Valerie Adams says 'I do' to her man, Gabriel

Valerie and Gabriel, both 31, who have been family friends since childhood through their parents and church, were married in a small Mormon ceremony in Hamilton yesterday. Photo / Woman's Day
Valerie and Gabriel, both 31, who have been family friends since childhood through their parents and church, were married in a small Mormon ceremony in Hamilton yesterday. Photo / Woman's Day

Olympic double gold medallist Valerie Adams has tied the knot with her sweetheart Gabriel Price.

Valerie and Gabriel, both 31, who have been family friends since childhood through their parents and church, were married in a small Mormon ceremony at Temple View in Hamilton yesterday.

Valerie looked stunning in a white full-length silk-satin and lace gown designed by Auckland designer John Zimmermann, and Gabriel wore a black suit and bow-tie. The bride held a bouquet of white roses and Gabriel had a matching single white rosebud in his lapel. The flower is seen by Tongans as the most beautiful in the world.

Photo / Woman's Day
Photo / Woman's Day

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Forecast thunderstorms had threatened the day, but the sun shone bright for the young couple as they celebrated their union with 30 loved ones at the temple.

They were later joined by 250 family and friends for a wedding reception at Auckland's SkyCity, where they exchanged rings and celebrated into the night.

Valerie completed a solo dance, as is the bride's custom at a Tongan wedding. That was the cue for guests to pin money on her to celebrate the nuptials.

Gabriel's mother delivered a speech which brought many guests to tears. She was joined by five other women to serenade Valerie, who was labelled the "white rose of the night".

Her uncle responded with a speech in Tongan, which also paid tribute to Valerie's late mother, Lilika Ngauamo.

Valerie's half-brother, basketball star Steven Adams, couldn't be there due to NBA commitments, but Lord Vaea, the Tongan sports minister and local from Valerie's island village Houma, attended in his capacity as a noble. He anointed Valerie a matapule, or chief, in 2014. She was the first woman in the history of her village to receive the title,

Valerie and Gabriel have dated for two years, revealing their engagement on Twitter in Janaury with the words: "This happened a week ago. #eternallife."

In an exclusive interview with the Herald on Sunday in February, Valerie said the couple made the perfect pair.

"He's the one for me. He's so laid-back and chilled. It makes my life easier. He's got the brains, I've got the muscle. It's a great combination."

There will be no honeymoon for our favourite Olympian. Tomorrow, the four-time world champion shot-putter returns to training ahead of August's Rio Olympics.

She will be chasing a third successive Olympic gold medal. It is Valerie's second marriage. In 2004 she married New Caledonian discus thrower Bertrand Vili. The pair divorced in 2010.

- Herald on Sunday

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