There was laughter and tears when 80-year-olds Ray and Ngaire said "I do" early last night at the Julia Wallace Retirement Village in Palmerston North.
There were some similarities to the worldwide spectacle of Prince Harry's looming nuptials with Meghan Markle. But there were also, of course, some distinct differences.
As did Harry and Meghan, Ray and Ngaire met on a blind date.
But Ngaire wasn't sure this was what she wanted, so she hid behind a clothes rack in EzyBuy.
They were in town to have coffee, but Ngaire wanted a peek to see if she liked him first.
Ray asked her friends whether she was Ngaire, and she told them to say no. As he walked away, Ngaire knew she liked this man.
Coffee led to wine and country music three weeks later and when Ngaire heard Ray sing, she said she was "hooked".
Early Friday evening, the couple who have an apartment in the village, joined the residents of the Julia Wallace Retirment Village in Palmerston North to celebrate the upcoming royal nuptials.
The couple and two of the staff kept the marriage secret. After all, Harry and Meghan's wedding was reason enough to bring out the dresses, fascinators and velvet bow ties.
"We thought we'd go off and get married quietly in a park."
Elope? "Yes", Ngaire said, but knew their families would like to share their special day, so they set the plan into action.
A friend of the couple remarked she thought Ngaire looked especially regal in her dress when she came for happy hour.
To her surpise, and the residents, they were to celebrate their own royal occasion; the marraige of two octagenarians who professed their love for each other in front of celebrant Murray Mills.
Ray said he felt emotional, and then twirled his new bride around the dance floor.
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