Real Weddings // Location: Gold Coast // by QB

real wedding courtney jake

Wedding date: 28 February 2021 // Number of guests: 64


QB: All good love stories start somewhere; tell us how and when you met …
Jake and I met over three years ago when we both swiped right on Tinder. The two of us were pretty wary of online dating; however, we trusted our instincts of what we had discovered about each other, and fate led us to our first date at the Food Fantasy restaurant at the Star Casino on the Gold Coast. I was pleasantly surprised that Jake had offered to take me on our first date to a seafood buffet, one of my favourite cuisines, and I was appreciative of his efforts to take me (a total stranger at the time) to a high-end restaurant. We both felt a sense of comfort, ability to be our complete selves, and the conversation did not stop flowing with my sometimes too-chatty personality.

QB: Tell us about your lives together …
Our life together so far has been full of adventures. Early in our relationship Jake had to move to the other end of the state for 15 long months of FIFO work. We both agree that it was the hardest thing that we had done; however, we believe that it was the best thing to help form such a solid foundation for our relationship. The late-night flights every couple of weeks, to spend just a weekend together at a time, taught us to treasure our time together and the importance of communication and honesty. We just made it work and had so many unforgettable holidays, road trips and experiences along the way. Undoubtedly: distance makes the heart grow fonder. Not long after Jake returned from Cairns, we engaged to marry and bought our first home together.

QB: What does marriage mean to you?
Marriage means spending the rest of your life with your best friend by your side to laugh and smile with, to cry with and make beautiful memories with. It is the life long commitment to love, support and protect each other, even when times get tough. 


QB: Make us laugh, make us cry: who proposed to who, and how?
Our proposal story began when Jake told me that he had a crane-lift job in Brisbane city early hours of the following morning. Little did I know that Jake had organised instead to fly to Sydney. The following morning, I was awoken by my mother at 4:30am with what at first I thought was a “Dear John” letter that Jake had left for me. After opening the letter, I was surprised to find out that Jake had organised a day off work for me and I was to fly to Sydney to meet him. The first of many surprises Jake had planned for our weekend. Jake had given me four letters which were to be opened at different stages of my journey. Firstly, my chauffeur took me to our accommodation at the Sofitel Darling Harbour, where I had a massage and facial. I then went on to meet Jake for a seafood lunch overlooking the harbour. Jake had initially planned to propose on this day; however he was concerned about the Friday 13th omen, so he postponed until the next day. Jake left early on Saturday morning, calling me several hours later to tell me to meet him at the Darling Harbour wharf, where on arrival, I found him pulling up in a beautiful charter boat which we were to spend the day cruising on. He had planned to pop the question as we moored near Taronga Zoo for lunch, but once again, his plans were thrown into disarray – due to my seasickness and a bucks celebration on a neighbouring boat. He, however, eventually found the perfect spot to get down on one knee nearby the Harbour Bridge, and I said yes before he could complete the question! We celebrated that night with cocktails, dinner and fireworks by the harbour. Perfect!

QB: How and why did you choose your venues?
Selecting our dream wedding venue was not easy! Initially, we envisioned an intimate beach wedding. However, this encompassed many variables, including weather conditions, travel distance between the ceremony and reception, wedding stylists, council permits, and the public eye. We fell in love with Cowbell Creek at Austinville on the Gold Coast when we came across their Instagram page. Their picturesque landscapes, attention to styling details and ability to have both our ceremony and reception all in one place was very appealing to both of us. We envisioned how we could integrate our casual, beachy style into a venue that had it all. Unfortunately, Cowbell Creek is a popular venue and were heavily booked for the timeframe we had in mind to get married. Then along came COVID-19, which threw yet another large spanner in the works. Throughout our wedding planning, we had booked several venues, including Hastings Point, The Gold Coast Spit, Q1 Skypoint, Peppers Soul, to name a few – but with Coronavirus gradually upstaging our wedding on multiple occasions, we continued to push our wedding date back further and postponed our wedding not once, not twice, but four times. In hindsight, in some ways, it all worked in our favour, as wedding venues had many cancellations, and we were able to secure a booking at our dream venue, Cowbell Creek.  

