Despite living in Sydney, Kirsten and Anthony were happy to overcome a few logistical speed bumps to get hitched at Riverwood Weddings in Queensland – a DIY wedding venue where they could bring in their own tipi, fire pit, food and vision.
Mostly though, as Kirsten explains, it was a place “where everyone could just relax, kick their shoes off and enjoy themselves in a beautiful setting”. Which is pretty much all we would hope for for our own big days.
Read on and check out some pretty snaps by This Day Forward.
Tell us about how you met and the proposal.
We met playing Oztag in the same team. After playing together for a couple of years, Anthony asked me out for a drink and we’ve never looked back!
For the proposal, we’d planned a little getaway down to the Tasmanian countryside, just to get away and relax for a few days. We had booked the most beautiful little farm cottage in the Huon Valley and couldn’t wait to get there. As soon as we arrived, I walked in and saw roses, champagne on ice, chocolates, cheese and flowers, and I turned and looked at Anthony and said ‘Babe, I don’t think this is our place’ because I had booked the accommodation and knew it didn’t come with it. Anthony said ‘No babe, it’s ours’ and I was momentarily confused, thinking ‘How could he know this, since I booked it?’
But unbeknownst to me, he had conspired with the owner of the accommodation to organise it. Anthony said he had something to ask me, and got down on one knee and asked me to marry me. I was so, so surprised and it was a beautiful way to do it.
Did you guys get stuck into a lot of DIY for the day?
It was a venue that is hired bare, so we organised the whole thing ourselves – tipi, furniture and decor, catering, alcohol, music, photography etc. It was logistically a little more complex since being based in Sydney meant we couldn’t see anything or meet anyone in advance, but it wasn’t overly difficult. I’m also a project manager in real life so I suppose it was somewhat second nature to me.
What sort of vibe were you hoping to create for your wedding?
We wanted a wedding and place where everyone could just relax, kick their shoes off and enjoy themselves in a beautiful setting, which is exactly what happened – nothing too formal. I’m also a lifelong camper so wanted something that reminded me of this, which is where the bush, river and campfire came in.
What traditions did you involve during your big day?
My husband is Jewish, so we did a few really nice Jewish traditions – he wore his kippah, we walked around each other under the chuppah at the start of the ceremony which signified that we were the centre of each other’s universe, and at the reception our (mostly non-Jewish) guests spontaneously lifted us onto chairs for the Hora!
What advice would you give to other couples leading up to their big day?
Don’t stress out about it. You can’t please everyone so just do what makes you both happy. And I know everyone says this, but don’t forget to relax, take a moment and enjoy the day itself – it’s magical!
What does marriage mean to you?
It means the same thing to both of us – approaching life as a team, always putting each other first, doing nice things for each other and having each other’s backs. Being a true partner in life.
What was your favourite moment on your wedding day?
This is a tough one – there were so many! Seeing my husband waiting there for me at our chuppah with the stunning background of the farm as I walked down the aisle, and I absolutely loved seeing the farm at sunset, with the lights starting to twinkle, fires on and the daylight fading. It really showed the place in all its glory and was just breathtaking.
How did you find your venue and was the process difficult for you?
There were quite a few venues of the style we were after on WedShed so we certainly found plenty to choose from – it was narrowing it down that was the hard part because they were all so beautiful. But once we saw Riverwood, we just knew it was the one.
I walked down the aisle to ’Adore’ by Amy Shark. I still love this song so much!
First dance song?
‘I Found You’ by Alabama Shakes. We wanted something that wasn’t a typical first dance song, but something that meant something to us.
CREDITS: Photos This Day Forward // Ceremony and reception Riverwood Weddings // Tipi Gold Coast Tipis // Catering Wine & Dine’m // Styling Hampton Event Hire // Stationery Paperless Post // Bridal gown Hayley Burton Bridal // Brides shoes Shoes of Prey // Accessories and bridesmaids gift Samantha Wills // Bridesmaid dresses Seed // Groom and groomsmen suits Saba // Rings RJC Designs // Makeup and hair Harpier // Music The Belmonts McGee Entertainment // Celebrant Weddings by Lisa // Transport Surf City Transfers.