Real Weddings

Just Married: Kiarna + Josh

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Loved-up couple Kiarna and Josh from Tumut in New South Wales had been engaged for nine months and were excited to tie the knot, but needed a little push to actually start the planning process. When they heard about the ‘Marry in the Morning’ competition on Channel Seven’s Sunrise they took it as a sign to get serious, entered and never looked back. What followed was a busy month of preparations and one seriously glamorous celebration.

Kiarna had been living on the Gold Coast for a couple of years, but had returned to her home town of Tumut in 2009 to be with her ill mother, when fate intervened. “My mum was diagnosed with lung cancer and had battled it for a couple of years, but when it started to worsen I moved back to be with her,” she explains. “It was only my intention to stay in Tumut for a couple of months, but when I met Josh at a local pub one night I was smitten straight away. I knew that he was too good to let go.” Immediately hitting it off, the two talked for hours and noticed an instant connection. “I went home that night and told my mum that I had met my future husband… although I thought his name was Jake until a friend told me otherwise!”

The pair began dating and, of course, fell head-first in love. Fast-forward six years and, while having a few drinks on their verandah, Josh surprised Kiarna with a proposal. “It was fairly straight to the point, but very sweet and very Josh,” says Kiarna. Although she was eager to start planning, there was something holding her back. “My mother passed away a little over a year after Josh and I started dating, and I found it difficult to start planning the wedding without her beside me. One of my mum’s closest friends actually told me that when I was born my mum said, ‘I can’t wait for her wedding day’. I just kept putting it off.”

One morning while Kiarna was getting ready for work, something caught her attention. “I had Sunrise on when I heard Kochi say, ‘How would you like to win a wedding in paradise?’ I thought to myself, ‘I’m going to enter that’,” she remembers. “But I never for a second thought we would win!” The couple were caught off-guard a week later when they found out they had won the wedding of their dreams on scenic Hayman Island… in one month’s time!

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With about 30 days to find the perfect wedding dress, organise a guest list and bring their vision together, the two threw themselves in the deep end. “It was the craziest month of my life,” laughs Kiarna. Travelling across the country, searching bridal shop after bridal shop, Kiarna found ‘the one’ at Brides by Francesca in Sydney. “There was this stunning dress in the shop window, but it was nothing like anything I’d imagined wearing. Francesca suggested I try it on, and I fell in love with it! No other bride had worn it in Australia before and I just truly felt like a bride when I put it on.”

With bridesmaids’ dresses chosen, groomsmen’s suits sorted, jewellery selected and the wedding organised (with the help of a wedding planner), Kiarna and Josh flew to the tropical Whitsundays for a destination wedding like no other. Enjoying a private island picnic, ocean massages and a candlelit beach dinner prior to their 21 October celebrations, the two were treated like celebrities.

Then came the big day… starting at 1:30am. “I had to be at the hair salon early, but the time went so quickly between then and the ceremony,” says Kiarna. Welcome to morning television. With the sun still yet to rise, Kiarna’s maid of honour, Freyja Chyer, surprised her with a photo charm of her mum to hang on the bridal bouquet. “I showed it to dad and it made him very teary, which brought me unstuck and we had a big cry,” says Kiarna.

After wiping away happy tears, Kiarna and her dad were treated to a scenic helicopter flight over the Great Barrier Reef and got ready for their grand entrance. When they landed back on Hayman Island’s beach for the 7am ceremony, Kiarna had a slight wardrobe malfunction. “We took two steps together when my long veil blew in the air and caught on a cactus,” laughs Kiarna. “Unfortunately, I tore a big hole in the veil, but the cameras didn’t get it, thank goodness!”

Walking down the transparent aisle over One&Only Hayman Island’s spectacular pool as songbird Jessica Mauboy sang Ed Sheeran’s ‘Photograph’, Kiarna joined a very emotional Josh. “I didn’t notice any of the cameras, or anyone else for that matter,” says Kiarna. “My eyes were fixated on Josh. He was crying and it melted my heart.”

After saying their self-written vows and being pronounced husband and wife by celeb celebrant, Greg Evans, the newlyweds were treated to another scenic helicopter flight and an intimate reception with their group of 18 family members and friends. Filled with touching speeches, plenty of dancing and amazing food, the celebrations were made even more incredible by the picture-perfect island surroundings. “After our three-course meal, Josh and I went to a private cabana on the beach where we sipped on piña coladas,” says Kiarna. “We were right near the ocean and the views were breathtaking.”

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BRIDE’S LITTLE BLACK BOOK // Ceremony and reception: One&Only Hayman Island // Wedding dress: Berta Bridal // Bridesmaid dresses: Jadore // Shoes: Novo Shoes // Hair and makeup: One&Only Spa, Hayman Island // Suits: Christian Brookes // Rings: Bride’s mothers, bride’s grandmothers and Paradise Jewellers // Flowers: Le Sorelle Florist // Cake: One&Only Hayman Island Pastry Team // Wedding planner: Teegan Deck // Photography: Soda Wedding Photography


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