All Blacks descended on a tiny Auckland island yesterday — population 21 — to watch superstar Beauden Barrett and longtime partner Hannah Laity wed.
The couple said "I do" at the secluded and luxurious Hurakia Lodge on Rakino which charges close to $50,000 for large weddings.
Among the guests were All Blacks Israel Dagg, Aaron Smith, Dane Coles, Brodie Retallick, Damian McKenzie, Luke Romano and Anton Lienert-Brown, as well as Barrett's brothers Scott and Jordie.
Crowd Goes Wild presenter Makere Gibbons and her Auckland property developer husband Kurt Gibbons were also there to watch the nuptials.
As the couple went off to take their wedding photos, several All Blacks could be seen playing golf at the venue.
A marquee was set up for guests to dine in, and a photo backdrop with the words "Mr and Mrs Barrett" was set up for guests to take photos in frnt of.
Accountant Laity, 24, opted for a traditional white wedding dress, with a long train and veil, the latter of which was seen blowing in the wind as she walked up a hill for the photos. Hurricanes' star Barrett, 27, and his groomsmen cut a sharp look with dark suits paired with white shirts.
The couple, who became engaged after Barrett popped the question while holidaying in Fiji last January, tried to keep the location secret and are understood to have given a women's magazine exclusive rights to their photos.
While the bride was probably flown to the wedding venue, guests were reportedly told to meet at a ferry terminal before boarding a boat to the secret location. A tourism operator said they understood it would've cost up to $8000 to transport guests to and from the island from Auckland.
The details were kept top secret, even locals on the tiny island were unaware of the couple's big day.
Rakino Island resident Pat Withers said it was fantastic the couple had chosen the island for their wedding.
"I wish them all the best. If they want to start married life off on Rakino Island, then good on them."
Waiheke Island was initially thought to be the likely location — Laity has strong links to the island and this week posted photos of her 17-strong hen's party at Tantalus Estate Vineyard as well as another party for family friends at her godfather's island pad.
Barrett's All Blacks teammate Sam Whitelock was also spotted at Franco's Panetteria in Ostend yesterday morning.
Earlier, guests took to social media to show themselves getting glammed up ahead of the big day.
Daisy Dagg, wife of Barrett's former teammate Israel Dagg, posted a selfie to her Instagram story to let the world know she was "wedding ready".
Earlier, former All Black Julian Savea's wife, Fatima Savea, shared a photo of her getting her hair done at Servilles in Takapuna.
An island hideaway
Hurakia Lodge is owned by Australian-based investor John MacCulloch, who has held high-brow events on the island, including filming an episode for America's Next Top Model and The Table Club event for Australian and New Zealand rich-listers. A few years ago he hosted fifth generation tycoon Justin Rockefeller there.
Kiwi-born MacCulloch, who these days calls Sydney's eastern suburbs home, spared no expense when he built Hurakia Lodge in 2002.
His island retreat is in the Rural 3 (Rakino Amenity) zone, has vast decks and huge storm proof windows to withstand winds of 250km/h if necessary.
The lodge, which is listed for sale on TradeMe, has five bedrooms; seven bathrooms; two staff rooms and separate garage and utility areas.
Rakino Island has been variously owned by a 19th century governor, a captain of industry and a professional hypnotherapist before being subdivided in the 1960s.
There are no shops and residents have to sort out their own water, waste water and electricity supplies.
It's been a busy few months for yesterday's newlyweds, who attended the wedding of Hurricanes' teammate Ben May to Kirstie Trolove, north of Wellington just before the new year.
As the festivities continued this week, Barrett joined Kiwi US Open winner Michael Campbell and friends for a round of golf at the exclusive Kauri Cliffs golf course in the Bay of Islands.
The All Blacks first five helicoptered to the course in the afternoon with Campbell, Wellington property developer Kurt Gibbons, and billionaire Graeme Hart's son Harry Hart before finishing off the day on Hart's superyacht.
Last weekend, the couple attended the ASB Classic women's final where they were greeted by pre-wedding well-wishers in the lobby of the So Hotel after the Men's Players' Party at Rooftop bar.
The next day, along with fellow All Black Damian McKenzie, the couple were hosted in the Moet & Chandon Box at the tennis where they had some pouring practice against Spanish tennis star Pablo Carreno Busta in the Moet & Chandon Racquet Club.
As Barrett is a friend of the brand, there is no doubt he and his new wife's guests enjoyed quite a generous supply of champagne.