Which international airline just hosted the first-ever same-sex marriage at 30,ooo feet?
An Auckland-based couple has made history celebrating the legalization of same sex marriage in New Zealand by saying “I do” in the skies with the help of Air New Zealand.
Lynley Bendall and Ally Wanikau, who have been together almost 14 years, wed onboard a special Air New Zealand flight from Queenstown to Auckland on Monday, August 19.
The leading ladies made their vows in front of friends and family, including their children Javarn (9), Maycee (7) and Mikaere (6), and Ally’s son Damon. The pair exchanged pounamu (New Zealand greenstone) in place of traditional wedding bands before being pronounced as officially wed in front of actor and marriage equality campaigner Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who stars in the hit series Modern Family, and who recently married his long-term partner Justin Mikita.
“It’s been an absolute pleasure to be able to celebrate this price of nexium historic and joyous moment with Lynley and Ally. Marriage equality is something very dear to both Justin and me.”
“To be married at 30,000 feet beneath strings of fairy lights with our children, friends and family as witnesses makes an already memorable day that much more special. It was surreal to have Jesse play a part in the ceremony too – we’re big fans of Modern Family!”
Jesse and Justin gifted the couples’ children bow ties from their charity Tie The Knot which raises funds for the promotion of marriage equality.
Air New Zealand Chief People Officer Lorraine Murphy says the onboard ceremony was an unforgettable way to mark the law change.
“The atmosphere onboard was incredibly festive and the applause following the couple’s vows was heartfelt. It was a great celebration of New Zealand’s diversity.”
The couple departed New Zealand after the ceremony on an Air New Zealand service to Los Angeles for their honeymoon at a Palm Springs resort.
Air New Zealand