This love story starts in Victoria, with Alex from Gippsland and Emily from East Melbourne.  Both keen for adventure (and ok, with a little bit of help from Tinder) the conversation was open and they felt an instant connection. Living more than 100 kilometres apart, the next level seemed a little out of reach. However, fate had other ideas and a month later, they both found themselves out with friends in Melbourne and arranged to meet up. The scene was set, the Emerson hotel. Alex recalls, “I distinctly remember when Em came down the steps onto the footpath, and I saw her from across the crowd of people. It sounds cliched but it felt like a movie because everyone else simply disappeared.”  And the rest, as they say, is history.

Now a couple, “During the summer of 2021, we decided we needed a holiday after enduring the exhausting year of 2020 and all of the struggles that Covid brought,” continued Alex.  “We decided on a road trip, travelling for five weeks from the Gold Coast to Port Douglas. We enjoyed our newfound freedom, soaking up the gorgeous scenery. For the most part we travelled in a camper van but when we reached Port Douglas, we decided to treat ourselves to a beautiful resort, the Pullman Sea Temple. As first-time visitors, we fell in love with the resort, the destination, the weather in June, it was simply gorgeous and we knew we would be back.” 

A proposal came shortly afterwards. “Em had told me that they were going to a friend’s lunch in the city.” shared Alex. “When we arrived at ‘lunch’, Em had stopped walking and pointed out where we were standing, right outside the steps of The Emerson Hotel. The place we had first met and where Em first told me she loved me; it was so romantic. Em dropped to one knee, with a proposal she presented a ring, all captured by a hidden photographer.  I was so surprised, but I immediately said,

“Yes.” After all, I had known from the very first moment I had laid eyes upon her that she was going to be the love of my life.”

A short year later in June, Alex and Em were enjoying their very own destination wedding, saying, “I Do,” in a palm fringed picturesque Little Cove with spectacular views over Coral Sea, surrounded by their closest family and friends

“Planning a wedding from afar felt a little daunting at first,” they said.

“But when we found our celebrant Anna Soltwedel online, her radiant smile stopped us both in our tracks.  You could feel her warmth and beauty protruding from the page. She put so much time and energy into handcrafting a very personal ceremony, encouraging and guiding us at every step.  An absolute highlight was writing our own vows too. It was a magical moment, standing there together as we entered the next chapter as wives.” The girls reminisce, “There wasn’t a dry eye in Little Cove that day!” 

“A few days before the wedding we enjoyed a meeting we will always remember too,” said Em. “A nearby woman, Fran, overheard us all discussing our upcoming wedding plans with Anna in the Cove. She shared with us that she had never had the opportunity to marry her life partner - she had sadly passed before the laws had changed, allowing same sex marriage. This touching story was so bittersweet. Such a personal insight, yet genuinely excited for us and our wedding.  We will always cherish this impromptu and intimate moment. Thank you Fran!”

Next, to capture the memories. “We engaged photographer Kate Robinson. Alex knew her as she had photographed her sister’s wedding,” added Em.

”Her style was timeless elegance and the intimate and candid moments she captured were divine.  She travelled with her videographer Emma and they had clearly done their homework, finding some stunning locations to capture our day on film.”

“Deciding on a reception venue was the easy part, “said Alex, “We couldn't go past the beautiful Sea Temple Resort from our earlier travels.  We had already fallen in love with their hero ‘wedding shot’ online.  A long table setting for the reception with stunning poolside views and chandeliers for that touch of wow, we couldn't imagine anywhere else we would rather be.  The service from the team was nothing short of outstanding. Our Wedding coordinators Michela and Laura were both incredible. Sharing our journey, they gave us so much assistance and reassurance helping us to bring together our amazing team.  Recommendations such as Carly for our make-up, flowers by Floral Edge, and a divine cake from The Hungry Hummingbird. You could tell these vendors all loved working together and there was a strong connection within the Port Douglas wedding community.  Perfect for any bride, it instilled confidence in you. A bonus too, Em’s sister was a hairdresser and stylist and so our talented team of women, all experts in their fields, was now complete.”

In terms of styling, they opted for natural colours, with plenty of whites and greens which they felt were simple but effective. They also both loved a touch of gold, so this was incorporated in the table settings and with the champagne bridesmaid dresses.  They hoped their style would support elegant and timeless but most importantly they just wanted to create memories that were filled with love and laughter.  

“The night before the wedding, though a little overwhelmed, we decided to stay in separate rooms, so we could both experience our first sight of seeing each other as brides-to-be walking down the aisle,” they said.

“We wanted our day to be an intimate celebration of our love for each other. Marriage wasn’t something we had individually dreamed about, (same-sex marriage hadn’t become legal until 2017), but being able to share quality time with twenty of our beautiful family and lifelong friends on The Lagoon terrace enjoying dinner and some speeches will be forever locked in our memories.” 

After 10pm the party moved into the cocktail lounge to sample some of their favourite cocktails and of course some dancing, including two fabulously choreographed dances that Alex’s friends surprised them with!

“We LOVED having an afterparty after the reception, the vibe was relaxed and it was definitely fun. It meant we got to enjoy our perfect day for just that little bit longer too,” the couple said.

“The following days after the wedding we explored and enjoyed activities with our guests around the region. A relaxing river cruise aboard the Lady Douglas River Cruise, followed by some yummy Thai food at Star of Siam. The next day, we took a dreamtime walk at Mossman Gorge (and definite highlight for all our family), followed by more croc spotting with the Daintree River Cruise Centre, all so exciting!

“We do also have to recommend a tour from our previous trip, sailing out to a Great Barrier Reef coral sand cay with Sailaway was a must do too.  We felt very lucky and were fortunate enough to still have a honeymoon in Hawaii to look forward to. 

PDM: If you had to give someone advice for getting married in Far North Queensland what would it be?

If you aren’t from Far North Queensland, listen to the locals. It can be overwhelming trying to collate all the info yourself about vendors, locations and venues but it’s best to just get on the phone and have a nice chat with someone. Far North Queensland is so picturesque that you can’t really go wrong with the styling as it already looks beautiful. As we had planned everything ahead of time and had such amazing support from our venue, our day went off without a hitch. And finally, enjoy the time you have with your family and friends and create a wedding that feels right for you and your partner. Trust each other and know that you’re going to have the best day simply by being there together.