Page 1

engaged 03/ 2010

CHURCH SPECIAL Inspiration for your church wedding


Experience the history


Should you use supplements as part of your lifestyle change?


We let you know all about them

INVITATIONS New invitations from Ruby & Scarlett

Our Place, Your Event Just 45 minutes south of Auckland you will find a little piece of the Mediterranean. Nestled in the northern slopes of the Bombay hills on more than 86 hectares and surrounded by 40,000 olive trees is the tranquil and beautiful Bracu. Your wedding is a personal and intimate Occasion. The decision on your venue is often the first and most important one you will make as it becomes the heart of the celebration. Simunovich Olive Estate provides privacy and seclusion which makes the property exceptional. The options for delivering your perfect day are endless and we will work with you to ensure all your dreams are fulfilled. There are a number of locations on the estate for you to choose from when it comes to having your ceremony and exchanging your vows. Bracu Restaurant is a dining destination that ignites the senses and captivates the palate. This excellence is carried through in every aspect of our food delivery. Our Head Chef and Restaurant Manager lead a talented team who deliver culinary delights that will leave your guests talking about the experience long after your big day. Modern, European cuisine with a hint of New Zealand influence uses the best of fresh, seasonal, local produce and products from the estate. We invite you to join in our relaxing atmosphere of casual sophistication.

WEDDINGS ON THE ESTATE 49 Main Road, R D 1 B ombay, Auckland 2675, New Zealand Telephone +6 4 9 236 10 30,

Notes from the Editors...

Cover Credits: Photography: Where The Heart Is Photography Couple: Gerard & Hannah Mould

Advertising Enquiries: Email: Phone: 09 8455925 Post: PO Box 137101, Parnell Auckland 1151 Hamilton Media Limited accepts no responsibility for material provided by readers or advertisers. All material supplied is assumed to have been provided with the consent of the appropriate copyright holders Engaged is subject to copyright in its entirety. All rights reserved in material accepted for publication unless initially specified otherwise.

This month we have a fantastic issue highlighting church weddings. As well as the spiritual side of a church wedding, churches provide a beautiful backdrop in which you can share your vows with friends and family. We have some wonderful church wedding photos for you to feast your eyes on. We also delve into pre-marriage workshops and find out what they are all about and what they can offer an engaged couple. When you think of churches, one of the places that immediately springs to mind is Rome. The amazing history that can be viewed when wandering the streets has to be seen to be believed and we give you some of the must-sees to check out. Happy reading!

Tim & Deborah

table of 6


Check out the fantastic new wedding stationery collections from Ruby & Scarlett



We give you some tips of having the perfect church wedding.



Pure inspiration! Heaps of church wedding photos for you to enjoy!



Our health advisor has some advice on whether you should take supplements on your journey to become healthy.



contents table of contents



Louise Kelleher, the Marriage Education Coordinator of the Archdiocese of Wellington lets us know all about the benefits of pre-marriage education and what it entails.



Find the perfect photographer for your wedding - we have a great selection for you to look at.



Steeped with history, Rome is an amazing city. We give you some tips on the best places to visit.



Chocolate Promotions Say it with chocolate

Leave your guests with a delicious memento of your special day. We specialise in personalised bitesize portions of mouth-watering mint chocolate with your own unique message or image. The perfect finishing touch to your table setting. When friends/family are unable to attend your special day. When family/friends come to view your wedding gifts and photos.

Wedding Shows The Grand Wedding Show - Dunedin Sunday 28 March 2010 -Edgar Centre, Dunedin - Show time: 9am-4pm www. The Grand Wedding Show - Auckland Sunday 11 April 2010 - Show time: 9am-4pm Auckland Premier Wedding Expo Sunday 11 April 2010 - ASB Showgrounds, Greenlane, Auckland - Show Time: 9am to 4pm - Christchurch Premier Wedding Expo Sunday 18 April 2010 - Christchurch Convention Centre - www.bridalshows.

