ABOUT THE WEDDING
Picture a small tropical island hidden south of the Great Barrier Reef with balmy weather all year round surrounded by coral reefs. Seventeen white sand beaches frame the island’s clear waters inviting frequent visits from the local marine life. You and your best girl visit regularly for 5 years and it becomes your secret getaway spot. If you ever get married it’s the only place you would want your wedding. So you propose and start planning, excited to bring your closest loved ones to your favourite place, a little break from the harsh Sydney winter.
You spend the year planning and face the usual logistical challenges of a destination wedding. The plans begin to weave together beautifully and anticipation builds for what is shaping up to be a dream island wedding. You’ll get married at The Spit where two adjoining beaches meet. The reception will be down by the water, lit with delicate tea lights. You style the wedding in gorgeous teals and blues to complement the clear ocean waters.
The week of the wedding arrives and over a hundred friends and family from around the world begin to arrive on the island, including your 90 year old nonna and your cousins from Italy. Even your fellow musician friend from Argentina made the journey.You’re so excited but concerns grow around rumours of bad weather. A freak storm kicks in and heavy rain descends upon the island. Each day you wake up and watch as each of your well laid plans crumble apart and you frantically scramble to make alternative arrangements.
The day of the wedding arrives and the storms level up; 50 centimetres of rain, the most the island has seen in 22 years. The rain is unrelenting and gets more severe by the hour. You look around and it’s pretty much confirmed that your tropical beachside wedding is definitely no more. High tide has swallowed what would have been your ceremony and reception spot. Severe 45km/hr winds have your guests hiding indoors. Thousands of dollars’ worth of flowers are cancelled as it becomes impossible to transport them from the mainland. Flights and ferries are stopped due to treacherous waters and some of your travelling guests are stranded.
Yet you still remember your wedding as the best day ever. The day when your friends and family rallied together to throw you the greatest party of your life. Your friends braved the weather to pick native flowers from the island and fashioned them into reception table decorations. The band made up of your closest friends played long into the early hours. The makeshift shelter constructed by the venue shielded everyone from the weather. Your loved ones were buzzing with an electric joy despite the bitter cold. Most importantly, the girl you married stood by your side the entire time, casting off the tradition of a pampered bride and choosing instead to run around and ensure people were safe and comfortable. The surrounding chaos only served to emphasise what a beautiful spirit she is.
Part 1 features Kaitlin and Rob's pre-wedding portrait session by the beach on the day prior to the wedding. This was only made possible by a brief half hour reprieve from the storm that had plagued the island the past week. A mere few seconds of sunshine burst through that afternoon (and you will see Rob celebrating this with a literal fist pump in their air). Rob is an exceptionally talented drummer from the band EX-CASSETTE and performed with his bandmates that night for all his guests (their extremely cool Indie Pop tunes can be found here) .
The wedding day came along and Mother Nature unleashed the worst of the storm on the day. Every well thought out detail and plan had to be cancelled, reworked in the morning and in the end the beachside wedding and reception was brought under a makeshift venue to shelter everyone from the chaos happening outside. The last day of the trip came along and a gentle sense of calm swept through the island as everyone prepared to return home. This was perhaps one of the more unforgettable destination weddings that was a true example of the best laid plans falling apart. But as long as you have your best girl or guy, your beloved family, your best friends, a beaming joyous spirit - that's honestly what truly matters. Rob and Kaitlin were such a true reflection of this: while an entire year’s worth of planning disintegrated with the storm, what we witnessed were two beautiful humans who were crazy in love with one another, putting their own comfort aside, running around making sure everyone else were safe and well. You're warmly invited to visit Part 2 here.
A very big thank you to the staff at Great Keppel Island Hideaway.
The beautiful ceremony was officiated by Adam Rodriguez.
Videography by the wonderful James and Ryan from Anchored Cinema.