Mem­o­ries to last a life­time

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS -

NOT all new­ly­weds can say they’ve sailed into the sun­set, but that is ex­actly what Joshua Starr and Joshua Break­well did to round off their $50K Whit­sun­day wed­ding give­away.

The Joshuas won their wed­ding in a com­pe­ti­tion launched by 16 Whit­sun­day wed­ding sup­pli­ers in hon­our of mar­riage equal­ity.

They were mar­ried at Par­adise Cove Re­sort on Au­gust 3 in the re­gion’s largest same sex wed­ding to date.

Their story cat­a­pulted the Whit­sun­days into the na­tional spot­light and also caught the eye of lo­cal ‘bare­boat’ com­pany Sun­sail Whit­sun­days, who gifted them a five-night hon­ey­moon char­ter as the ic­ing to an al­ready per­fect wed­ding cake.

“Sun­sail Whit­sun­days just couldn’t let the Joshuas leave the Whit­sun­days with­out giv­ing them the op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence ev­ery­thing the re­gion has to of­fer – in par­tic­u­lar the unique and in­cred­i­bly spe­cial ex­pe­ri­ence of a bare­boat char­ter,” sales and mar­ket­ing man­ager Stephanie Gale said.

The Joshuas did all these things and more, start­ing their hon­ey­moon with a snorkel at False Nara In­let in some of the best coral they had ever seen.

They bush­walked on Whit­sun­day Is­land, hired a golf buggy on Hamil­ton Is­land, vis­ited abo­rig­i­nal rock art on Hook Is­land, and spent a night at an­chor off world-fa­mous White­haven Beach.

Their wildlife en­coun­ters in­cluded tur­tles, whales and even a manta ray.

Back on dry land, Joshua Break­well said this had been an ex­pe­ri­ence like no other and the per­fect end to their fairy­tale wed­ding.

“After the day-trip­pers had gone home and it was just us – that was in­cred­i­ble,” he said.

“We saw the sun­set from every an­gle and at night we could stargaze – com­plete with the com­forts of home on our own boat.”

Jess Lawrence from the Wed­ding Plan­ners Whit­sun­days and peak in­dus­try group Wed­dingsWhit­sun­days.com said hav­ing Sun­sail Whit­sun­days come aboard the wed­ding give­away had been fan­tas­tic for the Joshuas, the wed­ding in­dus­try, and the re­gion.

“I think Sun­sail sees the pos­si­bil­i­ties for wed­dings in the Whit­sun­days and how they fit into that, which is a mes­sage we’ve been try­ing to get across to all lo­cal busi­nesses,” she said.

“The re­gion ben­e­fits from wed­dings be­cause ul­ti­mately we are such a great wed­ding and hon­ey­moon des­ti­na­tion, so every­body wins.”

Tourism Whit­sun­days gen­eral man­ager Tash Wheeler said through­out the Joshuas’ wed­ding cam­paign, in­di­vid­ual busi­nesses and in­dus­tries had worked col­lab­o­ra­tively to pro­file the des­ti­na­tion.

“We’ve seen the pro­mo­tion of the Whit­sun­day wed­ding in­dus­try, our bare­boat­ing ex­pe­ri­ences – and even the Whit­sun­day food scene thanks to celebrity wed­ding guests Carly and Tresne from Chan­nel 7’s MKR,” she said. “There is ab­so­lutely no doubt now that the Whit­sun­days is the wed­ding and hon­ey­moon heart of Aus­tralia, where des­ti­na­tion wed­dings are open to ev­ery­one.”

Re­flect­ing on their big day, Joshua Starr said there were no words for what the peo­ple of the Whit­sun­days, and in par­tic­u­lar the con­tribut­ing wed­ding sup­pli­ers, had done for the new­ly­weds.

“We don’t know where to start to thank them,” he said. “It’ll go down in his­tory with all our friends and fam­ily as the best wed­ding any­one’s ever been to – and we’ve formed life­long re­la­tion­ships with these peo­ple now.”

The cou­ple took a camper­van road trip home to New­cas­tle to be­gin their mar­ried life.

PHOTO: PHILL GOR­DON/RIPTIDE CRE­ATIVE

WHAT A WED­DING: The Joshuas sail on their hon­ey­moon in the Whit­sun­days.

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