Kristel + David by Kristie Lee

I knew that he was behind me and I thought he was taking photos of the tree-lined driveway so when I turned around to find out why he wasn’t answering me it was safe to say I was well and truly shocked to see him kneeling in front of me with a box in his hand.

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…
K: I am an Accountant for a business that sells deployable infrastructure to the Australian and NZ Defence Force. I love going to wineries, drinking nice wines and eating good food. I also love spending time with our friends and family.

D: I am an Aircraft Maintainer for a global company and also served a decade in the Royal Australian Navy. We have a rescue dog named Snoopy who we love to take on adventures with us. We love to travel and explore new places and experience different cultures

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?
K: Dave and I first met each other when I was about 17 and I actually had a crush on his friend Kyle. Dave was there a few times when I hung out with Kyle and when I realised Kyle didn’t like me back, Dave was my “shoulder to cry on”. Dave and I started chatting more (on MSN and Myspace LOL) and I invited him to a house party for a friend’s 18th and I made him come to my house and pick me up where he was forced to (very) awkwardly meet my parents for the first time. The house party was BYO so I got Dave to buy me a 4 pack of Pulses (they were energy drinks with vodka) cause he was 18. Anyway, after the house party he dropped me back home and cause I’d had a bit to drink I wanted to give him a goodnight kiss. What I thought was a movie moment, Dave has since told me was awkward and weird and he hated every minute of it.

I’m pretty sure not long after that we just stopped talking cause he thought I was a stage 5 clinger. Fast forward a few years and I was in the process of trying to join the Navy. I had bought a cute navy blue top that had a little flap along the shoulders like a sailors uniform and I posted it on Facebook. Dave commented on it saying “you can just wear mine..”. And I was like what, you’re in the Navy? And he was like, yeah been in for like 4 years. From that moment we started chatting again, initially I was just picking his brains for info on all things Navy. Then he invited me to his house one night and made me dinner and we sat by the fire in the backyard stargazing and from that night we were inseparable.

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…
K: It was a belated birthday/anniversary weekend away to the Hunter Valley. Dave organised most of it and there was no sign that it was going to be anything other than just another weekend away. We got the hotel to drop us to dinner in their golf buggy and the restaurant was beautiful. We ate and drank until we could barely move and then decided to head back to the room to turn in for the night as we had a wine tour booked the next day. It was probably around 10pm and I told Dave to ask the waiter to arrange the golf buggy to cart us home cause I was too full to move. He kept saying no and then finally convinced me it was a nice night and we should just make the short walk back to the accommodation as it would be “good for our digestion”.

We started our short walk back and we had to walk the long driveway lined with trees. We got to the
courtyard at the end of the driveway, and the gorgeous fountain was lit up with pretty lights and the building also looked particularly beautiful. Dave whipped his phone out and started taking pics of the fountain, so I followed suit. I knew that he was behind me and I thought he was taking photos of the tree-lined driveway so when I turned around to find out why he wasn’t answering me it was safe to say I was well and truly shocked to see him kneeling in front of me with a box in his hand. He looked like a deer-in-headlights and blurted out “will you marry me” and then I started crying. I said something along the lines of, are you serious or is this real. Then he stood up and we kissed and he gave me the ring and then he was like, wait did you even say yes? Haha. And then I was like, yes yes yes a million times yes.

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?
K: The ceremony was very important to us and we wanted to make sure that our celebrant was going to put their everything into creating the most flawlessly personal ceremony for us. A lot of people see the ceremony as the boring part before the party, but the act of us getting married was the reason for the big party, so we wanted to make sure it was perfect. People tend to cheap-out on the celebrant because they just want the legalities, but we wanted our ceremony to knock everyone’s socks off so we were more than happy to book Sarah, and she was worth every cent. Everyone raved about her and asked how long we’d known her for because she spoke like she’d known us for years. We’ll be forever grateful for the incredible ceremony she created for us.

Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?
K: I didn’t want to be “one of those brides” who buys the first dress they try on. In November 2020, not long after we got engaged, I made my way up to Sydney to Rachel Gilbert with my heart set on this gorgeous long sleeve, high neck, backless dress. They unfortunately didn’t have the dress in my size, so I was unable to try it on. They instead brought out another long sleeve gown and some others to try on. So I donned the long sleeve dress and stepped out of the changeroom where my mum, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and best friend were all sat in waiting. The moment they saw me, my MIL and SIL both started bawling. They loved it, it’s the one – they said. I spent the rest of the appointment trying on all different dresses but none of them compared.

I refused to settle and thought there might be something else out there for me, so I made appointments at other dress shops. But COVID had other plans… I had to keep postponing and nearly a year later I was able to finally go to Sydney on the same weekend they lifted travel restrictions. I spent the day in Sydney with my two bridesmaids and went to two different boutiques. I tried on some really nice dresses, but nothing screamed “The One”. I decided to make another appointment to go back and try on the dress at Rachel Gilbert – it’d been a year since I’d tried it on last and we could barely remember what it looked like. So almost a year to the day, I went back to Rachel Gilbert and for my entire 45min appointment I just stood there in the very first gown I had ever tried on. I said YES to the dress!

Ceremony + Reception location: Bawley Vale Estate, @bawleyvaleestate / Photographer: KLD Photography, @kldweddings / Videographer: Mitch Hickman Films, @mitchhickmanfilms / Celebrant + MC: Marry Me Sarah B, @marrymesarahb / Entertainment: (Musician – Joe Moore) Oberon Lane, @oberonlane / Flora + Styling: Ivy Lane Collective, @ivylanecollective / Catering + Beverages: Citrus Catering, @citruscateringnsw / Cake: Sweet Art Celebrations, @sweetart_celebrations / Stationery: Zazzle / Registry: Wishing Well and Signage from Living On Trend, @livingontrend_ / Bride’s attire: Lyla Sleeve Gown from Rachel Gilbert, @rachelgilbertbridal / Groom + Groomsmen’s attire: Cambridge Suits from Alexandar Michaels / Ring/s: (Wedding band & Engagement Ring) Moissanite Co.; (Zirconium & Tantalum) Infinity Rings / Shoes: ASOS DESIGN; Martino Carolous / Earrings: David Jones / Makeup: Divine Makeup Artistry, @allyy.mua / Hair: @the_mane_aesthetic / Bride’s fragrance: LeLabo – Santal 33 / Groom’s fragrance: Tom Ford – Ombre Leather / Bridesmaids’ attire: Brienne Dress Black from Two Sisters the Label / Bridesmaids’ earrings: Lovisa / Bridesmaids’ shoes: Novo Shoes