The sweetest of proposals

WOULD-BE bride Natalie Murphy is hoping to fulfill her dream – by marrying her Prince Charming in a £12,000 wedding.

The 30-year-old from the Throston area of Hartlepool becomes the first entrant in this year’s Bride of the Year competition, run by the Hartlepool Mail in conjunction with Robert Usher Photography.

It would complete a romance which first started for her and her fiancé Christopher Evans, 28, eight years ago. Now, they are hoping it will culminate with a perfect day on board HMS Trincomalee on Friday, September 6.

Natalie told us: “Winning Bride Of The Year would mean a lot to us as a family and would make our family complete.”

Natalie first met Christopher eight years ago in Chesterfield while visiting family.

Romance blossomed and the couple became engaged in 2010.

Natalie explained: “Christopher placed two ring boxes on a tin of chocolates stating will you marry me yes and no.

“I opened the one stating yes where you would think the ring would be.

“But Christopher likes to play jokes and there was no ring. He had placed it in the No box with a message stating ‘if that is how you feel I will have to take it back’.”

She said Christopher was unable to work due to various health conditions but she works “full time as a staff nurse to give the best to my family”.

She added: “I am unable to afford my dream wedding since becoming a mum to our daughter Jessica in 2011.”

But there’s an extra reason for wanting to take the prestigious title.

The couple recently moved back to Hartlepool to be closer to Natalie’s family and she admitted: “It was a stressful time for us.

“Our love for each other has helped us to stay strong.”

Now Natalie wants to win the ultimate wedding package worth £12,290 and she’s the first to put herself in the running for the grand prize.

But there’s still plenty of time for other couples to enter this year’s Bride of the Year competition.

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.