A COUPLE who have been waiting four years to marry were finally able to have the wedding of their dreams after winning an Argus competition.

Richie Walls, 34, a driver, proposed to his partner Charlotte Baldwin in 2015 but the pair, who have four children, found “life kept getting in the way” as they tried to organise the ceremony.

But in July last year Charlotte’s grandmother Hazel Chapman, from Peacehaven, entered them into The Argus Win A Wedding competition.

Charlotte said: “I picked her up one day and she said, ‘it’s the deadline today so let’s go and hand in your entry form, you never know what could happen’.”

Despite cutting it fine to enter, the couple, who live in Buckley Close, Hangleton, received a flood of votes from the public and so won the competition, receiving a fantastic £10,000 wedding package as their prize.

It included outfits, flowers, cake, photographs, rings, wedding car, entertainment and much more as well as the glittering ceremony.

They held the wedding on March 23 at the Hilton Brighton Metropole hotel on the seafront, surrounded by friends and family including children Kyle, 12, Max, ten, Sonny, four, and Lottie, three.

The hotel management agreed to dim the lights and the room was lit by LED candles for the ceremony.

Charlotte, 31, who works at Asda in Hollingbury, said: “Everything was perfect. Not many people can say they got to marry their best friend by candlelight surrounded by everybody they love.”

The newlyweds shared a towering cake covered in decorative flowers by Choccywoccydoodah in Brighton.

Charlotte said: “It was honestly the nicest cake I have ever eaten in my life. We were eating it for three weeks afterwards. I told staff they could chuck it in our room as a joke, but they put the whole thing in there so we had it for breakfast the next day.”

The couple had a second night’s honeymoon at the Jurys Inn in Brighton as part of the win and their photos were taken by Simon Fazackarley of Brighton.

But the wedding was put at risk when just five weeks before the ceremony Charlotte dislocated her knee.

She said: “I was trying on my wedding dress at the shop when it popped out. The wedding shop had to be closed down as an ambulance came to get me. I was terrified it would mean I had to wear a cast on the day, or worse it happened again.

“But it was all OK, I just had to be careful in my high heels.”

The wedding day went by without a hitch. Charlotte said: “It was perfect, there’s nothing I would change.

“I just want to thank everyone who voted for us and all the people involved in the day.

“They have actually made a massive difference to our family and we will be grateful for ever.”

The other competition sponsors included: Diamonfire; Brighton Gin; Lumen Floral; Finest Wedding Cars; Unity Talent DJs; Velvet Birdcage; Snappy Shot Events; Dig For Victory; Peach Blossom party decorations.