Words by Jacqueline Lon  |  Images by Matthew Evans


Now it’s not every day you win your dream wedding in a tropical paradise, but Harri and Jayde Theodore did just that!

Meet Jayde, a boy from Tomakin, New South Wales and Harri, a girl from Mallacoota, Victoria. Jayde, the groom explained how they found each other in the opening words of his wedding speech.

“The first time I met Harri,” says Jayde, “her friend Kirsty introduced us at the Mallacoota pub. It was a brief hi and that was it before she scurried away. The second time I met Harri she was talking with her friends about things I can’t say out loud,” he laughs. “I liked the sound of what she had said so I held my hand out and said, ‘Hi, I’m Jayde’.” Harri shook his hand, her reply was colourful and “not for all ears,” but to Jayde, “it sounded like a challenge!”

Six months later, and third time lucky, the pair crossed paths at a BBQ. Harri re-introduced herself and soon after the pair were arm in arm and haven’t been apart since. “I love you babe!” Jayde exclaims.

Their tropical wedding followed a tragic year of events which saw the pair endure the Black Summer bushfires, with Jayde’s two young sons Ari and Maximus. Witnessing the loss of family homes, Jayde being hospitalised with extreme dehydration, losing communication during these frantic and scary times, Jayde knew Harri was the one for him. Thankful their family had survived this experience, he wasted no time with a proposal. As with many, Covid-19 had other plans for the engaged couple. Jayde’s regular work dried up and the couple was forced to put their wedding plans on hold.

When Jayde’s sister Bloss suggested that they enter a competition to win a wedding in Port Douglas, they thought they had nothing more to lose. Though different to their original plans, Jayde had a good feeling about it and they decided to enter a video. Reliving some of their most difficult times, the entry was filled with raw emotion, and it is easy to see why the judging panel deemed their family (along with 50 lucky guests) such a deserving winner of a $60,000 dream wedding package to Port Douglas.

Receiving the call from the team at Port Douglas Wedding & Hire (PDW&H), tears of disbelief followed. After a quick call to Harri’s mum, the couple were so thankful for the win and some newfound fortune, that in true “Harri & Jayde style” they celebrated with family and friends.

“As soon as PDW&H sent me through a list of the generous vendors everyone emailed congratulating us, it was just so lovely,” Harri laughs. “I then spent the next year stalking everyone on Instagram to get to know their vibe and what would work for us.

“We had to take a moment when we arrived to simply take it all in. Surrounded by the love of all our family and friends who had supported us through so much, it was overwhelming and beautiful.”

Our wedding planner Bec McLean was AMAZING. We clicked instantly. Over the course of the year there were so many moving parts to plan for and she just had it all under control. It certainly made my life a lot easier and less stressful”.

When the couple finally arrived in Port Douglas, a few days before the wedding Harri took Jayde down to show him the location. His response was: “Babe this is perfect”. She continues: “We live on the ocean and spend a lot of time in and around it, so Rex Smeal Park was so fitting for us. Katherine and Jade from PDW&H styled it impeccably, too, we loved the décor and furnishings which complemented the natural beauty of the park.”


“I got ready at the Pullman Sea Temple Resort which was one of the amazing vendors who gifted us five nights free accommodation. Honestly, so generous!” Harri said. “As I slipped my wedding shoes on, I found the message on the sole of my shoe from Jayde. It was such a beautiful and unique thought. (Thanks to my sister for helping make it happen at 4am the morning before!). I was just so excited to finally marry the man of my dreams.”

Jayde dressed at the Nautilus Holiday Apartments with his sons and groomsmen. Everyone was on form and things were going to plan until Jayde could not find his pants 10 minutes before the ceremony. Fortunately, it was only because his son Ari was wearing them!

“It was such a phenomenal day!” said Jayde. “It was such an amazing prize to win and it’s hard to pick highlights, there were just so many. The ceremony though and hearing each other’s personally written vows was, well, IT WAS PERFECT!”

Harri continues: “Our celebrant Anna handled everything with such pose and grace. Purely by chance, the beautiful part about her being our celebrant was that she grew up in Mallacoota, 2,931 kms away but where Jayde and I fell in love. It made it so special.”

“We really wanted as many of my family involved as possible. My grandma was the flower girl, sisters were bridesmaids, nephews were ‘security’, mum and dad gave me away, Jayde’s brothers were his groomsmen, and his son Ari was the ring bearer. I also really wanted a photo of Jayde’s Dad there for the wonderful memories. It was so lovely and Bloss even took him out on the dance floor later that night.”

Arthur from Platinum Cuisine made an amazing menu which Harri and her sister had tested two years before, so she knew the whole menu would be delicious! Another highlight was the beautiful creation from Passion for Cakes, a white choc mud, dark choc mud and vanilla sponge GF.

“As far as photography, Matt from Matthew Evans Photography and I had a chat a couple of days before our special day. He took the lead from there; he is an amazing photographer and I trusted him. We asked for smoke bombs too. He took this in his stride, and the results was so worthwhile. We love them,” she said.

Also capturing their memories on film was Taylor from Jadè Films creating their videography. It was hard to pick a vibe from her samples as they were all brilliant, but they will certainly treasure theirs, as it was a work of art.

The sit-down reception and the whole set up in the rainforest was magical. “We had to take a moment when we arrived to simply take it all in. Surrounded by the love of all our family and friends who had supported us through so much, it was overwhelming and beautiful. We will never ever forget the day, full of love, celebration and of course partying! A special day we were just so ready and grateful for,” the couple said.

After an unforgettable day their amazing experience continued, spending their honeymoon at the iconic Sheraton Grand Mirage. “We day tripped to Cape Tribulation and went out to the Great Barrier Reef, snorkelling. We soaked up the town’s vibes lunching at Sassi and we drank cocktails by the Resort pool taking every opportunity to relax and catch up with everyone,” they said.

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

The couple’s response: “Just do it! Especially Port Douglas. The location is made for weddings, there are so many different locations for your ceremony and reception. There are also an amazing number of talented wedding vendors and everyone is so laid back and helpful, it makes planning a wedding a dream!”




WEDDING PLANNER: Bec McLean, Dragonfly Weddings

CELEBRANT: Anna Soltwedel

CEREMONY HELD AT: Rex Smeal Park, Port Douglas

PHOTOGRAPHY: Matthew Evans Photography



PDW&H CATERING: Platinum Cuisine

WEDDING DRESS: Chanel Jaymes Bridal


HAIR & MAKE UP: Tropical Beauty Hair & Make Up

ACCOMMODATION: Pullman Sea Temple Resort,

Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Nautilus Holiday Apartments

SUPPORTED BY: Tourism Port Douglas Daintree

FLOWERS: Floral Edge & Flowers by Wynne



DRINKS SERVICE: Douglas Vintage Van

CANAPES: Salsa Bar & Grill

GELATO: FNQ Gelato Cart

CAKE: Passion for Cakes

MUSIC: Mattyboi Entertainment, Tony George Entertainment


TIPI TENT: Far North Tipis Co

FIREWORKS: Xplosive Art

KOMBIS: Kombis of Cairns




PUMP OUT TOILETS: Zammataro Plumbing

RUBBISH: Cleanaway