A personalised butler, a luxury yacht transfer, a private helicopter tour, a TV crew…
These indulgences aren’t within reach for most couples planning their wedding, but for Tumut pair Kiarna Preston and Josh Smith, that’s exactly what they’re going to get.
The couple have been announced as the winners of Sunrise’s ‘Marry in the Morning’ competition, and have been given an $100 000 wedding package to take place on Hayman Island in the Whitsundays.
It’s a long way from where they first met at the Oriental Hotel, when Kiarna went home thinking Josh’s name was Jake – but still told her mum she’d met the boy she was going to marry.
“We’ve been together for seven years last Friday,” said Kiarna, while browsing wedding dresses in Sydney in preparation for the big day. “It was a nice [anniversary] present! He went fishing and I went dress shopping!”
Josh and Kiarna – ‘Josharna,’ as dubbed by Kochie on Sunrise – have a little under a month to put everything together before the wedding goes live on October 21.
However, Kiarna said the whole process had been relatively calm, and that she’s mostly just excited about what the next month is going to bring.
“Sunrise have been awesome, they’ve said that they don’t want to take away from our wedding, its our day,” she said.
“I’ve been talking to the producers every day, and the wedding planner on Hayman Island. They’ve got ideas, but they want me to personalise it as well. I’m really happy to go with what they’ve got planned – it’s quite nice not having to stress about it really.”
“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
The ‘Marry in the Morning’ prize includes a full wedding and reception package as well as a three night honeymoon on Hayman Island.
Some of the highlights are: flights for the bride and groom plus eight guests, luxury yacht transfer from the airport, hair and makeup, a photographer, suites for the guests, a 3-course reception for 20 people, a personalised butler, a private helicopter tour, a beach villa, and celebrity celebrant Greg Evans.
Josh and Kiarna learned they had won the prize in a live cross on morning television, where they shared a kiss and Kiarna wiped away a few tears to an audience of hundreds of thousands.
“The first time I met Josh I came home from the pub and I said to mum, I’ve found my future husband,” Kiarna said on the program.
Kiarna had moved to Airlie Beach, Queensland, at the time, but returned home to Tumut when her mum was diagnosed with cancer.
Her mum was able to give Josh her seal of approval before she sadly passed away.
Kiarna said that winning the package took a weight off her mind, as she felt funny organising her wedding without her mum.
“I’m one of those girls who always dreamed of planning my wedding with my mum … if mum was alive it would have been planned already,” she said.
“She’d think [winning the prize is] unreal. She’s probably dancing up there at the moment with a glass of kahlua in her hand celebrating! Mum just would have been so proud.”
Josh, who used to have his hair cut by Mrs Preston when he was a kid, said her presence at the wedding will be missed.
“When I first met Diana (Preston), you wouldn’t think that she was sick. She wouldn’t show any pain; she didn’t want sympathy from anyone. She was the life of the party, just one of those people that you always want to have around. She was a lovely, lovely lady.”
Josh and Kiarna said they will use their eight allocated flights and suites on their families – Kiarna has two brothers and Josh has a sister and brother-in-law that will be enjoying the luxury accommodation, along with Kiarna’s father and his partner, and Josh’s parents.
Meanwhile, back home, locals are doing their best to make sure the ‘Josharna’ nickname sticks around, with the Royal Hotel in the main street flying a gigantic banner reading ‘Congratulations #Josharna, We’ll all be watching’ from its balcony.
Tune in to Channel Seven at 8am on October 21 to see the two lovebirds’ beautiful wedding.