. You cannot help but be attracted to her. She is my shinning star who always guides me, challenges me and picks me up when I am feeling down and can always bring a smile to my face no matter what. I love that she looks at things differently to me and between us we always find making challenging decisions easy.

Thankfully, she is the one who reads all the detail (as I do not) and is the numbers girl keeping us on track with our finances – where I don’t often have a clue. Never have I been so attracted to anyone, where everyday I want to hold her hand, kiss her and spend all my time with her. We have the same dreams and ambitions, love of the sun and a beach where ever it may be, travel, good food and sports – and a good degree of competition between us when playing anything. SJ never gives up and always gives her all to anything she puts her mind to and I know that she is the one person who I want to spend all my days with on our journey though life.


Destination Wedding…

We have always dreamed of a wedding somewhere warm and on the beach which is easily one of our favourite places. We originally had considered Malaysia for the climate, beaches, food and relaxed culture but after some thinking and sitting in our house in the UK where there are two large colour images of Whitehaven Beach it almost seemed like we were just looking at the wrong beach. So it was an instant decision that it would be in Australia and on our favourite beach in the world – Whitehaven.


The Whitsundays…

We have visited the Whitsundays a number of times before and there is a particular pull to one day come and live in the region. We have done the sailing, diving and snorkelling trips and many years earlier I have been on a number of the overnight sailing trips where I really fell in love with the area and its natural beauty and ability to get away from it all.


Wedding Week…

Our plans for the wedding had to evolve almost over night. Before we left for Australia we had seen Cyclone Debbie forming and a couple people had asked would that give us any problems? I was sure that it would be long gone and everything would be cleaned up in a day or two. Little did I know the ferocity of the cyclone and the fact that it moved at walking pace would cause such immense destruction.

It was not until we got to Sydney that the true extent of the effects of cyclone Debbie started to become clear as one after the other our accommodation on the mainland got cancelled. There was no electricity due to be working for another 12 days and the apartments we had booked for everyone on Hamilton Island got cancelled.

No sooner had we heard about the apartments that we then were told our cruiser “Alani” we had booked to ferry everyone to and from Whitehaven Beach in style was damaged by the storm and on its way to the Gold Coast for repair.

For an instant we both looked at each other and thought should we delay getting married or find another location to do it? We looked at each and decided – No chance – we are going to get married on Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays.

So with some amazing support and many phone calls from Hamilton Island Weddings and numerous internet searches we decided to fly to the mainland and head straight to Hamilton Island where we managed to book accommodation in the Reef Hotel for everyone and our wedding night accommodation in the Palm Bungalows. The airlines changed our flight dates free of charge and the owners of Alani found us an alternative cruiser to take us to Whitehaven Beach

The staff where so welcoming and pleased to see us when we arrived on Hamilton Island on the 8th of April, the resort only reopened that day and we were were some of the first guests back on the island. Pre activities were mainly focused on getting things finalised with all the changes to the original plan, getting our guests to the island and making sure they all arrived as planned but we also had plenty of time to enjoy the pools, the beach, sailing, kayaking, go karting and exploring the island and enjoying the great food and hospitality of the staff who were amazing given all they had been through.


Wedding Day Vision…

The main thing we wanted was for our wedding day to be relaxed and enjoyable for everyone and not too hung up on the ceremony being perfect. Had we been this way I think the stress would have killed us with all the last minute changes. So dress attire for the guests was smart casual, “No Ties and No Shoes” and the ladies were free to wear what they were most comfortable in. The wedding party was myself and SJ, Tasman our son was my best man and Holly our daughter was the flower girl. Our mothers were the official witnesses and my Dad read poetry that he had written for both of us.

The boys suits where simple beige suits, white shirt with corsage and no shoes. We had personalised silver cufflinks for myself, Tasman, the father of the groom and the father of the bride. SJ wore a traditional white strapless wedding dress, vale and sliver jewellery.


Sit Down vs Cocktail…

We had 14 guests in total – a very small and intimate wedding. On their way to Whitehaven Beach our guests enjoyed champagne, wine and beer and a selection of food. SJ (and her Mum) and I (and Taman) flew to the beach via two helicopters and we saw each other for the first time that day when she landed in front of everybody and stepped out looked radiant. After a perfect ceremony with us standing within a heart drawn on the sand and over seen by Deanna Kent, we had our photos and then cruised back to Hamilton Island where we transferred to Sails Restaurant for a very intimate sit down 3 course al a carte meal for 14 – sitting on the outside deck at “Sails” over looking the resort pool and beach. It was so intimate I think we were the only people in the restaurant as the island was still very quiet having only reopened a few days earlier. Everyone also got a personalised champagne glass for the speeches that we had finally delivered the day before from the mainland as a very small memento of the event for them to keep.


Splurge Vs Save…

We saved on wedding cake and reception decorations but splurged on the accommodation and helicopters!


Your Wedding Venue…

With neither of us being very religious it was the perfect option for us to have a celebrant on the beach with the vows we designed ourselves. We shared our love story with her the week before and upon our first meeting in person were completely connected with Deanna and remain in contact with her. As for the reception venue it was always our first choice – which almost didn’t work with the damage from the cyclone but testament to the staff on Hamilton Island. the staff could not have been more professional, helpful and discreet for our amazing dinner. It was the perfect end to a perfect day!



Read more real Whitsunday Wedding stories.

Melissa and Brendan – Cannonvale Park and Reef Gateway Hotel

Lifelong locals Melissa and Brendan worked with wedding coordinator Total Weddings and stylist The Event Company Whitsundays to create a whimsical garden wedding in the Whitsundays in one of the unlikeliest of public venues.

1 comment

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