Sarah’s high hopes for dream wedding

The long and the short of it for Peterlee couple Stephen Fortune - who is 6ft 5in - and Sarah Rountree - who is 4ft 11in - is that they're hoping to win the Hartlepool Mail Bride of the Year competition.

The long and the short of it for Peterlee couple Stephen Fortune - who is 6ft 5in - and Sarah Rountree - who is 4ft 11in - is that they're hoping to win the Hartlepool Mail Bride of the Year competition.

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THEY may be miles apart in size, but Stephen Fortune and Sarah Rountree are on exactly the same wavelength when it comes to love.

For although Stephen is 6ft 5ins and Sarah is 4ft 11ins, they’ve hit it off in the romance stakes.

The long and the short of it for Peterlee couple Stephen Fortune - who is 6ft 5in - and Sarah Rountree - who is 4ft 11in - is that they're hoping to win the Hartlepool Mail Bride of the Year competition.

The long and the short of it for Peterlee couple Stephen Fortune - who is 6ft 5in - and Sarah Rountree - who is 4ft 11in - is that they're hoping to win the Hartlepool Mail Bride of the Year competition.

And now the Peterlee pair are hoping they can seal their romance by winning the Bride of the Year competition run by the Hartlepool Mail in conjunction with Robert Usher Photography.

At 6ft 5ins tall, Stephen towers above his fiancee and admits: “We get strange looks from time to time but we just think it is funny.”

Tuneful Stephen, 28, declared his love for his partner Sarah, 21, by writing and recording a song for her called The Boy.

It’s the fifth track on an EP he’s created called Telling Strangers Secrets.

Stephen, who works as a security officer at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court, hopes one day to be a full-time musician.

He added: “I love her with all my heart.”

And to prove it, he proposed on Christmas Day, 2011.

He said: “We were unwrapping presents and she unwrapped the ring. That’s when I asked her if she would marry me.

“She said yes straight away.”

Sarah, who is currently serving an apprenticeship with homeware and garden products firm Leaf, Bark and Berries, said: “I was so surprised, but I was so pleased he did it.”

Stephen added: “I would love to give her the wedding of her dreams. She is such a kind person who would do anything for anyone.

“I would love it if she could be the centre of attention.”

He said the couple had started to save for a wedding, but the cost was prohibitive.

“Winning Bride of the Year would mean everything to us,” said Stephen.

The competition is open to couples until March 1.

This year, the package includes some favourite prizes from years gone by and a few new additions.

For the first time, there’s a table-top sweet buffet and the chance for the bride and her chief bridesmaid to spend the eve of her big day in style in a guest house.

There’s a fantastic wedding breakfast, reception, four-course silver service wedding meal, table wines and champagne for the toast – all courtesy of Cleveland Caterers.

Two Rolls-Royce cars and a stunning horse and carriage will provide the transport.

There are flowers, wedding rings, balloons, a wedding cake, bride and bridesmaid dresses, suit hire, stationery, night-time disco – in fact, everything you need for a memorable wedding day.

And to stand a chance of winning, all you have to do is get in touch with us.

Couples who have entered before – and whose dream of marrying has still not become reality – are welcome to enter.

So too are those who have never entered before and would love to enjoy a day of wonderful memories.

All will be equally welcome in this year’s Bride of the Year competition.

You just have to tell us why you think you deserve the title – and a dream wedding courtesy of the Hartlepool Mail and Robert Usher Photography.

Send the Mail a letter or email explaining who you are and why you deserve to win.

Include as much detail as you can about yourself and your partner, how you met and why you should be chosen.

Send all your entries to: Chris Cordner, Hartlepool Mail, New Clarence House, Wesley Square, Hartlepool, TS24 8BX, or email chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk.