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Fancy a “REAL” white wedding?

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Author Topic: Fancy a “REAL” white wedding?  (Read 511 times)
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Having fun in the hills!

« on: January 23, 2010, 01:54:16 pm »

Call for white weddings grows

New Zealand a ‘destination wedding’ choice

By BETHANY MARETT - The Timaru Herald | 5:00AM - Friday, 22 January 2009

WHITE WEDDING: Australians Melinda Gaughwin and Gary Cook chose to marry on the Upper Neve of Tasman Glacier in the Southern Alps.

WHITE WEDDING: Australians Melinda Gaughwin and Gary Cook chose to marry on the Upper Neve of Tasman Glacier in the Southern Alps.

A growing trend towards "destination weddings" has seen more couples than ever before tie the knot at Aoraki-Mount Cook.

The current wedding season has been the busiest ever for Hermitage Hotel staff. Last year they had 24 weddings but by the end of March this year they will have hosted 28.

Hermitage Hotel wedding planner Nyree Schaar said a trend towards "destination" weddings was emerging with more couples moving away from the idea of a traditional wedding in their local church or at home to weddings in very special places.

"We're seeing more and more couples, particularly those from Britain, America and Australia, choosing to wed in the incredibly special surrounds of Aoraki-Mount Cook."

Ms Schaar said more people seemed to be waiting until later in life to get married which often meant better financial security and ability to pay for their own wedding rather than rely on their parents.

"This gives them more control over the cost, location and who they choose to invite."

On Thursday, Australian couple Melinda Gaughwin and Gary Cook braved near-zero temperatures to tie the knot on the Tasman Glacier.

And if being at 2,103m surrounded by the snowcapped Southern Alps and New Zealand's highest mountain wasn't memorable enough, the 34-year-old Melinda sprang a carefully planned surprise on her groom by singing her own wedding vows.

Hermitage general manager and wedding celebrant Denis Callesen said while he had officiated at more than 200 weddings, hearing a bride singing her vows was a first.

"Melinda has a lovely voice and her vows, which were lyrics from Songbird, were heartfelt and very moving," he said.

After the ceremony and photos, the newlyweds went on an afternoon hike up the Hooker Valley before retiring to the Hermitage Hotel for a candlelit dinner.

Melinda and Gary said it was a far cry from what they would have been doing if they had a traditional wedding at home.

"We were just blown away by everything today — it was beyond our wildest dreams.

"I can't imagine a more perfect setting to celebrate one of the most special days of our lives," Melinda said.


WEDDING CHILLS: Australia's Melinda Gaughwin, left, and Gary Cook, right, braved near-zero temperatures to tie the knot on the Tasman Glacier on Thursday, courtesy of celebrant Denis Calleson.

Popular wedding locations at Aoraki-Mount Cook:

  • Helicopter up to Liebig Dome (pronounced Lee-big) (7,600ft) at the edge of Aoraki-Mount Cook National Park looking back to Aoraki Mount Cook. Rated 17th best wedding location in the world according to UK newspaper The Independent.

  • Fly by ski-plane to marry in the snow or on the Tasman Glacier.

  • On the shores of Lake Pukaki with its beautiful turquoise waters and Aoraki-Mount Cook towering in the background.

  • Blue Lakes Shelter, a quaint stone building nestled in the Tasman Valley.

  • Braemar Dome (6,600ft overlooking Lakes Pukaki and Tekapo).

  • On the lawn in front of the historic Hermitage hotel with Aoraki-Mount Cook as a backdrop.

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