Australia’s holiday playground is also a spectacular place to tie the knot. For some insider tips, who better to ask than the wedding experts who live and work here?
Caroline Jackson qualified as a Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrant 10 years ago, when she moved from Mackay to Tamborine Mountain in the Gold Coast hinterland. She officiates at all sorts of events, but her main focus is weddings (which she loves!), where she works closely with couples to create a truly special ceremony that they’ll remember forever. As weddings require a great deal of forward planning, Caroline likes to be involved as early as possible. So while couples focus on the venue, dress and flowers etc, Caroline takes care of all the legal aspects – which are just as important, but maybe not quite as fun! And when guests tell Caroline that the ceremony they’ve just attended was the best they’ve ever been to – which so often happens – it’s the icing on the (wedding) cake.
What’s great about getting married on the Gold Coast?
“The variety of venues. We have so many, from chapels, gardens and wineries to rainforest locations, beaches and, of course, the hinterland. Tamborine Mountain is the premier wedding destination for South East Queensland. Many venues also provide first-class accommodation, plus there’s an abundance of lovely guest houses and hotels.”
What makes a wedding here different?
“The natural backdrops that we are lucky to have here on the Coast will ensure that wedding photos are spectacular, and will be enjoyed by generations to come.”
What new GC wedding businesses excite you?
“Last year I launched a wedding guide called ‘Your Tamborine Mountain Wedding Guide’. It assists couples in finding the best suppliers and venues that Tamborine Mountain has to offer. It’s very exciting – it’s been so well received that my business partner and I are working on more ideas, including our first wedding fair!” [This was held in January 2018 and is set to be an annual event.]
What’s your favourite spot on the Coast for wedding photos?
“The launch site for local hang gliders, on Main Western Road, Tamborine Mountain (above).”
What’s the most Instagrammable spot in the hinterland?
“Cedar Creek Falls.”
Your favourite GC beaches for a wedding by the water?
“There are so many to choose from, but I think Froggy’s Beach (below), Snapper Rocks, Coolangatta.”
How should brides de-stress before their big day?
“Have a pamper day with the works, at the Get Away Day Spa, Tamborine Mountain.”
What’s a romantic pre-wedding dinner idea for the happy couple?
“One of my favourite restaurants is the Garden & Kitchen Bar at The Star Gold Coast.”
What’s a fun/bonkers thing you can do at a Gold Coast wedding?
“Pets are such an integral part of so many families, and for many people it’s important for them to also be there at the wedding. A number of companies specialise in looking after your pet for the day – they even take photos from the animal’s perspective!”
What’s a good tip for out-of-town guests?
“Don’t miss the theme parks! There’s something for everyone – they even host weddings!”
Are there any trends you’re expecting to hit the Gold Coast in 2018?
“I think weddings will become more formal, and move away from the rustic look. Couples seem to be beginning to take the view that they want their guests to complement the effort that they themselves have gone to.”
What would surprise (and delight) brides about the Gold Coast?
“Think of the Gold Coast and you might just think of Surfers Paradise, but there’s actually more than 57km of picturesque coastline here, so you’re sure to find a beach you love!”
Want more expert advice? Check out the Gold Coast Insider Guide from Life, Love & Light Images’ Martinia