What a brilliant day! 🙂

Here’s the view from my motel room about 8:50am. A little bit of sea mist in the distance.


More bircher muesli at Milk & Honey. Laura, me and David.


Lynne and Keith came and joined us. 🙂


Ian took a sneaky photo from his room – Noel was kept away from his window! Laura wasn’t intending to go hungry! 🙂

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It was quite a relaxing morning but busy for others helping us, for which we are very, very grateful. David and Paul sorted out car logistics by taking my hire car back, getting David’s car to the reception venue and collecting the vintage car for the wedding. They also took some brunch BBQ things to the Villa (and got the key) which we had for the next 2 days so the things were there ready for the Monday brunch.

In the meantime poor old Jason and Michelle were rushing around collecting our flowers for the church, bringing some round to my room and taking some to Noel’s. Lynne kindly went back to my room to receive the flowers while I carried on being relaxed and having breakfast! Jason and Michelle then went to the church and decorated it with the flowers which wasn’t quite the straightforward job we’d hoped as the pew ends weren’t quite as easy to attach to as thought. It must have been a rather uncomfortable journey for Michelle as there were 2 large vases filled with flowers to keep upright. I can recommend a very good florist if you need one!

Having done that, unbeknown to me they then went to the reception venue to put a video my parents had made onto a laptop ready to be shown during the speeches!

About 11am hair and makeup arrived and sorted me and Laura out! About 11:30am the photographer arrived just as David was trying to get into my hire car – I’d forgotten to tell him how the alarm worked and that the clutch needed to be pressed to start it. After shouting instructions from the balcony I asked the photographer to see if he could help!

About 12:20pm a number of friends arrived and we proceeded to have some bucks fizz, which went down well! Pauline arrived a bit later and had kindly brought more champagne and some sandwiches. It was really nice to have some relaxed company while we were getting ready.

Pauline also helped by taking our bags so that they would be at the reception in the evening.

The photographer had been going to get pictures of us by the car but time had got on so he left about 1:15pm so that he could get to the church in time to take a few pre-wedding photos there.

Here’s Marianne and Noel at a café near the church about 1:15pm.

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Marianne and Ian.

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About 1:45pm. Ahhhh. 🙂

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In the meantime…at about the same time I left the motel to be greeted outside by a number of friends. 🙂

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Our carriage awaits!

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David getting into the car. Tally Ho!


We were shadowed by Paul and Karen (and probably other cars!) just in case the car had any problems. The car was fine although we were blown a little by the wind. We stopped up before reaching the church as the photographer had impressed upon us that we must not arrive before 2:30pm! So, parked down a side road near the church I waited until it was 2:30pm before we trundled onwards. As we arrived I saw my UK friend Pete taking video so I stuck out my bouquet and Laura did the same. 🙂

Picture taken by John Miles, Photographer.

Amy Thornton and Noel Collett's Eskdale Church and The Old Church Wedding Photographs - by Napier Wedding Photogapher John Miles Photography

We were met by the very friendly priest, Father Peter Head, the photographer, Marianne (who took Laura’s bag) and the ushers Jason and Matt. They and Michelle and Tania had been doing a great job of car parking and handing out Orders of Service. A few photos were taken and then we waited for the processional music to start. At this point Laura got a bit emotional and when the music started she charged down the aisle. Because it’s a short aisle, and also to enable the photographer to get some pictures of us, we really needed to walk slowly with a bit of a gap between us.

The service was really enjoyable. Laura and Noel’s cousin Sarah read two Readings. Whenever I looked, the congregation were smiling and at various points they laughed, so it was a lovely, relaxed wedding. Laura and Ian were the witnesses. The organist, Dorothy, did a grand job and the wedding cake she also made was superb. The processional music was Purcell’s Trumpet Tune and Air, the recessional was Mendelssohn’s Wedding March and during the signing of the Register some or all of the following were played: Jesu joy of man’s desiring, Sheep may safely graze and Ave Maria.

When we were ready to walk down the aisle I could see Matt and Jason ready – they had propped the doors open and Jason was ready to sprint up the stairs to ring the bell. As we walked down the aisle and outside Jason did a great job of bell ringing.

Here are some pictures from outside the church after the wedding.

Judy, our friendly neighbour.


