Dungog weddings and celebrations

One of the organisers of the Dungog District Chamber of commerce weddings and special events initiative Tracy Clifton and local celebrant Kristine O’Sullivan.A meeting was held at Chillbillies in Dungog on Tuesday night last week to plan the next stage of the wedding and special events incentive which has recently received funding of $7000 from NSW Trade and Investment.

The funding was received by the Dungog and District Chamber of Commerce and owes much to the work of owner of About Time Beauty Services Tracy Clifton, and Dungog Council’s economic development and tourism coordinator Ivan Skaines.

It was Tracy’s idea to build the weddings and special events industry in Dungog area when she noticed while doing wedding makeup, that most people holding weddings in the area aren’t using other local services.

“When I told people we had these services available locally, most said that had they known about them, they would have used them,” Ms Clifton said.

“Also, they would probably have come up the area the night before the wedding as they usually stayed back to bring their flowers, cakes and other things with them on the day.”

The funding was granted on a dollar for dollar basis matching money raised from the local business community, bringing the total funding to $14,000.

This money will be used to build a website with participating services having a separate web page, a hard copy brochure or booklet, and other marketing materials.

Funding for attending several bridal expos was also included in the grant.

“We would really like to put the Dungog Shire on the map as a viable alternative to areas such as Pokolbin,” Mr Skaines said.

“There would obviously be a ripple effect as a result of having more weddings, special celebrations and other events in the area.

“Not only would we be attracting more visitors to the area, but also creating employment and other business opportunities.

“Apart from the obvious services involved with events, there would be more job opportunities for cleaners, gardeners, wait and bar staff, drivers and a whole range of other services.”

Ms Clifton said there is still have a long way to go and are probably starting where the Pokolbin area was 10 years ago.

“We would like to provide people with the complete package for an event, but there are still areas we are lacking in.

“We are not just concentrating on weddings but any sort of event, from naming days to birthday parties to reunions.

“If you think you can provide a service within this initiative whether it be hiring out table decorations to supplying your paddock for a venue, we would like to hear from you.

“Particularly, we need musicians and bridal cars, but we are open to any suggestions or ideas.”

Anyone interested can phone Tracy on 0422 823 001 or Ivan at Dungog Council on 4995 7777.

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