I was on a road trip with friends going to Far North Queensland when Chris and I first met in Mareeba.. Christopher asked me out and on our very first date we went to the Emerald Creek Ice Creamery in Mareeba, we then explored the rainforest and shops in Kuranda and the Barron Falls. We ended the evening with dinner at Pullman's International in Cairns with Chris' pastors and dear friends. It was a beautiful, fun and romantic day.
Chris had so many adventures planned for our first date but I arrived so late we only did half of them! Pullman's Cairns International is where we ended our first date... so it was a special place for us. It's also where he took me for dinner on our first Valentine's Day together. Such a beautiful setting with amazing food!
The ProposalWe had talked about our future together and marriage and our honeymoon in great detail! After dating for nearly a year and a half Chris took me to Pullman's Cairns International for dinner. I was sort of expecting a question but had thought he may have done it at other events earlier in the year that we had gone to at Fraser Island or the Sunshine or Gold Coast. But after dinner that night at the Pullman's Chris asked me to be his wife and I said, 'Yes'. He had hidden the ring on his pinky finger the whole night and I hadn't even noticed! He was very sweet and thoughtful as he has continued to be.
We decided to keep the proposal to ourselves for the evening and rang and visited our parents the next day. I had a really croaky voice at the time and after ringing my parents and sister, nieces and nephew to tell them I had no voice left and had to text a few of my closest friends! My voice did return in full but not for a while!
The PlanningChris had already booked and paid for our honeymoon before he proposed! We wanted to get married as soon as the holidays started which was only 8 weeks away so we got busy organising an amazing wedding.
We both had a pretty good idea of what we wanted so we started booking places and trying on outfits. We had so much fun organising everything and did a lot of the little things ourselves. Chris and I decided to organise the wedding together it wasn't just me organising and making decisions but a joint effort. We had amazing support from friends and family with all the little details. We planned and organised and glued and gathered and sent and rang and paid and cried and laughed all along the way.
The Wedding DayOur day was amazing! Chris got ready with his groomsmen in Mareeba and I got ready in Cairns with my bridesmaids and my immediate family. We stayed at the Big 4 Crystal Cascades Caravan Park. We needed a place reasonably close to Ellis Beach that could cater for a bride and 4 bridesmaids and all the immediate family being able to get ready together in a large enough space which this holiday destination provided.
It rained all morning and it looked absolutely stunning set against the rainforest in Cairns. Both Chris and I prayed and believed our day would be beautiful. We both felt relaxed and at peace. (We did text each other on the day). My bridesmaids, mum, sister and nephew and nieces all got ready and helped me get ready and into my dress and popped the veil on and then we had to rush to the car. We ended up being half an hour late!
The CeremonyWhen we arrived the sun was out and it was a spectacular day. We had an amazing ceremony on Ellis Beach where our Pastor Darryl Roos married us before God and prayed for our lives together in front of and with some of our closest family and friends. It was very significant.
Mum and dad walked me down the aisle after my bridesmaids and my three nieces helped me by scattering rose petals (previously) and holding the back of my dress as I walked. It was such an exhilarating, special, serious and emotional ceremony. Our Pastor shared words of wisdom and encouragement and we felt so blessed.
Our faithful friend Tim had a sound system set up and music playing our special songs. The beach was beautifully decked out by our friends with a hessian walkway, starfish everywhere, white chairs, aqua sashes and we were framed at the front with the natural rocks at Ellis Beach. We also had an afternoon tea and drinks section set up under the trees beautifully decorated with hessian, lace and candles.
We were told there were dolphins playing in the water during our ceremony which was extra special.
The ReceptionWe had an extravagant wedding reception at Pullman's Cairns International where we had our first dinner date, our first Valentine's date together and where Chris proposed. A very special location! After having many photos taken by the fabulous Alison Jones we entered the ballroom and were introduced as Mr and Mrs Christopher Keating. It was a special time of talking, celebrating, reminiscing and eating together with our immediate family and close friends.
The HoneymoonOur honeymoon was amazing! Honeymoons are the best holidays I must say.
We spent the first night of our honeymoon in an amazing room at Pullman's and were so spoilt with a huge bed, spa and great views. Not that we were in their for long after our reception and then heading to the airport for our overseas leg of our honeymoon.
We then set off for the Cook Islands via Auckland. We stayed in two locations in the Cook Islands. Chris made it so special for me. He knows I love the beach and love spas and saunas and getting spoilt. So he booked the honeymoon room at the Sanctuary Rarotonga Resort it had a spa, sauna and steam room on the secluded veranda of our room. It was so good!
The second half of our honeymoon in the Cook Islands was spent in a gorgeous hut on the beach with an outdoor shower. I loved it! We went spent quality time together and explored the Cook Islands, went snorkelling, SUP and eating amazing fish that we caught on a fishing charter (that I may have thrown up all over on!). It was an absolutely perfect honeymoon. My husband knows me well and planned it perfectly to be something that I would love and remember forever.
But ... our honeymoon didn't end there. We came back to Australia and spent Christmas with my family and then back up north to spend quality time with Chris' family and help out with mango season. Then before we went back to work Chris had planned the second part of our Australian honeymoon at the Reef House in Palm Cove. This is located on a beach near where we got married. We had the cutest room with a spa and the restaurant there has such beautiful ocean views. Our honeymoon was amazing! #toospoilt
Wedding Advice ...Make sure you figure out before you start what your must haves and can't haves are as a couple before you start planning. It's a special day! Enjoy your day. It is unique and yours. Just roll with it. Don't stress.