Beach weddings are the epitome of romance – bright blue skies, a soft breeze, the sound of waves lapping. The dream of laid-back nuptials taking place with sand between the toes and a backdrop to swoon over is why so many couples look to the Whitsundays as a destination that ticks all the right boxes. So, if you’re doing to do a beach wedding, then why not consider doing it ‘right’? Go big or go home, as they say. With the Whitsundays being home to one of the most famous beaches (and rightly so) in the world, why not make the incredible white sands of Whitehaven Beach the setting for your day?
With 7km of pure white silica sand alongside the most brilliant shade of blue water, Whitehaven Beach is truly the destination of dreams. Whilst all beach weddings come with their own set of logistics and specific planning hurdles, Whitehaven Beach is certainly no exception. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, however! Follow here our top 5 handy tips and insights into what it takes to get married in a location that takes the breath away:
1. Getting There:
It’s important to keep in mind that Whitehaven Beach is located on an island. This is not just any island, it is Whitsunday Island: a pristine uninhabited slice of paradise. The only way to access Whitehaven Beach is by air or by boat (although it’s a nice excuse to organise the most incredible of transfers for you and your loved ones!).
If you are planning a more intimate affair, then air might be the way to go, with options for helicopters or seaplanes available. Just a short 15 minute flight, with stunning views over the islands and the swirling sands of Hill Inlet, often flying is the most comfortable, convenient, and spectacular way of travelling.
Should you want the flexibility to add to your guest list, or simply want to make more of a day of it, then the options to cruise through the islands to your destination on a vessel are simply endless. From luxury sail boats, public ferries, speedy motor boats, to luxury superyachts, there’s an option to suit most people’s tastes and budgets. As the happy couple, you can still choose to treat yourself to arriving separately by air for the ultimate bridal arrival if you’d like; It adds a whole other layer of ‘wow’.
2. Time of the year:
Regardless of location, picking the right time of the year is always going to be a major factor in your wedding plans. However, it is even more important to consider when your only mode of transport is dictated by wind or rain. Travelling via air or boat can become slightly uncomfortable, or worse yet, not possible, when Mother Nature is having a bad day. Whilst having a solid Plan-B is a ‘must’ regardless of location, if you are flexible, it would be recommended to avoid times of the year that have a higher chance of throwing a spanner in the works. Whilst we are so lucky to be able to boast of an endless summer in the Whitsundays, you’re giving yourself better odds to pick our beautiful and milder winter months (May-October) as opposed to the tropical summer months. Our whale season falls within the winter months also; Playful breaching whales as well swoon-worthy views? Yes please!
3. Time of the day:
Whilst normally all we need to think about is whether it’ll be too hot, where the ceremony falls within the timeline of the whole day, or blue skies Vs. the oranges and pinks of sunset, for Whitehaven Beach there are two other factors you want to consider: Firstly, what’s the tide doing? Surprisingly Whitehaven Beach is even better at low tide (more beautiful white sand to enjoy). Secondly, how long are your transfers? Most travel companies will need to return to its destination by last light (although not all) and the travel time can range between 1 to 3 hours one-way, depending on your vessel type. So, you want to ensure you give yourself enough time to soak up the views on the return journey before the stars start to twinkle.
4. Extra touches:
How your wedding day is ‘dressed’ might be something you have envisioned quite clearly, such as the flowers, the arbour, the beautiful extras, or perhaps it’s not something you have gotten to on your ‘to do’ list yet. Either way, it’s important to consider how important these aspects are to you, especially if you have your heart set on Whitehaven Beach as the location.
As Whitehaven Beach is part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, the use of real floral is not permitted on the beach itself. Don’t let this immediately put you off however! There are some B-E-A-utiful artificial bouquets that can be either hired, or specifically created for you, to use for your time on the beach. Similarly, decorations can be a wonderful addition visually, but you also need to consider the logistics (*yawn*). For example, how will the decorations will magically appear on the beach?
A decorating company would need to travel specifically by boat (whether via your own mode of transport, or separately in advance) in order to get your chosen decorations set up and looking pretty. Whilst all things are possible and the sky is the limit, there are additional costs involved and trust us when we say, there is no place more stunning than Whitehaven in all it’s natural, ‘bare’ beauty. This comes down to choice, but either way you will have the most visually breath-taking backdrop for your “I do’s” in the nature around you, either raw as itself or enhanced with additional touches.
5. Hire in an helping hand:
Even if you are the most hands-on of planners, there are definitely benefits to hiring in a little extra help to ensure your day is smooth-sailing. There are quite a few local companies that offer specific Whitehaven Beach Wedding Packages, which can remove some of that pressure to ensure you have ticked all the boxes and thought of every outcome. They will ensure the t’s crossed and i’s dotted, as well as be able to use their wealth of insight and knowledge to ensure you truly do have the day you hope for.
By using a professional with experience, you can then sit back and soak up the magic of an incredibly unique experience and location along with your guests, without having to single-handedly deal with everything yourself. Come the big day, being able to fob off any unwanted hassles to someone else can be worth its weight in gold, allowing you to just enjoy getting married in a location that mirrors that of a big-budget movie (*Fun Fact: Pirates of the Caribbean actually did get filmed on Whitehaven Beach! Does this tempt you even more?).
There certainly are quite a few considerations to keep in mind in order to get hitched in pure paradise, but if you are up for the ‘challenge’ it can provide the ultimate reward.