AND so the rollercoaster ride begins.
Andrew Mullen, 39, and Deborah Langley, 44, have just won the day of their dreams. Now they have to plan for it.
As they looked back on the night when they realised they were getting married – the night of the Bride of the Year finals – Deborah said: “We really wanted to win but we didn’t expect the result.
“Neither of us slept much afterwards because of the excitement. We kept re-living the evening over and over again.
“We were still in a bit of disbelief the day after but it has sunk in now.”
What followed was an exciting period of getting in touch with everyone they knew – to tell them they were invited to a wedding!
“We were ringing people. We were messaging people. They were all so excited and so pleased for us,” said Deborah.
“We have one friend who will be coming from Germany and others from the Isle of Man. They have all said they would be honoured to come.”
Deborah’s thoughts are now turning to wedding details. To those important matters such as what type of dress she would like. Hers will come from Peaches Bridal.
The exact detail, as with all brides, will remain a closely guarded secret until the day itself, but she said: “It will be white and not ivory.
“I have got an idea in my head what I would like but I am sure that when I start looking round, there will be so many dresses it will make the choice harder.”
And Andrew is thinking about the suit he will wear, thanks to 1886 suit hire by Greenwoods in Middlesbrough.
He’ll be kitted out as well as his best man, usher and two youngest boys, 13-year-old son Shay Mullen and seven-year-old Samuel.
He has already ruled out one option. “I won’t be wearing a kilt!”
It’s thanks to Robert Usher of Robert Usher Photography, who has lined up a £12,000 list of top sponsors, that the couple from the town centre area of Hartlepool will enjoy a day to remember on Friday, September 7.
They will marry in the Captain’s Cabin on HMS Trincomalee with a registrar from the Hartlepool Register Office to conduct the ceremony.
A● wedding breakfast for 50 guests will follow with all the trimmings including a champagne toast will follow from Cleveland Caterers.
To record it all, there will be a wedding album from award-winning Robert Usher Photography and a full day video from Premier Imaging.
There’s outfits too for the bridesmaids thanks to Exclusively Yours, and for the mother of the bride from Autonomy
A horse and carriage will be supplied from the North East Carriage Company which provided a carriage for Cheryl Cole’s wedding.
●Hair, nails and facial for the bride, plus hair for the mother of the bride and up to five bridesmaids, comes from Tony Gallagher Hairdressing.
There’s wedding rings from Market Cross Jewellers, flowers for the bride and three bridesmaids, as well as buttonholes from A Secret Garden, and invitations and place settings provided by Ords Printers.
It doesn’t end there. There’s a three-tier wedding cake from Mollys Cakes and two Rolls Royce cars from Magic Moments, chair Covers provided by A Secret Garden and balloons by Crafty Balloons.
Later in the day, there’s a night-time disco from Astro Disco and afterwards, the couple could enjoy a honeymoon with up to £350 off from Hays Travel.
And it’s all down to a couple who swayed the judges on the night of the grand finals of our competition.
Andrew, a former bodyguard for the girl band Atomic Kitten, has to spend much of his time in a wheelchair because of a string of related conditions which include a degenerative spinal disease, facet joint arthritis, mechanical back pain and nerve damage.
He told the judges: “It has been a lot to deal with and she is my full-time carer.”
When asked what he loved about Deborah, he said: “It’s her eyes that did it for me. I love everything about her. I would not change anything.”
And when asked what she would most look forward to at the wedding Deborah, who first met her “Prince Charming” through a social media site 11 years ago, said: “The part where they tell us we are married.”
The couple want to thank the public for helping them to get to the finals of the competition. Andrew said: “Without their support, we could not have won.”
Watch out for regular coverage of Deborah and Andrew’s wedding journey in the coming weeks.