Bri­dal beau­ties grace stage


Let­ting her arm be twisted by work­mates and friends to take part paid off for bride Melissa Bush.

Mar­ried in April to Damian, the 27-year-old Mil­son Kinder­garten teacher took the top prize in Mon­day evening’s Manawatu Bride of the Year show.

‘‘It was re­ally un­ex­pected,’’ Bush said.

She could only grin at the sug­ges­tion that as a kinder­garten teacher at Mil­son she’d some­how ‘‘pi­rated’’ the con­test, a long­stand­ing fundraiser for Som­er­set Kinder­garten.

‘‘I didn’t want to go in it, the work team twisted my arm.’’

Still, it was good to be able to wear her dress again, Bush said.

‘‘You think you are just go­ing to hang it up.’’

Her Sheri­dan Is­abella gown came from Palmer­ston North’s The Bri­dal Stu­dio.

Bush met her hus­band when he moved into her flat about six years ago, and he pro­posed on her grad­u­a­tion day from Vic­to­ria Univer­sity in Welling­ton.

The cou­ple were mar­ried in a pad­dock at her par­ent’s Waipuku­rau farm on a some­what soggy day ‘‘but when she walked down the aisle it cleared up’’, her hus­band said.

Show or­gan­iser Jill Brider said the em­pha­sis this year was less on pageant and more on fam­ily en­ter- tain­ment and com­mu­nity.

Each en­trant was en­cour­aged to share wed­ding day in­ci­dents and hitches, and to im­part words of mar­i­tal wis­dom dur­ing their in­tro­duc­tion to the au­di­ence.

Bush’s words were: ‘‘there are two peo­ple in a marriage - one is al­ways right. The other is the hus­band’’.

First run­ner-up was Britta Gil­bert, and sec­ond run­ner-up was Si­mone Free. The au­di­ence vote went to Adele McKen­zie, and the em­cee’s-choice prize made by Rachel Bowen, went to La’a Bond ‘‘for put­ting other peo­ple ahead of her­self’’.

The 47th an­nual show at­tracted 30 en­trants, al­though two brides were un­able to take part due to fam­ily cir­cum­stances. Their wed­ding sto­ries were read out nev­er­the­less, and if a par­tic­u­lar theme emerged from all these anec­dotes, it in­volved un­re­li­able mo­tor ve­hi­cles not quite get­ting brides to the church on time.


A win­ning smile from 2016 Som­er­set Kinder­garten Bride of the Year com­pe­ti­tion win­ner Melissa Bush.

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