How ironwoman pulled off surprise wedding
GOLD Coast champion ironwoman Hayley Bateup and longtime partner April Zekulich have tied the knot in a surprise wedding sprung on the latter.
Hayley, who has a gruelling Coolangatta Gold title to her name, kept the plans a secret, convincing her partner they were off to her "40ish birthday" which was a "suit party".
Hayley spent the past few months planning it, keeping it under wraps from even her own family.
"Everyone thought they were coming to April's surprise 40ish. I had to tell April we were headed to a suit party to make sure she was on board with the outfit choice," Hayley said.
April said she should have picked up on a few clues but insisted she had no idea any of it was happening until Kristy Ellis - an ex-ironwoman and now formal celebrant - walked in.
April gushed afterwards: It was so amazing and unbelievable all at the same time.
The pair who became engaged seven years ago celebrated the resounding 62 per cent "yes" vote for legalising gay marriage back in late 2017 - at the time Hayley told the Bulletin the emotionally charged pre-vote debate had stopped her engaging with Facebook.
April said it was amazing to legally go through with getting married.
"We had obviously discussed getting married and we were already committed to each other, but I feel that this is special, not only for us, but also our boys," she said.
"The day was everything I could have wished for. It was surprise after surprise with all of our favourite people. Lots of dancing, laughing and fun, and the best part was I didn't have the stress of organising anything."