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Real wedding - Kris and Katherine in Queensland, Australia

Katherine Gould and Kris Matthews met through mutual friends at the Port Office in Brisbane, Australia - and three-and-a-half years later, Kris proposed, following a helicopter ride and Champagne breakfast at Peterson House in New South Wales. "Kris has since confessed that he spent about 18 months planning our engagement and designing my beautiful ring!" says Katherine. "He surprised me with a gorgeous holiday to the Hunter Valley wine region - he's a huge romantic and absolutely took my breath away."

Katherine and Kris's beautiful outdoor wedding on Australia's Gold Coast was photographed by Ben & Hope, who took care to get behind the scenes - for example, photographing the beautiful pearls Katherine borrowed from her mother for the occasion. "They are the most amazing photographers," says Katherine. "Kris and I were absolutely at ease the first time we met them, and we adore the photographs."

As far as favorite parts of the process go, Katherine gives great credit for her groom for being enthusiastic and involved from the get-go. "He was so involved throughout," she says. "I also really enjoyed those little moments when I'd remember we were getting married - I was running errands one morning and stopped in my tracks when a string quartet that was busking started playing Pachelbel's Canon in D. It made me flash forward to walking down the aisle towards Kris - I was just beaming with happiness."

Unsurprisingly, it was budgeting that Katherine didn't enjoy so much. "It would have been so easy to spend millions on a wedding, but I'm really glad we took our time to set a budget that was realistic for us. It means we'll be able to buy our home this year, rather than paying off wedding debt. My suggesiton would be to spend your money on a good photographer, a celebrant you're comfortable with and a decent band. That way you get amazing photographs, a personalized ceremony and cherished memories of family and friends having a great night celebrating with you and your husband."

As for advice: "Don't stress about the little details. It's good to be organized, but none of your guests will remember them - just what a lovely day it was. It will be perfect if you relax, enjoy it - and remember, you're marrying the love of your life. The rest is just pretty extras."

Photographs: Ben & Hope | Event styling and décor: DIY by the bride | Flowers: Nicole Knight (a close friend of the bride) | Venue: Albert River Wines | Bridal gown: Luv Bridal | Bridesmaids’ dresses: Bella Donna Bridesmaids |Groom and groomsmen: Studio Italia (Myer) | Jewelry: engagement and wedding rings designed by the groom and Diamonds International; other rings belonged to the bride's great-grandmother; pearls borrowed from the mother of the bride | Groom and groomsmen’s cufflinks: Cuffed | Stationery: DIY | Makeup: Mal Carlton @ Mesmereyz Makeup | Hair: Rebecca Andrews @ Beautybybecca | Hotel: Sofitel, Broadbeach | Cake: Sofitel, Broadbeach | Celebrant: Wendy Marshall @ Weddings by Wendy | Band: Mark Divola | PhotoPod: The PhotoPod |


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