Martha’s Vineyard Lighthouse Ceremony and Tented Outdoor Reception by Femina Photo + Design

A Martha’s Vineyard wedding already has a huge head start in the stunning stakes with it’s magical location on the North England coastline. The sweet salty air, pretty natural surrounds and the old world classic charm that is so inviting it’s no wonder a whole bunch of romantics queue up to get married on this amazing shoreline. Femina Photo + Design snapped every sublime moment from the sweet starfish embellished stationery and escort cards to the captivating lighthouse ceremony, from the glamorous outdoor tent reception with it’s luxurious decor and breathtaking florals –  this surely is a stylish fête that won’t be forgotten in a hurry. 

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Photographer:  Femina Photo + Design // Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Destination Wedding at LaPlaya Beach Resort in Naples Florida.

This is one of those affairs where every perfect detail you dream of is beautifully weaved together in one fabulous destination wedding. Where the stunning bride dons an equally stunning Pronovais gown and elegance meets a modern classic theme against a backdrop of stark white sands, surf and blue skies at the gorgeous LaPlaya Beach Resort in Naples Florida.  This, my friends, is what we’re calling a “serious dose of pretty” and you can see every lovely moment captured by Tonya Malay right below.

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 From the photographer:

Victoria and Tim are from Surry, England and traveled with their closest friends and family to the LaPlaya Beach Resort in Naples, Florida. Victoria’s parents are part time residents in the Naples area, spending half the year in Florida and the other half in England. Victoria and Tim absolutely love the beach, and not only did their ceremony on the beach at LaPlaya, but also had their dinner reception beachside on the lawn. Reverend Wayne Salter performed their lovely ceremony. Victoria’s dress was designed by Pronovais and she found her gown at Harrods in Knightsbridge, London. Rythm Trail provided both their ceremony and reception music. Floral Encores provided their gorgeous flowers, and Ella’s Cakes created their lovely wedding cake. The guests had a blast with the photobooth provided by Bash Booths. Victoria’s father, Roger, restores cars for a living at Naples Hotrods and Exotics, so needless to say Victoria and Tim had a great time posing with Roger’s latest restoration, a vintage 1933 Dodge Sedan.


Photographer:  Tonya Malay Photography // Photo Booth Equipment: Bash Booths // Floral Designer: Floral Encores // Event Venue: LaPlaya Beach and Golf Resort // Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Pretty Vancouver Island Wedding by Vivid Photography

I had the privilege of visiting Vancouver Island many years ago and it is one of the most picturesque spots you’ll find. So naturally this gorgeous affair snagged at my heart-strings immediately. Stylish, sophisticated and with west coach beach flair, this pretty Vancouver wedding brought guests together all the way from Ireland and beyond. Vivid Photography captured all the beauty of the beachfront celebration and every last detail of this destination affair. It’s a beautiful fresh burst of Canadian style you’ll want to drink right in!

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How Did The Two of You Meet?

Des and I met in Ireland while I was travelling abroad! He is from a small village called Enniskerry in County Wicklow, Ireland. My sister married a man from the same village (followed by her best friend marrying Des’s best friend after visiting Ireland and my best friend meeting Des’s good friend at our wedding who are now in a serious relationship and she has moved to Ireland to be with him!) Needless to say, there is definitely a connection between ladies from Saskatchewan and men from Enniskerry! It must be something in the water.

Why Vancouver Island for your Destination Wedding?

After the proposal we spent 6 months travelling the world together and then returned to Canada where we live now. As a prairie girl, I have always adored the west coast of Canada and my mom and step-father have retired on Vancouver Island so we decided it would be a fabulous place to have our wedding. We lived in Victoria for 6 months and discovered Tigh-Na-Mara resort in Parksville at this time which we fell in love with.

What was your Wedding Vision?

Our vision for the wedding was an outdoor ceremony that incorporated west-coast rustic elegance. Because of our common love for the outdoors and adventure, we wanted to bring the outdoors in and Tigh-Na-Mara definitely was the place for this, not to mention the name itself is in Irish Gaelic meaning “house by the sea.” It seemed like fate.

Tell Us About Your Day. . 

