Wedding dream comes true

Left to right: Gary Philipson, Claire Smith, Rob Appleby, Lisa Shaw.
Left to right: Gary Philipson, Claire Smith, Rob Appleby, Lisa Shaw.

A HAPPY Morpeth couple have won the wedding of their dreams after entering a radio competition.

And knowing they will celebrate their big day at luxury Linden Hall is the icing on the cake for Claire Smith and Rob Appleby as the Longhorsley venue is where they enjoyed their first date.

The pair scooped the prize on Real Radio Breakfast with Gary and Lisa after battling it out in the Bridal Idol contest.

First they had to compete in a Real Married Life quiz at the hotel to make it through to the final six couples, who then did battle in Task Week, completing various challenges from dancing a first dance to assembling a chest of drawers.

Finally, the Morpeth couple, who both work for the fire service, went head to head with Rachel Neve and Barry Carr, taking it in turns to pick one of 10 ring boxes.

After three guesses each, Claire, 30, chose box nine, finding the ring and landing the top prize, much to the delight of her 48-year-old fiance.

She said: “We decided to enter the competition because the prize was to get married at Linden Hall. We had our first date there and we felt we could finally have our dream wedding at the hotel.

“We were going to get married next year, but winning this competition means not only can we marry this year, we can have a bigger wedding than we had planned, all of our friends and family will be able to come.

“We’re absolutely overwhelmed and can’t believe we won.”

The prize includes a wedding at Macdonald Linden Hall Golf and Country Club with a wedding planner and everything at the venue, including drinks, as well as a photographer, flowers, cake, the bridal suite and cars, while The Jewellers Guild has provided £1,000 to spend on rings or other jewellery.

Breakfast show presenter Lisa Shaw said: “I am over the moon for Claire and Rob. All the couples were lovely and it was hard to see just one win, but to see a couple win their dream wedding was just priceless. The fact they can marry in the same place they had their first date is so romantic.”