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Renee Wright and Charlie Waide: our romantic honeymoon

Sorry ladies, but Charlie Waide is now officially taken. And the husband of gorgeous TVNZ weather presenter Renee Wright sure is a keeper.

The couple – who shared their picture-perfect spring wedding with the Weekly in September – have recently returned from a five-week honeymoon taking in the sights, sounds (and shops) of France, Italy, and Switzerland, with a brief stopover in Thailand. And Charlie made sure romance was in the air wherever they went.

While Renee admits it was she who took charge of booking dinner up the Eiffel Tower and cruises on the Seine, Charlie (30) was busy hatching some plans of his own.

“Somehow, while we were in Florence, he managed to get us tickets to a private showing of designer Marc Jacobs’ new collection,” says Renee, still blown away by her new husband’s gumption.

“We were in Louis Vuitton and we got chatting to the sales people there. They found out it was our honeymoon and, next thing I knew, Charlie did some smooth talking and got us invited to the exclusive show, where we sat among some of Florence’s richest locals, sipping champagne and eating canapés!”

Not only that, but Charlie, who works in construction, also bought Renee the stunning handbag she wanted from the luxury brand’s latest range – a very special present for her 30th birthday, which she celebrated while overseas.

“You could say she did pretty well out of me this year!” he says, with a cheeky smile.

She sure did. Because at the conclusion of the honeymoon, when Renee walked in the door of the couple’s Auckland home, there was one last treat in store for her. “Charlie had rounded up my friends and family for a special surprise birthday party,” says Renee. “oy mum, dad and little brother had flown up from Wellington, my sister had arrived from Sydney, my closest friends were there – it was so lovely.”

So the marriage is going well then? “I think Charlie subscribes to the ‘happy wife, happy life’ theory,” laughs Renee, glancing at her husband. “And I’m not complaining!”

The statuesque brunette, who has spent part of the latter half of this year filling in for Pippa Wetzell on TV one’s Breakfast, says it was her previous job as a presenter on travel show Getaway that inspired the couple’s trip.

“I am in love with the Amalfi Coast,” Renee begins. “When I filmed an episode of Getaway there, I wrote Charlie a letter telling him how beautiful it was and hoped one day we could go there together.”

Charlie says Renee took charge of the holiday planning – “her love for history, art, museums and statues really came to the fore!” – and the couple packed as much as possible into their European jaunt.

“Paris, Rome, Venice, Florence, Amalfi, Lake Como… which the locals call Lake Clooney now,” chuckles Renee, recalling all their stops.

“Apparently George was in residence – you could kind of tell because of all the paparazzi boats whizzing back and forth across the lake.”

Paris was the mutual highlight – although even this blissed-out couple struggled to keep up with the romantics in the City of Love. “We had some stiff competition,” Renee laughs. “There were people smooching everywhere!”But travelling together for the first time also threw up the odd issue. “Renee’s pretty relaxed,” says Charlie, “but we had a couple of minor teething problems, mostly over which one of us was making the executive decisions!”

Renee smiles bashfully, adding, “Also, I think Charlie was shocked at my ability to shop! I went a little bit crazy…”

After five weeks living out of a suitcase, both say they were ready to come home, and to see their beloved miniature dachshunds – Lily and Dolce – again.

“Renee, in particular, missed them – she was getting regular updates from her mum and dad,” says Charlie.So might there be the pitter-patter of baby feet in 2011? Renee says she’s only just getting the hang of saying “my husband” and isn’t yet ready to add “my baby” into the mix.

“We just want to enjoy this time being newly married, let the dust settle,” she smiles.

“But it’s definitely on the cards,” adds Charlie. “Renee loves kids.”

Even though their spectacular wedding day is now just a beautiful memory, Charlie says he’s just as thrilled as Renee with how it went, and is enjoying being a married man. “It’s nice – it solidifies things and makes us more ‘official’.”

Concludes Renee, “We feel more settled somehow, and the honeymoon was part of that. It was this really massive adventure for us as husband and wife – something we could do together.

It was so exciting – truly the perfect start to married life.”

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