Those who work hard to make people's wedding days extra special have been recognised in an award ceremony celebrating love and commitment.

The annual Wedding Industry Awards (NZ) was hosted in Rotorua on Friday night.

The winners included Rotorua couple Ralph and Coyla Buckley, the recipients of the Love and Longevity Award, which celebrates long-lasting love and honours couples who have been married for 50 years or more.

Ralph and Coyla were married on April 19, 1969 and said they were privileged to have each other.

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Coyla said they met because they both worked for the Wairarapa Dairy Company in Featherston - Ralph was a butter maker and Coyla worked in the office.

She said there was a cabaret coming up and she did not have a partner so she asked Ralph's brother, who also worked with them, to ask Ralph to go and see her because she wanted to ask him something about his tax.

When Ralph came to talk about his tax she asked him if he would be her partner to the cabaret.

"Unbeknownst to me, Ralph's manager at the factory was trying to get him to take me out."

She said it was a surprise when they found out they were the winners.

She and Ralph attended with Theresa Mutlow who put their golden wedding celebration together at Copthorne Hotel, Linda Page who made their invitations, and a friend from Feilding.

She said they enjoyed the awards and had a lovely evening.

When asked what her tips were for a long, happy marriage, she said talking things over and not bottling them up, and not going to bed in a grumpy mood.

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Rotorua couple Ralph and Coyla Buckley were the recipients of the Love and Longevity Award. Photo / Supplied
Rotorua couple Ralph and Coyla Buckley were the recipients of the Love and Longevity Award. Photo / Supplied

Hosted at Rotorua's Energy Events Centre, wedding artisans from across the country came together for the awards.

Due to the event's popularity, this year it was opened it up to wedding businesses around the country.

Event co-director Peter Duncan congratulated all of the 2019 winners.

"There are some extremely talented people in the New Zealand wedding industry and they all deserve to be recognised.

"Selecting winners is never easy for the advisory panel, and this year was no exception."

The 2019 Wedding Industry Awards (NZ). Photo / Charlotte Pinfold Photography
The 2019 Wedding Industry Awards (NZ). Photo / Charlotte Pinfold Photography

Duncan and his wife Valeta, founders and directors of The Wedding Guy Company in Rotorua, started the Wedding Industry Awards in 2014.

"We wanted to create a forum that pays tribute to people and businesses that stand out in the field. It's fantastic to play a role in showcasing the NZ wedding industry.

"The event's growth shows the demand from those in the industry for formal recognition of their achievements.

"Everyone in the field has been incredibly supportive over the past four years and we look forward to continuing to celebrate them all."

For more information on Wedding Industry Awards (NZ), go to weddingindustryawards.nz

Winners

- Outstanding Florist: The Flower Fairy, Te Kuiti
- Outstanding Wedding Gown Provider: Christine Reeves, Bespoke Garments, Christchurch - Outstanding Hair Stylist: Voluptuous Devine (Hair, Makeup, Beauty, Tanning), Hamilton - Outstanding Photographer: Dan Childs, 222 Photographic Studio, Queenstown
- Outstanding Videographer/Cinema: Jetmo Project, Auckland
- Outstanding Caterer: Kerr & Ladbrook, Hamilton
- Outstanding Wedding Venue (Ceremony): The Waterlily Gardens, Waihi
- Outstanding Wedding Venue (Reception): Valley D Vine, Napier
- Love & Longevity Award: Mr & Mrs Ralph and Coyla Buckley, Rotorua
- Outstanding Makeup Artist: Voluptuous Devine (Hair, Makeup, Beauty, Tanning), Hamilton
- Outstanding Celebrant: Tania Johnson-Scott, Christchurch
- Outstanding Marquee Hire: MacPherson Marquee's, Gisborne
- Outstanding Hire and Theming: Make Your Day Events, Thames
- Outstanding Photobooth Experience *NEW category*: The Amazing Travelling Photobooth, BOP
- Outstanding Wedding Planner *NEW category*: The Event Girl, Tokoroa
- Unique Wedding Experience *NEW category*: Dream Maker, Motueka
- Outstanding Wedding Stylist/Theme Artist: Make Your Day Events, Thames
- New Emerging Business *NEW category*: Eagle Ridge, Ohauiti, Tauranga
- Entertainment (DJ): DJ4You, Auckland
- Entertainment (Band): White Chapel Jak, Auckland
- 'The Hits' People's Choice category: Mixtapebrothers, Auckland
- Supreme Award Winner *NEW category*: LaValla, Tuakau