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Yes to the dress


Winner recaptures excitement of wedding day

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For Renee Gleeson, donning her wedding dress again at this year’s Wairarapa Bride of the Year brought back memories of her special day.

Gleeson [nee Clapperton] and husband Daniel married at the end of January this year at the Tauherenikau Racecourse.

The Masterton couple met at the end of high school with Daniel proposing on their 10-year anniversary in December 2017.

“It was a surprise for me. We walked up Mt Vic in Wellington and he proposed when we got to the top,” Gleeson said.

They had about 120 guests at their wedding with five bridesmaids and groomsmen, including her stepsister and his two sisters.

There were touches and tributes to family traditions, with Gleeson wearing a ring from her paternal grandfather and her maternal grandmother’s wedding garter as part of her something old and something blue.

Her wedding dress, something new, was from Hello Romeo in Martinborough.

“The lace still gives you a bit of a figure while the tulle floats over the top,” she said.

Gleeson was presented with the award by the first Wairarapa Bride of Year winner and said it was nice to talk to other brides and see some of the dresses from winners of the past five decades.

Her advice to other brides was to be mindful of post-wedding blues.

“People tell you that you get post-wedding blues and it’s so true.

“You spend a whole year thinking about and planning for this day.

“After everything’s died down, you find you haven’t got much to do.”

The competition was a nice chance for her to relive some of those memories and capture the excitement of her wedding day, she said.

Encouraged by friends who had previously entered, she decided to enter.

“I’ve paid enough money for this dress; I should wear it again,” she said.

She said she was more nervous about the dress still fitting than the people in the audience.

“There’s always that moment of truth when you have to put the dress back on,” she laughed.

It was a great opportunity for those who missed out on her big day to see the dress again though.

Runner-up, or Highly Commended, went to Monique Jackett (nee Harlen).

Shannon Hayes (nee Hayes) came in third place, as Commended.

The fourth place Special Award went to Tova Bargh (nee Miller).


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