Ring us for a free sample

09 - 2711042

What’s New

Ruby & Scarlett Ruby & Scarlett have released their new range of wedding stationery. They believe in sweet, simple invitations where less is definitely more. We have a sample of their collections over the next couple of pages. To see more collections and place your order visit ,

Page 8 : engaged : December 2009

Page 9 : engaged : December 2009

Great receptions don’t happen by chance... Christchurch’s elite professional mobile disco. Providing high quality, tasteful entertainment for wedding receptions for over 20 years, with the experience and the skill to create something special just for you.

Therese Mitchell (aka DJ Chick) Ph: 349 2501 Mob: 021 216 2610 Page 10 : : December 2009

nadia couture Redefining bridesmaids. nadia couture is Auckland’s premier bridesmaid shop. Timeless design, quality fabrics and meticulous craftsmanship for the bride and your bridesmaids needs. nadiacouture garments range from soft silk chiffon to elegant formal satin, available in a wide range of colours and sizes. To compliment the dresses, nadia couture has exquisite jewellery and beautiful evening bags, guaranteeing nadia remains a ‘must-see’ destination for your entire bridal party and every evening occasion.

271a Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland

Phone: 09 361 1205

Page 11 : engaged : December 2009




EVERYONE New Zealand has many stunning churches of all denominations: large and grand; simple but rustic; quaint and quirky. If you are thinking of getting married in a church, there are a number of things to consider. Firstly is your own (and your partner’s) religion. Can you get married in a church of which you are not a member? Do you and your fiancÊ need to be of the same faith? Are there any special requirements before you marry in that church? If you



belong to a particular religious group, the choice of church is fairly straight-forward. Generally you will have a bond with the church minister and congregation, who all know and support you and your beloved. Secondly, some churches have requirements that need to be fulfilled prior to your marriage ceremony taking place. Pre-marriage courses, as described by Louise Kelleher, Marriage Education Coordinator are an excellent idea to strengthen your relationship, as well as being a requirement of the Catholic Church. For those denominations without set requirements, the minister can recommend certain books or actions that will guide you through your married life. Dugald Wilson, Presbyterian Minister recommends a wonderful book, “The Road Less Travelled” by Scott Peck. Thirdly, timing is an issue – as with any venue! You should try to avoid scheduling your ceremony for ‘peak’ religious times like Easter. And fourthly, consider the size and scale of your church when inviting guests and when decorating. A large church may seem empty when your guest numbers are few. Smaller, more intimate churches may not have enough room for a longer guest lists. Large, imposing churches demand large floral arrangements; whilst simple and uncomplicated bouquets will suit a country-style or smaller church. You will need to check with the church in question whether they have rules about flowers and, in particular, confetti. As soon as you decide you would like to hold your ceremony in a church, contact the church’s minister and discuss any requirements. Make sure you allow ample time for any prerequisites such as a baptism or pre-marriage course – and then enjoy your day! A ceremony in a church is a truly beautiful and special experience!





The Inside


To get the inside perspective on church weddings, we did a snapshot interview with Dugald Wilson, the minister of St Mark’s Presbyterian Church in Christchurch E:

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your church.

DW: I was raised in a Christian family and, through my love of the outdoors, developed a natural sense of ‘there has to be something more’ at work in the world. I found it hard to believe that it just happened through some process of chance, although I do believe in an evolutionary process. I also found as I examined the scriptures and traditions of Christianity they were a ‘map’ to guide me. I spent time in India looking at other religions and while I found much to learn from these, it strengthened my own Christian pathway. At the core of this pathway is a belief that we all matter to God and how we choose to live will move us all closer or not to an ideal and perfect world. E:

For couples getting married in your church, are there any special requirements prior to the wedding, during, after?