The day itself was amazing. I had 6 bridesmaids and Des had 5 groomsmen (4 of which were from Ireland). We had nearly 40 guests come from Ireland and the other 60 were from all over Canada and the USA. Our flower-girls and ring-bearer were all from Ireland as well. They all wore match ivory dresses and head bands and our ring-bearer’s suit was rented from Moore’s to perfectly match the groomsmen. 

Wedding Style & Colour Palette 

Our colour scheme was bright yellow (my favourite colour) and colours from the surroundings at Tigh-Na-Mara – including tan (sand), greens and white. The bridesmaids wore bright yellow sweetheart, strapless short dresses which they ordered online from J-crew with tan heels and the men wore black suits with bright yellow vests and ties which matched the shade of the ladies’ dresses. I got my wedding gown in Ireland from a little local store. It was the “Dakota” dress by Enzaoni which I had altered to have a deeper sweetheart.  
I gave the girls matching sand-dollar necklaces with their initials and a coin-pearl with coin-pearl earrings. I found these on “Etsy” which is a great website for wedding gifts! My bouquet was filled with bright yellows and oranges with roses, orchids and calla-lilies. The groomsmen wore the same yellow orchids in their boutonnieres and I surprised Des with a passion-flower for his, as this is his favourite special flower.  The girls had white orchids with beautiful long green grasses as their bouquets. There were also sprays of yellow orchids framing the gazebo at the ceremony. 

The Ceremony

The ceremony took place late morning and we were lucky to have pleasant sunny weather as it had been lashing rain all week! The girls and I got ready in the “Grotto Spa” at Tigh-Na-Mara where we had our makeup and hair done as well as a glass of bubbly and breakfast. Meanwhile, the men went swimming in the ocean and Des saved a Canadian goose from the mouth of a dog – a great way to start his wedding day as a believer in good karma!
Suzanne Hedges was our wedding coordinator and did and absolutely amazing job. She picked all of us girls up in a golf cart and we made our way down to the ceremony sight that was surrounded by arbutus trees, log cabins and overlooked the sea. The tide was out that day so it was even more beautiful with the sand stretching on for miles! My wonderful step-dad and uncle (who was also our masters of ceremony) ushered everyone in and gave each person bubbles to blow after the ceremony. For the reserved seats I made small signs out of cart paper, white marker and placed them in pine cones, incorporating the natural elements of the setting. We also made the wedding programs ourselves using tan cart paper, twigs and yellow ribbon.
My gorgeous mom and wonderful Dad walked me down the isle as we had traditional live Irish music play. We had a fiddler who we saw play down in Victoria several times, a guitarist and an Uillean pipe player (a traditional Irish instrument which is my favourite instrument of all). Among others, they played a Celtic version of Pachabel’s canon. It was a very emotional and exciting day and I couldn’t have been happier to see Des standing smiling at the end of the aisle.
After saying our vows, having his sister do a traditional Irish blessing, having my sister speak words of marriage wisdom and getting bright pink lipstick all over Des’s face after our “I-do” kiss, we signed the registry where I had made a vase using the bark of a birch tree from my Dad’s backyard and a vase. I engraved Des and my initials in a heart and we placed wild flowers we collected in it. Everyone blew bubbles as we made our way back up the isle where we shared champagne and gorgeous appetizers  (made at Tigh-Na-Mara) which people enjoyed on the grass at the ceremony location. 

The Beach Photo Shoot

We did the photo shoot on the beach at Tigh-Na-Mara. For the beach photo shoot, I gave my bridesmaids red, yellow and pink polka-dot “wellies” (rubber boots) to wear which I brought from Ireland. The men wore bare feet for this. After the first shoot, Des and I (and his awesome best man, Barry) did another one which was a little drive away from the ceremony sight. It was full of giant pieces of driftwood and unique stone and I loved the creativity Vivid used with their photos! 