QB: Did you incorporate any traditions or perhaps do something a little different?
We tried to keep some simple traditions within our wedding, yet aimed for a modern and relaxed wedding. We felt it was good luck to follow the something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue tradition and did this through our finer details of the day. We followed the tradition of spending the night before the wedding apart. It was very hard saying goodbye to each other, knowing that we had to spend the lead up to the most important day of our lives without our number one support person by our side. We were so happy that we made this decision, as it made that moment when you first capture each others’ eye at the end of the aisle that little bit more special. I always loved the idea of the father of the bride giving his daughter away at her wedding. At the same time, I wanted to include both my mother and father in the final moments before I married my soul mate. We planned to have my mother and father join me in a limo to the wedding. Little did we know that our departing limo was a transfer to our privately chartered helicopter that my spontaneous husband had organised. Jake could see that my parents had always given so much to their children without little in return and wanted to give my parents and me one last unforgettable experience together as a family. Flying over the Gold Coast coastline into the hinterland was a truly memorable experience that the three of us will cherish forever. 

QB: Were there any standout suppliers?
Honestly, all our suppliers were phenomenal. We couldn’t have asked for a better day, and that is a big thank you to all of our outstanding suppliers. Cowbell Creek was so professional, responsive and organised, and their popularity is a direct reflection of the fantastic venue they have created. From the moment we met our photographer Danielle Webster, we knew her calm and friendly presence, and her professionalism was what we were looking for in our wedding photographer. Danielle and her assistant Maleika were able to capture our wedding day and our vision perfectly. My husband and I, our family and friends, felt comfortable and at ease with Dani’s photography expertise. Rosie from R Van Films also showed so much knowledge within her videography skills. Her bubbly, fun and positive energy made the shooting process on the day so relaxed and enjoyable. Our celebrant/MC/singer/guitarist/all-time great guy brought his calm, relaxed and fun vibes to our wedding day and created a day that flowed so casually and effortlessly.

Andrew took the time to get to know us as a couple and spent the day building relationships between ourselves, our family and our friends. He just felt like a good mate we have known for years. Mel at GC Bridal Lounge made the girls and me feel so welcome and helped me customise my dreams’ wedding dress. Mel made me feel as though no request was too complicated and still to this day is in communication with me about the wedding. The team at Clancys Catering were faultless. Their old-school service mixed with their flavoursome modern cuisine was remarkable. I would without a doubt highly recommend every single one of our suppliers. They truly made it the best day ever!

QB: Do you have any words of wisdom to offer other couples?
Our advice for other couples is to slow down and enjoy the whole process. Wedding planning is stressful but remember why you are getting married. It is easy to get caught up in all of the finer details and the never-ending to-do list; pace yourself and prioritise what is essential. We would advise don’t be too organised while still managing to have things in order. Being two highly organised people, we felt that we were always one step ahead of what our suppliers required and sometimes created more jobs for ourselves than what was needed. Trust and communicate with your vendors to see what they require, as this is not their first rodeo. Finally, on the day, be present and have a moment to take it all in.

QB: Did you (or will you) enjoy a honeymoon? If so, how and why did you choose your destination?
Our honeymoon wasn’t the Maldives dream we had hoped for – thanks, COVID-19! With overseas travel off-limits and interstate travel posing risks, we chose to create our tropical honeymoon right here in Queensland, relaxing on Daydream Island in the beautiful Whitsundays.

Photographer: Danielle Webster // Venue: Cowbell Creek // Dress: GC Bridal Lounge // Suits: Peter Jackson // Bridesmaids: Billyl J Boutique // Planning & Styling Tracey Cash (owner of Cowbell Creek) // Rings: Michael Hill Jewellers // Florals: Posy Lane and Missy La Belle // Cake: Two Little Bakers //   Stationery: Mila and May // Videographer: R Van Films // Celebrant: Andrew Michael // Transport – Helicopter Flights Australia, GT Limos & Coolangatta Limousines & Transfers

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