"Meeting her and getting married wasn't life-changing, it was life-beginning"

By Melissa Locker
December 15, 2017
Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban
Credit: Lester Cohen/Getty Images

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban have been in love for well over a decade, but the story of their love is as fresh and heartwarming as ever.

It all started in a hotel room. In the wake of her divorce from Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman poured herself into her work. She went to Romania to star in Anthony Minghella's film adaptation of the Civil War movie, Cold Mountain, starred in Moulin Rouge!, and played Virginia Woolf in the film adaptation of The Hours. She won an Oscar for her work in The Hours, but even that accolade only offered her fleeting happiness. "I was sitting in the Beverly Hills Hotel [holding this gold statue] and it was all extraordinary and I was the loneliest I'd ever been," she told the audience at the Women in the World Summit in London in 2015.

After she came to that realization, she knew she had to stop hiding in her professional life and start working on her personal one. "I was able to navigate through about five or six years and then I sort of stumbled into Keith, literally stumbled into him," she explained.

The two met for the first time in 2005 at the G'Day USA gala, which honors Australians in Los Angeles. Kidman didn't think Urban liked her when they first met. "I'm like, ‘You didn't love me at first sight, you didn't notice me,' and he's like, ‘Yes, I did but I just didn't let on,'" she told Ellen DeGeneres in 2013. "But we kind of met and then about four months later he called me."

Urban said he had "things he had to take care" before he could ask her out, and called her once they were settled. Soon, according to People, they embarked on a low-profile courtship of motorcycle rides in upstate New York, spending time together in Nashville, and, of course, together while Urban traveled the country on his "Keith's Alive in ‘05" tour. By November, Kidman was wearing a diamond ring and introducing Urban as her fiancé.

"Meeting her and getting married wasn't life-changing, it was life-beginning," Urban told CBS News. "It was literally, like, 'OK, life starts.'"

Kidman said she knew she wanted to marry Urban after just a month of dating, which Kidman chalks up to her "spontaneous way." Kidman and Urban tied the knot in a candlelit ceremony Cardinal Cerretti Memorial Chapel on St. Patrick's Estate at Manly in Sydney, Australia. "It was the most emotional and beautiful ceremony," a guest told People. "Nicole looked ethereal with her veil floating, like a vision in white. … Keith cried when he looked at her."

The happy couple set off on their honeymoon in French Polynesia, and also set about getting to know each other better after their whirlwind courtship. I kind of like getting married and then getting to know each other; I know that it sounds incredibly strange, but to me, it's a more natural process," Kidman told Elle.

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Kidman was also eager to have children with the country star. "I wanted to have a baby the minute we met and he was like, 'No,'" she joked at the Women in the World Summit. Kidman won that argument, of course, and the pair were joined by daughters, Sunday and Faith.

Of course, marriage takes a lot of work, even more so when you're in the spotlight and your work has you traveling far from home. To stay connected, wherever they are in the world, the couple talks on the phone (not texting!) several times a day, flying around the world to be there for each other's important events, and staying together as a family as much as possible. "We just work at it," Urban has said. "We love each other and we work at it. It's beautiful work.