It was a moment they will never forget.
Ali Jones and Craig Waterworth were overcome with laughter, tears and cries of joy when the Huddersfield Examiner turned up at their Ruddi’s Vintage Tea Rooms to announce that they had won our 2016 Win a Wedding contest.
The £13,000 wedding is a dream come true for the Linthwaite pair, who are the parents of brave cancer survivor Ruddi Waterworth-Jones and got engaged eight years ago.
Their friends, family and Linthwaite community rallied around them to collect as many tokens as possible after the contest was launched in January, for a wedding at the iconic Woodman Inn on September 23.
“I can’t believe it. I’m shaking”, said Ali, 44, who heads the charity Ruddi’s Retreat.
“We were told that we were one of three finalists yesterday and I couldn’t sleep at all last night but we didn’t expect to win.
“We were hoping to get married next year but it would have been very small as we don’t have a lot of money.
“We’ve had a lot of local support, customers have been fantastic.”
She met 34-year-old Craig, who works at the Inspire Centre at Calderdale College, on a night out organised by radio station Galaxy 105fm at Livingstones in Huddersfield almost 12 years ago.
They have two children together, Ruddi and Gwyneth, one, as well as Ali’s two daughters Jade, 27, and Ellys, 18.
“We got engaged such a long time ago”, continued Ali.
“It was on a football field at Linthwaite on New Year’s Eve.
“It was freezing. He took me on a tour in a taxi of where he used to go when he was a kid.
“But our lives have been put on hold not in a bad way as we’ve concentrated on the children and getting everything sorted.”
They talked about the what the Win a Wedding competition will mean to them.
As well as the ceremony, the prize includes a bride’s and bridesmaids’ dresses, professional photography, decor, a cake, flowers, hair and makeup and live piano entertainment.
“It’s an amazing thing as people don’t have that sort of money these days. It’s an amazing opportunity and the venue is stunning.
“It’s going to come around so fast and it’s going to be extra special.”
“It will put a closure on everything, now we’ve had a beautiful daughter too”, Craig added.
“Its unbelievable to bring it all to a happy ending.”
Ali and Craig’s wedding package includes a wedding reception for 50 day guests at the Woodman Inn, complete with a wedding breakfast and champagne toast, followed by an evening reception for 100 evening guests with a DJ, a wedding dress by Elenor Rose Bridal up to the value of £1,000 and bridesmaid gowns to the value of £750, a three tier cake by Sugar Velvet Cake Company, flowers from La Fleur Bridal, ceremony and reception entertainment by James Hey Piano, hair and beauty for the bride, three bridesmaids and the mother of the bride by Re: Hair & Beauty, photography and a photobooth by Zoe Ann Photography, wedding stationery by Chosen Touches and venue styling by My Something Borrowed.