Tears of joy at �15k wedding win

THERE were tears of joy when engaged couple Hannah Stephenson and Will Lay learned they'd won the wedding of their dreams.

THERE were tears of joy when engaged couple Hannah Stephenson and Will Lay learned they'd won the wedding of their dreams.

Unbeknown to the lucky couple, Hannah's grandmother, Sheila Graham, entered them in the B&G magazine/Seckford Hall Hotel �15,000 wedding competition because she felt they deserved a special wedding.

When they were randomly selected from 10 finalists at a wedding fair held at Seckford Hall on Sunday they were unable to hold back the tears.

For Will 26, a farm worker at Gosbeck Hall Farm, Gosbeck, the moment was particularly emotional as he recently lost his mum to cancer.

“He was very close to his mum,” said Hannah, “and he's still grieving.”

Hannah, 20, a student nurse on Bergholt children's ward at Ipswich Hospital, was absolutely thrilled with her win, especially as she only been told two days before the event that she and William had been entered in the competition.

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“I'm totally shocked,” she said. “My jaw hurts from smiling.”

Hannah and Will met at Gosbeck Hall Farm in December 2006. Hannah was a babysitter for relatives of the farm's owners and got talking to Will while she was on an outing to the farm with one of her young charges.

“He was working in the piggery, we got talking and it just went from there,” she said.

The couple were planning to marry in 2011, but will now bring the event forward to next year. Winning the competition, said Hannah, would enable them to invite friends as well as family and have the wedding they really want.

“We're thrilled,” she said. “When we knew we'd won we were so excited we couldn't talk. Mum and Dad are really excited too.”

Hannah and Will plan to take part in a swim at Felixstowe this Christmas to raise money for St Elizabeth Hospice, which cared for Will's mum at the end of her life.

The couple were presented with their �15,000 wedding prize by Charlotte Smith-Jarvis, editor of B&G magazine, which is published by the East Anglian Daily Times.

The whole family were with them as the announcement was made, including proud Sheila, who nominated the couple and struggled to fight back the tears.

Also there to congratulate the pair was the management team from Seckford Hall Hotel, which will provide the venue and catering for their wedding, as well as the many Suffolk based wedding providers who will be contributing to the prize and who will share their big day.

B&G editor Charlotte said: “I was so happy to be able to give this prize to such a deserving couple. Their reaction made the moment priceless, and I can't wait to hear all about their wedding day. The whole team at B&G and the East Anglian Daily Times wishes them all the best for their future together.”

* B&G magazine is on sale at newsagents and selected supermarkets, offers couples getting married in Suffolk information, advice and ideas about arranging their big day. The magazine will follow Hannah and Will's wedding in future issues and online at a new website due to be launch this month.