Bride of the Year 2016 Winner

Rebecca Selmes, Bride of the Year 2016


Rebecca Selmes from NSW,
married 24 September 2016


Bride of the Year 2016 - Winner

There were twenty two gorgeous finalists in the 2016 Bride of the Year Competition, True Bride's sixteenth annual competition. Each of the twenty two entrants had become finalists from hundreds of contestants throughout the year, each deserving a chance to win. But there can only be one winner and in the end Rebecca Selmes received the highest amount of votes, and was crowned 'Bride of the Year' 2016. Congratulations Rebecca!

Rebecca's Competition Experience

I came across the Bride of the Year competition via an advertisement while browsing through Facebook. The name of the competition, True Bride, caught my eye. It gave me a feeling that it wasn't going to be a competition to see who was the most glamorous bride but rather promoting the photos and stories of real and genuine brides. That was appealing to me.

I entered just before the entries for the last month of the competition closed (I actually think I entered on the very last day). At the time I didn't realise that February was the last month for 2016 brides to enter, so I'm glad I didn't wait because I just made it in time.

Entering the competition 100% helped re-live our wedding day. I enjoyed going through our photos over and over again because I love them so much. I feel very lucky to have found a platform to be able to share them with others. I also found it really special to write about our wedding story. It is probably something I wouldn't have taken the time to do otherwise. I think it is really important to reflect on it all because it goes so quickly leading up to a wedding and especially the actual day. This has meant that I have been able to stretch out all of those special moments a little longer.

Bride & Groom, Rebecca & Kurt Selmes Bride & Groom, Rebecca & Kurt Selmes

I enjoyed the excitement and involvement from my friends and family. When they found out that I had entered, they asked many questions. (How does it work, when does it finish, what do you win, how do we vote etc) It has definitely been a talking point for the last few months.

Everyone I spoke to over the last few weeks, people I know and also lots of people that I don't know, were asking about the finals and telling me how they were asking their work colleagues, friends and family to vote for me. The number of people who knew I had made it into the finals and how many of them wanted to help me surprised me.

When I had call from an unknown number I thought that it could be a tele-marketer. It was a pleasant surprise when I found out it was somebody from True Bride. I wasn't sure if all the finalists just got a call though, so it took a little while to sink in that I had won, but I think the feeling was just pure relief. I didn't know a lot about the competition when I entered because I entered so late so I didn't really find out much about it, I just filled out the form. Once I made the finals I was then invested and wanted to win so that our wedding photos and story could continue to be shared.

My husband and mum were with me when I got the call telling me that I had won. They worked out from my excitement what was happening and gave me a big hug when I got off the phone. My husband was the one who handed me my phone when I got the call so he was waiting to see if it was the call we had been waiting for. It was nice to see how excited he was for me because I feel like this is for both of us. After all, I couldn't have done it without him.

My friends and family were very excited to find out that I had won. Living in a rural area helped with my votes. My husband and I are part of a tight community of friends and family (big country families) who were all voting for me and asking others to vote for me. Social media also helped significantly to get the word out. People are happy to help and vote once they know about a competition like this. We had friends we met while living in England who came over for our wedding also share my voting page too. I don't know if that got me a few more votes but it was pretty good that it spread that far. The Goulburn Post and Crookwell Gazette also posted our story on their social media pages to reach a broader audience across our home towns.

Bride & Groom, Rebecca & Kurt Selmes Bride & Groom, Rebecca & Kurt Selmes

With the prize money, I am going to donate the entire amount to Fr Chris Riley who founded Youth off the Streets, which is an organisation that helps teenagers and young adults who are homeless or in difficult situations due to unstable home environments or other unfortunate events that have happened in their lives. The driving force behind the change he creates is providing education and promoting self-esteem in these young people, which I am very passionate about.

Kurt and I paid off our wedding before our big day happened, so we don't need to use the money towards anything like that. We are currently building a house and I will eventually put our favourite wedding photo on a big canvas, but I think those things can wait. I would love for people who are in unfortunate situations to feel special, just like I did on our wedding day, so that is where all of the prize money is going.

I heard about True Bride on Facebook. I think that the competition is such a wonderful way for brides to share their photos and wedding story and I will be encouraging my friends who are getting married this year to enter. I enjoyed looking through the other contestants' pages and I think that brides-to-be would be able to get so many ideas from the website. I have loved every part of the competition and am so happy to be crowned the 2016 Bride of the Year.

Read Rebecca's wedding story >>