All Blacks and Chiefs rugby star Aaron Cruden had a well-known schoolmate to thank for helping make his wedding day special.
The 25-year-old married Grace King, his partner of seven years, at Manawatu's Wakefields Lodge in front of 155 family and friends last weekend.
Woman's Day this week publishes an exclusive interview and photographs of the wedding. They show Cruden waiting at the altar in a black tuxedo and bow tie, as King's father, Anthony, escorts her down the aisle on a warm and sunny day.
X-Factor finalist Benny Tipene, who went to Palmerston North Boys' High School with Cruden, was on hand to sing and strum one of the couple's favourite songs - Christina Perri's A Thousand Years.
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Cruden told Woman's Day he knew he would get emotional when he saw his wife-to-be, also 25, walking towards him.
"I could feel myself tearing up as Benny played the walk-in music," said Cruden. "It was pretty magical. They say it's a special moment and it certainly was for me - I couldn't have been any happier that she was going to be my wife." The pair first got together as 18-year-olds.
King, who wore a white strapless gown created by Auckland bridal designer Anna Schimmel, told the magazine it felt "wicked" to be married.
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