DW: In the Presbyterian tradition we have a pretty open view of marriage and there are no set requirements. As a minister, I would be keen to know that the couple were seriously committed to one another and understand that, if the



Snapshot Interview

marriage is solemnised by a Christian minister, they understand the importance and sacredness of the relationship they want to affirm. I will usually know the couple involved and we will talk together about their relationship and what marriage is about. I will suggest resources that they might like to consult. One of the best resources on understanding love are some chapters in a book by Scott Peck called The Road Less Travelled. E:

Are there any particular points raised by Scott Peck that you consider especially insightful?

DW: One of the insights of Scott Peck is that love is not primarily a feeling but is a commitment to value and work for the spiritual growth of another. He claims that we talk of falling in love but real love emerges when we fall out of love and begin to get real about our partner. Understanding what real love is can be very helpful in formulating a relationship that works and endures. This of course is an ongoing process that I am still engaged in as I celebrate 25 years of marriage. E:

Are there any pieces of advice that you can give couples to help them in their married life?

DW: - Have a similar shared spiritual base. - Make time to do things together. - Always treat one another with respect and never speak badly of your partner in public.



Real Wedding Photos

HOLY MATRIMONY This month we have a selection church-inspired images from some of our favourite photographers. These photographs capture the beauty of church weddings... enjoy!



Gerard & Hannah St Andrews, Cambridge Photograph by Where The Heart Is Photography 19


Donovan & Emma St Georges, Epsom, Auckland Dress by Thalia Photograph by Where The Heart Is Photography





Gerard & Hannah St Andrews, Cambridge Photograph by Where The Heart Is Photography (this page and next)





Cherie & Theo St Aidens, Remuera Photograph by Where The Heart Is Photography







Aaron & Erin Mystery Creek Heritage Village, Mystery Creek Photograph by Where The Heart Is Photography



This page and next three pages: photographs by Victoria Vincent

















Cory & Norah The Elms, Tauranga Photo by Photography by Marijke (including next two pages)









Brad & Leanna St Marks Uniting Parish (Lower Hutt) Dress designed and made by David’s Bridal. Photograph by Amy Schulz Photography





Priscilla & Jonothan St Matthews Church, Masterton Dress by Bella Donna Photograph by Amy Schulz Photography



... making your wedding dreams come true Just 50 minutes from Auckland’s CBD you’ll find magical Castaways. Castaways provides the ultimate wedding experience you and your guests will rave about for years to come. · · · · · · ·

Coastal cliff top ceremonies Stunning sunset wedding receptions Fabulous food Award winning service Guest accommodation Honeymoon packages Onsite activities

Click here to download our new >online weddings pack<

Our team are available to meet with you onsite at Castaways. So contact us now and let’s start making your wedding dreams come true. Castaways Karioitahi Beach, Waiuku Ph 09 236 5161 Email Web * New & Exclusive to Castaways * Castaways is the only wedding venue in NZ to have its own “Little Black Photobooth”. Huge overseas, this is a great addition to your wedding, making it even more memorable.

“We’ve had such great feedback about our wedding at Castaways – amazing food, spectacular setting and outstanding service” (Castaways Bride, 2009)

~ unique ~


~ memorable ~

engaged ~ affordable ~

A wonderful wedding begins with a wonderful venue. Page 44 : 6011, engaged : December 2009 | 2 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 8 Maginnity Street, Wellington, New Zealand

T: + 64 4 474 1307

Boutique WeddingVenue The Wellesley Boutique Hotel located in Wellington's CBD has an ambience which is unique. Within the classical neo-Georgian building are facilities and appointments which make the Wellesley Boutique Hotel a superb wedding venue. Elegant drapes and carpeting, monogrammed silver and crockery, antique furniture, paneled walls hung with original paintings – all create an atmosphere of elegance. But selecting the right venue is just the start. Food, wines, flowers and so many details are all important. Our Grand Dining Room, where your reception will take place, is accessed via the sweeping staircase, It is magnificently panelled in oak, whilst the high stud allows for natural light through elegantly draped windows. This room caters for up to 120 guests banquet style or 200 for cocktails. Choosing the Wellesley Boutique Hotel means being able to call on the skills of our experienced wedding co-ordinator, who will work with you to ensure you create a wedding which suits your personal style – and your budget. At the Wellesley Boutique Hotel we never forget whose wedding it is. Page 45 : engaged December 2009 E: | W:: www.

