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Rachel loves Cham | Noosa River Wedding During a Global Pandemic

15th September 2020

Getting married during a global pandemic is not something anyone ever plans for, but Rachel and Cham worked through the challenges. They even say the planning set-backs made them more calm come the day.

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Rachel and Cham met at the end of year university trip to Coolum when they were both studying physiotherapy. They both now live and work in physiotherapy in Brisbane, and planned their wedding through a global pandemic.  Now they feel their wedding felt like such a gift and they’re grateful to have managed to make it happen.

A change of venue to Noosa Waterfront Restaurant & Bar compounded the challenge, but they took it in their stride and had an incredibly unique wedding day. Cham’s Sri Lankan culture was infused into the day, adding tons of colour to the celebration. 

Rachel has kindly shared the story of her wedding day on the Noosa River… 

Covid-related Wedding-planning Challenges

We finished work a week before the wedding. And then spent every day playing catch up with the newest restrictions – everything kept changing with every press conference that Scott Morrison held. We lost 26 guests (due to international or interstate travel, their health conditions or the risk involved). Our band cancelled the night before due to self-isolation. Our florist (my aunty) broke her wrist and had surgery 5 days before the wedding. Once we got to the day, nothing else could go wrong though.

The Best Thing About Our Wedding

We took a lot of time and put in a lot of effort to blend our two cultures and our traditions together. We really wanted it to be a “hybrid” wedding. I don’t think that there will ever be a wedding like ours again.

Images by Alan Hughes Photography 

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Sunshine Coast wedding venue guide

Stand-out Suppliers

It’s so hard to choose just one or two. Honestly, all of our suppliers were amazing. If I had to choose 1, it would definitely be Alan Hughes (photographer) – such a talented man who managed to capture the most amazing shots without feeling like he was bossing you around or even there. But we have amazing things to say about Lauren Montgomery (Makeup Artist), Ceri at Evalyn Parsons, The Noosa Waterfront Restaurant, The Catalina as well as Babushka Ballerina and InStitchu. And I know it doesn’t really count as a supplier but Culgoa Point Beach Resort is a hidden gem – it was the perfect wedding night accommodation!

Would We Change Anything? 

Not at all. Even the things that “went wrong” added so much character and so many stories to our day. Even with the Covid lead up, I think it made me more relaxed on the actual day. And now in hindsight, I can’t believe how lucky we were to actually get married.

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Picnic Proposal

We had gone on a holiday to Moreton Island and went to watch the sunset on the beach. It took us AGES to walk to this spot, but Cham had got a friend to set up a picnic rug, fairy lights and flowers in advance. So, with champagne in hand, he got down on one knee (I was still thinking “don’t get excited; this might not be it”) and asked me to marry him. Then we had some close friends come for the weekend to celebrate.

Why He’s The One 

Every single day is better when it has him in it. In his speech during the reception, Cham told this amazing story of when we went fishing and he was helping me to do something I didn’t know how to (he had no idea either) – he said he wanted to spend the rest of his life working it all out together. I can’t imagine going through life with anybody else.

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Wedding Secrets

Biggest Splurge: We had a car for just the two of us to drive away in (the Mustang). It was amazing to have 10 minutes to just ourselves after we said “I do” to let everything really sink in and before the rest of the celebrations. We had it for the next day too, so took a road trip to Montville and Maleny as well!

Best bargain: We had my maid of honour design our Save the Date’s and Invitations and had them printed – she did an absolutely amazing job and it was even more personal.

Bride’s dress: Babushka Ballerina

Headpiece: Twigs & Honey

Shoes: The Iconic

Groom’s suit: InStitchu

Tie: Otaa

Watch: TAG Heur

Shoes: Aquila

Bridesmaids’ dresses: Sasha Drake, Bec & Bridge, Cue, Aje

Bridesmaids’ accessories + shoes: Their own

Groomsmen’s suits: Politix

Ties: Otaa

DIY: Stationery + flowers

Honeymoon: We were supposed to go to Finland & Norway, but due to Covid we had 4 weeks in our new house putting together flatpacks instead.

Number of guests: 86 in the end. We lost 26 guests for Covid-related reasons.

Wedding budget: $40,000

Actual cost of wedding: Around $40,000

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Advice for Future Brides

Honestly, just be aware of what YOU need. I know that I’m a very emotional and anxious person, so I made sure that I had enough space and all of my comfort things around me. And rely on your fiancé – he was 100% my rock, even when he thought I was being a crazy bridezilla. You hopefully only do this once, so don’t settle for anything without a lot of thought.

Our Next Big Adventure 

We’ve already got a furbaby (Sully). Then hopefully travelling at some point. But for now, some local 4WDing and camping adventures.

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Photography: Alan Hughes Photography | Venue: Noosa Waterfront Restaurant & Bar | Cake: Bluesteel Bakehouse | Transport: Limousine – Wheels to Weddings, Mustang – Privately owned, Boat –  Catalina Noosa M.V.| Makeup artist: Makeup Artistry by Lauren | Hair: Evalyn Parsons | Styling: Splash Events | Band: First Summer | Dance instruction: Orchards Dance Studio | Gifts: Wishing well | Wedding night accommodation: Culgoa Point Beach Resort | Celebrant: The Celebrant Co., + Sri Lankan officiant

Thanks for supporting our A-list Vendors below, who helped Rachel + Cham celebrate their wedding during a global pandemic… 

ALAN HUGHESNOOSA WATERFRONTMAKEUP ARTISTRY BY LAURENEVALYN PARSONSSPLASH EVENTS

https://issuu.com/thebridestree/docs/winter_2020?fr=sZjEyZjQ3ODY5Ng