How did you meet your partner? Ben and I grew up in Brisbane, shared similar social circles, frequented the same bars every weekend, but strangely never crossed paths. It wasn’t until our mid-20’s that we were set-up by a mutual friend, my then-housemate and Ben’s gym buddy, Trent Akhurst. After being introduced one night at the Port Office Hotel, we went on a few dates and as they say, the rest is history.
How long have you been together? 7 years
Do you have a proposal story? Ben and I were living in Hong Kong and were flying back home for Christmas. We arrived Christmas morning and spent the day at my parent’s home in Coolangatta. After lunch, a few members of Ben’s family popped over and we all decided to head down to the beach. We were walking along the beach in front of my parent’s home and, without knowing, just the two of us drifted away from the rest of the group. All of a sudden, Ben presented the engagement ring he was keeping in his pocket and proposed. After saying yes, I turned around to see our families smiling - they were all in on it. It’s funny, I always imagined that I would be proposed to overseas because I love to travel. But after living overseas, it was so much more meaningful to become engaged at home, in my favourite place in the world, surrounded by my favourite people.
What was your wedding date? 27th May, 2017
Ceremony and Reception Location? Kirra Hill Community Centre, Gold Coast
What made you choose there? We knew that we wanted an outdoor wedding by the ocean, a venue that was a blank slate, and one where we could have the ceremony and reception in one place. Kirra Hill Community Centre ticked all of the boxes. It was a bonus that the area has so much sentimental value to us. It is right across from where Ben proposed - you can actually see the exact spot from the venue. Plus, my parents live just down the road in Coolangatta and Ben and I have spent a lot of time there together over the years.
How did you find it? I found the venue by searching online.
How was the weather on the day? Perfect! Sunny with blue skies. We were very lucky. The weather report said to expect rain, but it managed to hold off. Thank god, because we didn’t have a Plan B.
Was there a reason you decided to get married on this date? This particular date doesn’t have significance, but we chose May because it is typically perfect weather for an outdoor wedding; not too hot, with less chance of rain.
The Wedding Details
Theme? The theme for our wedding was ocean-inspired. Kirra Hill Community Centre, our venue, is situated on a hill right by the ocean, so we wanted to keep styling to a minimal to not detract from the beautiful view. Plus, there are stunning blue and pink sunsets at that time of year! To add to the ocean-inspired theme, we had a colour palette of white and silver, with shades of blue. This came through in the bridal parties attire, with the bridesmaids wearing different shades of blue with silver jewellery, and the groomsmen wearing navy suit jackets. In the finer details, both Ben and I wore pearls; earrings for me and cufflinks for him. We opted for a cocktail style wedding where roaming canapés were served throughout the night. The menu featured lots of sea food, such as Rockerfeller Mornay Oysters, Seared Scallops, Barramundi Spring Rolls, and Katafi Prawns, and was accompanied by local beer Stone & Wood and a selection of wines from the Margaret River. For flowers we chose a simple colour palette of white and green, with hints of antique pink, and featured garden, cottage and avalanche roses, with lisianthus and sweet pea. We also featured seaholly in the groomsmen’s boutonnieres and Mother of the Bride and Groom corsages. A hanging greenery chandelier was installed from the center of the tipi. To suit the coastal theme, we hired a vintage Kombi as our wedding transportation. It was so much fun riding together with the bridal party to our bridal photoshoot location, with picnic in tow. It was also a personal touch since my family has owned vintage Kombis and Ben and I would often drive them to holiday in nearby Byron Bay.
Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? I drew a lot of inspiration from Instagram and The Lane.
Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What?
Thank You Cards - We hand-made Thank You Cards for our guests, which were handed out during our reception. Each card came in a dip-dyed envelope, with a personal message inside. We had 155 guests, and we knew it would be hard to spend quality time with each and every person, so it was a nice way for us to express our appreciation for being there.
Colouring Books - I designed custom colouring books for our young guests. Ben and I have our own mindfulness adult colouring books, and I designed them in the same style, which was a nice way to add something personal about us.
Flower Ice-Cubes - My Mum made flower ice-cubes for our Champagne tubs for the morning of the wedding. It was such a beautiful touch.
Bridesmaids – who/relationship? Kimberley Cotterill (Maid of Honour and Sister), Alana Butters, Alyce More, Hayley Adcock and Nicole Manning (my best friends)
Groomsmen – who/relationship? Michael Bielby and Tim Pearson (Joint Best Men), Matt Volk (friend), Jordan Hall (Brother), Daniel Cruse (Cousin)
Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship? Lucy, Toby and Rosy Axford (Ben’s nieces and nephew).
Wedding Gown (the most important part!)
Krystle looked stunning in our sequin 'Nerada' gown from the KWH by Karen Willis Holmes collection.
What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I had always loved Karen Willis Holmes dresses, but Ben and I were living in Hong Kong at the time, so at first, I tried finding a dress there. After months of looking and not finding anything I liked, on a trip home to Brisbane I made an appointment at the Karen Willis Holmes Brisbane and found THE dress immediately.
How many gowns did you try? The 'Nerada' was the first dress I tried on and I knew it was the one. I tried on a handful more just to be sure.
What did you especially like about your gown? Although from a distance, the dress is quite simple, the delicate beading along the neckline made it so special and unique. I felt so beautiful in it, and when I stood in the sun, the sequins sparkled in the light.
Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? The bridesmaids chose their own dresses in different shades of blue. I loved that they could each chose a dress that they felt beautiful in.
Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? The fabric for Ben's suit was from Alla Moda in the Brisbane Emporium, which was given to him as a gift by his family. He had the fabric tailored into a suit in Hong Kong. The groomsmen wore their own navy suit jackets with tan-coloured chinos.
What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I wore simple pearl and silver earrings from Samantha Wills and a bracelet that my parents had given me as a gift many years ago. For my bag, I had a blush The Daily Edit clutch which my bridesmaids gifted to me, and has my new initials, KH, foil-stamped on it. My bridesmaids wore pressed silver earrings which were designed by my friend’s label, Angelina Alvarez.
Where did you get your shoes from? Steve Madden
Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? I wore a beautiful single tier tulle veil, also from Karen Willis Holmes.
What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Be organized and don’t leave anything to the last minute. Ben and I flew into the Gold Coast a few days before the wedding and still had a number things to finalise. But we were so excited to be home and to be surrounded by friends and family that we completely forgot about all of those last minute things. Whoops! So, my advice is to not leave anything to the last minute so that you can truly enjoy the days leading up to the wedding. The wedding day goes so fast that it's important to enjoy all of the little moments in the days before and after.
Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day?
Wishing Well - As we live overseas, it would have been a logistical nightmare transporting wedding gifts back to Singapore, so we opted for a Wishing Well instead. With the money that was gifted to us, we bought a beautiful, little Cavoodle puppy and named her Kirra, after the location of our wedding. It is lovely for our guests to know that their gift will bring so much love and joy to our growing family over many years to come.
Photographer and Videographer – Lucas & Co Photography
Florist – Coco & Confetti
Music – Daryl Murphy
First Dance – 'You’ve Got the Love' by Florence and the Machine
MC – Trent Akhurst and Tom Gibson, good friends of ours
Celebrant – Chiquita Mitchell
Stationery – DIY
Menu – Cocktail Style Roaming Canapés by Catering by Clancy
Hair – AVIA Beauty
Make-Up – Ginelle Dale Creative
Wedding Bands –
Groom’s – Cartier,
Bride's – David Tabernacle
Tipi & Lighting – Gold Coast Tipis
On the Day Co-ordination – The Events Lounge
Wedding Car – Vintage Wagens