Welcome to the next installment of a series of health and fitness related articles which aim to put you on the road to looking and feeling your best on your wedding day. We would like to thank Rachael Corcoran and Gym Junkie, New Zealandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s health and fitness community website, for contributing to this series.

Page 46 : engaged : October 2009


Supplementing your


By Rachael Corcoran

Having spoken at a large number of seminars and conferences over the past few years about health, nutrition and exercise, I can almost always guarantee that there will be questions asked about the use of vitamin and mineral supplements. I felt it beneficial to incorporate a discussion about supplements in our health series because, as you will see, it is not as simple as grabbing one off the shelf, especially those of a company that has the budget to mass market. Quite simply, there is no easy answer to the question of supplementation. Because we are all genetically different, eat different diets, have differing environmental influences and our nutritional needs are not static, our nutritional and supplementation needs vary.

Page 47 : engaged : October 2009

However, there are some basics that everyone should be aware of: 1. Supplements are exactly that - they should be used only as

a compliment to a healthy diet.

2. NZ soils are deficient in a number of key nutrients, and as soon

as a vegetable is picked it begins to lose nutrient content. This means that even if you are having your 5+ a day (which is extremely short of the number of vegetable servings that life-extension scientists recommend), it is unlikely you are getting all of the nutrients you need.

3. Your nutrient requirements change during times of stress,

illness and physical change (for example planning a wedding!!).

4. Overuse of some vitamins can cause deficiencies in others. 5. The information found on vitamin bottles and pamphlets

are nutrient specific not patient specific, meaning that the vitamin that you are taking may have a very different effect on you than it does on another person.

6. As with anything else, you should look to treat the cause of

your (lack of energy, illness etc) not merely the symptom. Again this means your lifestyle, diet, organ and gland efficiency etc should be taken into account prior to specific supplementation.

7. Recommended Daily Intakes of specific vitamins and

minerals are usually the amount required to prevent a deficiency and figures vary from country to country. The reality is your requirements may vary from these figures.

As I have previously suggested, I have only briefly covered some of the main points regarding supplementation. In short, I would recommend: Page 48 : engaged : October 2009

• That you consult a Functional Medicine Specialist or a highly recommended Registered Naturopath prior to taking supplements so that a) you are not wasting your money, and b) you can be sure you are addressing the cause of your problem not merely the symptom. • That you learn to listen to what your body is telling you regarding its health status, especially after eating specific types of foods (remember your kHiSSt Health Coach can teach you how to do this). • That at the very least you take a good quality multi vitamin and mineral supplement on a daily basis, but be aware that this will only serve to counter any possible deficiencies in your diet, rather than facilitate optimal health.

Rachael Corcoran is Head Coach and Director of kHiSSt Health Coaching. As well as contributing articles, Rachael is a motivational speaker, her main subject material being body image, and inspiring health.

Until next time, take care. Yours in health Rachael Corcoran

Page 49 : engaged : October 2009

Lov E Louise Kelleher is the Marriage Education Coordinator, Archdiocese of Wellington, New Zealand. She has kindly provided the following information about the Catholic Churchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s formal marriage preparation courses. One of the requirements of celebrating a wedding in a Catholic Church is that the couple undertakes some formal marriage preparation. Preparation is the key to the success of any major challenge in life and marriage is no exception. Half of all marriages end in divorce and only half of those that endure are truly happy in the long run. Many happy engaged



