Thursday, September 14, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
Love was in the air and the congregation were all wearing white on Sunday afternoon when Jill and Phil held a surprise wedding ceremony on the last day of the White on Whitehaven three-day event.
The silica sands were their aisle, and the soothing sounds of the waves were the wedding day music as local celebrant, Annie Lloyd-Lewis invited everyone to share in the love story which was broadcast by loudspeaker across the beach.
Guests and strangers flocked from near and far to witness the special moment and Jill said the whole day was “just magic!”
The couple, who are both in their 60’s, met online on the ‘Silver Singles’ dating app 18 months ago and Jill described their first date at a local café as a surreal moment where they “talked for hours”.
Having both been previously married, Phil divorced for over a decade and Jill a widower, the couple were elated to find love again.
Breaking tradition, Jill proposed to Phil and he immediately agreed, but secretly planned an intimate proposal of his own a few months later.
The couple wanted to have a small, intimate wedding and when they booked tickets to return to White on Whitehaven for the second year running, they decided to make it their wedding day.
With 10 invited guests and over 100 strangers present on the day, Jill and Phil surprised everyone with their wedding plans and, as the crowd gathered, each person was quick to celebrate the special occasion.
Annie Lloyd-Lewis officiated the ceremony, which was heartfelt, humorous and emotional, tears dusting the edges of many eyes.
And after the romantic kiss and declaration of ‘husband and wife’, the couple both stripped down to their swimmers and ran hand-in-hand into the sea.
A perfect Whitehaven Beach Wedding.
Photo credit: Rachael Smith and Bronte Hodge