Elated Uitenhage couple Nicole and Haylin Redelinghuys walked away with prizes worth more than R100,000 when they won The Herald Bride and Groom 2016 competition last night at the Beach Hotel.
From hundreds of entries, only 12 finalists made it to the final round of judging.
Prior to the winners being announced, Nicole, 27, and Haylin, 30, had prepared themselves to be one of the unlucky couples of the evening. Winning felt surreal, they said, although they had loved the entry photograph taken by Astrid Cordier.
“When each couple was being announced, I leaned over to Nicole and told her that ‘this isn’t everything, obviously we want to win but it isn’t the end of the world’,” Haylin said. “But after our names were called out, I was like, ‘forget what I just said’!”
The couple were married on April 30 last year with a reception at Africanos Country Estate in Addo after the wedding ceremony at St Martin de Porres Roman Catholic Church in Uitenhage.
After their names were called out last night, they were initially too stunned to speak.
But Haylin, an ocean export controller for Kuehne + Nagel, then gave a heartwarming impromptu speech in which he applauded the other entrants for nabbing the “best prize” of their better half.
“The greatest prize is finding that true love and finding the person you want to share the rest of your life with, and I’d like to congratulate you guys for that,” he said.
KFML Holdings administrator Nicole said one of the prizes she was most looking forward to experiencing was the MSC cruise to Mozambique.
“Our honeymoon was postponed so we are looking forward to finally going on it,” Nicole said.
Sitting back in the rustic setup by K&W Events, the couple said they found out about the competition through Cordier, who pushed them to enter.
Their prizes include jewellery from Francarlo Designer Goldsmith, a bumper hair package from Ultimate Stylists, flowers from Pollen, a private dinner at The Beach Hotel, a two-night stay at Kuzuko Lodge, a six-month gym membership for two from Viva Gym, and a subscription to The Herald.
Ultimate Stylists and Pollen gave all 12 finalists prizes, and every photographer also received an e-edition subscription from The Herald.
The winners of the 2015 competition, Andisiwe and Vukile Koba, judged the competition along with Gillian McAinsh on behalf of The Herald.
Kelvin Williamson who correctly predicted the Redelinghuys picture would take the title wins a prize.