Alison and Jeremy’s wedding took place in Melbourne, They had a non-denominational ceremony in a church and their reception was held at Shebeen, a super cool bar on Manchester Lane. Their day was super colourful and nearly all the décor was DIYed by the couple themselves. “We didn’t really have a conscious theme,” explained the bride. “We just put together a wedding that represented us. Throughout the planning process we questioned a lot of the usual traditions and culled elements of a traditional wedding that didn’t have meaning for us.”
“It never occurred to us that we were doing things differently to the norm, but we probably haven’t been to many traditional weddings. Some things that raised a few eyebrows when we were trying to explain our ideas were: not adopting colour scheme, giving the bridesmaids free range regarding their attire (the girls opted for a theme and to wear dresses) and having mixed gender bridal parties. We had a a non denominational ceremony in a christian chapel and our song choices included Nick Cave and Bliss’n’ Eso. We also took on the task of catering the canapés after the ceremony ourselves and had the bridal party serve the drinks and canapés afterwards.”
The beautiful wedding of Anna and Luke took place at Victorian Marriage Registry, Melbourne followed by a casual lunch at Golden Orchids Malaysian Restaurant (where they had their first date!) and an evening reception at North Fitzroy Star. Nothing about this wedding was traditional. The bride wore a non-wedding dress from theoutnet.com, the cakes and desserts were made by their loved ones instead of a wedding cake and instead of an expensive wedding car they either walked or caught taxi’s from place to place.
“Our theme was ‘do whatever we want’,” explained Anna. “We based all our decisions around doing things we loved, in places we loved, with people we loved. We never really get it when people say they want a wedding that is ‘very us’. Of course it’s going to be very you – you’re the one making all the decisions!”
“When we got engaged our married friends had a lot of advice for us”, she continued. “Over and over again we heard them say ‘the day goes so quickly’, ‘you’ll hardly remember it’, and ‘it was hard to spend time with everyone’. Those words really stuck with us when we were planning our day.”
One of my ultimate highlights of my trip to Queensland was snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef. It wasn’t something that I ever thought I’d have the opportunity to experience and I nearly squealed with delight when I found out that it was on our itinerary.
Janneke and I were booked onto a morning Reef Sprinter tour. Our captain Steve was funny, entertaining and the perfect tour guide. The jet sprinter was super fast and it took just 15 minutes to zip from Port Douglas harbour to the Low Isles.
Being one of the wonders of the world and a world heritage site, it’s very restricted in terms of where you can actually snorkel and only a few select tour companies are allowed to pull up in this particular area. This not only protects the delicate environment but means that the area wasn’t overrun with people. In fact there were just 12 others on our boat.
Whenever I travel I always prefer to stay in an apartment or house rather than a hotel. Don’t get me wrong, I love a boutique hotel as much as the next person but you really get a lot more for your money when you go self-catering.
After saying goodbye to the Gold Coast, Gala, Shauna and I hopped on a plane with Celeste from Tourism and Events Queensland, our photographer Janneke Storm and headed up to Cairns. We’d had such an amazing time so far that we weren’t sure how anything was going to top it – oh how wrong we were!
After a short flight we landed in tropical North Queensland and took a car up the coastal road to Port Douglas. As we’d had such a non-stop trip so far I really hadn’t had any time to do any research on where we were staying so needless to say I got the shock of my life when we pulled up here.
We were hosted by Executive Retreats (this is the house we stayed in) who specialise in luxury accommodation in Port Douglas and the surrounding areas. If you’re considering Australia for a honeymoon destination, then you need to put it on your must-visit list. No question.
Not only is it as close to paradise as you can possibly get, but all my favourite activities happened while we were here – snorkelling on the great barrier reef (which I’ll be writing about next week), a sunset boat ride and jungle surfing in the Daintree Rainforest!
Shauna and I shared the master bedroom (it was too good for one of us to have it on our own). The en suite bathroom alone was bigger than my living room at home!
When we launched our 2013 Blogcademy world tour last March, we were blown away by how quickly the tickets started to sell, but no city was as fast as Melbourne. Within only a few days the class had sold out and so we made the executive decision to extend our trip down under and add a second date to the mix – and I’m so glad we did, Melbourne was one of my favourite cities to teach in all year!
The classes were held at the beautiful Lightdrop Studios. Alex and Bernice who own it were a dream to work with and made our time with them stress-free, nothing was too much trouble. And when, a few days before the class, we were contacted by ABC News wanting to interview us (you can watch it online here!) Bernice, a trained make up artist, even offered to do our faces – what a babe!
“Everything you’ve ever read about The Blogcademy is true. It does change your life. You do walk away feeling overwhelmed with excitement and inspiration. It is totally fucking fabulous. Gala, Kat and Shauna are just as magical as you think they are. And they have the capability and drive to match the exceedingly gorgeous sparkle that seems to trail behind them wherever they go.” MJ Valentine
The next adventure on our whistle-stop tour of Queensland was Surfers Paradise. After a quick drive from Dreamworld with our Tourism and Events guide for the day, Jess, we arrived ready for a surf lesson and bike tour!
I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to surfing. Although I love the water I’m not the most athletic of people and the thought of hurling myself into some rather giant and scary looking waves filled me a little with dread.
You can’t really tell from this photo, but that’s a grin that says “OMG are we actually really doing this?!”
The beach was glorious, with the Gold Coast skyline just behind it. As Shauna lounged in the sun, Gala and I headed over to meet our surf teacher, Patrick from Cheyne Horan School of Surf.
Patrick didn’t seem to sense our trepidation (or if he did he definitely ignored it!) and he dived right in to the lesson. He also clearly had much more faith in our abilities than we did because after the briefest of introductions he told us to head out into the waves and give it a go. ARGH!
I glanced at Gala nervously and could sense her thinking the exact same thing as I was “Oh crap, are we actually really doing this?”