Decor & DIY Details

The petal and kettle helped with our decorations and we also incorporated a lot of DIY’s. They made us a wishing tree using natural curly sticks which was a lovely way for people to send their best words and wishes. They provided bright yellow sashes on the chairs to match the same yellow of bridesmaids dresses. We incorporated burlap and lace table runners on top of white linens and we made table names ourselves using mason jars, sand, burlap and lace, small chalk board squares from Michael’s which we stuck in the sand and then photos of the two of us from our travels around the world to name our tables. 
I have a true love for beach combing so we incorporated lots of driftwood and sand dollars and small yellow starfish which I found myself and got from a shop on the island. I also made (with the help of my family) napkin wraps out of baby sand dollars and hemp…very simple and beautiful! The centerpieces were gorgeous up-lit yellow orchids in jelly bubbles which varied between tall and short vases on each table. 


Wedding Cake

Our cake was a one tier, very dense chocolate biscuit cake (traditional to Ireland) covered in thick beautiful bright yellow icing and pearly white drops. It was placed on a tree stump that the Coastal Cake Company made at our request to incorporate the rustic element and the cake was topped with simple white orchids. We also had yellow, white and brown cake pops with sand dollar decals on them each with different flavours including: white chocolate raspberry, passion fruit vanilla and chocolate. 


The Reception

Our reception was so much fun. We started early with appetizers and drinks in front of the stone fireplace. We had seafood martinis (a collection of crab and other seafood served in martini glasses) as well as potato martinis to bring in the west coast feel by providing fresh seafood.
We had a kids craft table set up with colouring books, craft paper and hats to create. We had a buffet dinner, lots of touching speeches and a slideshow. Our music was amazing for the night. The same musicians played in the evening–incorporating traditional Irish and Canadian songs while they led dances. We followed this with a DJ and had a midnight snack of vegetarian pizza, wings and veggies and dip. 
The party went on all night as we danced the night away (our first song being Etta James’, “At Last” which Des and I first danced to in Ireland at a “silent” disco). The gang then made their way to the beach for a bonfire as we retired to our honeymoon suite overlooking the ocean. It was a truly magical day!


Photographer: Vivid Photography /Ceremony & Reception Venue:  Tigh-Na-Mara Resort / Flowers & Decor: Petal & Kettle: Parksville Florist & Tea Co / Submitted via Two Bright Lights

San Diego Destination Wedding by Melissa McCLure Photography

On the west coast of USA in San Diego there is a gorgeous seaside town called La Jolla. A pretty locale that is ideal for  a wedding – just like this beautiful destination wedding by Melissa McLure Photography. It’s stylish, it’s understated and it has us dreaming of romantic sunsets and walks along the shore. I’ll leave the rest to beautiful bride Natalie, who shares with us all the lovely details below. Enjoy the sunshine lovelies….

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Describe your proposal?

David proposed on a Friday evening in September, under a tree in Central park. Very low key, but just right!

What was your wedding vision?

I have never really been the girl/woman with a wedding vision. The things that mattered to me (and us) were that people felt comfortable (not stuffy) and they were able to enjoy good food, wine and dance the night away and simply celebrate with us.

One thing I remember thinking was that I didn’t want really BIG centerpieces because I hate when I cannot see someone across the table at wedding due to some big monstrosity (not to say they are not beautiful, just not my style).

Having some part of the wedding outside seemed natural, which is a big reason David and I didn’t get married in NYC (where we live). We wanted to have the beauty of La Jolla shores be part of the “decoration.” 

Tell us about your planning details:

The ceremony and reception was at Scripps Forum in La Jolla (the ceremony was on the grass overlooking the water and for the cocktail hour we used the space between the grass and Forum. The dinner reception inside the Forum)

I am not sure if I had a “theme” per se, but wanted things to look classy and clean (no clutter of “stuff”)

Green is my favorite color, so it seemed natural to myself and my friends that this would be one of the colors (mint/sea foam). Ultimately it was not, I just seemed to gravitate to more navy/midnight blues.

I started with what I wanted to my bridesmaids to wear – they all have beautiful olive skin so I knew they would look good in just about anything (unlike me!) – and with the time of year being February I thought the midnight blue dresses would look so pretty against the green grass and ocean.

I always knew that tulips would be the flower, they have always been my favorite, particularly the peach ones, which go so well with the midnight blue!

Describe your wedding style:

I got my dress at Nicole Miller (great recommendation from a bridesmaid and wonderful friend who was married not too long before David and I, Melissa shot their wedding as well, that is how we met her).

