Bush wedding creates national buzz
WHO knew a small-town wedding could cause such a fuss?
West Australian couple Cameron Miskovsky and Heidi Erkkila decided to get married in Hughenden, an outback town in central Queensland.
One of Cameron's best friends happens to be a publican there, but the newlyweds picked the townships as their ceremony location for another reason: they wanted to support a community ravished by drought.
What started as a humble act of goodwill has snowballed, as national media has reported on the event and social media has erupted in praise for two Aussies doing something to help those enduring an economic downturn driven by drought.
Cameron and Heidi have already jetted off to their honeymoon in Japan, but the town is still buzzing from the success of the wedding.
Rob Downie, who is one of Cameron's school friends and groomsman, works in his family's business running two of Hughenden's pubs, The Great Western Hotel and the Royal Hotel, said the ceremony created an economic boost.
"We were fully booked out here, but people also stayed at the caravan park and the Rest Easi Motel," he said.
"I know the FJ Holden Café was flat out over the weekend as well. And the bakery had quite a few people go through.
"It made a huge difference."
Rob has lived in Hughenden for five years.
He loves the people and the community spirit but said the town was doing it hard.
"We haven't had decent rain in four years," he said.
"The people on properties are not spending as much in town because they don't know the next time it will rain.
"Then there are all the ripple on effects.
"We used to get road crews coming through to fix the highway after rain, but they haven't had to do that in a while."
The couple's wedding photographer, Sarah Bacon, who operates under the business name Sarah Jay images, was rapt to see so much interest generated from the wedding.
"With both of them, doing this, it obviously came from the heart," she said.
"The both wanted to support a town that is, well, struggling."
Cameron and Heidi have lived in Southern Cross in Western Australia for some time, but both grew up in Queensland.
Cameron in Mt Isa, then Townsville and Heidi in Ingham. Although both now live out of state, they still have a strong connection to friends and family in rural Queensland.
Nowadays most of Sarah's work is done in Townsville, but she said there was nothing better than capturing a bush wedding.
She is a country girl herself, growing up in Dalby, so rural photograph is right up her ally.
"I just loved this wedding, it was probably one of my dream shoots," she said.
"It's such a gorgeous location and you get amazing sunsets out there."
With the help of the local council's bus, the wedding party travelled around the small town to take photos in front of iconic Hughenden sites.
The big dinosaur in town was used for a lively group shot.
Apparently the couple have fond memories of the fibre-glass Muttaburrasaurus.
"Not only is it just a beautiful location but the town and the people there are so supportive and community minded. They are just good-old country people," Sarah said.
"I really hope more people realise that they can have amazing weddings that don't have to cost them the earth. You can have a location that's a little bit different. It doesn't have to just be your normal run-of-the-mill wedding."