This was a big fat Port Chalmers wedding like no other.

On Saturday, Desiree Mahy, 33, was driven to church in a nine-seater limousine - which was able to accommodate her one-of-a-kind dress - before exchanging vows and finally cutting a nine-tiered cake inspired by last year's royal wedding.

The Dunedin lawyer married Allied Press employee Nathan Williams, 38, in front of about 120 guests in one of the city's most colourful weddings.

More than 50 people, including some not on the official guest list, packed a nearby grassy bank and took up other good observation spots to watch the bride arrive.


"Isn't that lovely!" one onlooker gasped as the bride, wearing her distinctive dress, slowly emerged from the limousine outside the Trinity Church, Port Chalmers.

Moving the huge but strikingly beautiful dress through narrow doorways required considerable delicate maneuvering, and quite a bit of discreet assistance from a couple of key helpers, to keep everything in order.

Ms Mahy said she originally requested a 'Gone with the Wind' inspired wedding gown from her designer brother Grant, but a week later the hit television show 'My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding' hit the screens.

"It probably didn't help that I said I would quite like a decent-sized skirt anyway."

And the result?

A Grant Mahy designed wedding dress featuring 175m of 'Cadbury purple' tulle petticoat, 20m of Indian sourced silk, lace from her mother's wedding dress, and hundreds of hours in beadwork.

The oversized petticoat has resulted in her practising how to sit, generated discussions on toilet etiquette, and how to get the dress in and out of the limousine.

Ms Mahy said the admired those on the hit television show "but I would not have envisaged I would have my own gypsy-style wedding".

"I was offered a horse and carriage but I said no."

The mother of the bride, Yvonne Mahy, also went beyond her daughter's brief to make a "three-tiered cake", and had arrived with 21 cakes.

Those 21 cakes, which made up a nine-tier cake inspired by the royal wedding, took her 500 hours to make. She delivered it after driving her hatchback from her home in Whakatane to Dunedin.

Mr Williams, who wore a kilt, had earlier said he "initially didn't know what to expect", but was looking forward to an "interesting" day.

Tania Richardson, a friend of the bride, was among the many well-wishers waiting outside the church for a "magic" occasion.

"I'm quite excited for her," Ms Richardson added.

And the bride's mother, Mrs Mahy was also delighted by the outcome.

"The service was lovely, very lovely."