I think the name of the dress is the Dakota (ivory, strapless, sweetheart, modified mermaid with a mini train). I LOVED this dress! I had a sash made at M & J trimmings in the city (NYC) in a champagne color and some asymmetrical jewel/stone things (obviously I am not good at this stuff). The groomsmen wore grey kingston suites from Friar Tus shop. Our ring bearer wore the same and my flower girl (my niece) picked out her dress with Mom’s help.

And your wedding details?

We didn’t have a wedding cake, only a topper for cake cutting purposes from VG donut and bakery in Solana Beach. Instead our caterer (Crowne Point Catering) put together an awesome dessert station of white chocolate bread pudding, brownies, cheese cake bars, etc. We didn’t do wedding favors, but my Mom did put together little bags for hotel guests (the majority of our guests flew in from various places around the world!) No boutonnieres for the groomsmen, only for my husband and our ring bearer.

Did you include any DIY or personalized details?

We made our place cards with various toys from Paper Source (one opened up about 4 blocks away from us during the wedding planning process, it was awesome). I can actually say that my husband knows how to use an embosser.

David also named the signature cocktail, “Hancocktail” he was very proud of this contribution. A friend of mine had a great idea for a guest book using polaroid pictures. We bought a basic guest book from Paper source, I placed in stickers that hold the polaroids in place. Then guests took pictures of themselves during the cocktail hour and signed somewhere in the book with advise for us. We placed their picture next to their message and now have a snap shot of most guests from our wedding. It is pretty great!

Was there anything that made your wedding unique?

My husband is South African, I am from California and we live in NYC. We wanted each place to be represented, so how better than through alcohol. We had wines from both California and South Africa and our signature cocktail was a Manhattan. Also, in South Africa it is traditional for a close friend of the groom to MC the event. Our very good friend Dean (who flew all the way from Cape Town!) MC’d the night and made it so personal and special.

What was your biggest challenge?

Planning a wedding from the other side of the country is not ideal, but I must say having my Mom and Erin Donoghue (my wedding planner and the lil-sis of one of my closest friends and bridesmaids), made it all very possible and mostly stress-free.

What were your favorite moments?

So hard to choose because it honestly was the best weekend of my life!

Walking down the aisle with my dad, seeing all these people I loved and then seeing my almost-husband, all with the ocean behind them was pretty incredible!

David and I’s first glance (or look, I can’t remember), was so so so special and emotional and the best decision we made. It was supposed to be just us (and Melissa), but we looked over at one point and saw all the groomsmen in one of the hotel rooms peeking out, very sweet.

David’s speech at the wedding (also customary in South Africa, the groom has the main speech). I felt very lucky to have just married him!

Have to include a dancing thing here, I LOVE to dance and I LOVE karaoke. There are endless pictures of me with the DJ’s microphone and doing the air guitar, but I loved singing at the top of my lungs surrounded by awesome friends and family to the quintessential “Don’t stop believing” by Journey, cheesy, but highly recommended at any wedding.



Photography: Melissa McLure Photography / Hair Stylist:  BeautyEverAfter / Event Planner:  Your Event by Erin /Floral Designer:  Franco’s Flowers / Cake Designer:  VG Donut & Bakery / DJ:  Sound Prodigy / Makeup Artist:  ACMakeup / Event Venue:  Scripps Seaside Forum / Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Costa Rica Beach Wedding by Katherine Stinnett Photography

Be Warned! – This gorgeous beach wedding is likely to give you an unstoppable desire to jump on the first plane to Costa Rica. We’re seriously loving the natural and laid back vibe of this beautiful affair. The beautiful ceremony, the handsome bride and groom and the stunning fairylit reception right on the beach – just perfect. A destination wedding really doesn’t get any better than this. A big thank you to Katherine Stinnett Photography for capturing all the magical moments!

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From the photographer: Leah and Victor met and fell in love in Miami. When choosing a location for their wedding, they knew there was no place better for them than the beaches of Costa Rica. Victor was born and raised in Costa Rica, and the couple knew this would be the perfect place for their families to meet and celebrate together. After a sweet, intimate wedding the couple danced the night away under the stars on the beach with their closest friends and family. The couple even surprised their guests with a traditional Costa Rican comparsa band complete with dancers, drum circle, and stilt walkers to end the night.


