“THIS will be our declaration of love,” said Elizabeth Richardson as she talked about the moment she takes her wedding vows.
The 23-year-old winner of the Bride of the Year competition, run in conjunction with Robert Usher Photography, is now days away from tie-ing the knot with fiance Liam Turnbull, 23.
The major part of the day is the wedding ceremony.
Elizabeth admitted: “It is the main part of the day for me. It is our declaration of love for each other and saying why we want to be together.”
The ceremony will be led by Hartlepool’s deputy superintendent registrar Margaret Cosgrave. Our couple are in safe hands as Margaret has worked in the job for 30 years.
She is one of eight staff at Hartlepool Register Office, now based at the town’s civic centre.
“I like to think that we provide a good service,” said Margaret. “Certainly, there are people who I see in the street that I have married, and they come and say hello. I enjoy the fact that people appreciate what we do for them.”
Apart from the statutory words which must be said at the wedding service, Margaret and her team like to go over each wedding with the couple concerned so that they can add the extra individual touches.
“We like to vary it. No two weddings are the same because each couple is different.
“Some people like to read their own vows and we can do that on top of the statutory words. Couples are also able to choose their own music and can have readings.
“We like to meet them in advance so that we can build a rapport with them and not just go into a wedding cold.”
Songs can vary vastly from wedding to wedding. “The popular ones include Amazed by Lonestar and From This Moment by Shania Twain. Many people still like to have traditional music but one of the newer ones is Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol.
“There are still some people, though, who like the old favourites such as Frank Sinatra and Matt Munro.
“We have even had people who have walked out from their ceremony to the tune Always Look On The Bright Side of Life!
“Many people have their own ideas and they love it when we say we are happy with that.”
Mum-of-one Elizabeth said: “I don’t normally get emotional but I could well be for this. We want a traditional service that is very personal to us.”
Elizabeth’s story struck a chord with readers when we told how she was rushed into hospital last November after developing blood clots following a routine childbirth.
Just days after giving birth to her son, Noah, her left leg turned completely black.
She was rushed to the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, where she was found to have four clots on her left lung, two on her right lung, and deep vein thrombosis in her leg.
Doctors told the full-time mum she could die. But she pulled through and said it was largely down to the support shown by the man she loved, her fiance Liam.