The state of Queensland in Australia has now passed legislation to officially recognise the civil partnership of same-sex couples. It is a move that opens up the state to the potential for hosting civil ceremonies for UK couples keen to make their commitment official in Queensland.
With over 300 days of sunshine every year, UK couples considering travelling to the state for a civil partnership ceremony have plenty of options to choose from. With the beautiful beaches, World Heritage listed rainforest, hot air ballooning, and the famous Great Barrier Reef, there are endless possibilities for sharing vows and creating timeless memories in Queensland.
Enjoy an underwater ceremony
Queensland is home to a marine eco system rich in fish, corals, molluscs and sponges, alongside the coast’s larger inhabitants like dolphins, turtles and humpback whales during the migration season. To enjoy a wedding ceremony with a few unexpected, colourful guests, Palm Cove Weddings (www.palmcoveweddings.com) offers the opportunity to sail out on a private charter catamaran to the Great Barrier Reef for a two-hour trip, starting from their departure point at Cairns at 8:00am, one of the entry points to the reef in the Tropical North of Queensland.
The lucky couple will then be able to enjoy a snorkelling or diving session before the ceremony takes place underwater, complete with waterproof certificate, returning to the port mid-morning.
The ceremony costs £2,771 ($4250 AUD) and includes dive gear complete with an underwater communication system (so no excuse about not hearing the vows). It is then advised that the reception is held on dry land, with a wide variety of restaurants and hotels to select from.