Photography:  Katherine Stinnett Photography / Event Planner: Tropical Occasions & Mountian Occasions / Reception Venue: JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa / Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Punta Cana Destination Wedding by Christine Reid Photography

Time to be swept away to the sandy beaches of  Punta Cana in the Caribbean for a gorgeous destination celebration captured by Christine Reid Photography. Laura and Derek love to vacate in the Dominican Republic, so naturally it was their first choice for a balmy beach wedding. They kept things relaxed, laid-back and fun, with a beautiful beach side gazebo ceremony, a blue and white palette,  girly flip flops and fedoras and cigars for the boys. 

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Details From The Bride

I always wanted to get married on the beach and we love the Dominican so the beautiful location of Punta Cana gave us the opportunity to share a vacation with our guest. We had a private and intimate ceremony in the resort’s wedding gazebo located directly beside the beach. The reception was at the Spanish restaurant and then afterwards at a piano bar in the resort called Hemingway’s.  For those who couldn’t travel with us to Punta Cana, we had a golf club reception back home a couple of weeks later.

Color & Decor

Our colours consisted of blue, white, tan and lots of shells. The gazebo was decorated in blue and white tulle and each guest had mini bubbles on their chairs tied with blue ribbon. The reception tables had bright blue tea lights and starfish place cards. 


We had bright and colourful bouquets in a mixture of flowers – theses were made up by the wedding planner. The guys wore purple/pink orchid boutonnieres, and the father of the bride wore a white orchid. 


We made “welcome gift bags” which included travel essentials such as, mini sanitizer, travel kleenex, advil, immodium, after bite, pepto bismol, tic tacs, homemade soap in the shape of shells and toothbrushes.

Wedding Gown

I wanted something light and a little beachy for my wedding gown. It was a mermaid style Mikaella gown and we added a belt for a bit of sparkle.  I wore blue flip flops and added rhinestones to them. 


The bridesmaids wore turquoise-blue J Crew dresses in 2 different styles with neutral coloured flip flops.  I found their blue coloured starfish earrings right after I got engaged (from Stella and Dot) and based a lot of the wedding details around them.  They were my gift to the girls.

Groom & Groomsmen

My husband wore a white short sleeved shirt, khaki pants with brown belt and flip flops.  The groomsmen wore pale blue short sleeved shirts, with the same pants, belt and flip flops as the groom.  All the guys wore fedoras (a gift from the groom).

Biggest Challenge

Planning a wedding from far away! Everything was done with the wedding coordinator via email, with all the major details were decided upon once we arrived in the Dominican.  I remember saying to my Husband, “wow we just picked and planned everything for our wedding in 1 hour!”  Their wedding coordinator was amazing to work with! 

Destination Wedding Tips

Getting married in a different country is a bit challenging. Especially with regards to paperwork and ensuring your guests travel needs are taken care of. Using a trustworthy travel agent is a must!

Favourite Moments

During the ceremony when the judge asked if anyone objected to us getting married.  Everyone was silent and then suddenly the musical trio  we had hired tuned in with their instruments singing “no problemo!” everyone laughed.  Getting married down South in such a beautiful place with friends, family, sun and sand….that alone was the best part.


Photos: Christine Reid Photography / Venue: Grand Palladium, Punta Cana Dominican Republic / Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Dreamy Bohemian Beach Wedding by NGG Studios

I just love when a romantic wedding is so dreamy and breathtaking, it makes you want to step into the photos and become part of the gorgeous love-filled atmosphere. So when Brett and Kristie from NGG Studios shared this amazing 70’s inspired beach wedding, complete with a stunning bohemian bride, breathtaking native bouquets, flowing neutral-toned dresses and cute Combi vans, I was over the moon. I totally adore the couple, I totally adore the Broadbeach location, and I have to confess, I’m absolutely besotted with NGG Studios photography – incredible! It’s relaxed boho chic at it’s best people….and on the beach no less!

