A little while ago I was lucky enough to be part of a small group of bridal industry wordsmiths who were invited to experience the best of the Whitsundays. After stepping onto the tarmac and breathing in the balmy air, I knew we were in for a fun-filled few days. 

We were greeted by our Whitsundays Marketing host and whisked away in a stretch limousine en route to the luxury Villa Botanica, Airlie Beach. As we pulled into the stunning grounds, silence ensued and we took a moment to drink it all in. We were taken on a tour of the property which lead us up a mosaic-tiled aisle to a hand-crafted timber pavilion with views across Pioneer Bay to Airlie Beach. The aisle alone is what gave me goosebumps as we made our grand entry through the stone archway flanked by sky-high palm trees. We explored their Cactarium – a tented haven for cacti which doubles as a unique setting for pictures with intricately carved seats. Lunch was served on the 30m long verandah and if the sample menu was anything to go by then foodies will be impressed {read more}.

- CEREMONY-PAVILLION-2-touched-resImage by Iconic Bride Photography

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Image taken on iPhone

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Image taken on iPhone

- photos MAIN VILLA DOORS
Image by Iconic Bride Photography

Following on from our tour of Villa Botanica, we we were taken to Abell Point Marina, and invited onboard Papillon Luxury Yachts. I thought to myself that this would be the perfect pre-wedding bridal party activity. Imagine popping champagne, setting sail, and kicking back with your besties as you watch the gorgeous sunset and feel the wind in your hair – bliss! After our relaxing sail with Papillon, we were transported to the nearby Peppers Airlie Beach for a poolside dinner in their Tides Pavilion {read more}.


Image by Whitsundays Marketing and Development Ltd (WMDL)


Images provided by Peppers Airlie Beach

The main event took place the next day as we hopped onboard Cruise Whitsundays and were taken out to Hardy Reef. Cruise Whitsundays have recently launched Outer Reef Weddings. That’s right, you now have the exclusive opportunity to be married on board the Reefworld 2 pontoon, in the middle of Hardy Reef Lagoon, near the iconic (and super romantic) heart reef. After the nuptials of the fake wedding, we were transferred across to Reefworld 1 where several of us slept overnight in swags on the upper deck after being treated to dinner and a spectacular sunset of golden, pink, and purple hues. I can vouch that the reef sleep is truly one of the most remarkable and unique experiences I’ve ever had {read more}.


Image by Whitsundays Marketing and Development Ltd (WMDL)


Image by Iconic Bride Photography


Image taken on iPhone

Having spent the night underneath the star-filled inky sky of the Whitsundays, we were flown by chopper over the iconic heart reef to none other than Hamilton Island. Hamilton Island is home to the exclusive qualia. Voted the best resort in the world (eeeks!), the likes of Oprah and Daniel Craig have stayed there, and Leonardo DiCaprio has partied there. I felt privileged just to be shown around! We were taken to the adorable All Saints Chapel before being treated to lunch at Hamilton Island Yacht Club {read more}.


qualia – Image provided by Hamilton Island Weddings


qualia – Image provided by Hamilton Island Weddings


All Saints Chapel – Image provided by Hamilton Island Weddings


Hamilton Island Yacht Club Image provided by Hamilton Island Weddings

As much as I was secretly hoping to stay overnight at qualia, we were ferried to our final home for the night, Daydream Island. Whilst I had visited the island before on a day trip, my experience had been limited to sunbaking near the bronzed mermaid statues, patting a stingray in the large outdoor aquarium, and enjoying happy hour at the swim up bar. Daydream however had so much more to offer including 16 treatment rooms at their Rejuvenation Spa. After our tour through the spa, we were taken by stretch buggy (complete with wedding ribbon) to view a couple of outdoor ceremony locations as well as my favourite, the Endeavour Wedding Chapel. Floor to ceiling glass is all that lies between your nuptials and the backdrop of the Whitsunday Passage. That night we dined on the Spa Balcony as we watched sunset {read more}.


Images provided by Daydream Island Resort and Spa

Yes, I was certainly counting my lucky stars that this opportunity had come my way! The famil had been fantastic so a big thank you to Whitsundays Marketing and everyone who had a part in hosting us over the fun-filled few days.

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