Celebrity News

Kim Crossman’s magical lakeside wedding

The TV darling married cameraman Tom Walsh in an emotional day full of meaningful moments
Pictures: Jonny Scott

It was the most perfect day for a wedding. Standing on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, exchanging their vows in front of close friends and family was so magical that it felt like a dream.

“I had tears of joy in my eyes the whole time,” says Kimberley Crossman, gazing at her husband Tom Walsh as they relax in a cabin at their wedding venue, Kinloch Wilderness Retreat, the morning after the celebration.

Tom whisked his future bride to the lake on their first-ever getaway.

While TV star Kim, 33, and cameraman Tom, 44, carefully planned every detail of their wedding after their engagement, they couldn’t control the autumnal Glenorchy weather. So waking to a fine, calm day was a real blessing.

“It can get pretty gnarly here. Everyone told us there are only a few days a year when the weather is this settled. We were so lucky,” says Tom. “We had this beautiful walk through the dappled light of a beech forest. When we arrived at the beach, the lake was like glass. The mountains were snow-capped and trout were leaping from the water. It was so unbelievably stunning that people were speechless.”

“Let’s do it all again next year!” says an exuberant Kim.

Kinloch Wilderness Retreat is a special place for the couple. Tom went to school camps there in his childhood. Also, it was where he took Shortland Street, Creamerie and Funny Girls actress Kim for their first-ever getaway together.

For the wedding, they booked out the whole resort and their guests gathered there the evening before to share a casual barbecue cooked up by Tom, who grilled 100 sausages while everyone got to know each other.

Yet despite the cosy atmosphere, Kim admits that on their wedding morning, they were both far too excited to lie in. The anticipation was too much. She woke early and made Tom a cup of tea first thing, which is a ritual whenever they’re together, inspired by his late father, who took his mum a cuppa every single morning.

As the sun was rising, Tom and his son Louie, already dressed in their Zambesi wedding suits. The pair were out skimming pebbles over the Dart River. “Later Louie told us that was a highlight of the day for him,” he says.

Tom gets son Louie ready.

While they had defied tradition by spending the night before their wedding together, Kim retreated to a yurt nestled in the bush with her makeup-artist friend Kath Gould.

Kath helped her get ready and don the figure-hugging gown created by Kiwi designer Blair Wheeler of BW 36.174, who also made the bridesmaid’s and mother of the bride’s dresses, the celebrant’s suit and Kim’s black jacket.

Embellished with hundreds of glass beads, with custom-made shoes from Chaos & Harmony, she shimmered in the morning sunlight as her dad and stepfather walked her up the aisle.

Kim with stepdad Chiefy (left) and father Ian.

“There were a few tears when I saw Kim,” admits Tom. “I just wanted to kiss her and it was the hardest thing having to wait.”

Clever florist Chikako Shiraki of Auckland’s White Tree Floral Design supplied a bouquet of out-of-season spring flowers. She carefully dried the blooms to create a display the couple will be able to keep forever.

In the days before their wedding, Kim and Tom had spent time writing their own vows, filled with promises for their future together. But in the moment, as she was reading hers aloud, somehow Kim managed to skip a whole page.

“I was the only one who made a mistake the whole day,” she says ruefully. “But I didn’t realise what I’d done until later.”

“I was quite keen to know what was on that page,” adds Tom. “But she read it to me this morning and it’s just stuff like always letting me sit in the window seat of a plane, so it’s not a big deal.

Kim’s sister Rochelle was celebrant.

Their celebrant was Kim’s sister Rochelle Moffitt, whose blended family of six children took part in the ceremony by collecting heart-shaped pebbles from the lakeshore and each saying a few words about what love means to them.

Tom’s best man, eight-year-old Louie, also had an important role to play, looking after the wedding rings the couple had crafted themselves – Tom’s has two emeralds to match her green eyes, while Kim’s has two brown gems to symbolise his – with help from The Diamond Shop.

