Wedding plan bid to lift economy
As her custom written wedding song played, a beautiful bride walked through the arch of flowers, but the occasion wasn't a wedding, it was a birth.
Riverside Community hosted the launch of the Dream Maker Dream Wedding competition on Friday night, which will end with one local couple winning a $30,000 wedding free of charge.
The competition was the brainchild of Kaiteriteri wedding and event organiser Terri Everett, who envisioned it as a way to promote the region as a wedding destination and network many businesses together as a way to cross-promote each other.
She said the wedding and associated marketing was a $50,000 project that involved more than 50 businesses. Their sponsorship and co-operation meant that she had had to spend only $1500 on the project.
A field of 42 couples, from 153 initial expressions of interest, will be narrowed down to half a dozen entrants, said Mediaworks promotions manager Dan Tipping. The winners will be determined after three weeks of challenges.
"We'll be having a lot of fun with unsuspecting couples over the next few weeks," Mr Tipping told the 80 or so people at the launch.
They will have to tackle challenges such as writing wedding vows, including random words and baking a wedding cake.
"If you listen to More FM, I can promise you in a couple of months you're going to be sick of this promotion," he said.
Mrs Everett said it had taken 14 months to get to the competition's launch since, she had the idea and the competition phase would last six months, with the "dream" wedding on October 22. That wedding would then serve as the centrepiece of a year-long international marketing campaign to attract weddings and honeymoons to the region.
She said even one wedding could have "a massive spinoff" for regional businesses and her goal was to "bring outside money into the area to improve our local economy".
"Our ambition is to make the region the capital of New Zealand for weddings, events and honeymoons."