The Wedding Lounge - Port Douglas

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Port Douglas

NO. 1


W E D D I NLounge G

TO UNPLUG OR TO HASHTAG Etiquette for happy snapping guests.

5 STUNNING and uniquely different REAL WEDDINGS. Incl. Bali Hai, Renewell & Mali Mali

THE SUGAR WHARF A cheat sheet to our iconic venue.


This magazine has been the creative space in my

We spend our whole lives collecting people we

brain for a while now. It came from loving the

adore, and they become our 'friend families'

natural beauty surrounding Port Douglas, it came

We don’t often stop to tell them we love them and

from the happy tears that fill my eyes at every

how much we appreciate them. When you send

wedding I attend, and it came from a love of

out invitations for your destination wedding, you're

flicking through beautiful photos.

really saying ‘we love you, thank you, join us.'

Besides the tropical warmth, lovers find their way

And in return they get a week in paradise. They

here because it represents the opposite of how

can shut down all the open tabs in their brains, sit

most people spend their day to day.

under a palm tree at 6 o’clock a night when it’s 26

Port Douglas is blissfully calm, uncomplicated,

degrees and share on our calm.

and just easy.

A huge thank you to the remarkable wedding

Lovers arriving in town will discover like minded

vendors who service the Port Douglas Region. I

souls. Lovers of food and wine, lovers of the reef

look forward to showcasing more of your beautiful

and rainforest, lovers of shopping, lovers of music,

work in future issues.

lovers of art, lovers of an early morning beach run, lovers of day spas, lovers of cocktails at sunset.

Cath Gersback xo

using issuu CHECK IT OUT









issue 01

contents Summer 2016 6 SUGAR WHARF FACT SHEET 8 TO HASHTAG OR TO UNPLUG Recording device etiquette. 10 CHRIS AND LAURA The magical Sugar Wharf 28 RACH AND EMMA And a double proposal.. 38 BOMBONIERES Why and what. 46 DANI AND COLBY - Palm Cove ceremony, Port Douglas party. 60 ELOPING Run away together? 64 WILL AND MARNIE @Bali Hai 74 PHOEBE AND ANDREW Luxury beach house, ReNewall


To Hashtag or to Unplug ?

That is the question Unplugged ceremonies have become a thing in recent times. It seems the digital age has plonked a recording device in the hands of just about everyone. Whether it’s a boomer ipadographer, an enthusiast with a DSLR and a corporate career exit plan or an #instatwitterfacesnapchatter, it’s safe to say, devices at weddings are as common as flies in the bush. Unfortunately, the hired professional photographers and videographers are finding themselves having to sidestep well meaning photo bombers in order to capture the moments they’ve been hired for. Guests are often seen frowning at screens, scrambling with settings and flash options as the auto exposure reaches its limits. Heartfelt moments between the bride and groom are lost, never to be repeated. It's twenty minutes on a very special day that is already being documented by someone else. It's ok just to watch and listen. On the other hand, many couples are keen to keep a photo journal of all the missed and pissed moments of the day. Guest photos may be perfect for this. The wedding hashtag is also great - guests freely snap away, uploading and hashtagging as they go... It's a very special occasion, and of course you want as many photos as possible. So can there be a compromise? Can we all just play nicely? Having been to hundreds of weddings as a photographer, I think the simple way through this is, to have an acceptable and non-acceptable guide for devices.

Smart phones used discreetly for snap shots are fine. GoPros on a stationary person or strapped to a pre existing tree or pole - fine. Handycam on a tripod fine. Digital SLRs on a stationary person - fine. Even selfie sticks get a guernsey. Jumping around with your brand new DSLR - not cool, staring at your phone the entire time and missing the wedding - not cool. Slow panning around the bride and groom with your handicam - not cool. Drones - cool but not cool. The worst offender of wedding photo obsessiveness is a species that is becoming more and more common... the ipadographer. They hold the screen two inches from their face, video mode on. They plan on capturing the whole ceremony. They haven't considered light, background noise, the wind, their shaky hands or the fact that they're standing in the aisle two metres from the bride and groom. They seem to be in some form of cult, there's at least one at each wedding. Ninety percent are baby boomers. So have an unplugged wedding if you want to avoid all of this. Pop a note in the invites, a sign at the ceremony and ask the celebrant to remind the group. If you choose not to, that's ok too. Just take a minute to think about who might be a device offender and nip that one in the bud before the problem escalates.



