An Australian Destination WeddingWords by Katie Martin
Photos courtesy of Helga Schaefer
Vincent and Nikolett, one from Ireland and the other from Hungary, instantly fell in love with the beauty of Magnetic Island in Queensland, Australia when they first traveled to the island, so it was an easy choice for the couple to have an Australian destination wedding.
In choosing to have a destination wedding, the couple knew they needed to find common ground for their families to travel to, so Magnetic Island was the perfect place. The couple knew there would be great weather and it would be an ideal place for photographs.
When the couple told their family and friends, everyone was positive about the idea of having a wedding in Australia, an 8,500-mile journey from their home countries. “They were very happy and supportive to hear we were getting married,” says the bride. “Vincent comes from a large family and Australia being so far away, not all of his family could attend. The same goes for friends. We found that only our closest friends could attend. We made up for this by having a simple live stream online.”
After the couple chose their destination, the planning began. “As with a traditional wedding, there is a lot of planning involved,” says Nikolett. “This is the same for a destination wedding, but having guests arrive from all over the world, we had to think about all the details of the travel plans and accommodations too.” The couple created a website with all of the information that guests needed, including locations where guests could swim and how to avoid snakes. “After a lot of phone calls, emails and co-ordination meetings, we managed to pull off our fantastic destination wedding,” says Nikolett.
For the couple’s wedding website, which helped the couple with planning and helped guests get the information they needed, they used withjoy.com. “The website is very useful as a platform for being in touch with your guests who are coming,” says the bride. “It has a group-messaging function, so you can tell all of your guests instantly if there are any updates or you can direct message.”
For their wedding’s small details, the couple began by using Pinterest to find inspiration for floral arrangements and stationery, as a lot of their wedding decorations would be do-it-yourself. “All signage was hand-produced with friends, including cutting the timber and calligraphy,” says Nikolett. “We also put together a photo prop section with hashtags and funny quotes you could hold up to your face. We also prepared a gift box for the whole bridal party, which included all the things they needed for the big day and a customized necklace locket.”
The only complications that the couple faced while planning their destination wedding were the time and effort it took to plan, as well as having a complication with the wedding’s location. “We didn’t choose a wedding package and everything was tailored for us, which meant every detail had to be discussed,” says Nikolett. “We also picked the beach nine months before the wedding, but the beach changed considerably by the time of the wedding.”
Travel logistics for the guests and the couple made for a long journey to get to their destination on Magnetic Island. “The flights from Europe are 24 hours long to Australia and then, to get to Magnetic Island is even farther,” says the couple. “Most European flights land in Australia early in the morning, which meant it was an easy transfer to the next flight to the island. However, for those who landed at night, it meant they had to stay in a hotel overnight, as there are no evening transfer flights.” Once the guests got on a flight to the island, they arrived in the nearest city, Townville, where they would then board a ferry that would take them to Magnetic Island.
When the big day arrived for the couple, it was both idyllic and intimate. While the couple could have chosen to have a wedding at home in Europe, it wouldn’t have been the same. “There would have been many more guests,” says the bride. “We also would have had to choose between two countries to have the wedding. A high chance of rain would have been in the forecast if it were in Ireland. The reception and ceremony would have been completely different as well.”
At the end of the day, the couple says that choosing to have a destination wedding is the couple’s choice, but you should help your guests. “We spent a considerable amount of time organizing accommodations for guests and activities outside the wedding,” says the bride.
Vendors: Photographer: Helga Schaefer, Ceremony/Reception Site: Nahmahlu House, Nelly Bay, Magnetic Island, Wedding Planner and Cake: Roux Blond Collective, Florist: The Secret Garden Floral Studio, Stationery: Withjoy.com, Hair & Makeup: Podium Hair and Beauty, Gown Designer and Groom’s Clothing Designer: Herczeg Divat, Celebrant: Bernadette Smith, Dance Instructors: Geoff Moloney & Michele Moloney of Experience Dance, Drone Footage: InfuzedMedia
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