Photos: Sarah Lette Photography // Venue: Ceremony & Reception: Great Keppel Island Hideaway
As seen in Issue 121 of Queensland Brides magazine
From a South Australian wine country proposal to a holiday wedding on Great Keppel Island and an alpine honeymoon in Mt Kosciuszko, this couple has enjoyed a great Australian celebration!
We love Brooke and Ben’s modern take on island style: pairing a chic and minimalist palette with lashings of white and a dash of tropical fun. And despite being initially hesitant about her gown’s gorgeous train in the island setting, we think it brings the whole look together.
Here’s the story behind their dreamy Queensland wedding, including the couple’s unique ring-warming ceremony …
QB: All good love stories start somewhere; tell us how and when you met …
We met while both working as lifeguards at a local pool. Ben was tasked to induct me into the world of pool chemistry and got more than he bargained for when a different kind of chemistry started to brew. This led to many uni ‘study’ dates and an elaborate plan from Ben which involved him losing his roster and asking me for a ‘favour’ by means of a coffee date. I agreed but only as friends. The friendzone didn’t last long though, and soon after we moved in together.
QB: Tell us about your lives together …
We both work and study in healthcare and have busy schedules. So, when we’re home we want for nothing more than to putt around in our vegetable patch being watched closely by our supervisor (our cattle dog, Blue), a surf session with our friends, or a few cocktails at our local bar.
QB: Make us laugh, make us cry: who proposed to who, and how?
Ben: I proposed on a month-long holiday touring around South Australia. We had camped our way from central Queensland, and I had attempted to hide the ring as best I could. Along the way there had been many, many opportunities to ‘tie my shoes laces’ and propose. Sunsets in the Flinders Ranges, the Eyre Peninsula or even by the campfire under the stars, you name it.
Brooke was starting to catch on, but I knew Brooke’s sister (Lara) would never forgive me if she wasn’t there to capture and help celebrate the special occasion. So, we planned to do it in McLaren Vale, at D’Arenberg Vineyard. Now we have a special bottle of wine as a keepsake and a video of my proposal, albeit with the sniffles of Lara crying behind the camera.
QB: Why did you choose this venue?
Great Keppel Island is essentially in our backyard — just a short trip from Yeppoon and you find yourself in paradise. What enticed us the most (besides the free midweek venue hire) was the ability to turn our wedding day into a weeklong holiday with our closest friends and family. We essentially had most of the island accommodation booked for our guests and many sunset cocktails and mid-day ocean dips were had in the lead-up.
QB: Tell us more about your wedding style …
We let the venue do most of the talking and added in stylings to help complement the surroundings. Our stylings were with the help of Pinterest, moods boards and a stylist. Cracked coconut with crisp white flesh exposed, fresh drinking coconuts, white beach umbrellas and seagrass pendants swinging in the breeze added tones of coastal elegance. We kept our shape — an arch — consistent throughout the wedding from our invites, through to our arbour and signage which helped bring the whole style together. Our minimalist style helped keep the cost down whilst not taking away from our beautiful surroundings.
QB: We hear you had initial reservations about your dress. Do tell …
My dress was Elysian Bridal with a few custom alterations to make it feel more like me. I knew I wanted simple and elegant but was initially a bit hesitant with the dress selection having a large train and the expectations that come with an island venue. I am so glad I didn’t lean too much into fitting my dress to the venue and went with something that was just me.
QB: Did you incorporate any traditions or perhaps do something a little different?
We did a ring warming. Our wedding rings made a voyage through your sea of guests during our ceremony which meant that our rings not only be a gift from one to another, but were given with the love, support, and wisdom of our loved ones.
QB: What was your most memorable moment of the day?
The speeches. Hearing our loved ones talk about their version of our love was something special and a perspective that you often fail to stop and think about.
QB: What does marriage mean to you?
When their happiness is your happiness, and their troubles are your troubles. A lifelong commitment where we endeavour to foster a relationship of equality, knowing that together we will build a life far greater than either of us could imagine alone. To find happiness in life’s mundane moments and to nurture our love sustained through action embedded in the simple gestures carried out each and every day.
QB: Do you have a special mention for any stand-out vendors/suppliers?
The beautiful Sarah from Grace’s Hair did a stunning job at bringing my hair vision to life on the day and felt more like a friend on the day rather than an outsider. Our videographer Tim at Dejavu was a breeze to work with, he managed to capture the magic of the day without us even knowing he was there!
QB: How did you honeymoon?
We went for a complete change of scenery and opted for a few weeks in a cosy cabin complete with a log fire in the Mt Kosciuszko National Park. The magic of the snow was a stark contrast to our normal tropical Capricorn Coast. The romantic vibes were high after a long day on the slopes sitting around a log fire, the snow falling outside, and a glass of local Wild Brumby Schnapps in hand – Australia really does have it all!
QB: Care to share any top tips for other couples …
Throughout the night, steal your significant other away for a moment. After all, the day is about you two and your love. And don’t get caught up feeling like you have to talk to every one of your guests. They are there for you and to witness YOUR love – show them the LOOOOVVE!
If budget allows, hire a vendor or stylist to do the setup and pack down on the day. The amount of worry this saved us in the days leading up to the wedding and the morning after was worth its weight in gold and meant we could soak up all the positive emotions without the added stress.
Date: 01 June 2022 // Guests: 60 // Photography: Sarah Lette Photography // Video: Tim at Dejavu Photo & Film // Ceremony & reception: Great Keppel Island Hideaway // Dress: Elysian Bridal/Bridal on Prospect with custom alterations // Suits: Swarv Menswear // Hair: Sarah at Graces Hair