The first text arrived at 5am.
Kasey and Leslie Ross, were inundated with calls and texts yesterday after news of Mr Ross's dash across a gridlocked Waiwhakaiho bridge on Saturday appeared in the Taranaki Daily News.
The couple were due to get married at the Anglican church in Henui St in Fitzroy at 2pm, but most of the wedding party were stuck on the wrong side of the Waiwhakaiho bridge which was closed because of an accident. Mr Ross gave up waiting, got out of the car and ran.
The wedding finally got under way 30 minutes late when the rest of the wedding party made it across the bridge.
At the start of the ceremony, the vicar said a few words for the people involved in the accident, Mrs Ross said.
The traffic jam wasn't the first hitch in the wedding plans.
Mr Ross, who is Nga Ruahine and Ngati Tu, is originally from Manaia.
"We were going to have the wedding at the pa down there," he said.
But four days after the invitations were sent out, there was a change of plan because of health and safety concerns round work being done to the wharenui.
They had planned to have a hangi, so a friend from the Waitara Rugby League Club put the hangi down there and they had the reception at the Tasman Bowling Club, in New Plymouth.
It was the first hangi Mrs Ross's American father, Robert Shanholtzer, had eaten. He was impressed and he was also impressed with his son-in-law's dash across the bridge.
Mr Shanholtzer, who is visiting from Seattle, was stuck in traffic when Mr Ross ran past.
He was reminded of the movie, North by Northwest, where Cary Grant, wearing a suit, ran away from a chasing aeroplane, tie flying behind him.
Mr Shanholtzer last visited New Plymouth in 1980, he said. A lot had changed about the town, but not the friendliness.
First a stranger stopped and gave Mr Ross a lift from the Fitzroy shops to the church and on another occasion a stranger helped Mr Shanholtzer when he was struggling with New Plymouth's infamous parking meters.
Mrs Ross was born in Texas, but grew up in Seattle and when her Kiwi mum, Lynne Shanholtzer, returned to New Plymouth, Mrs Ross followed in 2010.
So, when Mr Ross suggested going to the US for their honeymoon she shrugged.
And when she suggested they went to a Pacific island, he said "we live on one."
At the this point the honeymoon destination is still to be decided.
- Taranaki Daily News
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