Top 3 Moments from Jacinda Ardern’s Enchanting Vineyard Wedding

The Love Story

The love story between Jacinda Ardern and Clarke Gayford began in 2012 at an awards night in Auckland, where Gayford was hosting. A year later, their paths crossed again when Gayford, concerned about a proposed national security law, wrote to Ardern, his local opposition legislator. This initiated a coffee meeting, followed by a unique date where Gayford took Ardern fishing. Over the years, their relationship blossomed, leading to an engagement in 2019, a fact that only became public when Ardern was spotted wearing a diamond ring.

Wedding Plans and Postponements

Originally planned for early 2022, the couple’s wedding faced a setback due to Covid-19 gathering restrictions imposed by Ardern’s government amidst the surge of the Omicron variant. Ardern, displaying resilience and understanding, expressed that her wedding would not proceed, echoing the sentiments of many New Zealanders grappling with pandemic-related disruptions. The event, however, took place on a sunny Saturday, bringing together close friends and family at the Craggy Range Winery in Hawke’s Bay.

Fashion Choices and Symbolic Touches

Renowned designer Juliette Hogan, known for her distinctive silk garments, custom-made Ardern’s fitted ivory dress. Hogan, who reportedly makes only 10 bespoke bridal gowns annually, contributed to the Prime Minister’s elegant and timeless look. The groom, Clarke Gayford, donned a black custom-made suit by New Zealand fashion house Zambesi. Ardern’s five-year-old daughter, Neve, played a special role in the ceremony, walking down the aisle in a dress crafted from fabric sourced from her grandmother’s wedding dress.

The Venue and Surroundings

Hawke’s Bay, situated on the eastern side of New Zealand’s North Island, served as the idyllic backdrop for the couple’s union. Known for its sunny weather and wine-growing regions, the area provided a serene setting for the celebration. The ceremony took place at Craggy Range Winery, a popular wedding venue in the region, with temperatures reaching up to 29°C.

Guest List and Notable Attendees

Among the distinguished guests were prominent figures from the Labour party, including Chris Hipkins, the former prime minister who assumed office after Ardern’s resignation. Trevor Mallard, now New Zealand’s ambassador to Ireland, and Annette King, serving as the ambassador in Canberra, also graced the occasion. The ceremony was officiated by Grant Robertson, a close friend of the couple and former deputy prime minister.

Protests and Challenges

Despite the joyous occasion, a small number of protesters gathered outside the venue, expressing opposition to vaccine mandates enacted by Ardern’s government. The former prime minister had faced online vitriol and misogynistic abuse in the months leading to her resignation, making her a lightning rod for controversy.

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January 13, 2024 | 11:40 am