Our first meeting was quite formal – we shook hands in the offices of Wolter Consulting Group in 2014.  Kim was new and being introduced to the wider team. Our first few interactions were probably rather uneventful, but nice nonetheless. I think the work Christmas party rolled around about 1 month later and turns out that after a couple of gin & tonics, Kim’s pretty funny. 

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…

Kim- I grew up in Yeppoon, North Queensland and moved to Brisbane with my family to finish off high school and attend university. I currently work as an urban planner in Brisbane. If I were to describe myself, I would say I absolutely love the outdoors, am obsessed with our little dog ‘Poppy’ and am always running late (to which Al can attest to and which was no exception on our wedding day).

Al- I hail from Townsville, North Queensland. I moved to Brisbane in 2007 to study Town Planning at UQ with the thought of returning ‘home’ at the end of the degree.  Life got in the way of that, and I took a full-time job after university and am still here in Brisbane to this day.  I wouldn’t say I’m a big ‘hobbies’ person, but certainly enjoy being able to travel and head overseas and am an avid sports fan. I’m never too far from playing or watching something.  Family has always played a big part of my life, so the ‘get-togethers’ are never far apart, especially since the nieces and nephews arrived.

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?

Kim- We first met in late October 2014. It was my first day as a town planner at a company Alistair had been working at for quite some time. I was still studying so only worked one day a week at the company. Up until December, he was a kind face which I would pass in the hallway with only a little ‘hello’ here and there. It wasn’t until the company Christmas party that we both had the opportunity to really take notice of each other. I still remember he was wearing a little polka dot pocket square.

The first official meeting was all a bit of a whirlwind as I was being introduced to whole bunch of people on my first day of a new job, so I’m going to defer to what ran through my mind at the company Christmas party. My first thoughts were that I loved his big smile, and he did a good job pulling off a suit!

Al-Our first meeting was quite formal – we shook hands in the offices of Wolter Consulting Group in 2014.  Kim was new and being introduced to the wider team.  Our first few interactions were probably rather uneventful, but nice nonetheless.   I think the work Christmas party rolled around at the end about 1 month later and turns out that after a couple of gin & tonics, Kim’s pretty funny. 

In terms of first impressions, I’d like to say it was an instant connection, but it was very early on a work morning!  As far as what I remember, she was very attractive and engaging – an instant red flag for work colleagues (jokes).

When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with?

Kim-From very early on, no matter what it was we were doing, I had always felt like I was home. Despite all the bumps and challenges we went through (and am sure we will go through) this feeling never changed. It was also a combination of all the little moments I experienced with him or observed. It was the moments I would see him with his family, and how he loved and valued them; the times he would get me chocolate almonds from the grocery store without asking; and all the times he would just listen while I ramble on talking a million miles an hour.

Al-I don’t know if there was a specific moment. I’ve always known she was pretty special.  We had a small time apart (brain-fart on my behalf), and that probably made me realise just how good our relationship was and that I wanted to share my life with her.  She’s been amazing support over the last 18 months in weathering a bit of rough health news, so that was the clincher.    

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…

Kim-It was 6 August 2020, and we were on a little holiday at a place called Crystal Creek (northern NSW). We were staying in a beautiful rainforest suite which was isolated from any other people, and had glass walls to admire the nature surrounding us. We woke up early to go on what I thought was just a standard morning stroll. We had been on many hikes before, but this mountain was STEEP. We were about 3/4 of the way up when I said ‘I don’t think I can make it to the top, let’s just take in the view here and head back down’. Al in his convincing and positive tone (and probably nervously) said ‘come on, we can’t come this far and not make it to the top’. When we finally made it, the view from the top was absolutely amazing. We sat on the viewing bench seat and just took it all in. There wasn’t another person in sight, just the two of us. You could hear the birds making sounds and could see the sun shining through the trees and over the hill. It was again one of those moments when I didn’t think I could ever be happier than I was in that moment. Al then told me to face the view and he would take a photo of my looking off into the distance. Absolutely unaware, I didn’t realise he was trying to get the box out of his pocket. I couldn’t stay still long enough so Al had to find another way to distract me. I was busy looking around at the view, and then I turned back around to see him down on one knee. Still to this day, I remember the feelings that just rushed through my body and as much as I’ve tried to explain them, I just can’t. It’s a feeling of just knowing you’re absolutely where you’re supposed to be. Al really knows how to make me feel loved and knowing I get to experience that for the rest of my life was something else. We spent the moments immediately after sitting on that bench seat and taking it all one. It honestly couldn’t have been any more perfect.

