The sudden death of Rotorua motorbike enthusiast John Lickfold has "changed the complexion" of his eldest daughter's wedding in Christchurch this weekend.

But the wedding will go ahead and the celebration of Lickfold's life will be held a little later because that's what her husband would have wanted, John's wife Ruth Lickfold said.

Instead of being given away by her father, Jody Lickfold has asked for her two brothers to walk her down the aisle.

It is suspected Lickfold suffered a heart attack while taking part in Burt's Farm Trail Ride on Mimiha Rd, 5km north of Matata on Saturday.


"John's death is a tragedy but nothing can be done about it now," Ruth Lickfold said.

"My daughter and I decided that in fairness to guests who were travelling from overseas for the wedding, and for all the planning and preparation that has been done, the wedding should go ahead.

"I'm sure there will be mixed emotions on the day but I know John would have wanted the wedding to go ahead.

"And because John's death was sudden, we knew an autopsy would be required.

"We weren't sure when we would get him back and we didn't want to rush things for his celebration of life. We want to be able to plan for that."

A service would be held in Rotorua on December 18.

She said Lickfold died doing what he loved and with friends around him.

"He loved motorbikes and he was with great mates on Saturday at the Matata event."


She said her husband was quite well known in Rotorua as he had owned and operated East Electrical for many years.

"Judging by the amount of messages we have received, he had made a few friends in Rotorua.

"John had a very dry sense of humour, I'm sure most people who knew him will agree with that. He was also a picky eater as pointed out by his children."