Event planners win people’s vote
Organisation is in the blood of Tokoroa event planners Rebekah Garner and Lisa Gray who have taken out the People’s Choice in the NZ Wedding Industry Awards.
Garner’s company, Mad Hatters Event Management, won its first award with 32 per cent of the votes and beat 57 others in the category.
‘‘It was a little bit of a shock, but stoked at the same time. It just goes to show you’ve got people behind you.’’
The ‘‘small boutique’’ company was nominated for the hireage and planning category as well.
Though they didn’t win that, People’s Choice was the award everyone wanted, she said.
Garner has been organising events since she was 17 years old and her first event in New Plymouth was a complete success despite having no training.
‘‘ Me and my best friend organised a fundraiser for Open Home Foundation . . . we made $5500.’’
‘‘I think it’s just what I’m good at.’’
Since then she’s helped organise events across the country and the world and set up shop in Tokoroa two years ago.
She never expected it would kick off the way it has with at least two events planned every month.
‘‘ It’s kind of exploded ...I thought I could just start slowly.’’
They’ve planned weddings, birthdays, charity functions and corporate events including the VIP section at Equidays for the second consecutive year, she said.
Gray, who’s Tokoroa born and bred, said they are both similar in personalities. ‘‘It comes from the OCD part of us.’’
It’s her daytime job and a ‘‘natural’’ progression with experience in charity fundraising as well.
One of the craziest events they will have done is the upcoming Forest View High School ball in July with a Willy Wonka theme.
With help from their ‘‘prop guy’’ Stu MacPherson, Garner said their three person team is going ‘‘all out.’’
And now they’ve got this award under their belt, it’s only onwards and upwards from here.
‘‘Just to get bigger and better, it’s all about moving forward.’’
Lisa Gray have won the crowds and taken out the People’s Choice award at the NZ Wedding Industry Awards.