Wedding turnaround: Couple offered 'dream venue'

The couple have gone from having no wedding reception venue to being spoiled for choice. Photo /...
The couple have gone from having no wedding reception venue to being spoiled for choice. Photo / Supplied
The couple ditched by their wedding venue two weeks before they were due to tie the knot have secured a "dream wedding venue" after more than a dozen generous businesses offered to host their party.

April Shwe and fiance Bobby Paul will be the first people to ever have their wedding reception at Viaduct hotel M Social. Others have also gifted the couple wedding props, offered to do April's wedding make-up and will shout them a three-course meal to eat as newlyweds.

Ms Shwe contacted the Herald last Monday in shock after she was told by a staff member earlier that day that the restaurant they had booked, Tom Tom, had received a more lucrative booking so could no longer host their wedding. They were instead referred to a smaller venue next door.

Tom Tom's owner Rav Brar told the Herald last week the incident was due to "confusion" due to a new events manager and would of course honour the booking if that's what the couple wanted.

But Ms Shwe decided it was not worth taking the risk and contacted Tom Tom on Tuesday to tell them they could host the other event as they would not be using the venue. She also got her $500 deposit back.

Instead the couple has spent the past week frantically looking at nine venues in between working full-time after receiving more than 16 offers from businesses to host their reception.

The couple finally decided on M Social, which is part of the Millenium Hotel chain, at Auckland's Viaduct.

The couple have been offered exclusive use of M Social's onsite restaurant Beast and Butterflies....
The couple have been offered exclusive use of M Social's onsite restaurant Beast and Butterflies. Photo / Supplied
Ms Shwe said they chose M Social for its location and because not only had it agreed to meet their tight budget, but had also offered the bridal couple complimentary accommodation and other "insane" extras she would have never dreamed of being able to afford herself.

"He (M Social general manager Nigel Edwards) went above and beyond for us."

The hotel's restaurant, Beast and Butterflies, was being completely reserved for the wedding and couple could also used the outside deck for dancing, weather permitting.

"I was nearly in tears because he was offering us so much... It was just overwhelming in the best way possible because it is just so nice."

Ms Shwe said they had gone from having no reception venue to having too many to choose from.

SkyCity, Wildfire, Mikano, Grace Hill Vineyard in Kumeu, Pilkingtons, The Dog's Bollix and Manhattan Lounge were among other businesses that had also offered to help them.

"We only expected venues to come out, we didn't expect anyone to be so generous."

Verdo Events had also offered to lend them a life-sized, illuminated LOVE sign, Mikano offered to shout them a three course-meal and make-up artist Danielle De Cuyper had offered to do Ms Shwe's wedding make-up at no cost.

The help of local businesses and the New Zealand public had made the bride-to-be excited about her wedding day again.

"I'm just so grateful for the support from the public and also local New Zealand business owners that they are willing to reach out and help us out in our time of need... Me and my partner have just been blown away. After we saw M Social and Grace Hill I actually cried on the way home."

M Social general manager Nigel Edwards said he was happy to do something good for a lovely couple.

"Basically it is the spirit of good hospitality. Weddings are stressful enough without this situation occurring at the last moment so being part of the community and being able to help is what we do as a hotel," he said.

"We did not expect any significant follow-up or want to grandstand, it will be just a pleasure to provide a fantastic celebration for them and their family. The whole team is behind this and excited to host this event... they are in very good hands."



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