Who says you can’t have a destination wedding despite a pandemic? Amy and Lachy turned their Airlie Beach big day into the most amazing mini vacay, inviting their guests to join them at Paradise Cove Villa Whitsundays a few days before the wedding. “We had events and activities planned and by the wedding day, everyone already knew each other,” they tell us.

Til Death Events did a stellar job of pulling together their dream ‘tropical-luxe’ day, giving them all the paradise feels they ever could’ve wanted. “We wanted a tropical theme but we also wanted to keep it modern,” shares Amy, who’s a member of Brisbane indie pop band Sheppard. “Our wedding planner presented the term ‘tropical-luxe’, which I think describes our day perfectly. We wanted it to be beachy but no sand and no frangipanis.” Men’s health coach Lachie’s casj M.J. Bale linen suit was total coastal vibes, Amy’s powder-blue dress was something from a fairytale – and the pics, by the talented Florido Weddings, are absolutely everything. 

THE VENUEOriginally, we had always hoped to elope in Hawaii. It was always what we had spoken about pre COVID. Once we were engaged, we were in and out of lockdowns and knew our Hawaiian wedding dream was over. The good news was that we already knew the style of wedding we wanted – tropical-luxe. We began looking at venues in the Whitsundays and Lachie came across Paradise Cove Villa Whitsundays on Instagram. We fell in love immediately and booked flights to go and see the venue. It was the only venue we looked at. We just knew it was perfect for us.”

FAVE DETAILSI really loved planning our wedding. I paid special attention to every detail that I could possibly think of. We designed our own wedding logo, which we tried to incorporate as much as we could. Our bamboo arbour was handmade by our florist, Evoke Floral Design,  and her husband and it was everything I imagined and more. We chose orchids as our hero flower and they lasted so beautifully in the humidity. Our guests were treated to a welcome cocktail on arrival, which was presented in a coconut, and once the cocktail party kicked off, fresh seafood and boozy ice blocks circulated. The signage and stationary were made up of pink, white and rose gold acrylic and we tried to keep the language fun, casual and witty. In terms of entertainment, we had an acoustic guitar loop pedalist playing up until the reception. We then switched to a DJ who added a nice touch by also playing saxophone. Instead of a photobooth we decided to have a photo wall with a custom neon sign by Neon Republic. The wall was decorated with greenery, orchids and disco balls. Towards the end of the evening, we surprised our guests with a fireworks show. It was a truly spectacular moment.”

THE DRESS After trying on what seemed like thousands of white dresses, I knew I didn’t want to walk down the aisle in a traditional dress. The selection of non-white wedding dresses is very small and I couldn’t find a single wedding dress in blue. Ella Moda had invited me in to come in for a fitting and I presented her with my vision of having a powder-blue tulle gown. It was clear that my request wasn’t going to be an easy task (especially during a pandemic) but her team quickly sketched up a drawing of the dress and sent tulle samples off to be test dyed. Once we knew the fabric was going to hold the dye, it all came together without too much concern. Ella and her team were a dream to work with. They understood my vision and brought it to life. I know a lot of hard work went into that blue gown and I’m so grateful they could make it happen. Ella Moda also made my reception dress. I knew this was my chance to wear a white dress so I chose a white beaded midi dress with cut outs and a dramatic leg split. It was so comfortable to wear and was easy to dance in.”

THE SUIT “Lachie chose a sand coloured suit from M.J. Bale. He wore a white linen shirt and brown loafer shoes – the ultimate cool and casual groom. It suited the wedding aesthetic perfectly.”

REFERENCESHaving our wedding in Airlie Beach narrowed down the choices of vendors but we also flew in a few key vendors from Brisbane. My wedding planner, Til Death Events, helped a lot on this front.”

LITTLE LOLOur photographer had found a location for the ‘hero shot’ and it happened to be on a stand’alone rock just off the side of a cliff of a nearby mountain. She drove us up the mountain, handed me her Yeezy sneakers and asked if I liked hiking. I would do anything for the perfect shot so I swapped my heels for the sneakers and carefully climbed off the side of a mountain and onto the rock. Considering my gown was a princess style, I’m impressed I didn’t spool down the side of the mountain like a roll of toilet paper… and the shot was also very impressive!”

WORD OF ADVICEDon’t be afraid to ask for help. There can be some incredibly stressful moments when planning a wedding and it’s such a relief when someone is there to lend a helping hand. Delegate tasks to people you trust – this may be the maid of honour, a mother, sibling, wedding planner or trusted friend. On the day, be sure to take a moment to yourselves. Lachie and I had a few minutes after our photos to share a glass of champagne together. It was in a quiet spot and just gave us a moment to appreciate what was happening.”

STANDOUT VENDORSI couldn’t have been happier with the vendors I chose. Everyone was so professional and really understood our vision. Danielle, our wedding planner from Til Death Events, was incredible and she was there whenever we needed her. Evoke Floral Design also deserves a special mention. Our florist truly went above and beyond for the wedding, including crafting the bamboo arbour.”

Til Death Events are high on our list of vendor recs if you’re looking for a bloody great planner and stylist for your wedding – hit up their directory listing to get in touch. We also suggest giving M.J. Bale a shout for grooms’ gear – they know what they’re doing when it comes to suiting.

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Florido Weddings Cinematographer Marc Media Event Planner & Stylist Til Death Events Florist Evoke Floral Design Stationery & Signage Heart of Juno Designs, Lily Maree Designs Ceremony & Reception Paradise Cove Villa Whitsundays Catering, Ice Cream Truck & Boozy Ice Blocks Aquava Boutique Catering Food Truck WildSpirit Floating Bar Whitsundays Cake East Coast Cake Co. Wedding favours Alibaba (bamboo fans) Hire Items & Lighting Azure Weddings and Events Whitsundays Sound Hire Total Entertainment Entertainment SJS Entertainment, Dylan Hammond via Total Entertainment Celebrant The Surfing Celebrant Rings Hogans Family Jewellers Fireworks Above Ground Zero Fireworks Neon Sign Neon Republic THE BRIDE Gown Ella Moda Robes Renée Loves Frances Shoes Loeffler Randall Accessories Christie Nicolaides Hair Haus of Jools, Whitsundays Wedding Hair Makeup Renée Jean Makeup Artist, Joanne Drumgold Makeup Bridesmaid dresses Isabella Longginou Bridesmaid shoes Shein Bridesmaid PJs Country Road Bridesmaid gifts Renée Loves FrancesChristie Nicolaides (earrings), A’el Estë by Ashlee Lauren (fragrance), Paper The Ninth (custom champagne glasses), SchwankeDS (personalised handkerchiefs) THE GROOM Suit & Shirt M.J. Bale Shoes Aquila Barber Whitsundays Wedding Hair Groomsmen suits M.J. Bale Groomsmen gifts NooshxNoo (personalised tumblers)