How did you meet? We had met several times over the years through mutual friends and Chris finally built up the courage to ask me on a date at a friends 21st birthday party. I couldn't refuse the tall, handsome red head who had caught my eye several times before this! And the proposal? Chris proposed to me in our beautiful home that we had just bought together - one night after a few champagnes at the races! I was definitely not expecting it that night, it was very special. Honeymoon A week in Port Douglas and a week in Noosa, absolute heaven!!


Why Port Douglas? Port Douglas is our favourite place and also my family's favourite holiday destination. We have travelled up there from Melbourne every year since I was at school and have celebrated many milestones up there - my 18th Birthday, 21st Birthday and numerous other special family occasions. I remember the first time I saw St Mary's by the Sea when I was 14 and thinking that was where I would like to get married one day. Luckily, Chris fell in love with Port Douglas as much as I did over our 9 years of dating, and it was his idea to get married there.

Girls Robes - Cotton On Body Laura’s dress - Luci DiBella Design Girls dresses - BCBGMAXAZRIA from Shopbop Flowers - Floral Edge Suits - M.J Bale Food/Furniture/Lighting - Port Douglas Catering Table decos - Floral Edge flowers and bits and pieces made my me. Cake - Port Douglas Events and Catering Music - DJ Nick Gibson Photography - Sass Studios 07 4099 4233

0419 022 692

Sarah Woods

Marriage celebrant

click here to meet Sarah


With Summer LOVE from

Mixy 1 shot of spiced rum 5 mint leaves 1/2 lime Coconut Water Splash of Ginger beer

Coconut mojito







How did you meet? We had both gone out to celebrate the infamous "Cheap Tuesday" with our respective friends and met through a mutual friend who was later in our bridal party. The connection was instant and within the week Rach had convinced Emma to give her a shot. Seven and a half years later, it seems that it was a great decision!

Why Port Douglas? During the course of investigating our options, the amazing Mali Mali came up as a possibility. We initially decided to view Mali Mali to rule it out as a possibility, thinking that it would blow the budget. It did, but when we saw it we fell in love and knew it was the perfect place for us.

And the proposal? We decided early on that we both wanted the chance to propose and be proposed to, so we were greedy and had two! Emma created a magical weekend in Orange, New South Wales that was filled with winery/cidery tours, amazing food and a musical. The actual proposal happened on the banks of Lake Canobolas over a gourmet picnic. It was beautiful! Several months later, Rach recreated our first date where we overlooked the lights of our hometown from a vantage point. She spruced up the back of a friend's four wheel drive (including fairy lights) so that we could enjoy the same view all those years later. Rach proposed by creating a scrapbook of our relationship with the last page featuring the big question and a photo of the ring, which was then materialised in real life. She had also sneakily arranged for Emma to have time off work without her knowing so that we could have a sneaky "engagemoon" in Airlie Beach for the week! Needless to say, we both said yes!

Tell us about finding your wedding dresses. We had a great experience finding our dresses! We were in Brisbane visiting family and made an appointment for both of us with Brides of Brisbane. The original plan had been to not see each others dresses before the wedding, but quickly found that we both wanted the other person's opinion too much and threw this plan out the window. The amazing Nicola was so fabulous and we both found dresses that we loved in this first appointment! Nicola even got us both in them at the same time so we could see what they would look like next to each other on the big day to make sure they were complimentary but not "matchy matchy". We had one other appointment that day but nothing even came close and we went back the very next day and bought both dresses.

Celebrant: Stephanie Milne Hair and makeup: Port Douglas Hair and Make Up Dresses: Emma - Maggie Sottero. Rach - Maggie Sottero Flowers: Floral Edge, Port Douglas Catering: Port Douglas Catering and Events Decos/lighting: Port Douglas Catering and Events Accomodation: Mali Mali - Executive Retreats Music: Lark Music Photography: Catseye Productions Videography: Hudson Films