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Gorgeous bride Brodie shares the details:

Wedding Theme

Natural with a sort of a 70’s bohemian style. We aren’t traditional and wanted the feel of the wedding to reflect us.

Wedding Budget

I wanted a budget of $10,000 (we don’t have a lot of  money and were going on a honeymoon to Europe); however, Trent didn’t like the idea of a budget as he figured it was hard to put a limit on something. I think we totalled close to $15,000. So I was happy with that.

Colour Palette

I like everything natural and in neutral colours.  The only colours we used were in the flowers. We did however choose a sandy yellow coloured table runner.

Ceremony &  Reception

Trent and I both love the beach, plus Trent surfs, so it was a definite to be on the beach. We also wanted the location close to home and the ceremony within easy walking distance to the reception for our older family guests. Our ceremony was on the beach in front of the Broadbeach Surf Club and the reception in the Broadbeach Surf Club. 

Wedding Dress

A Lisa Brown in champagne coloured silk – very plain and elegant. I work as a flight attendant – and when overnight in Sydney – stumbled upon the dress in a little shop on Oxford St, Paddington. After many phone calls I decided to get it. It was only $595 and I took it home in a small brown paper bag (my flight crew couldn’t believe it!).

To make the dress more special, Trent’s mum (Dorothy) added pearls and lace from my Great Aunt’s wedding dress. My grandparents are dead, so I really wanted to wear something from them that was special to me. Dorothy also made my veil from my great Aunt’s lace and my Grandma’s pearls. I also wore my other Grandma’s ring. I borrowed Trent’s Nan’s cameo for my dress and wore her cameo bracelet to match. I also turned her pearl necklace into a headband (this also matched my pearl engagement ring). We wore beaded foot jewellery on the beach for the ceremony, then put on heels for the reception.


The bridesmaids had native bouquets and my bouquet was a King Protea. 


I had so much trouble finding bridesmaids dresses due to the fact that I was wearing a standard dress, I wanted neutral colours, and my Maid of Honour was 8 months pregnant! So it was difficult to get them to match. Finally, I found one I liked in a shop, and then purchased them online for half price.

Groomsmen Attire

Trent bought his and the groomsmen outfits from Country Road before I purchased my dress. This was good but then I had to make sure we all matched. 

Decorations & Flowers

We decorated the venue ourselves. The venue supplied the tables, chairs, tablecloths, candles, a fairy light backdrop and the table runners. We loved the idea of bottles filled with flowers, and I also love doilies, so these were used for the table decorations. Trent collected bottles from his work leading up to the wedding.  

Wedding Cake

Trent’s mum (who is this amazingly creative) along with a little help from Trent made our wedding cake! It had a dark chocolate bottom layer, caramel chocolate centre and a white chocolate on top layer. It looked incredible and handmade flowers to match those used in the bridal party.

DIY & Personalized Details

Most of our wedding was DIY. Trent is a chef at a Spanish tapas bar so he really wanted to do the food. This meant a very busy 3 days before the wedding, but it turned out amazing! Everything was delicious! We had a cocktail style reception with beautiful spanish tapas and a wooded board full of jamon (spanish ham), cheeses, breads and pate’. For dessert, we had churros and a chocolate fountain, as well as the wedding cake. My friends from college work in catering, so they worked as our waitresses and chef on the night – which was perfect! 

Also, Trent’s mum also made the flowergirl dresses, helped me make the brooches for the bridesmaids dresses, and even made our foot jewellery!  The combie vans we arrived in, were a wedding gift from my brother and his wife.

Biggest Challenges

Finding time. I work full time and study part time, Trent also works full time, so we are both so busy. There just wasn’t enough hours in the day to plan a wedding!

Favourite Moments

I couldn’t say anything particular the whole day was like a dream come true, so many fun things and the excitement of the ceremony and arriving, I was just so excited and happy the whole day. We both were.

Any Advice To Other Couples

Hmmm….. Just enjoy it and do what you want. Keep to your own style and don’t listen to everyone else. Take what others say on board (you can get good tips and advice), but it’s your day in the end. Plus don’t let little things bother you or stress you out. You won’t care when the day comes and no-one else will notice little things..

