Bridesmaids Katie van der Velden, far left, and Jen Chaddock, far right, with brides-to-be Chereez Koen, centre left and Chloe Bartlett, at the Nelson Bridal Show. Photo: Jessie Johnston.

Met online, now for the wedding

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Chloe Bartlett and Chereez Koen first spoke online, first met in South Africa, but will get married in Nelson next summer.

The couple were among dozens that made their way to the Nelson Bridal Show on Sunday, looking for help from wedding experts.

The show featured over 50 exhibitors from cake bakers, hair and makeup specialists, and photographers.

Chloe and Chereez attended the show with their bridesmaids, Katie van der Velden and Jen Chaddock, to pick up as many ideas as possible. The couple met online after being part of the same Facebook page, Chloe living here in Nelson while Chereez was in South Africa.

“Chloe posted something one day and I invited her to be friends, we started talking and that’s it,” says Chereez.

They didn’t meet in person until six months later. “I flew to South Africa,” says Chloe. “We were just friends then but we did have feelings for each other, so we wanted to meet each other first and see how it went from there.”

Chereez now lives here permanently after the pair decided to tie the knot.

“I did a treasure hunt type thing around the house and then, at the end there was champagne and everything, and I had this big speech planned – which didn’t happen,” says Chloe.

“She just said, ‘you know that I love you, right,’ and I said ‘yeah’ then she reached for the ring and asked, ‘will you marry me’,” says Chereez.

The show was also about supporting the community, with proceeds going to the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter.