Hero’s Wedding was an initiative launched last year by military wives Hayley Oats – who is based at Carver Barracks in Wimbish – and Emma Waring. Along with SEO expert Steve Hooper, the trio aimed to offer the complete wedding package to one couple based with the Forces.
The competition was open to the UK and entries flooded in from couples who told their love stories and reasons why they should win. In November, Leanne and Ross Allan were announced as the winners after receiving several thousand votes.
It brought a host of brands together to make the day – held at the stunning setting of Parklands in Quendon – a real success. Even the Registrars from Saffron Walden conducted the ceremony for free.
Hayley said: “We wanted to do something to show our appreciation for the amazing job our Forces continue to do and the sacrifices they make in order to protect and serve our country.
“It was a great success. The majority of the suppliers were Essex based, including many in the Saffron Walden area, with several national and international companies getting involved too.”
The £16,000 package included the stunning venue, dream dress, beautiful bridesmaids’ dresses, suits, bespoke stationery, cake, delightful wedding favours, hairdresser, make-up artist, bridal accessories, wedding photography, video, flowers and even sweetie treats.
Saffron Walden resident and Town Team member Wendy Howell, of online lighting company Design Essentials which was involved, said the wedding was an “example of the things that can be done if businesses collaborate”.
“Eight businesses can be better than one. This is exactly the sort of thing the Town Team is about – business working together for the benefit of all,” she said.
“Hayley approached a few people and they jumped on board to help a good cause.”
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