With a royal wedding looming, Kim Cousins and Matt Thomson had some serious competition in the best wedding category. But the couple – who tied the knot in South Africa back in October, 2016 – were just crowned 2017 Wedding of the Year by website Easy Weddings. Follow that, Harry and Meghan!
The couple beat out over 250 other couples to score the coveted title, but despite finishing top place, Kim, 29, says she was “completely shocked” to have won.
"You always think maybe there's a chance, but then you think, 'Really?' I was ecstatic," she told Mamamia.
When asked what she thought set her wedding apart from the others, Kim said it was all in the little details.
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"I thought the other weddings looked stunning, but we tried to make ours really personal. Like, when you stepped into the room, you could see our personalities," she said.
"A lot of our guests travelled from Australia to South Africa for the wedding, so one of our themes was travel. My husband is into graphic design, so he created the save-the-dates as a boarding pass. The table names were Australian and South African wine regions, because we really love wineries. And the bombonieres were charity bracelets from areas we always visit."
Originally hailing from South Africa, Kim now lives in Perth, but admits, "Home is where the heart is."
And with so many of their relatives and friends flying over to South Africa for the wedding, Kim used it as an opportunity to show them around her hometown.
The couple decided on a 'buddymoon' instead of a honeymoon, and while it probably wasn't the most romantic option, they have no regrets about spending their first few days as a married couple surrounded by their loved ones.
"That was an easy choice for us. We were just so appreciative of the people coming over to South Africa for our wedding. I kind of became chief tour guide, I planned holidays for everyone," she said.
"I really wanted to show people around. I didn't just want to see them for one day. All of our family and friends in South Africa hosted them and we went on safari. It was lovely."
They did squeeze in some alone time on their way back to Australia though.
"We stopped by Mauritius for four nights, which wasn't long enough. But now we get to go to Thailand for five nights, thanks to this competition!" she said.
And with a baby on the way and Kim's 30th birthday this year, the couple have plenty to celebrate.