ve Education

couples assume that they wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be contributing to these statistics. Some mistakenly believe that having lived together or known each other for a long time will prepare them for marriage. Surprisingly, research shows that cohabiting couples have no better chance at marriage success than others. Most couples just donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t realize that good, skill-based pre-marriage education can reduce the risk of divorce by up to thirty percent and lead to a significantly happier marriage, according to marriage research. It can also reduce the stress of the pre-wedding period. Just a little effort now can make the odds a whole lot better over the long run. It is wise to do



everything that can be done to ensure that the dreams of a great marriage and a great life are realised. Pre-marriage preparation is based on the reality that it’s important to strengthen the relationship and prepare constructively for future challenges and conflicts that everyone will inevitably face at some point in their marriage now while there is so much fresh positive energy in the relationship. The research shows that there is a window of opportunity during the year before the wedding and the six months or so after when couples get the optimum benefit from marriage preparation. Later, under stress, negative habits and relationship patterns may become established and be much harder to resolve. Couples now face more demands and have fewer supports than ever before. The typical complex marriage - managing two careers while rearing children - really requires that couples have very strong, well-established abilities to communicate, resolve issues, maintain mutuality and set goals. Without this foundation, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by stress and time pressures. Problems can intrude much more easily than most couples realize. As much as it’s important to come to terms with unrealistically positive expectations, those who grew up with divorced or unhappily married parents may find that they have unacknowledged and unexplored expectations that their marriage, too, may become unhappy. Marriage preparation functions as an immunisation that boosts your capacity to handle potential difficulties. Couples need every advantage to succeed in today’s marriages.



There are a number of different courses available in New Zealand, all facilitated by highly trained and well resourced volunteers. FOCCUS, Facilitating Open Couple Communication Understanding and Study, is a diagnostic instrument designed to help couples learn more about themselves and their unique relationship. It is not intended as a predictor of success or failure in marriage, but rather provides a tool to help couples name and work through issues before marriage. FOCCUS generally takes two evenings and is a one-on-one process in a facilitator’s home. FOCCUS is designed to raise issues which can then be explored in more depth in a Group course. Group courses running in New Zealand include the following: • Love is a Decision • Engaged Encounter • Evenings for Engaged • Lovers for Life They are offered over a five or six week period, over a weekend, or over two consecutive weekends. All courses cover topics that are essential for building a successful marriage: • Exploring our origins



• Building a shared understanding of marriage • Sharing ourselves – Intimate Communication • Coping with difference – Managing Conflict • Intimacy/Sexuality – Giving love, Giving Life • To Have and to Hold – The Sacrament of Marriage The courses are usually facilitated by married couples who combine the course material with their lived experience of married life. While engaged couples are encouraged to socialise as a group all intimate sharing is strictly between partners, and no one is ever asked to divulge personal matters in the group setting. It is important to note that marriage preparation offered in New Zealand is strictly education focussed, and not counselling. If counselling is asked for or indicated a couple would be referred to a registered counsellor. To find out more about Catholic pre-marriage courses, head to these links: The Archdiocese of Wellington: Catholic Diocese of Auckland:



R O M A N T I C A L B E RTO N A lovely centrally-located historic Auckland venue for weddings, civil unions, wedding photos and functions. Indoor and outdoor options available. web: email: phone: +64 9 846 7367

Are you looking for a professional hairdresser and makeup artist who can come to you on your wedding day? With over 10 years in the industry, Natalie is working extensively in Fashion, Advertising and Film, as well as creating stunning results for bridal parties. Natalie's work is both versatile and innovative, offering her customers the complete package without compromise. Please go to my website to view my work and prices.

