In the quiet corners of a house party 14 years ago, fate played its hand as Kristy and Karthi found themselves engaged in a conversation that would shape the course of their lives.
Kristy, with her vivacious personality, and Karthi, the quiet observer, seemed an unlikely pair. Little did they know, this meeting marked the beginning of an engagement story 14 years in the making.
Conversations about books, movies, and video games served as the backdrop to a night filled with laughter and shared interests.
However, Kristy was unsure about Karthi’s feelings.
“He was quite reserved which I read as him being disinterested,” Kristy said. “After a few weeks of miscommunication and a strong hint from one of his housemates I finally worked up the courage to ask him out.”
“We’ve been together ever since.”
Their relationship is a unique magnetism of opposites. Kristy is drawn to Karthi’s wicked sense of humour, unwavering sense of duty and logical brain (the perfect offset, she says, to her “illogical and scatterbrained self”).
And of course, Karthi being the “tall, dark and handsome type” didn’t hurt, said Kristy.
Karthi was drawn to Kristy’s whip-smart intelligence, infectious sense of humour, and most of all, her deep, enduring love and support through some of life’s toughest challenges.
She’s also very pretty, said Karthi. “I put that one last so you don’t think I’m shallow, but truthfully, it would be a bit higher in the list.”
Together, they’re a harmonious blend of characteristics that complement and inspire each other.
Karthi describes himself as “not particularly romantic, expressive, or particularly comfortable with public speaking”. So it’s surprising to many that he’s a registered marriage celebrant. He took on the task to officiate a wedding for two of his friends and now conducts around one wedding a year, only for those closest to him.
Despite this, it took the couple 14 years to get engaged.
“We had previously discussed getting married but it wasn’t on either of our priority lists,” said Kristy. “We had lived together for 13 years and bought property together. We were already choosing to be together. Everyday.”
“Karthi had changed jobs and been paid out a significant amount of money. We didn’t have any other pressing bills and so he called me to ask if I’d like to get married… or travel.”
Kristy knew her answer, but it wasn’t until a few days later while they were discussing the wedding/travel plans with friends that she pointed out Karthi “hadn’t really ASKED, with THE WORDS” for her to marry him.
This puzzled Karthi. To him, his proposal had taken place right there during their phone call.
“When we arrived home he stopped me and apologised,” said Kristy. “He realised that he hadn’t asked me to marry him with the explicit words and had assumed that once I’d made a decision either way we’d plan and work on it together. Like we always do. Always together.”
“And then he asked: “Kristy, will you marry me?”
“It’s indicative of our relationship that even in the asking, we came together to decide if it’s right. I love that about our relationship. We’re a partnership and we’re working together for our goals,” said Kristy.
For her engagement ring, Kristy knew that she wanted something unconventional, bold, ethically-crafted and utterly unique. And working with an Australian designer was important to her.
“I figured my ring might be as unique and strange as I am,” she said.
“I knew what I didn’t want: A traditional, standard diamond centre stone. But trying to pin down a design was really difficult! Nothing online seemed to quite capture what I felt my ring should be.”
We began the design process with a phone call and Kristy shed tears of joy when she saw the sapphire that would become the centrepiece of her ring.
She recounted a vivid dream from the night before where she found herself riding on a coffin. It was a good dream, she told me. “I was trying to ride it somewhere… I hope not to the underworld!”
Serendipitously, one of the sapphires we explored was shaped like a coffin – a beautiful Australian stone with deep blue and green hues.
“After the first phone chat when I cried, I knew you, Fairina, were the one,” Kristy said.
It was a moment of clarity and excitement, and the sapphire became an unexpected, yet perfect, addition to the ring.
With the Australian sapphire confirmed, we selected vibrant yellow and purple Sri Lankan sapphires to flank the centre stone.
On either side we placed two moissanites, a diamond alternative for Kristy’s decidedly untraditional ring. The gems are seemingly mismatched, yet somehow perfect together.
“It’s a representation of us: Australian and Sri Lankan coming together. I love that I’m surrounded by Karthi and we have brilliance around us,” said Kristy.
Just as the design was being finalised, an unexpected twist came in the form of a diamond-set ring. It was a last-minute gift from Kristy’s mother, given by her late father before he entered hospice as his final gift.
While Kristy envisioned no diamonds in her rings, the gift ended up being a beautiful surprise that turned her engagement and wedding set into a family heirloom.
The diamonds were embedded into Kristy’s wedding band, alongside hot pink rubies to celebrate her love of colour.
The engagement ring was finished with a milgrain border around the centre sapphire, a feature replicated, simply and distinctively in Karthi’s ring.
“The rings are so perfect and so beautiful and breathtaking! Having such an array of colours makes me feel happy when I look at it, just like when I’m with Karthi. It’s so unique and fits me perfectly,” Kristy said.
From a shy start, Kristy and Karthi’s love story continues to remind us that true love can be found in the most unexpected places.