360Q hosts a #cyclonewedding

A Melbourne couple whose hopes of a dream beach wedding in Hamilton Island were crushed by Cyclone Debbie have successfully re-created their big day at Queenscliff.

A week before their big day, Jo and Daniel Leeson were told that storm damage and flight cancellations meant their April 7 nuptials couldn’t take place as planned.
“There were a few tears but then we just got on with making another plan,” said Jo. “We wanted to keep the date at April 7 because we had family from Ireland travelling out here. We thought it would be nice for the Irish to have a holiday in Queensland.

“It was either a case of feel sorry for ourselves and not do it or plaster a smile on and get working on the wedding.”

The pair found a wedding planner, Weddings of Distinction, and began to come up with Plan B.

“We had planned the wedding for 12 months, and we basically had to do it all again in 7 days,” Daniel said. “Because it was in a different state everything had to change – the ceremony location, hair and makeup team, the DJ and entertainment, the flowers, the priest as well as the venue and catering.”

They inspected alternate venues around Melbourne – one in St Kilda, several on the Great Ocean Road, and 360Q in Queenscliff.

“We called ahead to 360Q and said, ‘Can you do a wedding on Friday night?’ and the staff said to talk to the owner Barry, who was there,” said Daniel. “We arrived about 20 minutes later and met with Barry and as soon as he took us upstairs and we saw the room, we decided then and there that was going to be the venue. We didn’t look at any others.

“We basically wanted to bring Hamilton Island to Melbourne so we wanted a quieter coastal spot like that. And the view at 360Q was amazing.”
The couple had planned to have pre-reception canapes and cocktails on a deck at Hamilton Island, so they asked if there was a way to do that at 360Q.

“Barry showed us the observation tower and said we’ll do canapes and cocktails up here and we thought, that’s perfect,” he said. We couldn’t have asked for any better.”
Jo said it was all systems go as soon as they chose 360Q as the venue.

“Barry basically swung into action to propose a great menu and went out of his way to do things he didn’t have to, like organise a permit for us to get married on the beach at Queenscliff,” she said.

“It was the most perfect wedding we could have dreamed of – I’d say it was even better than the one we had planned in Hamilton Island. Everyone was blown away by the food and the venue.”

360Q owner Barry said he was thrilled to be able to create an amazing event for Jo and Daniel despite the tight deadlines.
“The cyclone was so unexpected and it obviously threw all their plans into chaos,” he said. “I was determined to make sure it all went as smoothly as possible for them to help make up for the drama.

“The observation tower at 360Q really is the best spot for the bridal party to entertain their guests with some champers before the main reception. The night went exceptionally well and I am very proud of my staff for making it so special for Jo and Daniel.”

Jo and Daniel and their 70 guests feasted on canapes including scallops with smoked pineapple, homemade sausage rolls, pizzetta of slow roasted tomato, cheddar and caramelised onion and duck fritters w cherry & blackberry chutney. Entrees were either a banh xeo of pork belly w island salad or coconut crusted prawns w mango chutney mayonnaise while mains were either Sri Lankan basted rack of lamb with pilaf of rice, broccolini and jus or zatar roasted chicken with pomegranate pearls, leafy parsley and persian fetta. The grazing dessert platters offered Lemon meringue pies, chocolate lamingtonettes, mini pavlovas with fresh raspberry and double cream, white chocolate mousse and mini banoffee pies.

The pair have kept a great sense of humour during the last few weeks and even created their own hashtag for social media posts by themselves and guests – #cyclonewedding.

But the irony was that their recovery party hosted at a park back in Melbourne last weekend was interrupted by another storm.
“We had the marquee, the food and the barbecues set up and the clouds came over and started thundering, so we packed it all up and went to my dad’s and set it up,” said Daniel. “We got chased out by the rain again!”

The upstairs function space at 360Q can host 150 guests and offers exceptional views over Queenscliff Marina and Port Phillip Bay. The observation tower offers even more spectacular 360-degree views and is a perfect spot for bridal party photos and champagne for guests. We offer formal sit-down wedding receptions or cocktail-style events from $95pp. Our function space is also often used for significant birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, engagement parties and corporate events. Call 5257 4200 or email enquiries@360q.com.au for more details.

Pics courtesy Barry Iddles and @chrisiibee