Earlier this year on Friday, August 3, Newcastle couple Joshua Breakwell and Joshua Starr (affectionately known as “The Joshuas”) – winners of the Whitsundays’ $50K wedding giveaway celebrating marriage equality – finally said ‘I Do’ on the grounds of Paradise Cove Resort.

The wedding, incorporating around 60 guests including wedding media, reality television stars and family and friends, took eight months and the efforts of 16 Whitsunday wedding suppliers to pull off. Ms Zigzag from the Polka Dot Bride family was lucky enough to attend this tear-jerking celebration of love and today we are so excited to share an exclusive feature written by the Joshuas themselves. Take it away guys!

We first locked eyes in a crowded bar and there was an instant connection, however there were no words exchanged only a glance and a smile. Months later we started talking through Facebook and then met up for coffee with many many dates to follow.

The style of our wedding was tropical elegance. We wanted to have a relaxed tropical feel to match the stunning location and something elegant rather than a typical barefoot beach wedding.

We chose to wear matching bright navy suits, with a blue woven bow tie and matching pocket square. We each had our sisters by our sides as grooomsmaids, with our mothers to walk us down the aisle.

We had peach coloured David Austen roses for our button holes, with the groomsmaids bouquets to match. The bouquets were very tropical including the David Austin roses as well as white disbuds, miniature pineapples and monstera leaves.

We stayed in a stunning penthouse apartment prior to our wedding at Pinnacles Resort, Airlie beach. This was the perfect spot to get ready for the big day with our mothers and sisters being pampered all morning. The night of the wedding we all stayed at the stunning Paradise Cove, with the Resort completely to ourselves and our guests.

What did you choose for the bride or groom to walk down the aisle to?

Latch (acoustic) – Sam Smith.

Our ceremony had some traditional style elements and our celebrant (the famous Annie Lloyd-Lewis) ensured our love story was cleverly woven throughout to keep it entertaining and personal. We did not want it to go for too long, however we wanted it to be different so it was still memorable for us and our guests.

Celebrant: Annie Lloyd-Lewis

For our first dance we chose the classic song “Stand By Me” but a cover by Florence and the Machine. We spent the first couple of verses dancing together before asking our mothers for the next dance.

We designed all of our signage working closely with the artists to bring our vision to life, Josh B’s grandmother embroidered Turkish style beach towels for all of our guests as a bomboniere. Josh Starr built our wishing well which was a suitcase themed with a pineapple wallpaper that also matched our handmade invitations and table menus. As the wedding was also a destination wedding we also made welcome bags for all of our guests which included all of the important things like itineraries for the weekend, sunscreen, tissues, panadol, berocca, maps and personalised thank you notes. The welcome bags were handed out the night before the wedding on a sunset cruise.

As we own a small business selling pineapple plants we wanted to make sure we included pineapples as main features to our décor. We used them as our centrepieces, to fill grazing tables, as our invitation theme, in the bouquets and we even designed a signature pineapple cocktail to be served to our guests.

What was your favourite detail of the day?

Josh Bs grandmother embroidered Turkish beach towels as gifts for all of the guests. It was really special to have her create such a unique personalised gift for everyone to take to the beach with them on the rest of their holidays in the Whitsundays.

What was your favourite photograph of the day?

They’re all incredible, however there is one black and white shot of us sitting together on a boardwalk at Paradise Cove resort which captured a special moment between us on the day.

We were so very lucky to have Deb from Tropix Photography as our photographer for the day. She made us feel so comfortable and we had a lot of fun with her in the lead up to the wedding. She has endless energy and charisma.

Did any vendor particularly stand out to you? What was your favourite part of wedding planning?

We could never pick just one! However our planner Jess Lawrence from the Wedding Planners Whitsundays is like no one we have ever met. Her care and support through the planning process was exceptional. She made it so fun and stress free, in the lead up and on the day. Her professionalism, energy, eye for detail and love for what she does is role model standard. If anyone is considering the Wedding Planners Whitsundays for their special day, we’d say…make the call now and book in Jess or one of her team. You will not regret it.

Tell me five things, which made your wedding special to you?

  1. Having our mothers walk each of us down the isle and give us away.
  2. Having our sisters as our groomsmaids, looking so beautiful and making sure we were never thirsty, hungry or stressed.
  3. Being surrounded by our friends and family who all very special to us, as we said I do.
  4. The love and generosity of the suppliers who put the competition together.
  5. It was so special to have been in a relationship for five and a half years, to be engaged thinking we could not legally be wed in Australia to then have the excitement and acceptance of the yes vote allowing us he opportunity to be wed in AUS. Then the crazy once in a lifetime phone call telling us that we had won a fifty thousand dollar wedding comp… then the excitement of planning our dream day to then be standing in paradise saying those words. We literally went from not being allowed to marry to having it all within a twelve month period.

Any advice for future marrieds to be?

Get a wedding planner to help keep you on track and to help bring your dream day to life. If you are thinking of a destination wedding try and make the most of the company of your guests who have travelled to be apart of your special day. Plan a night before get together, drinks, dinner or a cruise like we did. It made sure we had spent a good amount of time with all of our guests and it took the pressure off us making sure we had spent time with them on the wedding day.

We both agree that one of our most treasured moments of the day was doing each other’s bow ties and making sure they were perfect before we left to board the seaplane. We said almost at the same time with tears in our eyes “…Wow, we’re really doing it. We’re getting married.” It was pure excitement and elation as it was all about to unfold.