Valentines Day wedding for grandparents

"It's nice to have a bit of romance," giggled a Rangiora gran before walking down the aisle for her Valentines Day wedding.

Annette Shearer, 72, exchanged vows this afternoon with Harry Hough, who will turn 80 in August.

The couple met over lawn bowls two and a half years ago.

"We kept bumping into each other, or being picked to be in the same team or to play against each other,'' she said. "He made me laugh."

She said it was not exactly love at first sight - "I don't think that way" - but they quickly formed a bond.

On Christmas Day, Hough popped the question while they were holidaying with family in Auckland.

Shearer did not hesitate to accept. "I'm very blessed to have him."

She said the couple "haven't got time on our side" so wanted to get married quickly.

"I decided Valentines Day was a lovely day to do that,'' she said.

"It's nice to have a bit of romance."

Shearer, who was widowed 22 years ago, has two grandchildren, while Hough, who lost his wife in 2000, has five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

The four youngest were flower girls and page boys at today's ceremony at St Barnabas Church in Woodend.

Asked if he was a romantic, Hough said: "Yes and no. When you're approaching 80 you tend to slow down."

The retired auto-electrician dismissed suggestions he was too old to get married. "We're definitely not too old."

He said his new wife was "delightful".

The Press