Our city comes to rescue for Pacific Jewel wedding
GLADSTONE is the place for lovers today with cruise ship Pacific Jewel set to host a hastily rearranged wedding in the port city.
Christine Drennan and Matthew Moore were due to tie the knot on Mooloolaba Beach yesterday but had their plans sunk due to unfavourable weather conditions.
Mooloolaba's loss is Gladstone's gain with the happy couple, who had to settle for an on-board commitment ceremony due to the ship's captain not being a registered celebrant, getting legally married on the Pacific Jewel at 11.30am this morning.
A CRUISE ship has saved a couple's dream Mooloolaba wedding by becoming the love boat.
P&O's David Jones contacted the Daily after reading that Christine Drennan and Matthew Moore's wedding plans had hit troubled waters.
The couple had planned a Mooloolaba foreshore wedding yesterday, but had to be cancelled because bad weather prevented their cruise ship from being able to dock off the Coast.
So the cruise liner, which had no idea what the couple's plans were until reading about them, pulled out all the stops to make their day super special anyway.
Mr Jones said the "hero of the hour" was the Pacific Jewel's hotel director Melissa Yates who "put her own save the wedding mission in place".
"She organised a commitment ceremony led by the captain, arranged a wedding cake and arrange a wedding feast," Mr Jones said.
And all this was done in the space of a couple of hours.
At 4.30pm Wednesday afternoon, hours after their long-planned ceremony in Mooloolaba was supposed to be held, Ms Drennan was able to don her wedding dress and say "I do" in front of the couples 22 guests at the ship's waterfront restaurant.
Meanwhile on land P&O was working feverishly to do what it could to make the wedding legal.
Mr Jones said the ship's captain, Otty Ghoshroy, was not registered as a celebrant.
This meant they could be married in "everything but paper" on-board the ship, while P&O organised the rest.
Mr Jones was trying to arrange with the couple's planned celebrant of their Mooloolaba wedding, Gail Evans, for the official part of the proceedings to take place in Gladstone.
But when he realised it wasn't a simple case of emailing all the papers to another celebrant in Gladstone, a dynamic alternative was decided on.
P&O arranged to fly Ms Evans up to Gladstone this morning so she could preside over the couple's ceremony in person.
Gladstone Tourism is also working behind the scenes to make sure the couple are given red-carpet treatment when the cruise ship finally docks today.
"The head of tourism will be looking after it all and ensuring Ms Evans gets back on the plane by 2pm," Mr Jones said.
Thankfully there is no chance bad weather will foil the plans again in Gladstone.
Mr Jones said the ship was always able to dock at this port.
- with Kathy Sundstrom