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Welcome to the Port Douglas Wedding Information Centre!  We are here to represent Port Douglas’s incredible community of wedding suppliers.

We offer free help to couples planning a Port Douglas wedding, and can put you in touch with all the right suppliers for your day.  We have a meeting space to chat and display what the area offers, plus an online directory and blog… scroll down, look around and get in touch anytime for a chat:)

Call 0406515858, or email info@portdouglasweddinglounge.com.au

port douglas wedding

Stephanie - Sarah - AnnaAt the heart and soul of every wedding is the celebrant. They cleverly keep the guests engaged with their words of wisdom, whilst soothing the nerves of the anxious bride and groom. They pacify the concerned mother in law and problem solve like a boss. Most importantly they are fully qualified to make your big day official!

This week we have been chatting to our wonderful local Port Douglas celebrants Stephanie Milne, Sarah Woods and Anna Soltwedel .

How soon before my wedding do I need to book my celebrant?

Sarah – As soon as you decide on a date you should start contacting celebrants with a view to booking one. Personally I am booked up to two years in advance so the earlier you get in the more likely you are to exactly who you want to help you celebrate your special day. If you are flexible with dates and times then you don’t need to book as early. 

How much notice do I need to give in Australia to get married?

Stephanie – Marriage in Australia requires 1 months Notice (that is 1 month from the date the Notice of Intention To Marry is received by the Celebrant)

Civil Unions require 10 days Notice (that is 10 days from the Date that the Notice is received by the CPN and lodged with Births Deaths Marriages)

What happens if you were to get sick on my wedding day?

Anna – In the most unlikely scenario that I was too unwell to conduct your ceremony I would organise for a hand-over between myself and another local celebrant to ensure your wedding could take place.

I’m not so sure about writing my own vows, is this something you can help with? 

Stephanie –I am happy to assist in any way I can with your vows. I have lots of pre written vows you can choose from, I can write them for you based on information you give me or I can talk you through some ideas for your very own personal vows

Do we need to be in Australia for any length of time before the wedding to get married?

Stephanie –No, as long as you have lodged all your paperwork correctly, you do not have to have been in Australia for any particular length of time before the wedding.

What happens if it’s looking like rain?

Sarah – Rain rain go away – come again another day! Sadly it doesn’t always work like this and rain is something that could happen, so if you are having an outdoor ceremony I always suggest to my couples that they have considered this possibility and have a backup in place – such as your reception venue or a private house. Who wants to put all that effort into looking and feeling amazing only to have the weather change it – hence the backup plan. On the day if it rains we go into wet weather backup plan and a nominated person ( not the bride or groom) is responsible for contacting the guests and notifying them of the change of venue. 

Can I arrive to Port Douglas, fall in love and then get hitched Vegas style?

Anna  – Yes and no.  You can arrive in Port Douglas fall madly in love, lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage, spend a month enjoying being in love under the palm trees…then marry one month and one day after your Notice has been lodged.

Can same sex couples marry in Port Douglas?

Stephanie – Unfortunately same sex marriage is not yet legal in Australia. The Marriage Act is a Federal Law as as such must go through Parliament to be approved.

At this time Same Sex Civil Unions are now legal in Queensland and can be registered with BDM Queensland; however one of the parties must be a resident of Queensland and must provide documentation to prove this

We’ve decided to Elope, do we need witnesses? 

Sarah –Yes, you need two witnesses over 18 years of age, they need to speak English and appear to be sober. If it’s just the two of you then you can use your photographer, wedding co-ordinator or any of your other suppliers as witnesses – more than happy to help you with co-ordinating this. Other couples prefer to arrive and be in the moment and ask any willing people close by.

Can a celebrant still marry us in a church?

Anna – Absolutely. Port Douglas has several lovely chapels to offer, the most outstanding perhaps is St Mary’s by the Sea.

Can you help with other aspects of my wedding?

Stephanie – I am more than happy to assist in any way I can, I like to think I go the extra mile for every couple I work with, whether it is a large event involving many family and friends or an intimate elopement with just the two of you.

What if I fly in the day before and can’t meet you before the wedding? 

Sarah – A lot of couples who are eloping only fly in the night before or day of, so to make things simple I arrive at their accommodation prior to the agreed ceremony time and meet with them separately or together to finalise the legals which takes about 10 minutes.

Is a rehearsal necessary?

Stephanie – It is necessary to have a pre wedding meeting, to discuss paperwork and complete the Declaration prior to the wedding.

