Couple say 'I do' as honeymoon in lockdown looms

Their honeymoon will have to wait, with a four-week lockdown to begin at 11.59pm on Wednesday. Photo: Supplied via NZ Herald
Their honeymoon will have to wait, with a four-week lockdown to begin at 11.59pm on Wednesday. Photo: Supplied via NZ Herald
Lily and James Balderston weren't planning to marry in a live-streamed service on a backyard deck.

But with a worsening global pandemic and New Zealand facing a lockdown, the Auckland couple tied the knot on Tuesday.

"The wedding is about the marriage, so we figured we'd get that done with the people we love," James Balderston told the Herald.

James, 23, and Lily, 24, got engaged in December and planned to wed on April 18.

"Because we both work in events, we figured we could cut down the cost of a lot of things and go fairly large of numbers and have people who really support us," Balderston said.

But as coronavirus spread globally and a slew of events were cancelled, they brought the wedding forward to early April and trimmed the guest list.

"Then they made the call for the lockdown and we were like, 'F**k it, let's get married," Balderston said.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern raised the Covid-19 alert level to 3 on Monday, with alert level 4 to kick in just before the clock strike of midnight tomorrow.

Alert level 4 restrictions mean people need to stay at home and all non-essential businesses will shut their doors.

"He called me during the Prime Minister's address and was like, 'Do you want to get married?' bride Lily said.

They wed on Balderston's parents' outdoor deck in front of a small group of family.

The Auckland service was streamed for the 80-odd people who couldn't, or weren't well enough, to attend.

"My brother-in-law became a celebrant for our planned wedding, so this was his first wedding," Balderston said.

The soon-to-be Mrs Balderston wore a wedding dress made by her mother, a dressmaker by trade.

"She spend all last night and this morning making it," Lily said.

"She had started making it for our wedding, it but only the bodice was done. She finished the zips this morning."

While there wasn't a set aisle for the bride to walk down, she still made an entrance - through a garden gate and down the footpath to their makeshift altar.

"I'm a florist, so I grabbed all the dried flowers I could find to make a bouquet," she said.

A family friend whipped up a wedding cake for the newlyweds.

Their honeymoon - a road trip around New Zealand - is on hold for now, and the Balderstons spent the rest of their wedding day preparing for lockdown.

"We had post-wedding McDonald's before it closes and we're getting Uber Eats for dinner," Balderston said.

They're planning to celebrate their wedding with all their friends and family - in person - when they are allowed to.

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