From the outset, she and Tom wanted a wedding that represented who they are in every single way. That meant it had to be fun, chilled-out, romantic and emotional.

“Every element was chosen for a reason. Either as a memory of someone or a part of our story so far,” explains Kim. She adds that they avoided traditions that might create stress. This meant no long speeches or strict formality, and exclusively supported small, family-owned Kiwi businesses.

Just married! The pair can’t wait to start their new life together.

“Everything flowed in the loveliest way. There was no pressure. Everyone was relaxed. It was just a small group of people and a lot of happy-crying. We were all there for the same reason – love – and it was really cool.”

Tom adds, “We couldn’t have asked for better people or a better day. Everything was magical.”

“Happy-crying” was the theme of the day!

The ceremony itself was fairly short, with the couple also saying vows to Louie. Then everyone walked together back to the lodge, where they found a picnic laid out. In true bring-a-plate fashion, friends and family had contributed many of the Kiwi classics served.

“Tom’s uncle Steve had spent the last couple of months going to Stewart Island and fishing to make the seafood chowder we both adore,” says Kim.

“He transported it in a lidded paint bucket,” laughs Tom. “But he told me not to worry as he’d bought a new one.”

Rochelle baked a lolly cake as that’s what the newlyweds used to buy for each other when they were first dating, while the amazing staff at Kinloch Wilderness Retreat had put on a spread of foods they both adore, including cheese rolls, coronation chicken sandwiches, peanut brownies and Anzac biscuits.

Kim’s best friend Albie Eaton of Albertine’s Kitchen, who was also a bridesmaid, crafted the wedding cake.

After a picnic, the couple cut the cake.

There were also goody bags filled with lollies from Snack Masters NZ, the show Kim and Tom were working on when they first met, along with other treats, like a pot of honey from the hive Kim rents from Auckland company Bees Up Top and handmade cards with personal messages for each guest.

The couple’s helicopter awaits!

After enjoying their Kiwiana picnic, the couple had a James Bond moment when they were whisked away by a Heli Glenorchy chopper for wedding photos. Tom says, “That was a chance for some guests to go for a nap and others went down to the lake for a swim.”

Right out of a scene from a Hollywood movie, the lovebirds made their escape!

Before meeting up with everyone again for a casual dinner, the couple changed into the ultimate in comfort attire – bride and groom onesies – while Louie dressed in a unicorn outfit.

Kim laughs, “We were hoping everyone would wear them, but I think our guests thought we were joking.”

And while their wedding day was full of fun, the newlyweds say they’re taking their vows very seriously.

“Before Tom, I didn’t really want to get married,” confesses Kim. “It wasn’t something I saw myself doing. Then I met him and it was like my chemistry changed. I wanted to be his wife. And within three months, Tom had my name tattooed on his chest. We both knew very early on that we’d met the right person.”

As for Tom, he says that he’s an old-fashioned guy. “I knew Kim was the one for me and I didn’t want to let her get away.”

Kinloch Wilderness Retreat is a hard place to leave, but Kimberley and Tom have to roam further afield. After a couple of nights relaxing at a Pure Pods cabin in Cromwell, they’ll catch up with Louie in Auckland, then head to Fiji for their honeymoon.

“Our wedding day blew me away,” enthuses Tom. “It was so much more beautiful than I’d expected – so special and meaningful. I loved every moment.”

Smiling, Kim concludes, “I was surprised at how I felt throughout the day. I can have a tendency to be dramatic, but I had such a sense of calmness. And now we’re married and it’s so cool! We just want to come back next year and do it all again.”


Pictures: Jonny Scott.

Hair colour & extensions: Jenny Violet Styled.

Nails: Sophie York.

Stationery: PaperLove Boutique.

Signage: Neon Design NZ.

Food: Akaroa Salmon, European Bakery, Patagonia Chocolates.

Drink: No. 8 Distillery, Quartz Reef Wines.

Music: La Social.

Videography: Aysh & Hamish Weddings.

Social media: Libby-Jean Challis, Nosy Parker.

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