Just a few more drinks to get down the aisle

ALL that is missing from Raechelle Petty's big day is her dream wedding dress.

She's got the traditional something old, something borrowed and something blue organised for her November wedding, it's just the $5000 Maggie Soterro Priscilla gown that Raechelle is yet to pay off.

But thanks to the generosity of her regular customers at the Commercial Hotel in Clermont, the 26-year-old is confident she's close to paying off the hefty price tag.

"I know it's ridiculous... but we're paying for (the wedding) all ourselves," Raechelle said between serving the lunch crowd in Clermont recently.

"It's out of the budget. The girls suggested I save it up in tips."

And from there, the idea was born and Raechelle's workmates coined the novel approach to paying for the princess-cut gown.

The solution was the 'Wedding Dress Fund' tip jar.

"The girls made it," she said.

"They cut the picture out of the magazine, which is the actual dress, and put it on the jar."

Taking a guess, Raechelle said there would be at least $500 in the jar already, thanks to one Clermont local who contributed $5 each day to the fund.

"I don't ask people to put money in there," she said.

"But it's there if they want to contribute. I've gotten a lot of questions about it, and a few laughs.

"I'd just like to thank everyone who has contributed, and the Commercial Hotel for letting me do it."

Raechelle, who has been with her fiance for more than six years, will tie the knot on their seventh anniversary at the Emerald Lakes Golf Club.

The ceremony and reception is costing the long-term couple more than $25,000, including accommodation, food and drinks for 100 guests, and buying the bridesmaids' dresses.

"It's a lot, but you only get married once... or only aim to, anyway," she said with a laugh.


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