Country couple chose charity over a honeymoon
MADALYN and Jesse Barrett were one lucky couple who got to live out their dream wedding day and marry in a country style ceremony at the Old Hotel Eton in March last year.
Ms Barrett said the location was one held dear to their hearts, having met there at a B&S ball six years earlier.
"Years later we celebrated our ceremony and reception with 70 of our closest friends and family in the same place," she said.
"They travelled from as far as Melbourne, Boonah, the Sunshine Coast, Longreach and Townsville.
"The same weekend 30 years earlier my mother and father were married on my mother's family property in Tarome.
"We flew the same minister they had to Mackay to officiate at our ceremony and at the end of the ceremony we surprised my mum and dad with a vow renewal and butterfly release."
Ms Barrett said the couple both grew up in the country, which prompted them to pick their "country chic" theme.
"The day was absolutely perfect, with clear skies, and we were also extremely grateful that the hotel allowed us to include a few of our horses in the wedding," she said.
"My husband is from Ilfracombe, just outside of Longreach, and they were in severe drought at the time, which meant a lot of guests couldn't attend, so that was the only downfall.
"We decided instead of a honeymoon we would organise donations of bottled water that we then drove out with the kids to Ilfracombe for a weekend to deliver it.
"We ended up with just over 1.2tonnes and then took a delayed honeymoon to CMC Rocks country music festival after."
According to Ms Barrett, the most special moment in the ceremony was having the same minister as her parents and being able to include them with the vow renewal.
"Walking down the aisle also felt surreal," she said.
"Our relationship had been a very long road so to finally get to that day and have everything be even more spectacular then I could ever have imagined it just felt too good to be true.
"I also love all five of our perfect little family having the same surname now."
The couple gave special thanks to the Old Hotel Eton, Absolute Wedding and Events, Sweet Fields Photography, JRM Productions for videography, Candice Vella Cakes, DJ Lambster and their "amazing guests" for attending.