Wedding bells will chime for a Carterton couple 36 years to the day from when they first met and fell in love.
Bus driver Bruce Oppatt, 58, and his fiancee Veronica Butler, 50, will tie the knot at Cobblestones Early Settlers Museum in Greytown on June 17 at 2pm in front of 60 guests.
For the couple the road to the altar has by their own testimony been a long, and sometimes rocky one that began in 1978 with an engagement that was only to be put asunder by the then Social Welfare Department.
Since then Bruce has married three times and Veronica once.
They are both awaiting divorce papers which will be taken care of by the time they make their marriage vows.
Bruce and Veronica first met in Hastings in June, 1978 and it was "love at first sight".
They courted for three or four months, with Bruce buying his girl a sapphire and diamond ring, but with Veronica being a 15-16 year old state ward things then got messy.
Veronica said the department found out about their relationship and "shipped me off to a girls' home in Palmerston North".
Bruce was allowed to write to her, with his letters being vetted and bits considered inappropriate blacked out, but was banned from visiting her.
"I tried to run away to get to him but each time I was severely disciplined for trying," Veronica said.
Eventually life ran its course and the two pursued their lives with others, but Veronica said looking back they both remained "emotionally connected".
Bruce said years later while living in Wellington, but when visiting Hastings, he learned through a friend that Veronica was living in Wairarapa.
They got to meet and had "trouble saying goodbye" and by talking on the phone and writing to one another realised that after all the years they remained deeply in love.
Veronica said when her marriage broke up she visited Bruce who was then living apart from his wife and after spending a few days together they were convinced it was "at last our time".
Bruce moved down to Carterton to live with Veronica on August 27, 2012 and the two went shopping for an engagement ring.
As fate would have it the very first shop they went into produced a sapphire and diamond London Bridge-mounted ring identical to the one Bruce had given Veronica 35 years earlier. And what's more, it was a perfect fit.
Veronica always refers to Bruce as Spider, a nickname she gave him because she believes he encases her in a web that makes her feel safe and secure, so he responded by nicknaming her Angel as he felt she gave him wings.