e r a w t f i g e u q i t u o b , y r t s i t r al a

e g d e l a r o fl

Rich Reds

I simply remember my

favourite things Bombonieres de mythed in the tropics. Years ago I remember reading the word bomboniere (often misspelt bonboniere) and thinking what on earth, and why must it be a part of my wedding? The wedding favour has evolved over the years, now rare are the sugar coated almonds symbolising wishes of health, wealth, happiness, fertility and long life. More common is the stubby cooler, which symbolises the Australian wish for a cold drink. Other favours that frequent the tables are bottle openers, candles, jars of preserves, picture frames, gift bags, shot glasses, succulents, bubbles, cake pops, macaroons, seeds, various baked goods, magnets, oils, temporary tattoos, letter openers, salt and pepper shakers, custom sunscreen... the list goes on. The truth is, no one is expecting anything. Really. The older generation are blissfully unaware of modern trends and are the first to admit that. The younger generation are far too self-absorbed to notice your kind gesture and will most likely leave it exactly where you perfectly placed it. Anyone inclined to be sour about the lack of quality bomboniere should be struck from your invite list anyway. If you do decide to go there, let’s look at which favours work and which don’t at tropical destination weddings. Good: Cake to go - This a great cost efficient process. Cake boxes can be bought online, you can build them with your crew when you get to your destination. Add a thank you tag from Office Works or pre-made sticker. Your guests will be duly fed and watered come cake time, and it can often be ignored. How lovely to wake up to cake in the fridge having not remembered putting it there. Sunscreen - A little tube that can be customised with your initials. It’s thoughtful, travels well and skin cell trauma is very 80’s. Soap - Usually overlooked when packing for a holiday, and a wonderful way to replace the ordinary aroma of hotel soap. Local soaps can be sourced in advance for an extra special touch.

Stubby coolers - They still work, they really do. They travel well, no mess and will most certainly get used back at home. Very easy to source and customise. Bottle openers - See stubby coolers. Seeds - Perfect for a hipster wedding, because growing things is #onpoint. A cute customised pack of seeds with a magnet (if you like) no mess, no fuss, no need to choose a different gift for kids. Baby maracas - left of centre but fun from the word go. These little shakers make the most unlikely guest find their way to the dance floor, immediately solving the age-old question of what to do with your hands. Noteworthy Oxfam Unwrapped - Click on it, it's easier for google to explain. Not so good: Breakable anything - Large or cumbersome picture frames with glass, beer glasses, or anything glass. It is hard to transport, equally annoying for the guest to take home. Chocolate - The tropics are very tropical. The Hershey kisses are cute but abracadabra meltorama. Bottles of olive oil - Pinterest seems to love this idea, we beg to differ. See also, breakable anything. Candles - I cautiously place this one here due to a personal experience. A hot day of travel saw the candle melt throughout my suitcase. My bag still smells divine but the bits and bobs at the bottom never really recovered. I discovered a table at a recent wedding with locally made scented soaps and also a few stubby coolers, you could choose either. A sign saying 'please take one' avoided any confusion. Some men love soap, and some women love beer. Overall the choice was theirs. If Aunty Jean is a bit light-fingered and takes a few too many, don't despair, we all have our own way of remembering how wonderful weddings are. Let that be hers.


HAIR SHOP Hair and Beauty Port Douglas 07 40 995 987 SKIN







All the feels wedding reading inspo..

If the sun refused to shine I would still be loving you When mountains crumble to the sea There would still be you and me Kind woman, I give you my all Kind woman, nothing more Little drops of rain Whisper of the pain Tears of loves lost in the days gone by Our love is strong With you there is no wrong Together we shall go until we die. My, my, my Inspiration's what you are to me Inspiration, look and see And so today, my world it smiles Your hand in mine, we walk the miles Thanks to you it will be done For you to me are the only one Happiness, no more be sad Happiness.... I’m glad




How did you meet? Colby and I went to the same high school, so we always knew each other throughout the school years. But it wasn't until we had both finished school that we properly met - at a mutual friends going away party, in an Irish pub. And I wondered why I hadn't ever seen him the way I was seeing him that night. And the proposal? The actual proposal, I would get into trouble for sharing, but the day leading up to it I sure can. Colby had designed my engagement ring and had it made. That day he drove down to Adelaide to pick it up and home again (8 hour round trip) I didn't realise he'd gone and got quite frustrated at the fact I had no idea where he was all day, a pub crawl was all I could put it down to because he wasn't even answering my calls ha! He finally returned my million phone calls and told me to get dressed to go out. While I was getting ready, he visited my parents and sweetly asked for their permission. He proposed that night, before we even went anywhere; in our home that we bought. Where did you find your dress? I live in regional Victoria, meaning there isn't too many bridal shops in town and the ones that were here didn't stock the style I was after. I wanted minimalist, sleek, timeless.