Stunning freeze dried Rose and Hydrangea petals in 25 colours and blends

Exquisite bouquets for brides and bridesmaids

Personalized petal cones

Beautiful table centerpieces

Gorgeous flower girl petal pails

Complimentary consultation and design

Leonie Fisher Mobile Make-up Artist

Coco a Berry invitation by design p 021 389423


Save the date Invitations RSVP Menus Order of service Thank You cards and more 021 2636 147

Create your own unique jewellery. Custom designs with delight. Beads for embellishment. 6 Kingsland Tce, Kingsland, Auckland - Phone: 09 815 1177




Mob: 021 458 687

Through the Lens

Showcasing Photographic Excellence

Photograph by VisionWorks Photography

Page 57 : engaged : May 2009

Amy Schulz Photography

Website: Email: Mobile: 0211556071 Wellington and Nationwide



Emma Hughes Photography Website: Email: Phone: 09 372 8729 Mobile: 021 051 3292 Waiheke and Auckland Master NZ Institute of Professional Photography

Amanda Wignell Photography Website: Email: Phone: 09 426 2647 Mobile: 027 615 3078 Associate Member NZ Institute of Professional Photography Auckland and Northland



Photography by Marijke Website: Email: Phone: 07 572 4085 Mobile: 021 560 509 Bay of Plenty and Nationwide

Victoria Vincent Photography Website: Mobile: 021 213 5759 Wellington, Nelson, Nationwide




VisionWorks Photography

Website: Email: Phone: 09 845 5925 Mobile: 021 44 88 17 Auckland

Rob Driessen Photography

Website: Master NZ Institute of Professional Photography


Email: Phone: 04 479 7769 Wellington


Brett Lees, Unique Visions Photography Website: Email: Phone: 09 817 7014 Mobile: 0274 913 061 Qualified Member NZ Institute of Professional Photography Auckland

Jan Maree Vodanovich Photography and Art Website: Email: Phone: 09 236 8553 Mobile: 027 281 5921 Auckland, Franklin, Hamilton



Where The Heart Is Photography

Website: Email: Phone: 07 8547933 Mobile: 021 235 7976 Auckland, Waikato, King Country & Bay of Plenty



Parker Swannell Photography Email: Phone: 09 817 2678 Mobile: 021 257 5355 Auckland

New Regent Studios Website: Email: Phone: 03 355 4448 Mobile: 027 229 2329 Christchurch



Jeremy Hill Photography Website: Email: Phone: (09) 8263394 Mobile: 021 2279196 Auckland

Vicky Broadbent VisionWorks Photography

Website:Website: Email: Phone: 09 123 4567 Phone: Mobile:021 021633 123404 4567 Qualified Member NZ Institute of Professional Photography Coromandel and Auckland Auckland








Given this monthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s church special, we thought the obvious travel article would be based on our visit to Rome; surely the heart of Christian Religion.



Vatican City: St Peter’s Basilica and Square A country of its own, Vatican City sits inside the walls of Rome. With an area of approximately 0.44km2 and a population of just over 800, the Vatican is one of the richest countries in the world. Home to the Pope, St Peter’s Basilica and Square and the famous Vatican Museum, this tiny country is a must see when in Rome. We first visited St Peter’s Square and Basilica at 2pm on a sultry hot Roman afternoon. After standing in the lengthy queue for about half an hour, we made an executive decision to go home for a nap and cocktails instead. The trade-off was getting up at 5am in order to catch a bus back to the Vatican and line up for the 7am opening of the Basilica. We were so glad we did. The relative lack of tourists at that time of the morning gave us the chance to really take in the grand serenity of the Basilica and the imposing figures that make up the Square. St Peter’s Basilica (or the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter) has the





largest interior of any Christian church in the world. It is alleged that one of the twelve apostles of Jesus, St Peter, has his tomb directly below the altar of the church. For this reason, this makes the Basilica a famous place of pilgrimage. In addition there are over 100 tombs within St Basilica, including those of 91 popes. There was a quiet sense of awe amongst those visiting: some for religious reasons; others for the sheer scale of the place. Upon walking in, it is incredibly difficult to get a sense of scale of the building: cherubs that look a normal size are actually over two metres high. The artwork inside cannot be listed in this short an article; needless to say, every step further into the building brought a fresh gasp of surprise and amazement. Our sense of breathlessness was only increased with a climb up the dome: again, well worth the effort for a magnificent view of Rome. And that’s ‘only’ the Basilica. impressive.

