Meet the couple who won a £7K wedding!

WHEN Gary Peterson proposed to Claire Smith little did they know that a string of bad luck would mean they would still be waiting to walk down the aisle eight years later.

But thanks to your votes they can now make their dream a reality after winning more than 7,000 in prizes towards their dream day.

Gary, 40 and Claire, 32, who have been together for ten-years, beat off competition from four other couples to scoop our Win Your Wedding competition - after Claire's sister Karen Fairgrieve entered the competition on their behalf.

Claire said: "We couldn't believe it. I was really nervous about the announcement. It was really emotional when we found out it's a dream come true and the fact we've waited so long makes it even more special."

Gary and Claire will enjoy prizes, including a 4,450 the Regent Hotel's Gold package for 80 daytime guests and 120 evening guests, a wedding dress worth up to 500 courtesy of It's Bliss and suits for the groom and best man totalling 200.

They will also receive a photography package courtesy of Katherine Rouse Photography totalling 600, plus much more.

The couple, of Tenyson Avenue, Sprotbrough, who met through mutual friends, have endured a tough few years after Claire's aunt and nanna both died within two years and her stepdad became ill from a reaction to chemotherapy after being diagnosed with throat cancer.

Gary said: "We do seem to have had a lot of bad luck over the last few years but I think it has brought us closer and we're hoping winning this competition is a turning point for us."

The couple have dreamed of tying the knot since Gary proposed eight years ago but had their hopes dashed three years ago when they were forced to spend their 3,000 wedding fund on fixing their car.

Gary said: "We were gutted and to be honest it was getting to the stage where, unless we ended up winning the lottery or something we might never have been able to afford to get married."

The couple who live with Gary's 13-year-old son Aaron are now excitedly looking forward to the big day.

Claire said: "I just can't wait for the whole thing and my sister's taken on role as wedding planner so the only thing I have to worry about is getting to the gym to loose weight before the wedding."

Gary added: "I just can't wait to have some wedding pictures on the wall, we've been together for so long and this will just complete it and make us a proper family."

We will be following the couple throughout preparations and keep you updated on their journey towards the big day.