Shani & Mark Have Won Their Dream Wedding: Blog One

"Congratulations, You've Won a $60,000 Wedding and Honeymoon!" Bride-to-be Shani Gledhill and her partner Mark share their journey to "I do" after winning this coveted prize. 

  • Story by Shani & Mark

We sat waiting, our hearts raced. The New Zealand Weddings team said they were going to phone between 6.30pm and 7.30pm for our interview. We were both so nervous but excited to have this opportunity. We stared at my phone until finally, it rang.

It seemed strange to try and naturally say “hello” since we were so excited. Everyone was lovely to talk to and they asked great questions. It was obvious to us that they loved being part of this process too.

After the interview, the New Zealand Weddings team said they’d phone us back shortly. In the meantime we rushed down to the touch field. We had missed some of the game but that was the least of our worries. All Mark’s family were there playing and supporting, as well as my sister. I was supposed to be playing but I was not going to let go of my phone, there was no way I was going to miss the call!

When the New Zealand Weddings team phoned back I quickly called Mark over – we both listened in anticipation. The ladies explained how they were thankful we'd entered, Mark and I both looked at each other, thinking we hadn’t won. Then we heard screaming. They were yelling that we had won! It was such an amazing moment. I think everyone at the touch field could hear me shout “ARE YOU SERIOUS?!”.

Mark and I jumped around crying of happiness. It was special to have lots of friends and family with us at the time too. We all celebrated on the sideline!

On the drive home I phoned the rest of my family and let them know the good news. Everyone was so happy and I think in as much shock as we were! It has taken a long time for it to really sink in and accept that we have won this incredible prize. I could hardly sleep that night, I was too overwhelmed and excited thinking that this had just gone from being a dream to becoming a reality.

We are so grateful to New Zealand Weddings , all the sponsors involved, everyone who voted for us and to our family and friends who supported us and went out of their way to vote and get votes. We also want to thank the other finalists and wish them all the best and happy futures together.

Next, we met New Zealand Weddings event planner Emily Harrison, who will be our wedding planner and all-roung go-to girl. This was such a highlight because it was the beginning of the planning process and until then it still didn't quite feel real yet. Emily was extremely helpful and she really knows her stuff. We celebrated over a glass of bubbly (a beer for Mark) and talked about all the ins and outs of the wedding.

After meeting with Emily we wanted to get things started. Our first decision had to be the guest list. As being such short notice and because we have friends living overseas we wanted to give people as much notice as we could. Putting together a guest list is not easy though. It’s been hard to decide who to invite. I think I've rewritten our ‘final list’ three times now.

Emily put us in contact with all the suppliers. This was exciting! Making appointments and talking to these very generous people has been fun and I can’t thank them enough. Grant from Carats Jewellery was really quick to respond so we ended up going in to the store to choose our bands the following day. It was nice to start with that because it was something Mark and I got to do together. Grant was amazing and made the whole process really easy. He gave good advice about the styles and the metals which really helped us to decide. I originally wanted to go for a straight band but because of the way it sat against my engagement ring it meant it would wear quickly as the bands would rub together. So I ended up choosing a beautiful v-shaped band and I cannot wait to wear it! I wish a took a photo.

Mark has never worn jewellery before but even he said he loved his ring. I think Mark chose really well, there was a lot on offer and I think his choice really suits him. In the end he went for a two-tone silver and white gold band.

I guess I’d better get back to my guest list now... or Pinterest (my other obsession).

Shani x



Stay in the know
Join the Bridal Party
& receive a free gift
sign up today
What to click next
Trending stories