Planning a wedding was something Sonia Lynn had put to the back of her mind for years.
But now she and fiance Sean finally have a date in mind - which they hope will be next summer.
Sonia, 29, will make the call to Alnwick Castle this weekend to find out when she can finally marry her fiance, Sean Gallagher - after a six-year-long engagement.
The couple, of Dumpling Hall, Newcastle, won the wedding of their dreams thanks to a Chronicle competition worth £16,000. The prize takes the cost of their wedding right out of their hands - from the location in beautiful Alnwick Castle right down to Sonia’s dress.
The couple were chosen at a special event on Monday at the historic castle, which is home to the Duke of Northumberland, when their names were plucked from of a suitcase of golden envelopes.
Sonia and Sean, 26, have been engaged for six years but planning their wedding was pushed to the back of their minds because of their devotion to their six-year-old son Sean, who has cerebral palsy.
They applied for the Chronicle competition so they could get married as soon as possible and to make sure Sean, who has reduced life expectancy, was part of the occasion.
For every 500 tokens a couple collected they received a golden envelope. The competition saw nearly one million tokens collected by 144 couples. Friends, family members and parents at Sean’s school helped the couple collect hundreds of tokens to increase their chance of winning.
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Sean Gallagher and Sonia Lynn, winners of The Chronicle's Win a Dream Wedding Competition, with sons Daniel and Sean
And now Sonia and Sean have thanked everyone who helped the couple collect the tokens so they could get the wedding of their dreams.
The day after the couple had won the prize, Sonia said: “I’m feeling really, really happy. I’ve been talking about it all day. It’s still a surprise.
“We can’t thank everybody enough. We stayed up until midnight for three weeks collecting the tokens. Everybody is happy and excited for us.”
She added that the anniversary of her father’s death fell almost exactly on the day they had won the prize, saying: “You feel like somebody up there helped us win it.”
She said: “Sean’s blind and deaf so he doesn’t understand but it’s so he’s part of it and so we’ve got the pictures.”
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