Matthew Backhouse

Matthew Backhouse is an APNZ journalist based in Auckland.

Newlyweds touch down at Sevens in winning reception

Newlyweds Victoria and Ricky De Ruyter took the bridal party to Westpac Stadium instead of a traditional reception.  Photo / Mark Mitchell
Newlyweds Victoria and Ricky De Ruyter took the bridal party to Westpac Stadium instead of a traditional reception. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Groom Ricky De Ruyter says he's a lucky man, and not only because he's married the love of his life - she was also willing to share their big day with thousands of screaming rugby fans.

After a church wedding yesterday, Mr De Ruyter, 27, and his new wife Victoria, 26, rejected a traditional reception in favour of something a little more unconventional.

The Wellington couple, who have two sons aged 2 and 5 and are originally from Invercargill, celebrated their nuptials by taking their guests to the Hertz Wellington Sevens.

His bride was equally as enthusiastic about their reception choice as he was, said Mr De Ruyter.

"I'm lucky to have someone that goes for this kind of thing."

The idea came to them after they went last year dressed as Duffman from The Simpsons TV cartoon and had a ball.

"We've never been that traditional in that kind of sense so it just seemed like a fun idea," Mr De Ruyter said.

"Also, only living in Wellington a couple of years and it being a small service we thought if we're dragging them from all around the place we might as well make a weekend of it," he said.

The couple were married at a church in Wainuiomata at 11.30am, followed by a small reception at their house for their 40 or so guests.

At 6pm, almost the entire wedding party was taken by bus to Westpac Stadium - with the newly married couple beaming in their traditional wedding attire.

The party stayed in their wedding clothes but accessorised with several "add-ons" to get into the spirit of the Sevens, which is known for the elaborate costumes worn by fans.

The men in the wedding party added blue items to their outfits including ties, braces and top hats, while for the women it was pink sashes, sunglasses, tiaras and veils.

The couple had bought tickets for all their guests, but Mr De Ruyter said it wasn't an expensive reception.

"Not really, most receptions cost you about that much."

The new Mrs De Ruyter said they had wanted a casual, fun wedding. "This seemed like a good event to join it to and we love the Sevens."

But with so many people dressed up for the event, Mrs De Ruyter said convincing people they were actually newlyweds would be a hard sell."People won't believe us!"

- APNZ

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