PLANNING a wedding is a challenge in itself – but how about the added task of raising thousands of pounds for charity on the side?
That’s the test faced by Edinburgh couple Vikki Carral and Brian Cavanagh after the pair made it to the final stage of the annual Win Your Wedding competition.
Vikki, 38, and Brian, 40, now have a race against time to compete with four other couples to raise as much money as possible for the charity Cash For Kids by May 8.
And the stakes are high because whichever pair raises the most is set to win a wedding of their dreams at the luxury Norton House Hotel and Spa venue.
Vikki said the couple, who live in Craigentinny, had already been hard at work with the fundraising since the allotted April 22 start date.
So far this has included a night with Edinburgh medium Frances Ryan, a paranormal investigation evening at Craigentinny Community Centre and bag packing at Morrisons.
Vikki admitted the whole experience had come as a shock, saying: “Forth One run the competition every year and I thought I’ll look into that.
“I went on the webpage and filled in a few details about my fundraising efforts in the past. It was one of those things that you fill in and never expect to hear back.
“We went on holiday to Benidorm and got back and got a phone call saying we’d been selected from 200 other couples – I was really surprised.”
Mum-of-two Vikki has been a youth worker for the last 16 years, spending the majority of her time at Craigentinny Community Centre.
She explained it was this – as much as the chance to win a wedding – that had inspired her to get involved as a way of giving something back.
“They [the community centre] have received a lot of money from Cash For Kids in the past so it’s quite close to my heart.
“At Christmas time in particular Cash For Kids get a lot of Christmas presents for disadvantaged children. I know a lot of children who benefit from the presents.
“We were told last year’s couple raised £8700 so obviously we are trying to aim for that and more.”
It’s been a team effort for the pair, who met in their mid-teens at Murrayfield ice rink.
A few years later Brian proposed but was turned down by Vikki who feared they were too young. After falling out of touch for around 20 years the couple found each other again on Facebook – and this time the wedding is on.
While winning a wedding would be a “massive” help, Vikki said she was enjoying the process whatever the outcome.
She added: “We have absolutely loved it. There are a lot of family and friends who are helping us so it’s fantastic.”
To sponsor the couple, visit planetradio.co.uk/forth/competitions/win/win-your-wedding-2017. Alternatively you can make a £5 donation by texting COUPLE5 to 70808.
Vikki and Brian are also hosting a quiz night at Craigentinny Community Centre this Saturday, May 6 from 7pm. Tickets cost £5.