PORT MACQUARIE, AUSTRALIA
Tell us a little about yourselves.
We met as late-blooming lesbians, initially both identifying as women. Through Stacey’s love and acceptance, Kirsty had room to grow and discover a deeper sense of self and came out as non-binary around a year into our relationship. Kirsty had previously been married for 20 years to a man and raised four children who now age 20-27 years old. Stacey also raised four children, now aged 14-25, but did it mostly on her own. Kirsty had been out approximately seven years and Stacey two years when we met. Stacey works in welfare with youth, and Kirsty is a high school principal at a school for students with challenging and unique learning and well-being needs.
How long have you been together, and how did you meet?
Two years together and we met on a Facebook social group. Stacey put up a friendly welcome post, and after two days of looking at her photos, Kirsty slid into her DM’s for a chat. When Stacey ended up with a spare ticket to a show a few weeks later, that became our first date.
Tell us about the proposal.
Stacey planned the proposal three months ahead, beginning with asking Kirsty’s children for their blessing. She set the scene. The first step was booking Nic from Fox & Kin to capture the event. On the day, Stacey had a grazing platter set at the beach, and Nic hid in the sand dunes and booked Kirsty a massage to give her time to set it up. When Kirsty had finished their massage, they were led into a room for a glass of water, but waiting in there were some of Kirsty’s favourite clothes, hair products (essential!), and a huge bunch of flowers with a note saying “meet me at Shelly beach at 5:30 pm.” Kirsty dressed with a huge smile and was anticipating a beach dinner picnic. They had absolutely no idea, as Stacey had been leading them off the scent by saying she wanted to wait a few years before getting married!
Are there any stories from the lead-up to the wedding, stressful or funny?
Organising Stacey’s eldest daughter to attend the wedding was a mission as she was now married and raising a toddler in Canada. She had left in 2019, and due to Covid travel restrictions, it had been four long years since she had seen her mum. Making sure she could attend was essential.
We also made the decision to renovate our home, and delays made the completion of our home come way too close to our wedding preparations which added many levels of complications, especially when wedding supplies started rolling in and our storage areas still needed to be fully built.
What lead you to the venue?
Stacey was great at picking Kirsty’s vibe that they felt most at home surrounded by gumtrees and nature. On seeing pictures of a wedding online at Riverview Island, Stacey did some further online investigations. After one phone call, we were headed to meet the owner and have a site tour the next day. We loved the place at first site, and we didn’t look any further and proceeded to secure a date.
There was a camping area, ceremony space, and reception hall on the same site. The camping was available for people to bring their own camping setups or use one of the onsite provided glamping teepees or glamping caravans. The venue also provided a bus to transport people to the reception site.
Did you undertake any DIY projects for the big day?
Cocktail testing! On having a beautiful pink lychee-based cocktail at a queer event when away on holiday together, Kirsty set out to recreate it at home. Different brands, strengths, and ingredient variations were set out one night where we tested 16 different flavour combinations to get the perfect mix! We were all set once fairy floss and glitter were added, inspired by our first visit as a couple to the Grounds of Alexandria.
Kirsty also sanded and lacquered a wooden slab which became our cake base and less than a week before the wedding, we decided to learn how to use a circuit machine to make our own wedding sign.
Talk to us about your experience finding the perfect outfits.
Stacey knew Kirsty loved lace (due in part to their collection of doilies from their grandmother), so Stacey went hunting online, coming across Grace Loves Lace. Stacey went with two of her sons down to Sydney to try on three different dresses. The first one she tried on, which wasn’t originally her first choice, blew them all away. She had found the right one. Stacey had custom vulva earrings made for the wedding day by her favorite designer Indifferent Avocado and an amazing tinsel jacket to wear at the reception, and who could go past Pride Volleys?
Kirsty had an amazing and empowering experience being fitted for their first-ever custom-made suit by Bentex. They were so positive and helped them plan many custom details such as rainbow buttonholes on the cuffs, monogrammed names and wedding date on the inside pocket, and the most magical surprise of lining the jacket and vest back with fabric made with a print of a love note Stacey had sent on one of the first bunches of flowers she had ever given to Kirsty. Stacey’s face at the first look says it all about the impact of it all!
Talk to us about the big day! We want all the details.
We both started the day in different cottages to get ready. Kirsty was staying with friends just up the road from the venue. Stacey was with her children in a cottage on site overlooking the Nambucca River and down over where we would later be saying our vows.
The wedding car, Kirsty’s beloved Delica, is an important part of their relationship, which Kirsty had taken off in to have an epic adventure almost two years ago. It meant their relationship was tested early with them spending time apart, messaging, and catching patches of signal to video call when deep into Arnhem Land Northern Territory Australia. On the way to Kirsty’s spontaneous bucks party the night before the wedding, Delica blew a tire and had to be abandoned on the side of the road. It was stressful as tools ended up being complicated, so the next morning Kirsty awoke wondering if the beloved wedding vehicle would even be drivable. Then the venue owner called to say he’d fixed it in the wee hours of the morning, and was ready to be collected! Kirsty was overjoyed, a friend drove them up to collect the Delica, and they spent the morning getting it ready with a beautiful throw, cushions, flowers, and white ribbon before even getting themselves ready.
Stacey began the morning by waking early to see the sunrise while having coffee and solo time on the deck overlooking the Nambucca River. A busy time then ensued with hair, makeup, and many family members present and involved to start the day. Stacey’s belly dance friend came to do hair for Stacey and all the daughters. She then dressed, adding each new accessory as the photographer captured precious moments. Kirsty had a peaceful morning once the Delica was ready, looking out over rolling green paddocks surrounded by cattle. When the photographer arrived, they began readying their custom-made suit and all the accessories. In no time at all, they were dressed and, after a short wait was, told it was time to walk down the driveway to be ready for our first look.
Stacey arrived and was told where to wait as Kirsty approached along the long rustic country driveway where tall trees hemmed our perfect moment. We were ushered back to back and then slowly told to turn around. Stacey was so gorgeous. Kirsty was speechless. Stacey’s eyes widened as seeing Kirsty took her breath away. We had a few special moments together before getting into the Delica, chauffeured by Kirsty’s friend all the way from Scotland, and driven together to the venue. The first look was an incredible moment that settled all our nerves and brought so much joy to start the day.
Down at the ceremony area, Stacey’s eldest son was rocking his moves as our epic flower man set the scene for a fun-filled, energetic experience for all. The Delica arrived, and Stacey and Kirsty began to walk down the aisle to a sea of smiling faces with everyone waving little progress pride flags to welcome us as our song from our epic adventure played, and we walked down the aisle together hand in hand. We didn’t plan on dancing down the aisle, but the music and the moment carried us, grooving all the way to meet the waiting celebrant.
Stacey’s youngest son began the ceremony with an Indigenous Acknowledgment of Country. As Stacey had written the entire ceremony, we were excited to hear her opening spoken out by the celebrant “Ladies and gentleman, much loved families and friends, girls, gays and theys, I welcome you as we come together to celebrate love, equality, and the commitment of marriage, full of promise, pride, hope, laughter, and family.” And there on the banks of the river, we exchanged our personal vows, so similar that people thought we had written them together, although, in reality, we had written them in secret to surprise each other. Both held promises of belly laughs, dancing a commitment to loving each other through it all, even through Stacey’s taste in country music. The printed vow books were custom ordered to say “Her Vows & Their Vows” on the covers. The vows were sealed with a kiss as the guests waved their pride flags and cheered.
During the signing of the registry, Stacey’s daughter and son-in-law played live music, and our signature cocktails were handed out, modeled off a favorite experience we had at an interactive drag show we went to together and were inspired by a lychee gin cocktail, we, of course, added fairy floss and glitter to make it perfect. We walked down the aisle at the end as people blew their glitter and the air sparkled, and the celebrant used our key phrase that has carried through all our special moments, “Love wins.”
Nibbles on the lawn followed as we mingled with guests and had beautiful photos captured with all our special people. Then we ventured off solo for an hour, chasing the sunset and rolling in the grass, just the two of us.
It was now time to head to the reception up at the top of the property, just a few minutes drive, which led us to an amazing wooden barn where all our guests waited eagerly for us to burst into their presence with Stacey wearing her custom tinsel jacket to add fun and flavour as we again danced our way into the room. It was so much fun! People cheered as we walked past our wedding cake, which we saw for the first time as we took our seats in detailed white peacock chairs. Our table was set just for the two of us under our purple neon custom-made sign saying “Love Wins.” Beautiful food was served as Kirsty’s kids delivered the first round of speeches. More eating, laughter, and the cutting of the grandest three-story cake was followed by speeches from Stacey’s kids.
Then it was time for our first dance, which we had spent months rehearsing in our kitchen. We grooved away, pulling out all the classic moves like the lawn mower, the sprinkler, the trolley and the slide. It was so cheesy. It was brilliant! The dance concluded with a conga line, inviting everyone to join in. We then led them outside, where each person was handed a long sparkler to sparkle in the night. Stacey thought this concluded the scripted part of the evening, with all the happy faces twirling their sparklers, but Kirsty had one last surprise ready. After a few minutes of fun, a boom followed by a streak of light caught everyone’s attention as the night sky lit up in a bloom of spectacular fireworks. The look of wonder, surprise, and sheer joy on Stacey’s face gave Kirsty the biggest, deepest smile they still hold today.
Everyone continued by dancing the night away to our amazing live band, drinking from the kombi keg, and sitting in the illuminated letters spelling LOVE sitting in the gardens by barrels of open fire. It was the perfect evening.
What are your favorite moments?
– The first look was incredible for us both.
– Watching our granddaughter playing with a pride flag, being fed wedding cake by a kindhearted trans man, and enjoying her gay grandmother’s wedding without any concept of anything but love. She calls us her G’Gs (gay grandmothers) while she beams the biggest smile.
– Seeing Stacey’s face when the fireworks started! As Stacey had mentioned repeatedly to get floor fireworks but had concluded they were out of budget, but Kirsty pulled off a sneaky surprise known only by the photographer only days before!
Do you have a standout vendor?
Fox & Kin, our incredible photographer who, has been with us our entire relationship capturing many special moments such as a private intimate shoot, Stacey’s incredible surprise proposal, and now culminating in our wedding. She had known Stacey’s family from years before capturing her daughter’s wedding, and we’ve promised to renew our vows in Greece one day and take her with us! We love Nic!
What does marriage mean to you?
Kirsty – Saying yes to love, appreciating my gorgeous wife, and telling her how much she means to me every day.
Stacey – Marriage is seeing the same bum get dressed at the end of the bed every morning, seeing it get a little bit older but no less va-va-va-boom.
Advice for other couples planning a wedding?
Be authentically you in every aspect of your day. Be as weird, crazy, fun, romantic, vintage or modern as you like. There is only one of you.
Also, planning ahead makes for a smooth day. Do the things that matter to you. When you are looking back on your day, you will want to see your ideas and dreams captured. No idea is too crazy.
Photography by Fox & Kin
Accessories Indifferent Avocado
Bar Kombi Keg
Cake Something Sweet
Catering Paddock to Plate
Celebrant Dannielle Perry
Cinematographer Moose & Co.
Engagement & Wedding Rings Michael Hill
Entertainment Ryan Martin Wedding
Florist Thistle Flowers
Gown Boutique Grace Loves Lace
H&MU Sage Health & Beauty, Sabrina Beauty
Signage Coffs Coast Love Letters
Stationery Wide Eyes Paper Co.
Suit Designer Bentex
Tie / Bow Tie Peggy & Finn
Tinsel Jacket Nocturnal Wonderland
Venue Riverview Island