15 February 2009

A Valentines Wedding for Miss Universe 1983 Miss Lorraine Downes

The celebrity cupid was shooting true this Valentine's Day with three of the country's leading ladies getting hitched.

Former Miss Universe Lorraine Downes and television stars Jaquie Brown and Joe Cotton married their beaus yesterday.

Although the skies opened up, no amount of rain was going to put a damper on Downes' and cricket star Martin Crowe's wedding.

About 70 guests travelled by bus to Omaha, north of Auckland, to attend the ceremony at a mansion above Pink Beach. Downes' agent, Andy Haden, said the couple were calm and happy, despite the stormy weather that threatened to foil plans of an outdoor ceremony.

"It will take a lot more than a bit of rain to spoil their day... They're thrilled and very happy," he said.

Haden wouldn't spill any details on what the former beauty queen was wearing.

But New Zealand's first and only Miss Universe, and the 2006 Dancing with the Stars winner, told Woman's Day a few months ago she was turning down a traditional white dress in exchange for a one-off piece by designer Jane Yeh.

She emphasised that the rest of the wedding wouldn't be conventional either. "We're not getting married in a church, so it's going to be very relaxed."

Crowe's five-year-old daughter Emma, to former partner Suzanne Taylor, and Downes' daughter Jasmine, 11, were flower girls.

Security around the wedding was tight, with the Australian Women's Weekly magazine protecting its exclusive rights with a posse of six security guards who blocked the driveway and clifftop in four-wheel-drives.

It is the second marriage for both - Downes' first husband was All Black Murray Mexted, while Crowe was married to interior designer Simone Curtice.

Meanwhile, Brown tied the knot with her partner, advertising agency creative Guy Denniston, in a garden wedding at a private home on the outskirts of Havelock North.

Two buses and four mini-vans ferried guests to the McLean Rd home, near Te Mata Peak, for the 4pm ceremony.

Brown is believed to have designed her off-white dress herself.

Talking to the Star-Times yesterday, Brown said she was excited about the big day.

"I'm happy, I'm thrilled, I'm excited, but I'd prefer not to talk about it in the press."

Former True Bliss star Joe Cotton, 30, married her bar manager fiance Daniel Shields, 32, in Auckland.

Like Downes, Cotton wore a gown by Yeh. Cotton declined to talk to the Star-Times yesterday but told Woman's Day her gown was "anything but simple".