CQ childhood sweethearts to tie the knot after 32 years
"IT'S a dream come true."
Moura childhood sweethearts, Lynda Matschoss and Warren Foden, are finally getting the chance to get married.
The couple were the winners of a Rockhampton and Capricorn Coast's businesses elopement giveaway.
The giveaway was run in the lead up to Valentine's Day on Facebook and winners received a free elopement valued at more than $4000.
It was co-ordinated by Dani Drury, of Dani Drury photography, who donated three hours of photography with Chantelle Stagg Photography.
The giveaway also included hair and make-up from Rachel Holloway at Bloom Makeup Artistry and Danielle Hempseed donated her celebrant services and Lilly & Lotus Events floral bouquets and styling.
"We still just can't believe it," Lynda said.
Lynda, 47, and Warren, 49, were chosen out of more than 30 entries.
"I don't think we are that worthy, there is probably more deserving couples out there but we are very thankful that we won," Lynda said.
"Thank you to everyone that was involved and for donating their services and my beautiful children and my soon to be husband."
Lynda met Warren when she was 13 and he was 16. They soon started dating about a year later and 32 years later they have three children, Jenna-Lee, Luke and Tyson, and a grandson, Hunter.
The couple grew up in Moura and, after moving to Yeppoon and Western Australia, they have settled in Moranbah for the last two years where they both work at the mines.
They were nominated by their daughter-in-law, Brittany West, Tyson's partner.
"To be nominated by someone else we love very much its means a lot," Lynda said.
Life and obstacles have gotten in the way for the couple who put their children first ahead of themselves.
"Firstly I fell pregnant when we were organising a wedding and it got too hard, and then after Luke came along and then I had health issues and we had Tyson," Lynda said.
"Just supporting the kids as life got on."
The couple have been engaged for 30 years and it had become more of a faint dream than a reality.
"We thought one day we might elope at a registry office," Lynda said.
"Nothing big and fancy."
To win the giveaway was something Lynda couldn't put into words.
"It's unbelievable, we are very, very grateful," Lynda said.
"I cried and Warren was over the moon, he was stoked."
The elopement has been planned for June next year and hopefully will be held at Great Keppel Island.
A small, close wedding is exactly what the couple wanted.
"After we have been together for so long, we just wanted to get married in front of our kids," she said.
And calling Warren her "husband" is going to be more than special.
"Something wonderful to get used to it."