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Hamilton-based couple wed after being gifted 'life-changing wedding day'

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Last year was tough for Hamilton local Justin Fivaz. When the economic impacts of Covid-19 hit, he was temporarily out of work and was faced with the reality of having to use years of savings that he and his fiancé Jodi Ringo had put aside for their wedding, to tide them over.

This was not the first time that life had interrupted the Hamilton-based couple’s wedding plans, and Justin was determined to turn the year around for him and his family.

When he saw a campaign by 2degrees to help Kiwis end 2020 happy, he secretly submitted their story, hoping that they might get a boost to kickstart their savings again.

Justin’s story was one of more than 18,000 submissions in 2degrees’ End 2020 Happy campaign to right the wrongs of a year like no other. But Justin’s stood out:

"After I lost my job due to Covid-19, I had to use the savings for our wedding just to survive. It took me two months to find a job, after which all of our savings were gone. We weren't planning anything big, just a low-key wedding with some friends. We have been engaged for seven years now and something always comes up, so we have never had the finances to get married. I really want to make this amazing woman my wife, but life just interrupts in some way or another. She is the mother of my two beautiful girls, and I would love for her to have the same last name as her daughters. This would be an amazing gift from me to her and for the family. Thank you kindly."

A month ago, Justin and Jodi found out that 2degrees would not only pay for their dream wedding - complete with wedding planner - but arrange everything too - from organising the florals and cake to connecting their international guests into the ceremony.

For the bride and groom, there was no summer holiday - instead they’ve been busy making decisions that most couples have a year to ponder. Their perfect day took place at the gorgeous Woodlands Estate in Hamilton on Friday 5th February.

A study commissioned by 2degrees last December found that Jodi and Justin were amongst 70% of Kiwis that missed out on a ‘big’ moment.

Ben Wheeler, Chief Brand and Insights at 2degrees, says: "We know that 2020 was really challenging for many Kiwis, but with this campaign we were determined to help begin 2021 on a high.

"The team has been busy granting wishes to Kiwis across the country, but it’s amazing to have been able to truly change the lives of two very deserving people. Our most heartfelt congratulations to the happy couple and the whole family."

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