Thanks for the memories

A DEVOTED couple have created a huge tribute to their magical wedding – and declared: “It was so fantastic we never want to forget it.”

Andrew and Deborah Mullen have permanent reminders all around their home of the day when they married as the winners of the 2012 Bride of the Year competition.

Winners of the 2012 Hartlepool Mail Bride of the Year competition, Andrew and Deborah Mullen are urging couples to come forward and enter this year's contest.

Winners of the 2012 Hartlepool Mail Bride of the Year competition, Andrew and Deborah Mullen are urging couples to come forward and enter this year's contest.

They won a £12,000 package of prizes in the contest run by the Hartlepool Mail in conjunction with Robert Usher Photography.

But Deborah, 44, said: “It wouldn’t have mattered if we had been given £20,000 or more to create our own wedding. It would not have been as magical as the experience we had thanks to Bride of the Year.”

To remind them of it, a huge glass display in their living room is filled with mementoes of their day. It includes;

l Deborah’s tiara from her big day.

l A box with a bottle of perfume which she and all her bridesmaids wore at the wedding last September.

l Deborah’s hairpiece.

l Her wedding shoes.

l Table favours.

And elsewhere around the house, there are pictures showing some of the 500 photographs they had as reminders of their big day when they married on board HMS Trincomalee.

They have even converted wedding-day sashes saying Mr and Mrs into head rests for the front seat of their car!

Deborah admitted: “I wish I could do it all again I still get the wedding dress out of the cupboard, and I hug it.”

But she had a message to people still wondering whether to enter this year’s contest.

“Don’t think you have to have a sob story or some sort of ailment to enter.

“It might just be that you are a couple who love each other.

“Or you might be a couple who had to put their wedding off because of the recession.

“Or you might just wake up one day and think ‘I want to put my partner forward for the competition’. Just do it.”

Andrew entered Deborah - nee Langley – for the 2012 challenge as a way of saying thank you to her for her constant support as he battles a debilitating condition.

Andrew was a fit and able bodied man when he first met Deborah, but soon after, he developed a string of debilitating conditions – degenerative spinal disease, facet joint arthritis, and nerve damage – which left him mostly confined to a wheelchair.

But devoted Deborah remained a constant support for him.

If you would like to enter the competition, there’s still time to tell us why you should win a perfect day including taking your wedding vows in the Captain’s Cabin on board HMS Trincomalee on Friday, September 6.

Our ultimate wedding package is worth £12,290. 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 filled with 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 an email explaining who you are and why you deserve to win.

Tell us your story and 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

Please include contact address and telephone numbers.

Normal competition rules apply, for more details see Page 8.

The winning couple will be expected to take part in pre and post-wedding day publicity.