Hayley's good luck wedding

Soprano walks rose petal path to marry French fiance at Canterbury homestead.

Arnaud Sabard and Hayley Westenra pictured celebrating Arnaud's birthday in Singapore last March.
Arnaud Sabard and Hayley Westenra pictured celebrating Arnaud's birthday in Singapore last March.

It may have poured but Kiwi singing sensation Hayley Westenra didn't let the rain dampen her big day as she walked down a rose petal trail towards her husband-to-be.

The 26-year-old instead took the wet weather as a sign of good luck as she wed 34-year-old Arnaud Sabard, whom she met six years ago when he worked as a sound engineer on her tours.

Woman's Day today publishes an exclusive interview and pictures of the wedding. They show Westenra being escorted over the lawn by her father who held up a black umbrella to protect her lace ivory Louise Anderson gown and pale-pink Dior stilettos.

The ceremony, which had broadcaster Jason Gunn as MC, was held at a homestead at Hawarden's Flaxmere Gardens, in North Canterbury on December 29. The 93 guests dined on Akaroa salmon and New Zealand lamb cutlets followed by a choice of fruit cake and lemon tiers covered in pink icing.

Westenra, who had her younger sister Sophie and childhood friend Sophie Brinkers as bridesmaids, told the magazine that she could not believe she was finally married to Sabard.

"During the ceremony, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, but I concentrated on Arnaud's face and looking at him made me smile," she said. "It feels so surreal to be standing here, married."

Westenra's father Gerald said Mr Sabard had been a great source of support for his daughter, who found fame at 13 and moved to London soon after.

"When Hayley was first having huge success in London, it was very lonely for her, which as a parent was hard, being so far away," Mr Westenra said. "But then along came this knight in shining armour riding on a sound board and her happiness went to a whole new level."

Westenra signed her first international recording contract with Universal Records in the United Kingdom when she was 14.

Her first album Pure, released in 2003, became the fastest selling international debut in the history of the UK classical charts.

Acclaimed Christchurch singer and friend Elizabeth Baggins sang at the couple's wedding.

- NZ Herald

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