Barbie and Ken (aka Sarah and Dan) escape for dinner on their Wedding Anniversary.

Over twenty years ago they met. The past fourteen years they have spent wed, living in New Zealand. The past ten years they have been busy – with building a couple of businesses, selling them, making three babies and embarking on the never ending road of parenting responsibilities.

Scorching Bay, Wellington

Time together has been hard to find, but they’ve stuck together and are pulling through. So, when their 14th Wedding Anniversary came round they decided to dig their way out of the sand and spend some uninterrupted time together (even if it was only a couple of hours over dinner).

Dinner at Gasworks, Miramar, Wellington

The night before the wedding anniversary he came home with a wild and vibrant looking bouquet of flowers. She was delighted and touched that he’d thought of including so many of her favourite flowers and that he’d asked the florist to make the bouquet a little like his wife – as he said, ‘Wild, vibrant and a little crazy – but not too crazy!’.

Flowers on our 14th Wedding Anniversary

Memories of their wedding day flooded back, when she decided the bridal bouquet looked too formal – and asked for tendrils of ivy to be added at the last minute – to give more of a ‘wild’ look. They enjoyed their wedding day with such passion that she never thought to remove the veil that trailed down, in great volume, from her head (which, when she looks back on the photographs looks a little ‘over the top’ and very ‘1990s’!). She insisted that she would wear her dress into the night, no time for changing. She partied and danced, skipping in and out the mist surrounding ‘The New Mill’ (which was actually five hundred years old – but new, given that there was one before that – which had burned down).

Sunshine had given way to a summer storm over dinner, with thunder and lightening as the wedding speeches were read. By the evening, when the spit roast was cooking in the garden, and the dancing was in full swing, she jumped in and out of the puddles outside like a giddy girl. Champagne bubbled through her veins, love in her heart and laughter in her every breath.

Time was for them to own and play with. Carefree with their whole life before them.

Fourteen years on, and with three wonderful, energetic children, time has to be more carefully played with – and patience is definitely a virtue – that is rewarded when it’s practiced!

They returned home from dinner to their children and their neighbour – who had so very kindly offered to look after them, as well as managing her own two children.

They popped open the sparkling wine, a gift from her father – the wine that they’d toasted their future to at the wedding in 1999 – a wine from where they first sealed their love, as her husband to be had got down on one knee and proposed at the Marlborough Food and Wine Festival, on Valentine’s Day in 1997.

Cheers to us!

And whilst the sparkling wine sizzled in their veins, they waited, patiently, for their children to finally succumb to sleep.

She dressed up for a little fun, and counted down the minutes as first one, then two and finally three children fell to sleep. The rest of the story is best left unsaid – but it is fair to say there was a very ‘Happy Ever After’ ending to the 14th Wedding Anniversary.

Then and now - 14 years on

They didn’t quite get to drive off into the sunset,or walk hand in hand on the beach, (Ken and Barbie had already beaten them to that!), but they had made the time to be together, to remember so many happy moments, to feel the love that still bound them and kept them strong – and to look forward to the future – vowing to make more time for just the two of them. x

Scorching Bay on our Wedding Anniversary