(I did try on the traditional bigger dresses, they made my head look tiny). I had found dresses online from incredible designers that I longed for, but unfortunately were not in my budget. A beautiful woman who ran one of the bridal shops in Mildura knew exactly what I was after and one day called me up from an expo she was at in Sydney and said she had found the dress and would bring me home a sample to try on. And she was right. She had found it. It was perfect and I will always love her for it Why Palm Cove and Port Douglas? The first thing I thought of when planning the wedding was finding a chapel on the beach. As a young girl I grew up dreaming of a beach wedding. No shoes the sand in between my toes. My grand parents passed away not long before the planning has begun and they would have dreamed of seeing me have a traditional wedding. I felt a chapel by the beach was a compromise and my nana wouldn't be horrified when watching down on me. A lot of my family is from Queensland and Colby's is Victoria. I thought it was unfair to just make my family travel, so we made both. Gave everyone over a years warning and told them to book in a holiday, which they did. Our wedding was the first stop for most who followed on to a couple of weeks exploring NQLD

Cerremony venue - Alamanda, Palm Cove Reception Venue The Port Douglas Sugar Wharf Photography - Shaun Guest, Port Douglas Photography Brides Dress - Hilde Heim Bridesmaids - Zimmerman Hair and Make up - Blush Hair and Makeup Celebrant - Natasha Kollosche Entertainment - DJ Bart Flowers - Ivy Florist Venue Decos - Port Douglas Weddings and Hire

Eyelash extensions

0413 301 590 FLASH LASH BY GAIL

0422 342 143


ELOPEMENT OPTION run away together?

elope run away secretly in order to get married. synonyms: run away to marry, run off/away together, slip away, sneak off, steal away; run off/away with a lover Whilst an elopement may by definition be a secret affair, in a modern sense it is often any wedding with just the two of you. A beach, perhaps at sunrise. Some words only for each other. No distractions, no hassles. Port Douglas Elopements looks after anyone interested in a simple low fuss wedding, even if your elopement gets 'crashed' by a few and turns into a small wedding celebration. If its easy you want, look no further.


I found my dream dress

in paradise

Boho Bridal has launched into the tropics and created quite a flutter. The whimsical designs at the heart of Boho Bridal is the Australian made label Made with Love. Made with Love is the brain child of designer and entrepreneur Carla Jenkins. Carla’s story started during hours of searching for the perfect wedding dress, and the rest, as they say, is history. You can now find her simple yet sophisticated creations in the loving hands of Kelly Small, previously the owner of a bridal boutique in NSW. Kelly found swapping her coat and Ugg boots for a sarong and sandals an easy transition. She absolutely adores the Made with Love label and gets so much joy out of clients walking away with the perfect dress. Measurements are taken at the time of ordering and Kel suggests 10-12 months before the wedding is an ideal amount of time to place an order. Located in the Oceana Walk Arcade on Lake St Cairns, book an appointment with Kel and let her be the Fairy Godmother of your wedding dress journey. FAQ's Do I need to make an appointment? Boho Bridal is by appointment only. How do I make an appointment? You can email to make your appointment. How long will my appointment go for? Our standard consultation is for one hour, longer appointments available by request. How many people can I bring to my appointment? Boho Bridal is small & intimate, we would recommend one or two close friends or family. How far in advance should I purchase my gown? We suggest you order your wedding gown at least 10-12 months before your wedding date. We prefer our brides to receive their dress at least one to two months before the wedding day. BOHO BRIDAL ‘Oceana Walk’ Shop 8/55 Lake Street CAIRNS click here to head to the website.



How did you meet? We met through Will's best friend and my cousin who were dating at the time. Will was living in New Zealand for work and I in Brisbane. We coincidently both had holidays organised at the Sunshine Coast at the same time and spent a few days together. Will then returned to New Zealand for work. We kept in contact and within 6 weeks he gotten a job in Queensland and moved to Brisbane. And the proposal? Will proposed with a diamond on the last night of 6 week European holiday we had together. In Greece, at a restaurant on the beach. He managed to safely carry the diamond for 6 weeks in his backpack while we travelled, so sneaky! Why Port Douglas? We chose Port Douglas because I grew up in the area and the weather is amazing in August.

MARNIE We wanted a venue that allowed us a little more freedom to create a day for our guests that kept giving (and noise restrictions were a little less strict!) Bali Hai was the perfect choice. The majority of our 160 guests travelled from South East Queensland or further for our wedding so many of them were able to incorporate lots of sightseeing into their weekend, including the Great Barrier Reef, Mossman Gorge and The Daintree Rainforest. Tell us about your dress? My dress was custom designed and made by Jennifer Gifford, a Brisbane designer. I really wanted something that was comfortable and I could dance in. The delicate lace overlay was perfect for our ceremony but it was fun to take off for the reception which created a different look.

