weddings

Outback wedding showers joy on drought-stricken Queensland town.

A West Australian couple seeking a destination wedding have tied the knot in dusty outback Queensland, in a move to boost drought-stricken local businesses.

Cameron Miskovsky spent his childhood in Mount Isa, and Heidi Erkkila, now Miskovsky, grew up in Ingham near Townsville.

The pair have been living in Southern Cross, Western Australia, about four hours inland from Perth, for years.

After a four-and-a-half year engagement, the couple started searching for a location to cement their love.

“It was a destination wedding from the start — the destination was up for grabs, I suppose,” Mr Miskovsky said.

“We were obviously talking about all the coastal cities but for some reason Heidi just said Hughenden.”

Outback Couple in Hughenden, QLD. Image via ABC

Hughenden is located around 400 kilometres inland from the Queensland coastline.

It has one main street, two small schools, and a dwindling population of about 1,000 residents.

The town is also halfway between Townsville and Mount Isa, allowing the couple to meet, quite literally, in the middle.

But the motivation behind holding the wedding in Hughenden was more than just an easy location.

"We have lots of friends that have businesses here, and I think it does help especially with the economy and the drought," Mrs Miskovsky said.

Around 84 per cent of Queensland is drought-declared, with Hughenden recently farewelling its fourth failed wet season.

"With the drought, the blokes, and the people out here have been struggling," the groom said.

"Knowing a lot of people on the land you want to try and give back to that community somehow."

Keen to help the fraught outback town, the Miskovskys planned a wedding for 120, bringing people from all over Australia to their celebration.

"Spending all of that money we had for a wedding — instead of giving it to somebody in the city, somewhere out here seems a bit more deserving," he said.

Outback Bridal Party. Image via ABC
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Sherilee Honnery, the community services manager at Flinders Shire Council, said the weekend's nuptials have left the town buzzing.

"I think it's fantastic — I think it should happen more often," she said.

"It's going to be an injection into the community that's really needed at the moment."

Ms Honnery said the celebration would bring money and hope to a number of local businesses.

"The drought is always looked at as a grazier's side of it — I've been on the land, I understand that part of it — but once it starts affecting those graziers, it really starts affecting those small businesses as well."

Hughenden publican and wedding guest Robert Downie said the Miskovsky wedding is the first time his hotel has been booked out for years.

"There are 113 guests, so we're booked out. This is a special occasion," Mr Downie said.

Mr Downie said the lack of rain had impacted business.

"It's probably been about four years since we've had good rain, so we've definitely seen the gradual decline in the amount of people coming to the town, and the amount of people coming through the doors," he said. "It is probably at its lowest point now — hopefully it doesn't go any lower."

Mr Downie said despite the boost the wedding had brought to the town, Hughenden needed rain to keep going.

"This will help a little bit — we just have to keep going through the motions and try and pick up with the crowds, but we will obviously need a lot more than just this weekend to keep going," Mr Downie said.

Whatever the benefit, Mrs Miskovsky said she was filled with excitement to be Cameron's wife.

"We've known each other for four and a half years but it feels like longer, in a good way," she said.

"I just can't believe I'm marrying the true love of my life — it's corny but it's true," she said.

This post originally appeared on ABC News

 

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