"THE KIWI WEDDING OF THE YEAR"

Blair Ensor and Rachel Young - Dominion Post 

Hailed as the "New Zealand Wedding of the Year", Dan Carter and Honor Dillons big day featured on the front page of the Dominion Post and included a special mention of the Wilshi Ring that Dan Carter used for his engagement proposal.

"Sorry, ladies, rugby pin-up Dan Carter's least-popular conversion is complete – he's now a married man.

While he had the most talked-about groin in the country after injury ruined his Rugby World Cup campaign, yesterday Carter ended his year on a high note by marrying his long-time girlfriend, former Black Sticks striker Honor Dillon.

Such was the secrecy shrouding the Timara Lodge nuptials in Marlborough yesterday after a women's magazine secured exclusive rights, details of his transfer to the ranks of the newlywed were as slim as the undies he models.

Wedding vows were said to have been exchanged lakeside, in front of New Zealand's sporting elite, international singing star Hayley Westenra, and the bride and groom's families. Guests were tight-lipped about details, though feisty halfback Jimmy Cowan was part of the wedding party.

Cars carrying guests were checked by security before entering an extended area around the lodge that was closed to the public; caterers would not say what they were delivering; and many local pilots refused to fly camera crews over the venue.

Air space over the $800 per night lodge was closed for an "aerobatics display" by a Nanchang trainer aircraft from Omaka Real Flying Club, so prying eyes above were closed out by air traffic control.

Jay McIntyre, who piloted the Nanchang while it flew in slow circles over the venue, said he did not sneak a glimpse of Carter and Dillon at the altar.

"You're up at 3500 feet. People on the ground are virtually indistinguishable."

Among those to see the happy couple up close were All Black Ali Williams, his partner Casey Green, former All Black Leon Macdonald, his wife Hayley, and former All Blacks coach Graham Henry and his wife, Raewyn.

World Cup-winning captain Richie McCaw, with crutches in hand, hopped into a car before buses loaded with guests left Blenheim for the short drive to the lodge.

All details of the wedding will be revealed once the cheque has been cashed. The women's magazine paid an estimated $50,000 for the rights.

The pair met through university friends in 2000, and began dating a couple of years later. Carter, 29, announced their engagement in October last year, saying on his Facebook page that the pair were "very happy and looking forward to spending our future together".

They posed together in a Posh and Becks-style photoshoot for Jockey underwear in 2009.

He proposed with a "wilshi" ring from Wellington jeweller Ian Douglas. Mr Douglas, of Village Goldsmith, told of how he opened the store after hours for Carter, who chose a "wilshi" ring instead of an engagement ring – just in case he picked the wrong one.

With that decision made, he planned a helicopter ride as the setting for his proposal, and the couple later picked out an engagement ring together.

 

The other wedding of the year was Prince William to Kate Middleton in April."