Irish-Italian couple wed in Temuka

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by Claire Allison

Tuscany couple Matteo Ciatara and Samantha Dalton flew around the world to elope . . . in Temuka.

Matteo is Italian, and Samantha is Irish, and the couple chose South Canterbury for their marriage and honeymoon, after deciding a big Italian wedding was not their dream.

Instead, they chose to have an intimate ceremony in a friend’s private garden with a celebrant and six close South Canterbury friends, followed by a meal.

The couple then headed to Tekapo for a few nights, and will explore the South Island for their honeymoon.

Matteo is the first member of his Italian family to travel so far from home. Samantha had previously lived in Riverton, before heading to London where she met Matteo. She wanted to show Matteo New Zealand, with a view to one day returning to live here.

Samantha wore tartan, symbolising her heritage, and Irish celtic rings were exchanged. Matteo’s mother supplied a silk bouquet with touches of Tuscany so as to have a little piece of Italy in Temuka. Celebrant Sarah McCambridge said elopements in New Zealand were becoming more popular as couples chose a more intimate occasion, coupled with New Zealand’s spectacular scenery, especially in winter.