Wedding date: April 16 2021 // Number of guests: 55
For this laid-back globetrotting couple, it was the realisation that paradise was indeed on their doorstep that swayed them from waiting for a destination wedding and instead kicked them into wedding planning action during a pandemic. From their Noosa beach wedding ceremony to their riverfront reception, Tamara and Clare agree that their day – full of laughs, memorable moments and a super fun tropical vibe – could not have been more perfect!
QB: All good love stories start somewhere; tell us how and when you met …
We met when Clare boldly decided to travel on her own through SE Asia in November 2013. Clare had intended to go on a tour one week earlier but, due to a family commitment, changed it to the following week – which just happened to coincide with Tam’s first time leading the Contiki tours in Asia after two years in Europe. This lucky meeting saw us embark on a trip that would change our lives in more ways than we could’ve ever have imagined.
QB: Tell us about your lives together …
Having travelled to 27 countries, spent time living in Auckland and the Hunter Valley, and now residing on the Sunshine Coast with two cats and two dogs, you could say that we have not still for too long in the seven years that we’ve been together. When the pandemic came along, we decided it was the right time to finally plan our wedding, renovate our home, and start a family – with the support of the many unique and inspirational people in our lives. Our lives are spent enjoying simple things like beach walks with dogs, cheese and wine on our patio, and always a pillow chat before going to sleep.
QB: What does marriage mean to you?
It is about creating a deeper connection and acknowledging that we are committed.
QB: Make us laugh, make us cry: who proposed to who, and how?
(Clare) Our proposal story is a two-part series! After being together for only ten months, Tam proposed on December 19, 2014, setting up an at-home picnic with our favourite snacks and a bottle of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon. I had only thought it was a simple celebration for my last official day of work before heading to Australia to celebrate Christmas with Tam’s family. Tam had always joked that she would propose with a Burger Ring chip, and I had always told her that I would accept regardless. Well, true to her word, Tam pulled out a ring box and inside was a burger ring (we still have the burger ring, and it’s gross!!!). I happily accepted, and we later picked up the official engagement ring on our way to Australia. I in turn got to surprise Tam when we travelled to Queenstown in June 2015. Having discussed ring selection already, I knew the kind of ring to buy, and I sneakily packed this away and surprised Tam with a proposal in a quiet lakeside spot in Wanaka.
QB: How and why did you choose your venues?
Before COVID-19, we had considered a destination wedding in Hawaii. However, walking the Noosa National Park trail one sunny August day, we realised that paradise was right on our doorstep. Choosing the ceremony was relatively easy as we wanted to be beachside, and Maison la Plage had the best outlook and space for us. The Noosa Boathouse won us over with its fantastic river views and top-notch service.
QB: What was the inspiration behind your wedding style?
As we initially thought of marrying in Hawaii, we wanted to keep the tropical vibe going with our Noosa-based wedding. So we brought in bright pops of colour contrasted with deep emerald green into our styling elements. And we think the team did a great job of bringing this to life.
QB: Did you incorporate any traditions or perhaps do something a little different?
We aren’t super conventional people, so we didn’t have anything strictly traditional, although we followed some standard wedding protocols – like Tam’s dad walking her down the aisle, a first dance, and cutting the cake. Tamara wore green shoes with her beautiful white gown for something different, and we also loved having our gelato van at our ceremony!
QB: Were there any standout suppliers?
All of our vendors were absolute champions! However, a special shout out to Kirsty from Storybook & Co, who we hired as our on-the-day planner. She did so much pre-work that we didn’t expect. And on the day, we did not have to worry about a single thing. Kirsty had every detail under control and probably sorted out things we didn’t even know needed to be sorted out! She was truly sensational.
Other notable mentions need to go out to Jarrad Bayliss, our celebrant – he is so personable with a great sense of humour, and he kept everyone engaged. Our hairstylist Niki made everyone feel comfortable and took control of getting nine girls ready – amazing! Our photographer Alan Hughes has incredible talent, and we are beyond stoked with our photos.
Rachelle from Simply Style Co delivered the style factor – we loved how she took hold of our ideas and turned them into reality. We were also grateful for how she worked with our florist (who was stuck in the UK and outsourcing!). Together they created the perfect tropical vibe!
The Boathouse was excellent; our videographer Pat from Sunshine Coast Video was a delight. The gelato team from Wheel and Spoon provided delicious gelato and were great with the guests. Our musician, Reese Freeman and his singing partner Briana did a beautiful job of signing our favourites at the ceremony and entertaining our guests later in the evening. Old Skool Kombis were on time and more than delivered on the whole experience of getting around Noosa in an old Kombi. Then, of course, we can’t forget First Class Pets who looked after our two pups to make sure they were ready to be part of our wedding. They did a fantastic job with them. Honestly, we were thrilled with everyone!
QB: Do you have any words of wisdom to offer other couples?
Get an on the day planner! They are worth their weight in gold. We honestly didn’t have a care-in-the-world on the day, which allowed us to enjoy the whole celebration.
We know everyone says this, but the day goes so fast! We really wanted to try and embrace every moment, but it still just flew by – so try and embrace every moment!
Have fun! All those little details you thought you would care about; you end up not worrying about on the day. Sure, some things didn’t go perfectly to plan, but we didn’t care on the day! We were having the time of our lives with our favourite people by our side. So, while the planning can feel stressful, as long as you have the necessities (each other, your celebrant and hour witnesses), the rest is added bonuses.
QB: Did you (or will you) enjoy a honeymoon? If so, how and why did you choose your destination?
We had a mini honeymoon. It was the end of April/May 2021, so we were limited on where we could travel and having had our initial plans to WA cancelled due to border closures, we were hesitant to commit to anything, only to be let down and left with more flight credit! Fortunately, NSW was still open to QLD, so we bought a campervan and cruised the NSW northern coastline, spending most of our time in Byron Bay. Neither of us had spent much time in this area, so it was great fun to do a bit of beach hopping, hiking, chilling, and just spending time with each other. We now have a bub on the way, so we’ll see if we end up on a post-wedding-post-baby international honeymoon when it is safe to do so.
Dress & accessories: Grace Loves Lace // Photographer: Alan Hughes Photography // Videographer: Sunshine Coast Video // Ceremony venue: Maison la Plage // Reception venue: Noosa Boathouse // Jewellery: Fletcher & Grace & Little White Couture // Florist: Heavenly Blooms// Stylist: Simply Style Co // Hair: Sass & Niki // Makeup: Sally Townsend // Catering: The Boathouse, Noosa // Dog carers: First Class Pets // Gelato: Wheel & Spoon Gelato // Celebrant: Jarrad Bayliss // Transport: Old Skool Kombis// Planner: Storybook Co // Musician: Reese Freeman