St Peter’s Square itself is incredibly

Vatican City: Vatican Musuem We had been lucky enough to visit the Vatican Museums before our short wait in the sun. Officially opened in 1506, the collections now housed there are thought to have begun with the acquisition of one marble sculpture purchased just over 500 years ago. Now the Museums include more than one sculpture museum, galleries with ancient and modern religious art, Egyptian mummies, sarcophaguses, friezes, masks…the list is endless and the collection overwhelming. Leonardo da Vinci’s Saint Jerome, Perugino’s Madonna and Child with Saints, Raphael’s Transfiguration and Caravaggio’s Depostiion from the Cross are some of the more famous pieces.



Facts for the boys • St Peter’s can hold 60,000 people • It covers an area of 2.3 hectares • The total length is 220 m; width 150 m. including the vestibule is 211.5 m

The interior length

• Construction began on 18 April 1506 • The church was dedicated by Pope Urban VIII on 18 November 1626 • The dome of the Basilica rises to a total height of 136.57 metres, being the tallest dome in the world • The dome’s internal diameter is 41.47 metres, and it has no entrances or windows except a single door • At the top of the dome is an ocular opening 8 metres wide • Around the inside of the dome is written, in letters 2 metres (6.6 ft) high: Tv es Petrvs et svper hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam. Tibi dabo claves regni caelorvm (“ are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church. ... I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven...” Vulgate, Matthew 16:18–19.) • The façade is 114.69 metre wide and 45.55 metres high • The present arrangement of the square was constructed between 1656 and 1667 • An Egyptian olelisk (“the Witness”) stands in the middle of the square. Its height is 25.5 metres; when you add the base and cross on top it stands at 40 metres. It is the only one to remain standing since its removal from Egypt and re-erection at the Circus of Nero in 37AD, where it is thought to have stood to witness the crucifixion of St Peter (hence, “The Witness”)



The highlights were, of course, the Sistine Chapel, and (for my map-loving husband) the Gallery of Maps: topographical maps of the whole of Italy, painted on the walls by friar Ignazio Danti of Perugia, commissioned by Pope Gregory XIII (1572–1585). The Sistine Chapel is the last of 54 ‘salas’ (or galleries) within the museum. Take your time, and allow the magnificence of the treasures collected by the Vatican wash over you rather than rushing through to the Chapel. Once there, you’ll develop a health crick in your neck gazing at Michelangelo’s most famous work.

The Roman Forum and Palatine Hill The Roman Forum is where is all started. Believed to be where the ancient Roman civilization developed, the oldest and most important structures of the ancient city were located within the forum, including



the former royal residency and the surrounding complex of the Vestal Virgins. The area served as the political and economic hub of the city. As we wandered around the ruins, we were amazed how the Romans had utilised urban spaces, even so long ago. We past numerous temples including those of Castor and Pollux, Vesta, Antoninus and Faustina, Venus and Roma, Caesar and Romulus and several basilica (not on the scale of St Peterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s but nonetheless impressive). The arches are as imposing as you see in pictures. From the Forum, we walked up to Palatine Hill, the centremost of the seven hills of Rome. Historically important in Roman mythology, Palatine Hill is thought to have housed the cave where Romulus and Remus were found by the she-wolf that kept them alive. It is from Romulusâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s name that the name of the city Rome is founded.



It is believed that the originals Romans lived on the Palatine, with the Forum being formed later. Recent excavations show that Romans have lived on the Palatine since approximately 1000BC. Staggering to think about, especially given our own country’s youth!