Al-I had been scheming away for a little while and decided that the right time was during a week away to Crystal Creek in the northern NSW hinterland.  The Resort only had a small number of cabins and private hiking trails.  After feeling out a leisurely hike on the second day, I was convinced that proposing on the next day’s trail was the way to go.  So, I packed the ring into my pocket and off we trekked – nice, cool, sunny day.  Little did I know what was in store for us…45 minutes of clambering straight up the side of the mountain!  Kim’s little legs were close to breaking and so she posed the question about turning around.  I thought we couldn’t come this far and not get the chocolates, so despite her reservations I pulled on her competitive heartstrings and convinced her to push on.  When we got to the top, there was a little chair sitting in the middle of a clearing with a beautiful view towards the coastline.  After getting our composure, I tried to go full ‘boyfriends of Instagram’ and told her face away while I took a photo from behind.  Of course, this wasn’t natural to either of us and I couldn’t get the ring out before she turned around.  Finally, at a more opportune time when she ventured off, I dropped to my knee and called her name.  The rest as they say is history, but we were both very emotional and excited, and it was just a beautiful spot for a beautiful moment in our lives.  As a precaution, the ring returned to the pocket for the slippery descent down the mountain.

Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding…

We had always envisaged an elegant wedding. Al loved the simplicity but strikingness of black-tie and I loved florals with earthy tones.  We are both inspired by architecture and The Calile Hotel has always been beautiful to us.    We spoke to Kate Dawes about our dress-code, florals and venue preferences, then she went about creating this amazing space filled with the most-amazing table centrepieces, intimate candlelight and beautiful hanging installations.  We really couldn’t have pictured anything more perfect.

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?

Kim-For me, it was definitely the videography. I think this is something couples always struggle on deciding whether to get, however for me, I’m so glad I did and know I would have regretted it if we didn’t. I think it’s pretty exciting to be able to show our future kids the ‘story’ of our day and make them feel like they were there. Being able to capture the ‘in between’ moments was something really special and was particularly special having the video to share with friends and family who couldn’t make be there on the day (thanks covid).

Al-Mine was booking the pre-wedding suite for Kim and the bridesmaids at The Calile. Knowing she could start the day and get ready with no stress and in an amazing environment.  

Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)?

Both-At the ceremony, just before Kim was to walk down the aisle and all eyes were on the boys, the best man’s shoes completely broke – the whole shoe sole had separated from the actual shoe. He then had to swap shoes with a guest for the rest of the night.

Another one was wearing a full glass of espresso martini down the front of my (Kim) wedding dress…luckily one of my bridesmaids saved the day with a little help from soda water and a bathroom hair dryer.

Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?

My mum and I (Kim)went shopping for my wedding dress together, and we had a whole day of fittings lined up. My wedding dress was actually the second dress I tried on and was in the first shop I went to! I absolutely loved it straight away – I really didn’t think I would find my wedding dress so quickly but so happy did!

Ceremony + Reception location: The Calile Hotel | Photographer + Videographer: Trent & Jessie | Celebrant: Venita Manning | Entertainment: Nicole & Rob + Band, Elevation Band | Planner: Kate Redgen, The Calile Hotel | Flora: Kate Dawes Flower Design | Catering + Beverages: The Calile Hotel | Cake: Jocelyn’s Provisions | Stationery: The Paper Empire | Bridal Attire: Made with Love Bridal | Grooms Attire: Institchu | Brides Shoes: Scanlan Theordore | Grooms Shoes: Julius Marlow | Brides Earrings: The Traveller Series | Makeup: Janise Chan | Hair: Paula Maree Hair | Brides Fragrance: Coco Chanel Mademoiselle | Grooms Fragrance: Scotch and Soda Barfly | Bridesmaid attire: One Fell Swoop | Groomsmen attire: Institchu