A woman who died of meningococcal disease on the weekend had only just got married hours before.

Jamieka McCarthy Harford, 26, died in Auckland on Saturday after falling ill during her wedding ceremony. She later died of the bacterial infection linked to meningitis.

Harford's husband, Alistair John, said her sudden passing was a huge shock to everybody.

"This has been incredibly difficult to process. She was taken from us without notice by a horrible, deadly disease," he said.


The marriage took place on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, with photos depicting the radiant bride being led down the aisle by her father on a beautiful summer's day.

A family statement said, "Jamieka was so happy to be married and the wedding was a beautiful, happy occasion surrounded by love."

She was described as "the most kind-hearted person in the world who loved life and she always put others before herself".

"She was a beloved wife, daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece, cousin and friend. She will be missed forever."

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service has confirmed it is investigating the death, which was likely caused by meningococcal disease.

ARPHS said it was working closely with the family to prevent further transmission of the disease.

Meningococcal disease is caused by bacteria spread by very close contact or many hours of prolonged contact with an infected person - and is serious and potentially fatal.

There are around 28 cases of meningococcal disease in Auckland each year.