On a balmy afternoon at Ravensthorpe an engagement cocktail party was supposed to happen. Little did everyone know it was about to turn into the best wedding surprise celebration to hit Wollongong!
Kristie and Wilko met 9 years ago when they were both working at North Gong Pub. They disagree about who asked for whose number, but luckily one of them got it right! They love crossfit and travel, with a focus on places that are close to nature and off the beaten track – like seeing Kristie’s beloved Moon Bears in China or Vietnam.
Wilko proposed in Alaska after chartering a helicopter and having it land on top of a glacier, completely out of the blue. Kristie thought she was going to a conservation centre but ended up at a little rural hanger, and up they went! They hadn’t planned on marriage for at least a couple more years so it really was out of the blue… she cried for days.
Kristie has been part of the wedding industry for years, first in a Wedding Duo, and then as a fantastic Wedding Celebrant (Check her out here) so originally they were going to elope as they didn’t want their entire lives taken over by a wedding! They decided to tell everyone they were getting married in Noosa (even getting suppliers to go along with it and tagging them in Facebook!) but as they still wanted a celebration organised an “engagement” party. Apart from myself, only Kristie’s Mum & sister knew and Deb from Ravensthorpe. The whole day was planned in 14 weeks, and they stayed together the night before, enjoying the secret in their own little love bubble!
Having a surprise wedding has a few hurdles to jump. For instance getting everyone to the venue at the same time (no one cares too much if they run late to an engagement party)! Kristie organised buses to pick everyone up on the day, and had gorgeous little printed information cards to give them as they got off the bus…“We regret to inform you our engagement party has been cancelled – Welcome to our Wedding”! You will see lots of excited faces in the blog as the secret gets revealed
My favourite part was the ceremony vows, they worked really hard on them and everyone, including myself, was in tears.
The great thing I found about Kristie and Wilko was that they let the professionals do the job and didn’t micro manage. From the menu to the flowers, they said “you know what works” and really listened to all our ideas. It certainly made the day a lot more relaxing for everyone.
Reception: Ravensthorpe on the South Coast. A family run business, Deb and Jim are the best at what they do. There is nobody who knows hospitality the way that they do – end of story.
Flowers: Leah Mitchell Floral.
Gown: Cheboom Bridal. Tanya from Cheboom is amazing!
Stylist: Janelle from By George Creative Events – The Donut wall was epic!
Rings: Meakins Jewellers. Kristie wanted plain and simple, and Penny from Meakins Jewellers helped with a beautiful, simple gold band.
Makeup: Maria T
Celebrant: Jamie Borg. Fellow celebrant and possible nemesis, when they met it could have been awkward, but they became instant friends!