WIN YOUR WEDDING! Story in Take a Break mag
Dreaming of an amazing wedding? The problem is any wedding – even the smallest do – can easily become so costly! So when Hannah Alexander contacted Featureworld with photos of her amazing wedding she won I was very interested… Indeed Hannah’s story about how she’d entered multiple competitions to win a dream wedding was so inspirational that I placed it with national newspaper Sunday Mirror and it went over two pages! Since then it has appeared in Take a Break mag – read it below…
Did you win your wedding? Or did you have an unusual wedding? Maybe something extraordinary happened on your wedding day? Newspapers and magazines love a great wedding story! Contact me to find out how much your wedding story might be worth and spread the joy…!
I WON MY DREAM WEDDING!
Hannah Alexander, 28, dreamed of a big traditional wedding. The problem was she couldn’t afford it…
By Alison Smith-Squire
‘Looking at my sparkling engagement ring, I thumbed through a wedding brochure. My fiance James Alexander, 26, and I met at sixth form. Now, almost a decade later we were finally going to wed. And I couldn’t wait.
“Look at this wedding,” I said to James, opening the brochure to show him. The bride wore a beautiful white dress as she posed for photos in a stunning parkland at a country estate.
“That’s gorgeous,” he said, “Wouldn’t it be lovely too to get married on our tenth anniversary together?”
“Yes I’m going to ring around a few places tomorrow and see how much it would be,” I replied.
Only by the time he came home from work, I was feeling disappointed.
“All the venues cost thousands,” I told James, “and that’s without the cake and decorations. We’re never going to be able to afford to get wed.” At least not in the style that we hoped for.
It wasn’t that I wanted to splash the cash on a big wedding. But I did want a nice day. The problem was our jobs as supermarket workers didn’t pay much. Family and friends couldn’t afford to pay for it. And what money we did have over at the end of the month we stuck into our savings account to save to buy a house.
I could tell James was as disappointed as I was. “We’ll just have to save harder,” he said giving me a hug. That, or start looking at a very basic wedding, I thought – or have a very long engagement…
A few weeks later I was browsing Facebook when I saw a competition to win a wedding reception worth £5000. It was at Moxhull Hall, a country hotel and restaurant near to where we live in Sutton Coldfield West Midlands. Set in manicured grounds, it was stunning. Imagine if we married there…
I read on. I had to write why I would like to win a wedding there. Easy. “James and I met at school,” I wrote, “we long to marry in 2018 to celebrate ten years together. A wedding at Moxhull Hall is exactly the sort of place which would be my dream wedding.” That night I said to James: “I don’t expect I’ll win but I entered a wedding contest today.”
“Well, you never know,” he said. Weeks passed and I heard nothing more. In fact I forgot I entered it. But it got me thinking. What if I were to win everything for our wedding? The more I thought about it, the keener I got.
Searching ‘wedding contents” I began searching on Facebook and Instagram for give aways and competitions to enter.
A few days later I got an email. “James! We’ve won the reception!” I said. Now we could actually get married.
From then on there was no stopping me. I was determined to win everything for our big day. Over the next year I entered hundreds of competitions. I came home from work and sat at the computer for at least an hour a day. Much of that time was spent on research for the right prizes. I picked smaller companies and start ups so there wasn’t so much competition for prizes. I also looked for organisations close to where we lived.
I didn’t just want any wedding – James and I wanted a traditional white country wedding.
Some contests were as simple as leaving my email address – others involved filling in forms or writing a few sentences.” Some people thought I was mad. “How do you know the prizes aren’t scams?” asked one woman at work when heard about what I was doing.
Another friend joked, “We hardly see you these days. You just spend all your time trying to win your wedding…!” I think some people thought it was quite sad. But I didn’t care.
Over the months I gradually ticked items off my wedding list. I thought I would just get a friend to take photos. But then I realised how important they were. I spent dozens of hours researching photographers and entering giveaways. When I found Focal photography I was worried because they were based in Sheffield. Luckily they were happy to travel for the big day. Next up was our tiered beautifully iced wedding cake. I knew it would be fabulous.
I won wedding rings for £250, personalised engraved cufflinks – even a stag do for James and his groomsmen with a overnight stay in a luxury apartment in Liverpool.
I was thrilled to win table runners, a cake stand and artificial trees. Then came confetti and cones, perfume for me, aftershave for James plus sweets for the guests. And stationery.
When I won a mini honeymoon in a cottage complete with log burner in Yorkshire I was over the moon.
As our wedding day approached, friends and family – impressed by my achievements – also chipped in to help. A friend made the cupcakes and brownies as a present, the groomsmen bought their own suits and paid for the VW camper van to take everyone to the reception, the maid of honour bought her own dress. I arranged my own flowers. To save extra cash James and I booked the wedding for 2pm with a big hog roast at 6pm. It meant guests ate lunch before they came and we only had to provide one meal. Meanwhile I sold some of my winnings – such as a coffee machine and fitness tracker watch – to put towards paying for my £750 wedding dress.
As late as the week before I was still entering contests. Days before I won some Halloween sweets and split them into little bags for favours. On the day guests donated a further £1800 which meant my wedding dress and the food was paid for.
When I totted up our prizes they came to over £10,000 worth.
“I can’t believe you did all of this,” said James as he looked at all the little bags full of sweets I’d won as presents for the guests, “I’m so proud of you.”
Our day was absolutely perfect. As we exchanged vows in front of 60 family and friends I looked around and knew I’d managed to give us the day we both longed for.
James carried me over the threshold of our honeymoon cottage. It was so romantic.
A few days later the photographers sent us the pictures. They were absolutely amazing. I felt so happy – just having the day we wanted has given us so many priceless memories. The wedding might be over but I have now got the bug for a competition. I just can’t stop entering contests!” ’
Hannah’s prizes Wedding ceremony Venue and Bridal suite for the Night : Moxhull Hall – £5000 * Wedding cake £300 * Photographer – Focal photographs £1000 * Wedding rings- £250 * Honeymoon (mini moon) cottage – £350 * 6 x personalised engraved Cufflinks -£35 x6 £210 * Stag do – Luxury apartment stay in Liverpool. -£165 * Wedding props and decorations- Table runners, log cake stand, postbox and artificial trees. £100 * Confetti and cones – – £20 * Brides Perfume – £75 * Grooms Watch- £240 * Grooms Aftershave – £130 * Sweet Favours – £30 * 55 bags of Sweets for sweet table – £50 * Save the Dates – £40 * Wedding website stationery- £100 * Engagement photoshoot- Focal photography – £500 * National Wedding fair VIP tickets – £35 * Curl me deluxe hair kit – £60 * Hen party hamper – £50 Bridal makeup box – £25.00 —————-Total £8480 Donations VW campervan £250 Maid of Honour outfit £110 Wedding presents £1800 Groomsmen suits £1000 Total £11,640
Hannah’s tips to win your wedding !
Treat it like a job and set aside an hour a day
Be prepared to do lots of research and enter hundreds
Enter competitions close to where you live Pick small companies and start ups so there is less competition for the prize