The Colosseum Located within minutes from the Palatine Hill is the famous Colosseum. As we queued, we were entertained by tourists having their photos taken with modern day ‘gladiators’: we decided we were more interested in taking photos of the building itself. Our first impression was surprise at the sheer size of the building. Once inside, we could almost hear the shouts of the crowd and were absolutely amazed at the series of lifts built into the floor to raise animals to the level of the arena. To think all of this was built between 70-80AD simply compounded just how impressed we were at the intelligence and skill of the Roman people. As well as the aforementioned lifts, the Colosseum contains several other marvels of ancient engineering: • The stadium had a retractable awning to keep sun and rain off spectators. This awning sloped down towards the centre to catch the wind and provide a breeze for the audience; • The amphitheatre was ringed by 80 entrances that allowed for quick evacuation; • There was a two-level subterranean network of tunnels and cages beneath the area where gladiators and animals were held before the contests began: 80 vertical shafts with a series of elevators and pulleys provided instant access for animals, with even elephants being raised on hinged platforms! The Colosseum was the largest building constructed in the Roman



Empire. It was capable of seating 50,000 spectators and as well as the gladiatorial games, held other entertainment such as animal hunts, mock sea battles and dramas based on classical mythology: a lot like our current day stadiums holding sporting contests and concerts!

The Pantheon Whilst the Vatican and Forum/Palatine Hill/Colosseum area would have been enough, there were still a few other landmarks on our wish list…. The best preserved of all Roman buildings, the Pantheon is almost 2000 years old and is still the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome. For the mathematicians and engineers, the height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are the same (43.3 metres). The thickness of the dome varies from 6.4 metres thick at the base to 1.2 metres around the oculus. The oculus serves as both a cooling and ventilation method, as well as a reversed sundial. A drainage system in the floor moves away any water. This is no error – and done without the aid of calculators or fancy engineering software! It’s definitely worth a visit – not just for the engineering aspect – but also for the artwork.

Piazza di Spagna and Spanish Steps For anyone who has seen Roman Holiday, the Spanish Steps are where Audrey Hepburn ate her ice-cream during her day of freedom – even though Roman urban regulations forbid eating food here! These steps are the longest and widest in Europe and are a congregation point. In Rome, it is quite common to arrange to meet friends on the steps. The Steps are located in the Piazza di Spagna. On the corner on the right at the bottom of the steps in the house of the English poet John Keats; on the right is the palace of a former cardinal. From the top of the steps the Villa Medici can be reached. Unfortunately we didn’t



have time to visit the Villa, but apparently the collection of art work almost rivals the Vatican!

Trevi Fountain It is said that if you throw a coin into the fountain you will be assured of a return visit to Rome – we definitely made sure we did that. More little known is that some say two coins thrown will lead to a new romance and three will ensure either a marriage or divorce! Coins should be thrown with one’s right hand over one’s left shoulder. And for those who wonder what happens to all those coins. The estimated 3,000 euros thrown into the fountain per day are used to subsidize a supermarket for Rome’s needy. Romance and benevolence all in one go! Aside from the famous landmarks mentioned above, Rome is an excellent place to stroll around. You bump into hidden churches, gardens, monuments and historical sites constantly and the age of the city astounds. And we haven’t even mentioned the food and drink! We shall let you discover that for yourself…. ____________________________________________________ NOTES: Rome (and all of Italy) use the Euro. NZD$1 = 0.51EUR at the time of writing. Comparisons are approximates only. Please check with your travel agent. Whilst New Zealand is on daylight savings time, Rome is 12 hours behind New Zealand.



Air New Zealand, Qantas/BA, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, Thai Airways, Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Lufthansa and KLM all fly to Rome from Auckland. Qantas/BA, Cathay Pacific, Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines fly from Wellington and Air New Zealand, Qantas/BA, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, Thai Airways, Malaysia Airlines and Lufthansa fly from Christchurch to Rome. Each airline has different stopovers, so it is best to check with your travel agent when booking. Travel time will vary with stopover numbers and times.



Next Issue out 1 April



Engaged Wedding Magazine - March 2010  

Engaged Wedding Magazine March 2010 Edition - Everything you need to plan your perfect wedding

Engaged Wedding Magazine - March 2010  

Engaged Wedding Magazine March 2010 Edition - Everything you need to plan your perfect wedding