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Iconic bridal competition cancelled

2019 Bride of the Year placegetters, from left, fourth Tova Bargh, third Shannon Hayes, second Monique Jackett, and winner Renee Gleeson. PHOTO/FILE

Fundraising still ongoing

GIANINA SCHWANECKE
[email protected]

In another blow for Wairarapa weddings, the iconic Wairarapa Bride of the Year competition will not go ahead this year.

The competition, which celebrated 50 years last year, is open to all brides who were married in the region or who have connections to Wairarapa. It attracts hundreds of people to the awards evening and dinner.

Margaret Bourke, the contest secretary, said it was disappointing to have to defer the competition.

“It is with sadness that the decision has been made to defer the 51st Wairarapa Bride of the Year in 2020.

“We are very disappointed and hoped to have it later in the year but there’s such uncertainty about events with more than 100 people.”

The logistics of managing dozens of brides while trying to practice social distancing measures, along with the need to rebook all event requirements and engage with sponsors had also contributed to the decision, she said.

Bourke said the brides she had been in touch with were very understanding.

Deferring the event also offered a chance for brides, who may have had their weddings cancelled this year due to covid-19, to participate if they planned to marry before the deadline.

Next year’s competition would be open to brides that were married from August 1, 2019 to July 31, 2021, making for a more competitive season.

“It is really quite an iconic event because it’s been going for 50 years,” Bourke said. “It does grow every year too.”

The event also serves as a major fundraiser for Masterton Plunket, but Bourke said they were still fundraising by knitting and selling baby clothes.

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