Gamble everything for love: P&G’s trans-continental office romance

By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW & SANTIAGO, CHILE: Office romances don’t get much better than this. Proctor & Gamble, the local distributors of Braun and Oral-B, is currently celebrating the marriage of two of its star performers, with Pilar Gardiazabal and Tomas Durandeau tying the knot in their native Chile.

The pair met while working in P&G’s Santiago office, and the romance blossomed under the scent of Crest toothpaste and Old Spice aftershave. Despite the romance, Tomas took up a transfer to Sydney to look after the Wella haircare brand. That left Pilar with a big decision: stay in her homeland with her family, or travel 11,367 kilometres to follow her heart. Of course, the choice was easy.

Now settled in Australia, Pilar started working as a brand manager on Braun and Oral-B. Not long after, the pair was engaged, and started preparing for their wedding. For most brides-to-be, planning a wedding is as stressful an ordeal as there is, so imagine the difficulty for Pilar in putting together her special day from the other side of the world.

This remoteness of the venue, however, did not dissuade the happy couple, and Pilar and Tomas arrived back in their hometown to be greeted with a church at the ready and a reception centre fully prepared for their arrival, despite neither Pilar nor Tom having seen the decorations, flowers or venue first hand.

A fine wedding it was too, and in a testament to the pair’s popularity in their adopted home, a large contingency of Proctor & Gamble employees and agency contacts travelled to Chile to add the broad Australian accent to the otherwise Spanish celebration. One of those who couldn’t attend was Pilar’s boss, P&G brand manager George O’Neil.

“I am so happy for Pilar and Tomas, they make a wonderful couple,” O’Neil said. “I am just disappointed I couldn’t head over to Chile to join in the celebrations, but I couldn’t have the whole team out at once!”

After the festivities, Pilar and Tom headed to Mexico to drink tequila and eat tacos on the beach for their honeymoon. Unfortunately, the sun sets on every honeymoon, and the pair jetted home to Sydney to return to work at Proctor & Gamble and enjoy their first Christmas together at their North Bondi home.

Current.com.au congratulates Pilar and Tom.

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