A LUCKY couple who beat all the odds can now pop open the bubbly and look forward to a R215000 fairytale wedding.
The love-struck Uitenhage duo will tie the knot after winning The Herald Win a Dream Wedding at Slipperfields at The Herald Bridal Fair yesterday.
In a full Boardwalk Convention Centre, Virgin Active biokineticist Carmen Landman and WorleyParsons electrical engineer Gideon van Rensburg were announced the winners.
The 24-year-olds, who have been engaged for only two months, submitted only six entries. A previous winner completed 5200 entry forms.
And they only entered the competition yesterday within minutes of it closing. The couple were also not present during the draw because they never thought they stood a chance against the thousands of other entries.
“We just came here to get some ideas. This is not what we expected,” Landman said.
At first the couple thought their friends were joking when they began calling them to come back inside.
“I thought they were messing with us. It is crazy to win like this. We were ready to go home,” Van Rensburg said.
Landman and Van Rensburg won an all expenses-paid wedding for up to 200 guests at Slipperfields, a beautiful country venue on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth.
The weekend got off to a terrible start for the couple with a death in the family. Landman’s grandfather died on Friday. “We were trying to take our minds off the whole thing. My emotions are really mixed right now,” she said.
Landman hopes to walk down the aisle in May next year.
Van Rensburg said: “We had a budget and our parents were pressing us not to spend too much. But I guess that does not matter anymore. It is unreal.”
The fair is the biggest bridal expo in the province.
This year 114 exhibitors treated guests to the A to Z of wedding products and services.
Event organiser Linda Harwood said the fair was a great success.
“The Boardwalk offered a fantastic backdrop for the event and everybody seemed happy with the brisk trade.”