Abell Point Marina. Photograph by Brooke Miles

You’ve probably got a preconceived notion about what a Whitsundays wedding might be like; dreamy island atmosphere, gelati-coloured sunsets, sand and sea as far as the eye can travel. Not that there’s anything wrong with any of that! However, as a destination wedding hot-spot, the location offers so much more to those in the know. Here are just a few unique – and rather fun – ideas that you could incorporate into your wedding in the Whitsundays.

Airlie Beach. Photograph by Brooke Miles.

1. Arrive in – original – style
Stretch limousines and luxury vehicles may be one classic way in which many brides and grooms arrive at the ceremony but are they really you? The Whitsundays’ relaxed seaside location allows for a range of ways to “make an entrance”. Embrace the beach theme and arrive by boat or event yacht at Abell Point Marina. There’s also a helipad nearby for truly luxe arrivals. We’ve heard stories of groomsmen arriving by paddle-board and jet ski to Whitsundays weddings; imagine ripping off your wet-suit to reveal a wedding outfit underneath – secret agent style! If wheels simply are a must, a hot red vintage number from Whitsundays Mustangs might be just the ticket. After all, first impressions count! Or for an eco-friendly option how about a brigade of pedal-powered tuk tuks? You’ll feel like royalty as you’re pulled through town by Just Tuk’n Around, as the locals and tourists turn their heads and wave. Otherwise organise a fun fleet of their tuk tuks for all of your guest’s to transport them from your Airlie Beach ceremony to your reception destination. They can even be kitted out in your wedding colours!

Whitsundays Mustangs. Photograph by Brooke Miles.

2. You can have your own private island (or two)
Getting hitched on your own private island sounds like something only celebrities could afford. But there are several small, uninhabited islands just off Shute Harbour where you and your nature-loving partner could tie the knot in idyllic privacy with just yourselves, your celebrant and witnesses. You’ll probably need a local wedding planner to help you with the finer accessibility details. Plus from there it’s just a short sail to Palm Bay Resort on Long Island for your luxe castaway style honeymoon.

Palm Bay Resort. Photograph by Marcus Walters.

3. Best of both worlds ceremonies
If you choose The Whitsundays for your destination wedding you’re probably not opposed to a beach wedding theme. But with a little creative thinking your photo backdrop doesn’t have to be all sand and sea. Any good local photographer can find you a secret, jungle-y forest for some snaps; but the thing that most surprised us was Big4 Adventure Whitsundays Resort‘s farm! They have a tropical garden in which to say your vows…and a gaggle of farm animals to cuddle up with later (or with which to entertain your tiny guests!) Geese, ducks, goats; did we mention the miniature cows!?

Big4 Adventure Whitsundays Resort.

4. Unique reception venues
So you love the sea but the accompanying sand…not so much? Coral Sea Resort‘s gorgeous jetty might be the space for you. Say your vows here over gently lapping waves or imagine the jetty strung with festoon lights for an over the water sunset reception. Should you and your beloved be inclined to all things aviation or speed; why not check out the helipad at Abell Point for your wedding day? It’s a sporty location with panoramic ocean views. For the ultimate luxury venue, if budget is of no concern, try a private charter of the brand new 6 star superyacht Oneworld: it’s Australia’s largest capacity yacht! The vessel possesses full concierge service, tailored itineraries, full-scale event management capabilities, silver service dining and luxury guest benefits including hot towels, nightly turn-down service, welcome drinks and personalised letters. Oneworld is first due in the Whitsundays around Winter/Spring 2018.

Coral Sea Resort.

5. Bespoke booze
Brides, Grooms and guests are starting to take what they drink at weddings as seriously as what they eat. House reds and whites can be banished at a rehearsal dinner or reception hosted at the co-located Fish D’vine and Rum Bar. Beyond treating your guests to a feast brimming with tiki cocktails and mud crabs, this venue has hundreds of rums. They tailor experiences too. Bond with your bridal party pre-wedding over a fun ‘Rum Journey’ tasting and education session or get them to tech you the ins and outs of spicing your own custom rum to serve at your reception. Alternatively, you can also package up tiny bottles and dish them out as bonbonierre’s!

Whitsundays wedding. Photograph by Nadine Kemp.

For more wisdom from the Whitsundays’ best wedding experts click here.

Ms Zebra Says: The Whitsundays provide such a beautiful back drop for Weddings. These are fabulous tips to make your day special and unique!

Note: After Cyclone Debbie occurred in March 2017, most places in the Whitsundays have bounced back. Hamilton Island, Airlie Beach, Long Island and Whitehaven are open. Hayman Island is expected to reopen late 2018/early 2019 and Daydream Island is expected to reopen August 2018.