Love lovelier second time around

Queenstown couple Lisa and Hayden Cosgrove, winners of a "re-celebrate" your wedding day...
Queenstown couple Lisa and Hayden Cosgrove, winners of a "re-celebrate" your wedding day competition, are snapped high above the Wakatipu Basin at Coronet Peak. Photo by Jackie Gay, Still Vision

While Queenstown couple Lisa and Hayden Cosgrove did not have the "smoothest start" to their marriage, the winners of a "re-celebrate" your wedding day competition now have something to smile about.

On the first Wednesday of January, the two were fitted out in wedding finery and taken to locations such as Lake Hayes and Coronet Peak for a photo shoot celebrating their commitment.

The competition was the brainchild of photographer Jackie Gay, of Still Vision, who teamed up with Nemo Workroom owner Trudy Munro and Collective Hair Design owner Deborah Coburn.

Ms Gay opened her studio last year and designed a competition giving all married couples in the Wakatipu the chance to re-celebrate their nuptials.

Of those who entered, the Cosgroves' story touched the organisers the most.

The couple were to be married in the bride-to-be's UK home town of Worston, Warwickshire, in August, 2010. However, the groom was detained at Heathrow Airport.

Hayden was refused entry, despite travel-agent advice that he did not require a visa to get married in the UK, and was put on a flight back to New Zealand, with the wedding later cancelled.

Back in New Zealand, the couple and their friends organised a "beautiful" Queenstown wedding in September 2010, but Lisa's parents were unable to attend because of ill health.

A year ago, the couple's travel agents paid for them to return to the UK for a wedding blessing, but disaster struck again, this time with a snowstorm and Lisa falling sick the next day.

Last year, the Cosgroves decided to go on their honeymoon to recover from their stressful year and booked to go to Fiji in July.

Lisa's mother, however, called mid-June to tell her daughter she had cancer, and the couple cancelled their honeymoon for Lisa to fly back to the UK.

The honeymoon has now been put on hold indefinitely with the Cosgroves due to have their first child in May.

Hayden yesterday told the Queenstown Times their half-day experience was "just awesome" from start - when Lisa's make-up was done by Collective Hair Design - to finish.

"It was nice to have something to smile about at the end of a difficult year and a-half; to have a bit of fun at the end was amazing," he said.

Unlike their UK wedding blessing, the couple had beautiful weather for the day, apart from a brief spell of rain as they were driven from town in a Rolls Royce.

They did not wear their original wedding outfits, with Nemo Workroom fitting Lisa out in a "flowing" dress that concealed her growing baby bump and Hayden dressed in a sharp suit.

He said they were both "really honoured" to have been chosen for the photo shoot and were pleased with how the photos turned out.

"Thank you to all of the people who helped us and the companies who participated - we really enjoyed it and it meant so much to us." Ms Gay, who photographed the couple, said the Cosgroves illustrated perfectly the reason she started the competition.

"The sole purpose was to give it to someone who deserved it," she said.

"It was just an amazing opportunity, especially given their situation, to celebrate a moment and a commitment that's so special to them and to do so in a stress-free environment," she said.

She was excited at the possibility of making the competition a yearly event, and "maybe even one where other businesses could come on board to help give other couples the opportunity to re-celebrate their weddings".



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