Noel, me and Pete. 🙂

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Max and Jason, then joined by Tania.

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A family group photo.


Laura, Noel and me.


The Bridal Party – Laura, Noel, me and Ian.

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Confetti was thrown as we walked along.

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Friends had decorated the car…

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David turning the fuel on. Just like his Pietenpol…!

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We drove off to The Old Church which in a normal car is about 25mins’ driving. Goodness knows how long it was in the vintage car! Apparently there was quite some tailback behind us! The lovely thing was that we had people waving from cars and tooting to say hello. At least I think they were tooting to say hello…. 😆

Once we left the church Jason and Michelle removed the flowers and locked the church up as per the church’s rules. They then drove to the reception and put the two big vases just behind the top table.

Us at the reception surrounded by blue paper aeroplanes!


The Old Church was great – Noel and I had wanted a relaxed wedding, enough canapés and no long delays while the bride and groom were off having photos taken and we hope we achieved this.

At the driveway entrance to The Old Church we had a red double-decker bus parked for a bit of a UK feel. We had also arranged as a surprise for guests for a Tiger Moth to do a small display. What Noel didn’t know was that I had arranged for a plane to tow a banner with a message for him. The look on his face was priceless! The plane was a Cub and had had to fly from Tauranga and used Hastings as its base for the towing. The story behind the banner message is that a few years ago we flew into Compton Abbas airfield near Salisbury in the UK. A plane towing a banner saying “Love you more Andrew!” took off and flew quite a number of passes over the airfield and then landed. A voice asked over the loudspeaker which one of the watchers was Andrew and a chap very sheepishly put his hand up. Ever since, if Noel says “Love you” then rather than say “Love you more” I just say “Andrew”. And vice versa. I thought that since it was our wedding day we should both from now on stop saying “Andrew”!! So, the banner tow said “Love you more dear!”.

This picture was taken about the time of the flying. There’s a blue paper aeroplane mid-flight in front of me! 🙂


A group photo at The Old Church.


Ernst & Young and London group.


Pilots group – Pete, David, Jerry, Jan, Noel, me, Max, Jack. Note Jan holding a blue paper plane – we made 30 planes which people were able to throw at us for a photo.


UK group photo – Pete, David, Noel, me, Laura, Debra and Jack.


Bibby group photo.


Robinson group photo.


Coughlan group photo.


Bridal Party photo.


Pauline had kindly been using my camera during the day but at one point came to ask me something about it so I took the opportunity to take a photo. 🙂

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We had corks made to hold the seating name cards and our names and the date printed on the corks. We also had favours in a little tin suitcase which had a sticker with our names and date and a red biplane on it and which contained 7 jet plane sweets, a couple of white marshmallows (clouds!) and the sweets were in a bag which was surrounded by blue tissue paper (sky!).

I think Jack was deputed by Pauline to go around and take photos of the tables…

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We had arranged for a quartet to play music in the background; two flutes, a viola and a cello. They were called Confetti and were just what we wanted. They played while we were in the garden and then played during the majority of the reception.

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When it came time for speeches I had quite a surprise. My parents had recorded a video of them in which my Dad gave a speech! They even gave a toast and had wine in glasses prepared!

Noel giving his speech.


Ian giving his speech.


All the speeches were good and well received and enjoyed.

Here’s Noel and me cutting the cake. The lady who played the organ at the church also made the cake and it was very moist and delicious.

We were also really pleased with the cake topper. It was a red biplane with our names on it and the date and it contained Noel in the front with his blue tie and me in the back with our cat Buster (yes, I know that’s normally a dog’s name…!) 🙂

The great thing about Noel being in the front and me in the back is that some people will think Noel might be flying while others (who have some flying knowledge) will think that I might be flying. 😎

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Max and Di.


The table names were airfields which mean something to us so our table name was White Waltham which is our home airfield.

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Two couples (including the Best Man) had to leave about 8pm to catch a flight but The Old Church were on the ball and served them dessert in time, ahead of the rest of us.

Noel and I finally left just after 10:30pm and stayed in Napier CBD. Laura and David kindly looked after the removal of flowers etc to the Villa next door to the reception.

Some written info from the photographer, John Miles and his facebook page.

Official photos from John Miles.

A really magical day for both of us!