When Porirua City Mayor Nick Leggett married Emily Pita, they celebrated with a "wedding of two halves”. One was public, the other private.
After the marriage ceremony at Porirua’s St Theresa’s Church, the large congregation of guests were invited to tea and a cutting-the-cake ceremony at the church hall. The cake was made by parishioner Mandy Keane.
"Standing at the door to greet everyone was wonderful,” said Emily. "We shared our day with so many people we know from all walks of life, and even some constituents who came to say hello and wish us well.
"Then we had a more intimate celebration for our families and very close friends at Springfield. It was all very special, and just as we wanted”.
Emily’s daughter Madi was a bridesmaid, and absolutely loved the whole experience. "We referred to her as Princess Madi” laughed Emily.
Because she had accompanied Nick and Emily to Springfield in the planning stages, Madi took great delight in showing then other children around. "She even took them over to the catering kitchen to watch the staff preparing food, and they were all fascinated.
The couple wanted "a simple, classic wedding, with really good food”. Holding their private party for 45 at Ruth and Paul’s Springfield home in Te Horo added just the right personal touch, down to Ruth welcoming them at the door.
Choosing a winter wedding was no problem. The weather was fine for photos on the beach, but chilly enough for Emily to wear a luxuriant fur wrap over her beautiful Robyn Cliffe Couturier dress.
"We had drinks on the verandah at Ruth’s place, and really appreciated the warmth of the fire, flickering candles and the cosy atmosphere Ruth had created for us in her dining room.
"We knew Ruth’s team would have all the detailing down to a T. They were fantastic; very attentive to our ideas. We didn’t have to worry about everything, but simply enjoy the celebrations with the people most important to us,” Emily explained.
Emily and Nick also wanted to celebrate their local and family connections. All seafood-lovers, and because Emily’s mother’s family originated from Bluff, naturally there were plenty of Bluff oysters, as well as scampi tails, home-smoked salmon and crispy-skinned snapper to follow (see below).
Nelson wines acknowledged Nick’s mother’s Nelson origins. Wedding favours on each table were beautiful little cakes of lavender soap from Lavender Creek, the lavender farm just down the road in Te Horo.
"We stayed the night in the luxury of the Springfield cottage. Waking to our first morning as a married couple to such a beautiful setting was a great start to our new life. Ruth even cooked us breakfast before we returned home, and back to real life,” Emily smiled.