Bride of the year announced

Last updated 09:53 25/03/2014
Southland Times photo

Central Southland Rural Women's Bride of the Year winner Joanna Shirley (centre) is flanked by second place getter Andie Gentle (left) and Chantel Smolenski, who was third.

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Frills, feathers, pearls and organza floated down the runway as a string of blushing brides relived their wedding day at the Central Southland Rural Women's 32nd Bride of the Year competition in Winton on Monday night.

But it was three fitted gowns embellished with lace and beading that won the hearts and the votes of the audience on the night.

Invercargill City Council town planner Joanna Shirley, of Winton, won the title with a form fitting beaded lace gown purchased at Brides of Merivale in Christchurch.

"It's really exciting to win and nice to wear the gown again," she said. Her success was made all the more special when her best friend, wearing a blush pink dress with a jewelled bodice, won the bridesmaids section ahead of 12 others.

Second place went to Andie Gentle, of Invercargill, wearing a dress with a lace and sequinned bodice purchased in Dunedin, while Chantel Smolenski, also of Invercargill, was third with an embellished lace gown.

Regarded as Southland's premier bridal competition the 21 entrants this year were down slightly on the 30 brides last year but entry coordinator Jill Taylor said they were still happy with the result.

"It's been a great night. We've really enjoyed meeting the girls and the gowns have been beautiful."

Entrants came from across Southland, Central and South Otago, while a crowd of about 300 attended the event.

Rachelle Broere won the bridesmaid section, Kendall Bellew was second and Isabelle Guise was third.




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- The Southland Times


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