Mikaela Culvert and Phillip Sima. Picture: EeVee Photography
Mikaela Culvert and Phillip Sima. Picture: EeVee Photography

Gympie businesses rally to save couple’s big day

A GYMPIE bride says the community and local businesses have gone "above and beyond" to make sure she will have her dream wedding amid COVID-19.

Mikaela Calvert and Phillip Sima had been planning their wedding for almost a year when coronavirus restrictions hit, throwing everything into chaos.

But Ms Calvert said family, friends and local businesses have banded together to make sure the day goes ahead, with a few changes.

The couple, who were engaged in July last year, had always planned to hold the wedding on June 20, and decided to keep the same date despite restrictions.

"We weren't going to change it because of coronavirus," Ms Calvert said.

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She said the wedding ceremony will still take place at her grandfather's Mary Valley property, and her grandfather, a retired minister, will be marrying them.

The couple have had to scale back their guest list for the event, having originally planned to have an open ceremony for friends, family and clients, and a closed reception of about 60 at Chatsworth Hall.

Now, the ceremony will be limited to 20 guests - immediate family members, the maid of honour and the best man.

The reception, to be held at The Grand Old Lady, owned by a family friend, will be able to host 20 guests as well, including the original wedding party.

Ms Calvert said they will throw a second reception next year for their friends and family who missed the special day, as her partner had family in New Zealand and Melbourne who were unable to attend.

Mikaela Culvert and Phillip Sima’s wedding is going ahead despite COVID-19 thanks to the generosity of Gympie businesses. Picture: EeVee Photography
Mikaela Culvert and Phillip Sima’s wedding is going ahead despite COVID-19 thanks to the generosity of Gympie businesses. Picture: EeVee Photography

"It's been super stressful, but I want to give a shout out to everybody and the businesses that have helped me replan a wedding," she said.

"I want to give the biggest shout out to Sandy from Gympie Bridal and Formalwear."

Ms Calvert said Sandy immediately called her to see how she was, offered her a discount, and was "outstanding" in her efforts to make sure all her orders arrived before COVID restrictions delayed transport, of which she covered the cost.

"She really went above and beyond," Ms Calvert said.

"Jarrod from Beauty and the Beard was also really accommodating, he came on board and was really flexible."

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Ms Calvert, who works at Envy Hair Design and Spa, said the team there would be helping with her hair and makeup on the day.

She said some of her clients had also contributed decorations and one of them was making the couple's wedding cake.

"A local car club has also given us cars for transportation on the day at no cost which is nice of them," she said.

"And EeVee Photography, who took our engagement photos and will do our shoots for the wedding and both receptions, was really great."

"All of these businesses have been hit the hardest with weddings and events being cancelled and delayed, but they still came through for us," Ms Calvert said.

"They actually really care and supported me, and asked how I was coping.

"They weren't hounding me for money, some even gave me discounts."

A family friend will donate flowers which Ms Calvert's aunt will use to design bouquets.

The other businesses who have gone to great lengths to help out the happy couple are Berry Vintage, Made by Steph and Gympie Vintage and Rustic Event Hire.