A KERANG couple is hoping an online competition will help fund a dream wedding.
Marie Infantino and Jake Pavlovic are one of more than 300 couples to have entered the Thomas Jewellers' Finest Wedding in the Country competition.
The couple, who both work at a Kerang-based door construction company, have struggled to save for their big day, but agree the $50,000 prize is more than enough money to ensure the memorable occasion can proceed.
The couple initially started out as friends, with Mr Pavlovic regularly seeing Miss Infantino when she was working at Kerang's Royal Hotel, where he played pool.
"It was a bit of a struggle growing up in Kerang. There are not many Italians around, and I said to my mum one day that it would be nice if an Italian boy moved in next door," Miss Infantino said.
"It worked out Jake moved five doors down."
Mr Pavolvic has links prior to relocating to Kerang through family, visiting the town on numerous occasions to see his relatives.
"Mum and dad had enough of the city and decided to move to Kerang," he said.
"I was too young to stay in Melbourne, so I had to move as well."
The couple became close friends during Mr Pavlovic's first 12 months in Kerang, but was interested in seeing if a relationship would blossom.
"One day at work Jars (Royal Hotel manager, Nick Jarman) said to me that Jake liked me, and I said 'no, he doesn't'," Miss Infantino said.
"I asked Jake and although he did not admit it then, one day he asked me if I wanted to be his girlfriend, and I said yes."
The couple were together for one year before Mr Pavolic popped the question in late September 2014.
"We decided to take both families to the Grampians, and as we were walking up to the Pinnacle I popped the question," he said.
"Jake had to carry me to the top as I am scared of heights," Miss Infantino said.
The couple decided to purchase a block of land before focusing on wedding plans, with attempts to hold their special day - firstly on the Mornington Peninsula, then at Echuca - not proceeding due to costs.
"I thought about going overseas to get married, but it works out cost as much as having a wedding at home," Miss Infantino said.
"We would like a small wedding, but it is hard as we both have large families."
If successful, the couple would like to get married at Geelong before settling down.
People can vote for the couple by visiting the couple's profile online.