Shanks keeps groom waiting

World champion cyclist Alison Shanks (30) had her husband-to-be watching the clock as he stood outside their wedding venue in Dunedin yesterday.

Craig Palmer (37) and his three groomsmen arrived at First Church half-an-hour before the wedding.

Mr Palmer wore a light grey suit, the groomsmen dark grey. Each wore a white rose boutonniere. As he waited, incoming guests shook the groom's hand and slapped his back, offering reassuring words as he waited and chewed gum. In a quiet moment, he took a page from his pocket for some quick revision.

After more than 100 guests had made their way inside - a show of smart suits and flowing summer dresses - the hellos, handshakes and kisses on the cheek continued, as flower girls in white dresses and pageboys in black suits peeked out from the church doors into the courtyard.

All the guests were ushered into the church, including Dame Lois Muir and Silver Fern Anna Harrison, to await the bride's arrival.

And the minutes passed. Then a VW Golf arrived and three bridesmaids in purple dresses appeared holding colourful bouquets.

Then another VW arrived, 10 minutes late, with his and hers racing bikes on the roof rack.

From the car, the bride emerged in a traditional long white dress, with a longer veil, which caught in the breeze and trailed behind her as she climbed the church steps. After husband and wife emerged from the ceremony, smiling and stopping to kiss on the church steps, the crowd came out for photos.

The groom's family were photographed first, then the bride's, then the friends, then the group photo was taken before guests went back to their cars to drive to the reception at Larnach Castle.

- shawn.mcavinue@odt.co.nz

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