by Peter Carruthers
THE azure blue water of Pioneer Bay glittered in the afternoon light in what was a magical Whitsunday winter day for the Grandest Wedding Expo at Coral Sea Resort today.
The event was planned ahead of the touch down of Cyclone Debbie and a few wedding connected businesses were booked.
However, the cyclone hit small business suppliers hard and in doing their bit for the local wedding industry it was decided by the general manager of the Coral Sea Resort, Greg Waites, to bring in wedding traders free of charge.
Many prominent businesses got on board including Third Dimension Media, Brook Miles Photography, Big4 Adventure Park, Ocean Rafting and Tropix Photography.
Wedding event and sales manager at Coral Sea Resort, Sharon Gregory, said without local business the venue wouldn't have the wedding industry it currently does.
"It's a massive industry for us and a very large percentage of our business,” she said.
"We do a minimum of 85-100 weddings a year and during the peak season it's crazy here.”
Ms Gregory said the growing phenomenon of destination weddings, where by guests come and stay a while before or after the big day had boosted the industry in the Whitsundays.
"Instead of one day it turns into a multi day celebration and that is why people are really interested in doing destination wedding in the Whitsundays,” Ms Gregory said.
The afternoon concluded with a fashion parade by the pool at the Coral Sea Resort.