David Shoemark would ask his partner Cherie Butler most days to marry him.
"One day," she always replied.
That day arrived yesterday when Miss Butler and a small group of their family and friends gathered in secret at Pollard Park in Blenheim to surprise Mr Shoemark with the wedding he was so eager to have.
Standing patiently in a black and white wedding dress, Miss Butler waited for her groom, who thought he was on his way to a family picnic.
He had been successfully distracted by a fishing trip to Seddon during the morning, but said he realised something was going on as he got to the park. Walking along the path, a few people were taking photos of him and he spotted a few faces he was not expecting to see.
"They stitched me up well and truly."
The couple were married by marriage celebrant Jenny Andrews in the rhododendron garden in the park with a bridesmaid and best man at their sides.
They were joined by about 40 family and friends, including some who had travelled from other parts of the country.
A short ceremony was followed by the signing of the register and a wedding reception at the Blenheim Bowling Club.
Miss Butler – now Mrs Shoemark – began planning the wedding about a month ago and was confident she could keep it a secret, although there was potential for a leak at a family birthday party the night before.
Mr Shoemark's mum Irene said the wedding was "always on the cards" for the couple, who have been together for three years.
"It was just a matter of planning," she said.
- The Marlborough Express
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