I usually suggest that this be combined with a rehearsal or walk through.

Having a rehearsal or walk through, allows everyone involved in the ceremony to see how things will run, where they will stand, what they will do and how they will act.

In addition it will bring up any questions which might not have arisen until just before the ceremony.

It will also allow the ceremony to look more seamless and professional.  

What can I expect to pay for a marriage celebrant? 

Anna – You can expect to pay somewhere between 500 and $1000, the Port Douglas celebrants all charge around $600

That’s seems a lot for an hour of your time? Not at all. After many emails, writing your ceremony, submitting paperwork to Births Deaths and Marriages, meeting you in person and a ceremony rehearsal, it works out to be great value for money. The show cannot go on without us:)

We can help you put together a beautiful tropical wedding in record time..  

Here’s a few suggestions:

(1) The law only requires 30 days notice – Win!  Download the notice of intention to marry here >>NOIM. All too hard? Your celebrant can take the reigns, here’s our wonderful Port Douglas Celebrants.

(2) Don’t start with a specific date, allow a little flexibility so we can put together your supplier team.  Don’t worry that there is not much time, just because it’s your first time planning, it’s not ours 😉  We assist brides daily and can help get you up and running in no time at all.  If you’re looking to book a public space, i.e. Sugar Wharf, Little Cove, Four mile Beach, Rex Smeal Park contact the Douglas Shire Council to secure a date… Call council on 07 40999444

(3) Avoid QLD school holidays to get better accommodation availability, though there is usually still something available…. Click here for dates

(4) Let go of Saturdays.  Weekday weddings are easy when you are on holidays. PLUS better rates often apply for weekdays.  If you need a weekend, try a Sunday or Friday. But who doesn’t need a mental health week in paradise eh?

(5) “But the venue I had in mind is booked”  See #4.  Never fear, Port Douglas and the surrounding region is full of beautiful wedding venues. From private luxury houses to modern spacious resorts, rainforests hideaways to halls and pubs.  Port Douglas is the hub of tropical weddings.  There is something that will suit your needs and budget.

(6) “But I’m worried I haven’t given my family friends enough notice” Don’t. It’s Port Douglas, not middle earth.  Cairns is a three and half hour flight from Melbourne, a bit less to Sydney and Adelaide and about 5 hours from Perth ( or 2 movies and four five G and T’s) From April to December our glorious weather is worth the flight anyway. If you haven’t already, sign up to the major domestic airlines or follow their social media accounts to nab a bargain…. As of today one of the major airlines was doing $99 Melbourne or Sydney to Cairns.

(7)  Your great Aunt twice removed might not make it due to short notice… A bad thing?

(8) Pinterest can be your worst and best friend. Try and write down a few ideas, colours, flowers you love before you log on. It’s amazing how quickly mushy pea brain (procrastination) sets in after a few days on planet Pinterest. #staytruetoyou

(9) As locals of 15 years in Port Douglas we find that there is some lovely weather in the ‘quiet’ months.  For example November is often spectacular and not as busy as the winter time.

(10) Wedding Planners can take all of this on with little stress to you. Please get in touch so we can connect you with our favourite planners.

For more email info@port douglas weddinglounge.com.au

 

Are you feeling the love yet? No? click here

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Team Lounge xx

 

 

Looking for a great holiday house that has room for kids and is just across the road from a great park and the beach?

Casablanca the Tropical house is quite exceptional.  The large house is situated on a generous size block with extensive gardens, a perfect space for a garden wedding, reception or party.  The house comfortably sleeps 11 but rollaways and cots are available.

The rooms are huge, it is very easy to separate guests ( adults/kids ) with the twin living rooms areas.

A glorious pool wraps around the living area.

The modern kitchen can easily be used by caterers for your special day.

Theming, Dj’s, florists, hair and makeup can all be organised to make your big day stress free.

A safe, friendly (often very quiet) playground is 100m down the road.  The beach is across the road. Solander Boulevard is a quiet, beach front street, dotted with upmarket properties.

In this location you are a 5 minute drive to town or 15 minute push bike ride.  QT is an easy stroll if you fancy a groovy bar atmosphere, or dining in the QT Bazaar foodarama.

It’s not easy travelling with kids, it often takes days to settle them into a new location.  Casa Blanca will make that transition easy for all involved.

Email us  – info@portdouglasweddinglounge.com.au  for more about the venue and weddings on site.

And when you need a break from the rugrats, see also Baby Sitters Port Douglas 😉
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