A bride-to-be was ''gutted'' after thieves apparently made off with a $5000 wedding decoration, but has been moved by her community's response.
Lydia Holmes, 27, was devastated when she found out on Wednesday, only days before her wedding tomorrow, that silky ceiling drapes used to decorate the hall at Wairarapa's Gladstone Sports and Social Complex were missing, apparently stolen.
Her mother Valmai Holmes said she knew her daughter would be devastated because she chose the venue partly for the elegant ''silks'' the community-owned complex uses to line its walls and ceiling for wedding receptions.
"I didn't tell her at first because I wanted to see their cunning way of trying to solve the problem."
That evening the family went to the hall and were touched by what they found.
"It was really humbling, there was a dozen or more people - some I know and some I don't - working away like beavers putting up something like a maypole, and it looks fabulous,'' said Holmes.
She said it was typical of the Gladstone community, near Carterton, which worked hard some years ago to get the complex off the ground and relied on volunteer work to stay afloat.
Holmes's husband David was one of the original promoters of the centre, she said, and her daughter and son-in-law to be, Tapaga Isaac , were determined to have their wedding in the venue he helped build.
Holmes said the theft of the decoration was ''terrible''.
''Weddings are one of the ways the Gladstone complex brings in some revenue... it's so sad, after everyone worked so hard to raise the money to buy [the decoration]."
Complex president Tracey O'Callaghan appealed on Facebook and at the Gladstone pub in case someone had simply forgotten to return the silken ceiling panels, which were noticed missing on Monday.
But no-one came forward, so on Wednesday evening about 15 locals pitched in to put up an alternative decoration involving ''500 meters of vylene, a hula-hoop and some balloons'' the group was able to buy at short notice for $500.
"What could have been a complete disaster we've managed to rescue... but there's still the issue of some little toe-rag taking our silks."
She said the indoor-marquee style, white nylon ''silks'' were made to measure for the venue and would cost about $5000 to replace. She would report the loss to police and hoped insurance would cover it.
"It's a bit of a kick in the teeth for everybody."
- Fairfax Media