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Beach bride takes top prize

Bride of the year 2017’s highly commended was awarded to Natalie Bannister (nee Bannister), left, pictured with overall winner Susana Scott-Te Tau (nee Scott), Kate Mattsen (nee Pepper), who was commended, and Charlotte Harding (nee Watkins), who won the special award. PHOTO/SUE NIKOLAISON



It was Susana Scott-Te Tau’s easy-going personality and her simplistic wedding gown that saw her come out on top at this year’s Wairarapa Bride of the Year competition.

Overall winner Susana Scott-Te Tau (nee Scott). PHOTO/SUE NIKOLAISON
Overall winner Susana Scott-Te Tau (nee Scott). PHOTO/SUE NIKOLAISON

On Friday, the 36-year-old was crowned the winner out of 17 brides at the annual event, which is in its 48th year and hosted by Masterton Plunket.

“I’m chuffed to have won. I honestly wasn’t expecting it,” she told the Times-Age.

Mrs Scott-Te Tau was married to Riki Te Tau on Riversdale Beach in February.

Both were former Makoura College students.

Earlier this year, Mr Te Tau spoke to the NZ Herald and told of how a near-death experience prompted him to propose to his sweetheart.

Mr Te Tau’s heart stopped after the mast of a boat struck power lines when he was bringing a yacht off a beach in Marlborough in October 2014.

He was clinically dead for six minutes after receiving the massive shock outside an Outward Bound school, where his future wife was working.

“I realised life is too short and that I wanted Susana to be my wife,” Mr Te Tau had said.

Mrs Scott-Te Tau, who lives in Anakiwa, near Picton, was presented her sash by last year’s winning bride, Sara Atkins (nee Hurley).

She said the evening was a lot of fun and it was amazing to know her friends, family and husband were in the crowd supporting her.

“It’s awesome that it’s a fundraiser for Plunket, and it’s an opportunity for ladies to relive their day.

“I think that’s pretty special . . . we all got to put our dresses on and remember that magic.”

South Wairarapa Mayor Viv Napier judged the competition, held in Masterton, along with Aratoi director Susanna Shadbolt and farmer Anders Crofoot.

The competing brides had put in a “big effort” to recreate their wedding day look, Mrs Napier said.

“They all looked gorgeous and it was quite hard to pick the winner,” she said.

However, Mrs Scott-Te Tau had the “wow factor”.

“Her dress was really simple and must have looked absolutely stunning on the beach.

“She had gorgeous beach sandals and woven flax flowers in her bouquet.”

Mrs Scott-Te Tau weaved all buttonhole corsages, bouquets, and table decorations herself.

The competition was not only about the dress and how the bride looked, Mrs Napier said.

Mrs Scott-Te Tau had a “bubbly, bright” personality which shone through.

Mr Crofoot said the Bride of the Year crowd was a stark contrast to the audiences he was used to addressing in his former role as the national vice-president of Federated Farmers.

“Usually everybody is in their Swanndris.”

He said although all the brides looked beautiful, Mrs Scott-Te Tau was “the total package”.

“She was wearing her long flowing gown, and she pulled the front up so everyone could see the sandals which nicely wrapped their way up around her ankles.

“She was quite relaxed . . . carried herself well, and was just a bit cheeky.”


Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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