At New Zealand Weddings , we love a good romance story, and those of our 2017 Win Your Dream Wedding finalist couples (in the running to win their ultimate day at Plume Restaurant ) are sure to bring a smile to your face.
Rebekah Wong & Alu Lulia
A workplace romance, Alu caught Rebekah's eye on her first day – and it seems she made quite the impression too, when he quickly asked for her number. Herself quiet and shy, Rebekah says Alu's adventurous personality has encouraged her to accomplish things she would've otherwise never tried. "He always says 'just be brave and give it a go' – we have so much fun and bring out the best in each other, " Rebekah says. Years of unique dates from zip-lining to coffeeing at cat cafes built towards Alu popping the question in front of Rebekah's family on her 29th birthday. They say winning this wedding would give them the best day of their lives and create memories they will cherish forever.
Shani Gledhill & Mark Simmons
Together since high school, Shani and Mark have supported each other in their chosen career paths – Shani as a teacher and Mark as a personal trainer. However, in 2012 their lives were turned upside down when Mark suffered sever appendicitis, never quite recovering. Despite years of continuous pain, Shani says Mark has always put her first and his determination has only made her love him more. "He always wanted me to be happy, but felt his sickness was only holding me back," she explains. Mark has finally found medication that has allowed him to enjoy a more active life again. The couple would be forever grateful to win the Dream Wedding, saying the tough times have taught them the true value of love and life.
Lisa Cochrane & Tim Dunn
Lovers of travel and the outdoors, Tim proposed to Lisa just before they moved back to New Zealand after five years in London. Excited for the big day, they locked in a date and booked a venue, but at the last minute Tim got accepted into a course to train towards his dream job – being a pilot. With Tim stuyding full-time, the couple's wedding plans had to be put on hold. "Lisa's done everything to support me to make my dream come true," Tim says, so he took it upon himself to enter the Dream Wedding competition. "I know to her it sometimes feels like we've put the life we had planned together on hold, so I would love to give her the wedding we've always dreamed of."
Vanessa Anderton & Stephen Patrick
Nominated by Vanessa's daughter Jesse; this pair's love story spans many years. Meeting 29 years ago at their first jobs out of school, they lost touch when Steve moved to Auckland to pursue a career in firefighting. Twenty four years later, they reconnected through a mutual friend, but with Steve now firefighting in Alberta, Canada, they embarked on a long-distance relationship. Two years later Vanessa and her three children moved to Canada to be with Steve, who then proposed during a family vacation in Alaska. Now back in New Zealand, Jesse says the couple are true soul mates and she would love for them to finally begin their married life together after so many years apart.
Our Win Your Dream Wedding Winners will receive:
The winning couple will enjoy their wedding ceremony and reception at Plume Restaurant, set amongst the spectacular landscape and rolling hills of Matakana, just north of Auckland.