Ceremony venue: St Mary's Catholic Church Reception Venue: Bali Hai Photographer: sass studios Catering: Reef Catering Lighting and furniture: Ward Benedict Entertainment: Monique Rigby Florist: Hunt & Clo Flowers Wedding Planner: Dynamic Weddings




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Port Douglas weddings & hire Phone N: 07 4099 4308 Web page: Facebook: Port Douglas Weddings & Hire

The Rainforest Grotto



How did you meet? Andrew and I first met in year 10, when he was dating my friend (yes, I broke the girl code – with permission though). We kind of floated in and out of each other’s life over the next two years and it wasn’t until we both started studying physiotherapy together at the University of Newcastle, that we became close friends. After many hours spent travelling back and forth to Newcastle from the Central Coast (approx. 90mins drive), and some not-so-subtle hints from our friends, we officialy started dating in May 2008. And the proposal? We were about 3 weeks into our second trip through Europe and staying in stunning Santorini. We had previously decided to splurge on accommodation for Santorini, so after many hostels, our beautiful 5-Star accommodation was an absolute treat! After a long day of travelling via bus and ferry, we arrived and I decided a nap was in order. Whilst I was napping Andrew secretly went and enlisted the help of the hotel staff to organise a restaurant for dinner, and some room decorations for when we got back. In true Andrew fashion, he took me to the wrong restaurant. Regardless, we had a lovely dinner and lots of Chianti! When we got back, Andrew opened the door to a bedroom full of tea light candles, champagne and fruit. I completely missed the meaning and kept staring at the room saying to Andrew “Oh my goodness, how sweet are the hotel that they would do this. This is such a nice hotel etc etc”.


It wasn’t until Andrew got down on one knee that I realised what was actually happening. I was completely surprised (I had packed his bag for the trip and had no expectations) and of course said yes without hesitation. It was truly perfect! Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I didn’t have the typical, ‘when you see it you will know it’s the one’ experience. I tried on lots of dresses, and got very frustrated with the process. The dress I chose was beautiful, I was in love with the back of it, but wasn’t sure it was ‘the one’. The deciding factor was my dad who came to pick up my mum and said ‘that’s the one sweetie’. went with a beautiful Maggie Sottero ‘Melanie’ dress. Unfortunately due to some dodgy seamstress work (after 6 fittings it still wasn’t right), I had to have it fixed just three days before we flew out for our wedding. Luckily, the beautiful Kel from local Kel-Leigh Couture came to the rescue, and made the dress even more spectacular. She added a beautiful crystal broach to the centre and it suddenly felt like all the stress and money was worth it. I fell in love with my dress – finally. Honeymoon? We drove from Port Douglas to Townsville to spend a few days on the beautiful Magnetic Island. We then travelled on to Airlie Beach where we spent a week in the beautiful Whitsundays, snorkelling, diving and enjoying a few cocktails. It was absolute bliss!

Venue: ReNewell - Executive Retreats Catering: Port Douglas Catering and Events Photographer: Maria from Zen Photography Celebrant: Aphrodite Anderson Flowers: Cairns Flower Central – designed by Sonya Gardiner and put together by my bridal partner Design: Debbie Haydock from By Design Weddings Hair and Make-up: Shae Howlett from Tropical Beauty Silent Disco: Cairns Jukebox & Amusements



The party starts here 0400795123

Come fly with me.

Travelling with your dress Just when you think you've crossed all the T's and dotted the I's. It's time to take your dress on a plane. Never fear, Google is here, and I've done the hard work for you! The main domestic airline companies in Australia aren't able to guarantee hanging space on board the plane. It's only the international flights with a first/business class that have the extra cupboard room. You have a few options: Buy/Borrow a suit bag: For the non-Diana Princess of Wales dress, simply hang your dress on a sturdy hanger, slip a water-proof protector over the top and bottom (eg dry-cleaners bag) and then place everything into the suit bag. Pin a hair band to the bottom to use as a loop on the hook at the top. Wait until everyone has filled the overhead locker and then place your dress on top of everyone’s bags. You could be loud about, "just putting my wedding dress here". Or politely tell those whose bags it will lay across for the trip. Carry on case: There are quite a few youtube tutorials for packing your dress in a carry-on bag, for a brief one click HERE. If transporting your dress in an issue that's consuming your beauty sleep, book a seat for your it. Flights from Cairns to most places are around $150, not too bad for peace of mind and a few extra Zs. On arrival, a tried and tested way of decreasing just about anything is to run the hot shower in the bathroom and close the door, allow the room to steam up nicely. Hang the dress or dresses in that room and watch the creases fall out. The already present humidity will assist this process. If you do have a Diana dress, a courier will happily transport it for you, or why not hire a car and road trip this incredible country. If you need alterations or an ironing service for delicates, please get in touch at the Wedding Lounge, and we'll find the right person for you.


make sure

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signage thanks to port douglas wedding arches and floral edge

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