NEWELL Beach local Kate Bellman became a celebrant in mid-2018 after a few people pointed out it would a great fit for her, and it appears they were right.

“I love the wedding industry and being a celebrant. It is such a happy place, working with couples at such a special time in their lives,” she said.

Being appointed by the Attorney General’s Office as an Authorised Civil Celebrant in 2018, Kate came in to the local wedding industry with fresh eyes and new ideas.

Based in Port Douglas, she also offers marriage ceremonies for areas such as Palm Cove, Cairns, Atherton and surrounds.

Kate said COVID-19 threw a spanner in the works but was lucky in that she had no cancellations and did not have to provide any refunds.

“I had seven out of 18 couples postpone and five are still hanging on, waiting for interstate border restrictions to be lifted before re-booking,” she said.

“One couple went ahead with five people at their ceremony and one has re-booked for next year.

Kate adapted to the social distancing requirements by meeting couples via video.

“I still met a few couples face to face, but no longer at café over a coffee, and I always carried my hand sanitiser!!.”

Kate has generously offered couples who went ahead with limited guests to perform a commitment ceremony when the restrictions lift and they can have the big party.

“So I may be busy next year, but working for free in some cases. I thought this was important though, as it’s no one’s fault they can’t have the wedding they dreamed of.

Kate has lived in Port Douglas for her entire adult life and explains why it is important to support for us to support local businesses.

“I am friends with many of the owners of small businesses. Without the support of each other, what’s left?

Kate believes that businesses able to adapt and offer services deserve our commitment.

“Zinc Restaurant delivering to Newell Beach and throwing in two beers – yes please!

“Duke’s Doughnuts and Grant’s St Kitchen delivering weekly to Scomazzons Farm Shop – yes please!

“Malone’s Butcher delivering to Newell Beach – yes please!”

Although the virus shook up our whole world, Kate said the positive is how we managed it as a community.

“Everyone I’ve come into “socially distanced” contact with has been respectful and friendly.

“The teachers I know, especially at Miallo State School deserve everything and more. Changing to online learning, still teaching their own kids plus mine and more whilst remaining positive…WOW!

Kate believes the main reason she is coping well throughout this whole shut down is that as a tradesman, her carpenter husband Tim is still working, and is still in demand.

“It has meant that even though my earnings have dropped in  the short term, his has remained constant.

“This means we haven’t had to apply for the job keeper/seeker incentives or line up at Centrelink.

“In terms of mental health, loss of his wage would have taken an huge toll and I’m glad we were spared that.

If you have family or friends looking to tie the knot, tell them to check out Blessings By Kate Bellman.

Are you a business owner with a story to tell?

Email Douglas Shire Council at media@douglas.qld.gov.au to make sure your story is heard.

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