Former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw may be a hard man on the field, but as the woman who would be his wife walked towards him, he admits he "choked up a wee bit''.

The 36-year-old married long-time sweetheart, Black Sticks star Gemma Flynn, at an intimate wedding in Wanaka over the weekend.

The first official photos of the couple's special day were revealed in a 14-spread feature in the latest Woman's Day issue.

McCaw, who announced his retirement in November 2015, described how he felt the first time he got a glimpse of his soon-to-be wife.


"When I saw her for the first time, I choked up a wee bit,'' he told the magazine.

"I was blown away. I knew I would be, but more so than I thought. She was beautiful.''

Photos show the new Mrs McCaw, 26, in a simple but stunning white silk dress.

Custom-made by Auckland designer Anna Schimmel, it features a deep V at the back and is framed with beading.

Her hand-beaded veil trails behind her as she walks arm and arm with her father, Rob Flynn.

The bride's outfit is accessorised with a pair of nude Valentino heels, borrowed earrings and a bouquet of white hydrangeas and pink and white roses.

Gemma said of her dress: "I absolutely love my dress and my veil. Anna Schimmel is incredible.

"I never had the fairytale type of vision in my head, but I knew the look and feel I wanted - classic, timeless and elegant. Once I had the picture in my mind, I explained it to Anna and she drew it pretty much on the first go.''

Her four bridesmaids wore blush silk dresses designed by Moochi - a brand started by Tauranga's Kellie Taylor.

The groom's suit is by Ermenegildo Zegna.

Our first day as Mr & Mrs McCaw ❤

A post shared by Gemma McCaw (@gemflynn) on

As she walked towards her soon to be husband, Gemma said: "I was focusing on looking at Richie. He looked as handsome as ever - it was nice walking towards him.''

The wedding photos also feature the newlyweds and their bridal party atop mountains, making for uniquely special wedding photographs.

Other special touches on the day included Richie's sister Jo's two daughters - Ruby and Chloe Spencer-Bower - as flower girls.

The couple also used McCaw's parents' - Margaret and Donald McCaw's - wedding topper for their three-tiered cake. Gemma's dad built the archway they were standing under when pronounced husband and wife.

Speaking about their big day, the former All Blacks captain said it was all about sharing a day with their loved ones; particularly their parents, including Gemma's mum Michelle Flynn.

"The main thing was that we wanted a very chilled-out day,'' he said.

"That's just the way we are. I think you can get too hung up on it being absolutely perfect, but it doesn't have to be al proper and perfect ...

"I'm a lucky man.''

Woman's Day cover featuring exclusive photos of Richie McCaw's wedding to Gemma Flynn. Photo / Supplied
Woman's Day cover featuring exclusive photos of Richie McCaw's wedding to Gemma Flynn. Photo / Supplied