 Thank you Brodie and Trent for sharing with us your dreamy beach wedding




Photography: NGG Studios / Ceremony: Broadbeach Queensland / Reception: Broadbeach Surf Club, Gold Coast Australia

Five Tips for a Tropical Beach Wedding

There is so something so intimate about a laid-back tropical beach wedding. Palm-fringed beaches, balmy weather and magnificent ocean views are perfect for a lover’s paradise. But like planning any other style of wedding, it pays to understand your environment. Wedding Co-ordinator, Angie Schesser shares with us her best five tips for preparing a wedding in the tropics.

Port Douglas Beach WeddingSo, you have chosen to get married a-la-natural, on a beautiful tropical beach. Nothing could be more romantic, natural and ideal. Or could it? Like most good plans, things can go wrong, but with a well-chosen venue, some common sense and some invaluable expert advice, you can have the beach wedding of your dreams. I ask Angie Schesser, Wedding Coordinator at Port Douglas’s Thala Beach Lodge for her top tips to create the perfect Tropical Beach Wedding.

1. Forget about the weather, you can’t control it anyway!

Contingency plans are’nt just for the military. Many a wedding has been saved by planning for the unexpected. For instance plan to have access to some sheltered reception areas that still have the ambience and views of the beach, while protecting you and you guests from whatever Mother Nature throws your way. Some of the most beautiful weddings have been in weather conditions that were less than ‘perfect’.

Thala Beach Lodge Wedding

2. Wear clothing and shoes to suit the location

Ladies, let’s face it; high heels and sand don’t mix. Casual and comfortable will have you looking and feeling your best on the big day. Long dresses, bare feet or sandals look stunning for women on the beach, as do loose, light clothing on men.

Thala Beach Lodge Wedding Port Douglas

3. Keep the ceremony light and open

A beach wedding is supposed to be relaxed and interactive. The beach is no place for heavy formalities. Keep it short, sweet and simple, humorous and loving. Let nature inspire you to take yourself lightly and focus on what’s really important, you and your partner celebrating with friends and family.

Tropical Beach Wedding Tips

4. Keep the décor natural and simple, the beach is beautiful already

Save yourself a fortune! You’re not going to improve on nature showing off her wares. For instance, white sands, and the sea provide dramatic backdrops. A few well-chosen flowers should be all you need to embellish a beach setting.

Tropical Beach Wedding in Port Douglas

5. Keep focused

Remember the day is about the two of you. Again, the simplicity of the setting gives you the added advantage of a casual approach. Let your guests gather around you naturally, while you celebrate what’s important; your simple, wonderful wedding.

Tropical Beach Wedding Ideas

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Tracey Hordern is a journalist, editor and copywriter. Always a bridesmaid, never the bride, Tracey enjoys a good wedding (and reception) at Thala Beach Lodge Port Douglas and lives in hope.

Why Australian’s Love To Do It Outdoors! {wink}

As an Aussie girl, I’m often asked what sets Australia apart when it comes to our weddings – and what always stands out in my mind are our beautiful outdoor weddings. Australia is blessed with warm weather, natural beauty and some of the most amazing beaches on the planet, so naturally many Australian’s gravitate to relaxing, socialising and celebrating life’s special moments in the great outdoors. 

Outdoor Weddings AustraliaImage: McKay Photography

We celebrate all styles of weddings in Australia, from elegant functions to chic contemporary events, romantic garden parties to vintage-inspired soirees and everything in between. But it’s our natural backdrops, as bountiful as they are beautiful, which really make Australian weddings special. Couples can say ‘I do’ overlooking a pristine beach or dramatic mountain range, between the lush vines of a winery or under the canopy of a tropical rain forest. But perhaps the best representation of our relaxed Aussie lifestyle is the Australian beach wedding.

Port Douglas Beach WeddingImage: Sass Studios

Beach Weddings

The lure of the ocean is extremely seductive for Australians, which is understandable when you consider Australia is basically a huge island with a coastline stretching more than 25,000 kilometres. Every chance we get, we flock to our beaches to soak up the glorious sunshine, fresh air and sparkling waters. So naturally the dream of a wedding surrounded by all that beauty is a popular one for brides-to-be. Whether a luxury celebration at a beachfront resort on the Gold Coast in Queensland, or an organic barefoot ceremony on the pure white sands of Cable Beach in Western Australia each beach wedding in Australia offers something special.

