A STRATFORD couple who won their wedding day in a radio competition, finally got to walk down the aisle at the weekend – three years on!
Laura Murphy and Adam Cherrington were over the moon when, in summer 2019, they were chosen in a public vote as the most worthy recipients of the prize package – only to have to then cancel their nuptials twice due to the pandemic.
The special day was also to mark new beginnings for the couple who have overcome personal heartache in the past including the loss of Laura’s late partner – and daughter’s dad – to a fatal road accident on Warwick Road in Stratford 10 years ago.
But it’s been a particularly long time coming after being forced to postpone the date twice during lockdowns.
The 42-year-old mum-of-two said: “The winner was being announced live on local radio in October and we were told the presenter would turn up at the winner’s house just after 8am. It got to about 8.40am and we hadn’t heard anything so we thought, it wasn’t us. As Adam stood up to leave to go to work he saw them outside. We were listening to the radio which was on a slight delay so we didn’t expect anyone to be outside but there they were! We were completely overwhelmed to have won.”
Laura and Adam’s bumper prize consisted of a honeymoon from Winchcombe Farm Holidays in Upper Tysoe as well as a reception for up to 40 guests at The Crown Plaza in Stratford; a wedding dress from Boho Bride in Stratford; wedding rings from Cotswold Jewellers in Shipston, a cake from Caking and Baking in Leamington and suits from Albie and Lonnie’s in Rugby.
Laura added: “We originally planned the wedding for August 2020 and then again for May 2021. It was all very grey about when the restrictions would be lifted and it was giving me really bad anxiety so I just wanted to make a decision.
“I was heartbroken. But I wanted all the build-up to the day and we wouldn’t have been able to go wedding dress shopping or have a hen do or stag do or any of that.
She added: “Even though we’d won this wonderful wedding, we got to the point where we thought, shall we just go abroad and just do it there? But we decided not to do that in the end because it meant the world to have our friends and family there.”
Laura recalls it was love at first sight for the couple, who met at Ettington Chase where they both worked five years ago.
She said: “There was definitely an instant attraction. The HR manager introduced us at work and I shook his hand and when I went back up to the office I said to the girls. ‘I’ve just met the new chef. I’m going to marry him!’ ”
It’s also a huge relief for Adam who, during the pandemic, had to take time away from the professional kitchens he loved, to work in care homes.
The 37-year-old said: “The delays to the wedding were incredibly frustrating but we knew the day was going to come eventually and the fact that people were losing loved ones to Covid put it into perspective.
“While it would have been lovely to get married in 2020, at least the time has come for us. It’s been a long time coming but looking on the positive side, we have had more time to deliberate over it and decide what we actually want on the day.”
The newlyweds have just returned from their mini moon courtesy of Winchcombe Farm, where they started married life together in what’s been dubbed one of the most romantic retreats in Warwickshire – Will’s Treehouse.
Co-owner of Winchcombe Farm, Jo Carroll, said: “We are delighted to have finally been able to welcome Laura and Adam to Winchcombe for their honeymoon, after so many postponements due to the pandemic.
“Will’s Tree House is a firm favourite for honeymooners and we have had so many couples who, like them, have had to reschedule their special stays over the past couple of years. But the best things in life are worth waiting for and we are delighted they finally got to start their married life in the tree tops. We wish them both every happiness.”
Following their stay, Laura said: “We are still on Cloud 9. We lead very busy lives and the three days away were so tranquil and relaxing. The most amazing welcome hamper helped us while away the hours in the hot tub. Will’s Treehouse was the perfect finish to our perfect wedding and we’re so grateful to Jo and her team.”
Winchcombe Farm is an idyllic five-star boutique holiday retreat on the Warwickshire and Cotswolds border.
The remote family-run retreat nestles on a private estate in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and beneath the famous battlefield landmark of Edgehill. It’s an oasis of tranquillity with just sheep, chickens, moorhens, ducks, ponies and alpacas for company.
Designed with outdoor living in mind, this unique collection of six beautiful holiday homes – includes Warwickshire’s only treehouse – offering the height of luxury and nestling in four sycamore and ash trees – three of them growing through the outside deck and one even growing through the kitchen!
Luxury features range from private hot tubs, hanging chairs, hammocks and outside shower, to barbecue shed, pizza oven, BBQ hut, firepit for toasting marshmallows and even geodesic domes with king size circular bed plus personal telescopes for a spot of stargazing! Guests even receive a welcome hamper on arrival to start their holiday in style.
Inside, the properties are well equipped with all the latest technology including 55-inch SMART TV and DVD and, in the kitchen, a range on lush josephjoseph and SMEG accessories plus all the mod cons.