The Edge radio host Jay-Jay Feeney recalls the day she exchanged vows on a snow-dusted Queenstown peak
Dom and I had met briefly through work. I was based at The Edge in Hamilton, and he was at 2XS FM in Palmerston North, which is now More FM. One night, he randomly called me to ask if I’d like to go to a Bee Gees concert with him. I agreed, but then he asked if he could crash at my house the night before. I thought, ‘I know what he wants!’ But he’d scrubbed up quite well and we immediately hit it off.
Dom would always say, ‘I’m going to marry you one day’. It used to annoy me because he was taking the surprise out of it, so I decided I’d ask him instead.
When we were in New York in August 2002, I’d organised a ring and planned to propose at the top of the Empire State Building, but I was so nervous and there were loads of people around, so I chickened out. I eventually asked him at the basement of the New Yorker Hotel – in the laundry room!
I’m not a summer girl, so we had a winter wedding on June 20, 2004, photographed by Greg Wilson from Palmerston North. The ceremony took place on top of Queenstown’s Deer Park Heights and the reception was held at Moonlight Stables in Arrowtown.
I hired wedding planner Jody Zimmerman, which was the best decision I ever made. She totally took the stress out of our day – I felt like a groom! Our guest list of 100 people was challenging – I had estranged family members who couldn’t be the same room, and a friend got the pip with me because I didn’t invite her boyfriend of six weeks.
Anna Schimmel designed my gown: a European bridal duchess dress with handbeaded French lace. I also wore a faux fur cloak, lined in satin, which I’ve since lent to two other brides. My shoes were these incredible knee- high Spice Girl boots that I found in LA – perfect for the snow. I carried a white calla lily bouquet designed by Queenstown florist Sarah Gutschlag that matched the lilies we used to decorate the ceremony and reception venues.
Dom wore a custom-made black suit by RJB Design and his best man [The Breeze DJ] Robert Scott, hired a suit from Frank Casey.
Corina Homer, a work friend, had let slip that she’d always wanted to be a bridesmaid – and she was an awesome one. Her dress was an ice-blue, floor-length silk gown with diamanté straps.
I’ll never forget a hilarious moment in the morning while Corina and I were getting ready. We heard a commotion outside, and there were Dom and Robert running around in the snow – naked! My mum and Dom’s mum were with us and saw the whole thing.
I wasn’t nervous about getting married, but I was a bit worried about being the centre of attention. The whole time I was thinking, ‘ This is so weird. I can’t believe this is happening.’
The Chambermaids string trio performed the ‘Bridal Chorus’ as I came down the aisle, and we signed the registry to ‘As’ by George Michael and Mary J Blige. ‘Here, There and Everywhere’ by The Beatles played when we exited the ceremony, and Nesian Mystik entertained throughout the night.
We honeymooned in an over- water bungalow in Bora Bora, Tahiti. One night a huge storm rolled in and I was sure we were going to be swept away. The rest of the trip was amazing, even if a can of coke cost $8.
For our first anniversary we stayed at Waiheke Island’s The Boatshed, and every year we give each other the traditional anniversary wedding gifts: paper, cotton and so on.
For me, the secret to a happy marriage is always being on the same page. I think some people take weddings way too seriously. My advice for brides to be is to relax.