Their big day was years in the making, but House Rules renovators Claire Lintzeris and Hagan Rice had always planned on a very special wedding, starring their two gorgeous daughters.
‘The girls were so excited to be flower girls,’ laughs hairdresser Claire, hugging Matilda, five, and Darcy, three.
‘We really wanted to involve them in the ceremony, so when we exchanged rings, we gave them bracelets as well.’
It’s eight years since the popular Victorian couple – runners-up in the fourth season of House Rules – first met and fell in love. Realising ‘from the start’ that their relationship was made to last, they always wanted to tie the knot one day.
‘But life got in the way,’ grins 28-year-old plumber Hagan.
‘We had kids and we wanted to build a house, so the wedding just got pushed back and pushed back.'
Last year the couple were forced to put their nuptials on hold because they were busy paying off their mortgage and couldn’t afford the expense. Having their property renovated on House Rules finally made all their wildest dreams come true.
‘Now we have a beautiful home and our own little family, we figured it must be time to get married,’ smiles 29-year-old Claire. ‘We really hoped it would be a day to remember!’
And so it was, with House Rules host Johanna Griggs on hand to celebrate at Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron on the Mornington Peninsula with her husband Todd Huggins.
Also on the guest list were series four contestants Brooke and Michelle, Luke and Cody, Fil and Joe and Nancy and Daniel, putting all renovation rivalry behind them as they cheered the happy couple with around 170 other guests.
It was late afternoon when Claire walked down the outdoor aisle under a flawless blue sky with her proud father Peter, to the strains of Adele’s beautiful ballad One And Only.
The bride looked stunning in an off-the-shoulder boho lace gown from Embrace Bridal Boutique, accessorizing with an ‘old’ ring, some ‘borrowed’ lipstick and a ‘blue’ sapphire, in keeping with tradition.
Darcy and Matilda were cute as buttons in what they called their ‘wedding dresses’ – gorgeous tulle puffballs from Tutu Du Monde – under the proud gaze of bridesmaids Jenny Sims, Charlie Rice, Caitlin Wise, Carly Montgomery and Jenna Harris.
The bridal party were only 15 minutes late, but Hagan joked nervously as he waited with best man Brenton Kennedy and five groomsmen, immaculate in outfits from Ferrari Formalwear & Bridal.
Swapping rose gold bands under a floral arbour in front of celebrant Libby Briggs, the overwhelmed newlyweds were moved to tears.
‘I don’t really know what set me off,’ Claire says. ‘It was all so beautiful, overlooking the ocean with yachts sailing past!’
For the full story, see this week’s New Idea – out now.