First of 12 RSVP’s received

Carly Saunders and Tresne Middleton are the first of a potential 12 celebrity guests to say ‘yes’ to attending the largest same sex wedding the Whitsunday region has seen to date.

Known as the ‘positive pair’ from the 2014 series of Channel Seven’s MKR, Carly and Tresne were formally invited to the wedding of Joshua Breakwell and Joshua Starr via a video broadcast from Paradise Cove Resort on May 12.

As winners of a $50,000 Whitsunday wedding giveaway to celebrate marriage equality Australia-wide, the two Joshua’s have opened their wedding to some special guests.

“Anthony Callea, you had to travel to New Zealand to marry Tim Campbell so you of all people know how much this means,” they said.

“And Carly and Tresne – our friends from MKR – you also had to marry overseas and deserve to celebrate this with us.”

Photo courtesy of Tropix Photography

Carly and Tresne, who met in 2005 through a mutual friend, went public about their relationship during the airing of MKR.

Although already united through a commitment ceremony, they had always felt this wasn’t enough.

“It was really important for us to have that piece of paper,” Carly said.

“At the commitment ceremony they made it clear this wasn’t legal and it kind of puts a dampener on the whole thing; you feel like second-class citizens.”

After finally marrying in New Zealand, the couple, who now run a business called ‘The Happiness Mission’, dedicated to helping young people flourish through positive psychology and education workshops, described themselves as “ridiculously grateful” for Australia’s change of heart on same sex marriage.

“There was a lot of nasty stuff out there on both sides of the campaign and a lot of people were struggling with that, so when it finally passed people could put that to bed,” Tresne said.

The Joshua’s Whitsunday wedding on August 3 will be the first same sex marriage Carly and Tresne have had the privilege to attend.

Having crossed paths with the Joshua’s on several occasions in their hometown of Newcastle, Carly said they were honoured to have made the guest list.

“I think they’re going to make the most beautiful husbands – they’re just gorgeous,” she said.

Photo courtesy of Tropix Photography

For the Joshua’s having Carly and Tresne attend is the icing on the cake.

“Josh and I have looked up to these two love birds for a while now; they have gone from strength to strength personally and professionally since MKR, overcoming many challenges and working hard to establish The Happiness Mission,” Joshua Breakwell said.

“They deserve a little getaway and a mojito or three to celebrate the difference they’ve made in the lives of gay people all over Australia and especially young women.”

Brooke Ogden from the not-for-profit group Weddings Whitsundays said she was thrilled that Carly and Tresne had accepted the invitation.

“As a region we can’t wait to show them how wonderful our Whitsunday weddings are,” she said.

Speaking on behalf of the 16 suppliers giving their services free of charge to make the Joshua’s wedding dream come true, Jess Lawrence from the Wedding Planners Whitsundays said she was pleased with the part the region was playing in welcoming same sex couples.

“I think this can mean the world,” she said.

“It will completely catapult the Whitsundays into a market we haven’t been able to reach before.

“Here we are in this beautiful destination and now everyone can come here and get married regardless of who they love.

“We will now be reminding all the other special guests the Joshua’s have invited to get behind this, check their calendars and come for a visit.”

The Joshua’s are still awaiting RSVP’s from Magda Szubanski, Penny Wong, Anthony Callea, Em Rusciano, Delta Goodrem, Jessica Mauboy, Ricki-Lee, Karl Stefanovic, Gina Liano and Gamble Breaux.

To keep up to date as the wedding plans unfold, follow The Wedding Planners Whitsundays and Paradise Cove Whitsundays on Facebook and Instagram.