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Valerie Adams’ golden day: I’m eternally yours!

The elated sports legend marries her forever love

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

“This is even more amazing than winning an Olympic gold medal,” Valerie tells Woman’s Day of her wedding to long-time love Gabriel Price.

“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!,” she gushed.

Valerie and Gabriel, both 31, wed in the Mormon church atop the hill in Hamilton’s Temple View.

The couple said their ‘I dos’ in front of 30 close friends and family members.

“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,” Valerie told 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,” Gabriel revealed.

Gabriel and Valerie met as children, both attending the same church in Mangere where Gabriel’s Rarotongan-American father was a bishop.

However, Gabriel’s first stand-out memory of his future wife was when she started at Mangere Intermediate.

He recalls, “The school was predominantly Polynesian, very dark, so this light skinned girl comes along and I’m like, ‘Wow!’”

Valerie’s wedding dress was custom-made by Auckland designer John Zimmermann, who created a sleek, figure-hugging silk-satin number with French-knotted, sequined Chantilly lace panels.

Valerie says the idea of finding her perfect dress was “daunting” at first.

“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. M dress is elegant, very classy and it has no frills, which is very me. And it shows off my booty!” Valerie says.

The newlyweds share a poignant moment at the grave of Valerie’s mum, who tragically died of cervical cancer in 2000.

“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,” Gabriel says.

“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,” Gabriel added.

The reception was held in SkyCity’s Auckland room, where the couple entered the room to the strains of Diana Ross and Lionel Richie’s “Endless Love”.

Pageboy Kingston carries in the rings on a cushion monogrammed by Gabriel’s mum.

The couple’s rings are punch-set with diamonds and his is made from tungsten.

Valerie’s good friend, sports writer Phil Gifford, officiated at the ring ceremony.

“Today, I feel like the luckiest woman alive,” Valerie said as she pledged her love to Gabriel.

The couple share a kiss after the ceremony.

Valerie’s namesake niece Val performs a traditional tau’olunga dance in front of gifts for the bride and groom.

In keeping with Tongan tradition, guests shower the couple with money for their families.

The newlyweds take the dance floor!

Before her Tongan dance, Valerie admitted, “I haven’t had any practice – I’ll just stand there and see what happens.”

A Cook Islands dance troupe made a surprise performance on the night.

Of her fun-filled reception, Valerie says, “We’ve got a good mix of faces and colours. It’s a big, colourful day.”

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