A bride-to-be was treated to the wedding of her dreams after winning a competition worth £20,000.
Amy Bardwell, from Jarrow, thought nothing of it when she emailed Debenhams to take part in its Bride of the Year contest.
Up for grabs was the chance of winning a £20,000 wedding package - including gown, bridesmaid dresses, suits, jewellery and honeymoon.
Amy and her partner Nathan McColgan, both 20, first met when they were Army Cadets and had been together for a number of years, unsure whether they would ever be able to afford their dream wedding.
Amy’s mam Helen Bardwell said: “When they were told they had won, it was like ‘wow’. It has been amazing for them.”
The couple were married at St John’s Church, Hebburn, before having a reception at the TA centre in Northfield Gardens, South Shields, last weekend - on what would have been Amy’s grandad’s birthday.
It’s been such an amazing experience through Debenhams.Amy McColgan
Helen, from the Lakes Estate, Jarrow, said: “It was a beautiful day. It wasn’t until the night-time when everything stopped that everything started to sink in.
“Everything was so perfect for them. They had all their family and friends and my husband did a great job of transforming the TA hall.
“They were so lucky with the weather as the previous weekend it had been snowing.”
The couple who will be moving to Windsor where Nathan has a job with the Coldstream Guards and are currently on honeymoon in Dubai before travelling to the Maldives, then Sri Lanka.
Amy said: “You hear of these competitions but never know anyone who wins them, so to find out you have is crazy. I was actually on my way home from work thinking about how we were going to be able to afford to get married as soon as we could. When I saw the email saying we were winners I was stood on the Metro starting to cry.
“It’s been such an amazing experience through Debenhams. Without it we would never had been able to do it. The honeymoon is such an incredible prize in itself, allowing me and my fiancé to have the getaway we deserve. I would encourage anyone getting married to enter, it’s a once in a life time opportunity!”
The Bride of the Year competition is still open to all betrothed couples.
To enter, visit http://www.debenhams.com/content/weddings/wedding-competitions before 11.59 on April 30, 2018.