A Calgary couple showed up to their fitness class on Saturday completely oblivious to the fact they were the winners of a massive prize.
In August, Erich Chmiel and Lauren Cowley entered an online competition through Azuridge Estate Hotels for the chance to win a $100,000 wedding.
Their hearts weren’t finished pounding from their workout before they were sent pounding again.
“Sorry to interrupt your class but is there a Lauren and Erich in this class? We need you to come up here,” said Michaelle LeManne Lamb of Azuridge Estate Hotels as she marched into the studio carrying a bouquet of flowers and balloons.
As the couple timidly stepped up to the front, they knew exactly who they were speaking to.
“You are officially the winners of our $100,000 wedding contest,” LeManne Lamb said.
The competition is providing the happy couple with the wedding of their dreams.
“We want to buy a house and put money into our house and for planning a wedding, it’s going to cost a lot,” Chmiel said. “We’ve got a lot of friends and family to invite. We were trying to figure out how to have a budget pizza party with our favourite brewers from around Calgary.”
The 29-year-old yoga instructor and 28-year-old engineer were looking for ways to make their wedding affordable and fun — and now they get to celebrate lavishly.
“We narrowed 72 applicants down to five and all the participating vendors got their chance to cast their vote for who they thought would be amazing to work with,” LeManne Lamb said.
The winners of the competition received almost everything you could hope for in a wedding, including food and beverage costs, rings, outfits and the venue, the Azuridge Estate Hotel, southwest of Calgary.
Of course, the whole process wouldn’t have been possible without the help of a sneaky best friend in on the secret.
“I was out of town, so I needed to get back here,” Tyler Labonte said. “I’m sitting in the airport and my flight got cancelled so I got to go through this whole rigmarole to get back here to make sure they wake up on time to get into the class.”
Now both Chmiel and Cowley can spend their wedding fund on a trip they wouldn’t have been able to otherwise afford.