Here’s a dilemma for you: you’ve been sick in your bed in Townsville for a week, but it’s your bestie’s birthday and she’s having a party that night with all of your friends. What do you do? Kierra earned herself the title of best friend ever by manning up and turning up… and a good thing too, because it was on this night that she met her future husband, Andrew. “When I arrived, I saw the usual crowd, except for this one guy who was sitting on a bench with three of our friends, also called Andrew – no joke!” Striking up a conversation about arguably the greatest Christmas movie ever, Miracle on 34th Street, (which Andrew had never seen), the two quickly hit it off. “Noodle Box and an education in classic Christmas movies was our first date,” sums up Kierra. Sounds pretty perfect to us!
Fast-forward four years to 2015 and the couple had moved to Brisbane and were about to celebrate another Christmas together. Returning from a particularly gruelling bootcamp, Kierra was relaxing on the couch (in her grotty gym gear, she tells us), when Andrew yelled from the bedroom, “Is today Christmas Eve?”. “As soon as I said yes, he came flying out, dropped to one knee and asked, ‘Will you marry me for Christmas?’,” says Kierra. We’re pretty sure these two are Christmas fans…
Not one for fussy celebrations, Kierra recruited the help of her sisters and closest friends to plan a laid-back wedding. “Every week or so I was set wedding homework – they were absolute legends,” she laughs.
Even with a squad of fabulous ladies behind her, nothing could have prepared Kierra for the emotional rollercoaster that was The Search For The Dress. It all seemed so easy at first: she was in Myer and fell head over heels for an Alex Perry creation. But when she went to buy it, the design had completely sold out. Crushed, she put down a deposit on a lovely alternative and tried to put her dream dress out of her mind. But fate intervened a few weeks later when Kierra was shopping online for a friend: “There it was – my dress… in my size… and on sale! It was destiny!”
Um, apparently not. Myer later contacted Kierra to tell her that her order had been cancelled due to insufficient stock. “I was devastated,” she recalls. But then someone who can only be described as a wedding-dress angel got in touch. A Melbourne-based personal shopper at Myer heard about Kierra’s situation when the disappointed bride-to-be messaged the store through Facebook. “She found my dream dress – in my size and on sale – and asked if I wanted to buy it right there and then over the phone!“ says Kierra. “It was the nicest thing a stranger could have done. She even took the dress to Australia Post herself and mailed it to me – Express Post!” Stories like these give us faith in humanity.
With wedding plans sorted and Kierra’s dream dress finally in her grateful hands, she and Andrew were all set for their big day, on 18 May, 2017. But the bride had someone very special to see before walking down the aisle. “My nan, who I am very close to, was too unwell to attend the wedding and I was devastated she wouldn’t be there to share the day with us,” says Kierra. “So before the photographers arrived, I put on my dress and my uncle drove me over to her house so we could spend some time together. No photos, no crowds, no tears – just lots of hugs and hand-holding.” There might have been no tears on the day, but Kierra wells up now as she recalls this precious moment.
Blessed to come from such a close-knit family, the bride’s dad, stepfather and uncle all walked her down the aisle (“with my papa watching closely”) at a touching ceremony, held at one of the couple’s favourite locations. “We chose Orleigh Park in West End because we settled in the suburb when we moved down from Townsville,” says Kierra. “We still live in South Brisbane, so it was nice to get married in our ‘backyard’.”
The ceremony was conducted by two friends of the couple: the 6’9”-tall Jim (from Marry Me Jim) and the pint-sized Jo (who, at 4’11”, had to stand on a box for the photos!). “Once Jim had concluded the legal section and we’d said our vows, Jo got excited and pronounced us husband and wife, shooing us down the aisle before we’d even signed the register!” laughs Kierra. “So we kissed, and petals were thrown, and there were lots of laughs and cheers as we did a lap around our friends and family – and then went back and did it all again. Yes, we got married twice!”
After saying ‘I do’ by the Brisbane River, the couple and their bridal party had a photo session at the Brisbane Showgrounds before kicking off their reception at Pony Dining. “Pony was a no-brainer for us,” says Kierra. “We had dinner there with some friends one night and booked it the very next day. I have never seen anyone experience joy the way Andrew did when eating their seared wagyu.”
Keeping things simple, the couple opted for a pared-back look for their reception, styling the riverside restaurant with candles and mini pot plants, and letting the venue’s style shine. It was a night of fine modern-Australian fare and sweet memories. “Our favourite way to spend time is around the table with good friends, wine and conversation,” says Kierra. “That’s exactly what our wedding ended up being all about.” The food was certainly a memorable element – in more ways than one. “The venue had displayed our ‘cheese cake’ just as they would any other cake, but some guests mistook it for appetisers – my cousin ran up to us saying, ‘I’m so sorry, I thought it was a platter – and I’ve eaten a big chunk!’”
The reception was full of fun, laughter and endearing moments, as the newlyweds and their guests danced the night away and took cheeky snaps in a cute photo booth.
“It was just perfect,” says Kierra. “It ended up being exactly what we wanted – so much fun, with not a lot of fanfare. We kept everything simple so all our memories are of the people we love and of each other.”
BRIDE’S LITTLE BLACK BOOK:
Photography: Daisy & The Duke // Ceremony: Orleigh Park, West End // Reception: Pony Dining Brisbane // Wedding dress: Alex Perry // Bride’s Shoes: Nine West // Bridesmaids’ dresses: Forever New // Bridesmaids’ shoes: H&M // Accessories: Tiff Manuel // Hair: Hacq Hair Artistry // Makeup: Georgina Duncan // Suits: Dom Bagnato // Rings: Baker Diamonds Brisbane, RingOrdering via Etsy // Flowers, coordinator, styling and equipment hire: The Main Event Weddings // Cake: The Cheese Pleaser // Celebrants: Marry Me Jim, Jo Bottrel // DJ: NikNat Entertainment // Photo Booth: The Photo Booth Guys // Honeymoon: New Zealand
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