Are you getting married? Or renewing your vows? Free on Saturday 19 May 2018? Want a $25,000 wedding for only $75? Susan McLeary tells you how.

You read that right: it’s an amazingly tempting offer. All you have to do is buy a $75 raffle ticket.  Or more, to increase your chances of winning the day of your dreams. With only 750 tickets, the chances of winning are estimated as 51,000 times better than winning Lotto*. 

The ‘Live your Dream’ Wairarapa Wedding Raffle is being run by Hospice Wairarapa, with proceeds going to support the Hospice. More on that later. 

Organiser Emma Batt says “The Wairarapa is very popular for weddings, and this innovative raffle showcases many of the best options and suppliers. Individuals and companies have generously donated their time, expertise and facilities to create a dream wedding for one lucky couple, who are smart enough to buy a ticket.

“The beautiful Brackenridge Country Retreat and Spa in Martinborough is Wedding Central for the day. Their contribution includes the ceremony and reception venues, honeymoon cottage (with celebratory bottle of Martinborough bubbly) and bridal make-up at The Brackenridge Spa. That’s valued at nearly $6000,” says Emma.

“We are simply delighted with the support. Everyone has been extremely co-operative:  Crescendo Cuisine and Entice Caterers are creating between them canapés, plated entrée and a choice of plated mains, and Clareville Bakery (New Zealand Café of the Year 2016) is creating a custom wedding cake, plus sweet dessert treats for the reception dinner”. 

Four photographers will record distinct aspects of the day: co-ordinating techniques and approaches to ensure a coherent look for posterity in a special glossy album valued at $2000.

“The only significant item not included is The Dress, because it’s just too personal; the bride’s choice can be complemented by a custom-made veil donated by Martinborough’s Hello Romeo. 

“Most people think of summer weddings, but the Wairarapa in winter is fantastic. I had a winter wedding and it was perfect, at least partly because we were not competing against lots of others for venues and suppliers. 

“Wairarapa winter has its own charm, with crisp clear days and the landscape looking green and gorgeous,” Emma says. 

“The region can do it all, from celebrants to designers, hair and make-up, you name it – so pulling this dream offer together was remarkably simple. People ‘got it’ instantly and were keen to be involved and support the Hospice,” Emma explained. 

Buy tickets and check out terms and conditions on, along with all the generous suppliers of products and services. The prize is for 75 guests, with the option to upgrade (and pay for) more by arrangement with suppliers. Alcohol is excluded. 

Hospice Wairarapa General Manager Suzie Adamson explains the net proceeds go towards keeping Hospice care free to Wairarapa patients. 

“In practical terms, net proceeds could provide many services to help patients and their families. As just one example, an unexciting-sounding item like an alternating air mattress overlay costs over $2000 but adds immeasurably to a patient’s comfort. 

“So a fund-raiser like this gives both the winning couple and the Hospice a win/win result,” she concluded. 

*The odds of winning Lotto Division 1 and Powerball are 1 in 38.8 million (