Love In Longevity – A sneak peek into the love (& longevity) 2023 finalist couples.

There have been songs, sonnets, and stage-plays written about love. Philosophers, Poets, Playwrights, Politicians, Pranksters, and even the Pope have spoken about the pitfalls and merits of love. From the beginning of time, to time present, there are few words (like LOVE), which evoke so much emotion – heartbreak or hope.

I think love is summed up best in the the following quote:

“Love is a fire.
But whether it is going to warm your hearth
or burn down your house, you can never tell.” – anon.





Graeme & Karen Jones      I      Photo supplied.





Patrick & Anne Hunter      I      Photo supplied


G R A E M E   +   K A R E N   J O N E S      –      Married 27.10.1973

Nominated by: Greg & Donna Miller (Long time family Friends and former business partners)








Brides Maiden Name: Karen Messerschmidt   /   Grooms Name: Graeme Jones

Our Story:

We were married at St Columba’s Church, Havelock North.

We had a traditional wedding in the Church and then held a reception, surrounded by family and friends. The Church choir, of which Karen was a member formed a guard of honour as we came down the aisle. Graeme’s mother arranged the flowers, Karen’s aunt made the 3 tier cake, Karen’s Dad organised the reception. Karen’s ballet teacher made her wonderful wedding dress. We had a lovely very memorable day.

The most memorable part of our wedding day was walking down the aisle through a guard of honour as Mr & Mrs Jones.
The service itself was the fulfilment of our dreams.
We were married and would now spend our lives together.










Our Wedding Day:

Almost everything went to plan. The service, the guests, the reception were all perfect.

The only glitch was when we arrived at Cornwall Park for the wedding photographs when Karen stepped out of the car into a deep gutter full of muddy water. Mud splashed right up the front of her white wedding dress. Calmly and quickly we went to the nearest house where the lady sponged off all the mud. She was amazing and there was not a trace left on her dress.

We reached the reception (The Hawkes Bay Farmer’s Tea Rooms), and as Karen stepped onto the footpath our driver quickly came around and put confetti down her dress and in her mouth!
He had a great time while the rest of the bridal party stood back and laughed.

We remember most the love and pride we felt now being Mr and Mrs Jones in front of all our family and friends.


Our Ingredients for a Love Recipe:

Confiding in each other on all matters. Patience, understanding, trusting, and listening to each other. Most of all the enjoyment and learning we have had working together in our family orchard and pack-house brought us closer together and through this developed a greater love and understanding for each other. After closing our fruit growing and packing business we then worked for several years in charge of the night shift in one of Hawkes Bay’s largest Apple packhorses. Over the last 20 years we have loved working in Hospitality with Greg Miller.















P A T R I C K   +   A N N E   H U N T E R      –      Married 14.04.1973

Name Nominator: Louise Riddy (Daughter).








Brides Maiden Name: Anne Catherine Eather

Grooms Name: Patrick James Hunter

Our Story:

Patrick and I got married on the 14th April 1973, at The Church of St Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Avondale , Auckland. A beautiful sunny day. 3 Bridesmaids, my twin sister, younger sister and a girlfriend. Pat had his two brothers as groomsmen and good friend as best man. Pat is the oldest of nine so a big family compared to mine with just the three girls. Back in the day both families sat on opposite sides of the church, so one side had way more than the other!







Our Wedding Day:

I had wondered when Pat said he had chosen the males wedding attire as they had maroon jackets, whereas the bridesmaid wore red, was a tad concerned with colour match, too late to change but looked okay on the day. I always believe that my mother-in-law was the match maker in our life as I had worked with her at a coffee lounge while still at school, she had her sights set on me marrying her oldest son, at that time I was 16 and Pat was 21. But fate intervened, I completed a hairdressing degree and was asked to do all the hair for Pats sisters wedding, a few weeks later our first date, 3mths later engaged and 8mths later married.











Ingredients to our recipe of love and longevity:

Never go to bed or out the door angry.
Draw on each other strengths when times are tough.
Always keep saying, “I love you”, and always hold hands when out and about.
Have your separate interests and encourage each other along the way.
Watch out for each other.

We have two beautiful children and 5 amazing grandchildren.
We treasure every moment we have with them and each other.





We’ll leave the last word(s) on this beautiful subject (LOVE), to superstar songstress Shania Twain.

“Looks like we made it. Look how far we’ve come, my baby. We mighta took the long way, We knew we’d get there someday.
They said, “I bet they’ll never make it”, But just look at us holding on. We’re still together, still going strong.”

– Song ‘You’re Still The One.” – performed by Shania Twain / Written by Robert John Lange & Shania Twain.





Where to from here?: Both our 2023 finalist couples will be joining us at the upcoming Wedding Industry Awards (NZ) gala, scheduled Friday, August 18th 2023. Hosted in the beautifully appointed ‘Barrel Hall’ of the equally exquisite Linden Estate Winery, Eskdale, Hawkes Bay, a WINNER will be selected from our two couples.

To learn who will be our WINNING couple in the Love In Longevity category of this years awards, STAY TUNED to where we’ll be posting the WINNERS of this and all the other categories via our ‘official’ social media page, and later the website.

To LIKE/FOLLOW US on facebook, simply click HERE.

To FOLLOW our journey via Instagram, simply click HERE.

Acknowledgements: Many thanks to Karen & Graeme Jones & Anne & Patrick Hunter for supplying your stellar wedding pics. They are absolutely timeless!

Disclaimer: Each of the couples mentioned (above) give Wedding Industry Awards (NZ), permission to use any/all photos submitted in the public domain for marketing/promotional use.