The weather forecast warned of thunderstorms, but when Valerie Adams leaves the Mormon church atop the hill in Hamilton’s Temple View, hand in hand with her new husband Gabriel Price, the sky above the building’s gleaming white spire is brilliant blue and the sun is beating down.
However, nothing shines so brightly as our Kiwi golden girl’s smile following the traditional sealing ceremony in which she and Gabriel were named husband and wife in front of 30 devout friends and family members.
“This is even more amazing than winning an Olympic gold medal,” Valerie tells Woman’s Day. “That’s outstanding in its own special way, but it doesn’t compare to how I feel now. I feel like a taken woman and I’m so excited – there’s no going back now, I guess!
“The temple is beautiful and the ceremony inside where we sealed the deal was wonderful. And I’m really happy that the weather has held up. Isn’t it supposed to be raining? It’s a sign the Heavenly Father has blessed us today. He knew that we wanted sunshine.”
Valerie’s also rapt about her stunning custom-made bridal gown from Auckland designer John Zimmermann, a sleek, figure-hugging silk-satin number with French-knotted, sequined Chantilly-lace panels.
“At first, it was a really daunting situation trying to find a dress,” says the four-time world champion shot putter.
“I know I don’t fit the petite, size-eight norm – I’m a lot more voluptuous – but John was awesome and made me feel so comfortable. My dress is elegant, very classy and it has no frills, which is very me. And it shows off my booty!”
It’s something that her new husband certainly appreciates. As Gabriel watches his bride pose for some solo shots in the beautifully manicured gardens of the temple, the computer network engineer tells us, “I’m ecstatic – there’s no other way to describe it. I didn’t think I’d feel different, but I do. The ceremony was more emotional than I expected.
“The biggest difference between a Mormon wedding and a normal one is that instead of ’til death do you part, it’s forever and always. It’s for eternity.
“We were staring deeply into each other’s eyes as the words were being pronounced and in that moment came the realisation that it all starts now.”
“We’re ready to make our own eternal family,” adds Valerie.
See more gorgeous photos from the couple's big day here
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