Pair pre­pare for wed­ding fair

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

The scale of sup­port for a Cen­tral Otago wed­ding event has shocked even the or­gan­is­ers ahead of a fair in Alexan­dra this week­end.

Alexan­dra busi­ness­women Alyssa Drake and So­phie Chalmers are fi­nal­is­ing the fin­ish­ing touches to the Cen­tral Otago Wed­ding Fair at the Cel­lar Door on Satur­day.

Drake said she was in­spired to host the fair af­ter holding a smaller scale wed­ding fair about two years ago to raise funds for her sis­ter who had been di­ag­nosed with breast cancer.

‘‘From there I re­alised how much I loved do­ing that kind of thing. That gave me in­spi­ra­tion, as well as see­ing the need in the com­mu­nity. Over the past four to five years wed­dings have been get­ting more and more ex­po­sure across the coun­try and over­seas, and Cen­tral Otago in par­tic­u­lar has been gain­ing more at­ten­tion.’’

Drake ap­proached her friend, So­phie Chalmers, of Har­mony Skin and Beauty, about the idea. She jumped on board im­me­di­ately.

‘‘I was like, hell yeah, count me in,’’ Chalmers said.

The pair started meet­ing reg­u­larly and the con­cept grew rapidly, Chalmers said.

’’We thought we would be putting on a low-key wee fair has ended up with 50 ven­dors, over 150 tick­ets sold and a VIP lounge where there will be wine, juice, canapes, goodie bags filled with vouch­ers and spot prizes.’’

VIP ticket-hold­ers also went into a draw to win a $15,000 wed­ding.

‘‘One cou­ple is go­ing to have their whole wed­ding sorted here in Cen­tral Otago. Lo­cal busi­nesses have shown huge sup­port. We just put our­selves out there and every­one kept sup­port­ing us. We were blown away. As busi­ness own­ers we saw the in­dus­try grow­ing and saw there needed to be an av­enue for brides and grooms to plan their wed­ding eas­ily.’’

Drake said the sup­port val­i­dated their as­ser­tion it was the right time for a wed­ding fair.

‘‘We want to give Cen­tral Otago what it de­serves and show­case what we can of­fer. Peo­ple will turn up on the day and the Cel­lar Door is go­ing to look like a wed­ding is tak­ing place. It is so cool to know what was just an idea has taken shape and evolved and I am so ex­cited to see all our plan­ning come to life.’’

Doors open at 11am on Septem­ber 16, the win­ning cou­ple will be an­nounced at 3pm. There will also be a fash­ion show, guest speak­ers and bands.

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