Bondi Beach Wedding AustraliaImage: Jane Allen Photography 

Beach weddings in Australia look and feel very much like any other modern beach wedding except for the odd ‘Aussie-ism.’ For instance, if you happen to be a guest at beach wedding in Malibu you’re likely to be offered complimentary ‘flip flops’ to stroll through the sand; whereas at a typical Aussie beach wedding you’re more likely to be offered a pair of ‘thongs’ (which are not to be confused with the underwear variety!). Similarly, when it comes to thanking guests in Florida, they’re usually given a wedding ‘favor,’ while Sydney guests are given ‘bomboniere’ (and no, it isn’t a tropical disease!).

Aussie Beach WeddingImage: Bushturkey Studio

Backyard Weddings

Another popular style of Australian wedding is the backyard wedding. These relaxed events vary from elegant soirees in the grounds of a prestigious estate to get-togethers as simple as the quintessential ‘Aussie BBQ.’  Casual Aussie backyard weddings typically involve an intimate gathering of family and friends in a suburban garden or under the shade of a twinkling marquee. Guests enjoy a feast of barbecued meats, fresh salads and homemade treats along with the traditional wedding cake. Heart-felt speeches are cheekily interrupted with the odd joke and the newly wed’s first dance (traditionally called the ‘bridal waltz) doesn’t resemble the three-step of it’s name, but typically a romantic slow dance of two people in love. Single girls scramble for the tossed bouquet, excited lads fall over themselves to claim the garter and melodic tunes from a live musician keep everyone in a festive mood. The wine and champagne flow freely and ice cold beer is practically mandatory for an Aussie bloke on a hot Summer’s day. Finally, when it’s time for the new Mr & Mrs to say their teary farewells, it’s not a luxury limo waiting to whisk them away, but a groovy VW kombi sporting a ‘Just Married‘ sign.

Australian Kombi WeddingImage: Bushturkey Studio 

Amazing Outdoor Backdrops

Because Australia is such a large country (twice the size of Europe), there are vast differences in our natural landscape. Each state boasts it’s own natural beauty and flavour, so as far as weddings go, you can experience a wonderfully unique backdrop from coast to coast. If I had to choose which location in Australia had the most spectacular outdoor setting for a wedding, I would be struggling to stop at just one. Instead, let me leave you with a few of my personal favourites – the stunning beaches of Port Douglas in Northern Queensland, the picturesque vineyards of the Margaret River region in Western Australia and finally, it’s hard to go past the iconic Sydney Harbour with it’s magnificent Harbour Bridge and Opera House for an unforgettable Australian wedding.

Harbour Wedding SydneyImage: Sugarlove Weddings

Vintage Beach Wedding Dessert Table

Vintage Beach Wedding Dessert TableIf you’re planning a vintage or beach wedding theme, I have no doubt you’ll find tons of inspiration from this fabulous vintage beach wedding dessert table shoot I spotted on Project Wedding.  With tempting confections designed by Jenny Cookies and beautiful images by Kaylee Eylander you’ll imagine your back in the 1950s partying Gidget style! I just love how the whole spread is a fresh take on retro vintage theming. Bright pops of primary reds, whites and blues intermingle with the softer beach tones of sand, creme and silver grey. A fantastic retro blue ruffle cake with a starfish topper to add a touch of ‘wow’ to the buffet. And adorable vintage props, like the vintage suitcases, nautical cane baskets, and oil lanterns, make it a stylish seaside soiree that is ‘hanging ten’ with the best of them!

Vintage Beach InspirationVintage Dessert TableVintage WeddingVintage Wedding Dessert BarRetro Wedding DessertsBeach Wedding

Retro Beach Wedding CakeBeach Wedding Inspiration

Beach Wedding Theme

Retro Wedding

Vintage ThemeVintage Wedding InspirationVintage Wedding FlowersRetro Beach WeddingBeach Wedding WhiteRetro Beach Wedding Buffet