Hampshire couple win dream winter wedding
29 Jan 2020
Kerri Vinall and Sam Stokes won the public vote in Balmer Lawn Hotel & Spa's competition to win a wedding at the New Forest venue
Securing 33% of the online vote, Kerri and Sam (pictured centre) scooped the top prize of a winter wedding package, followed by runners-up, Rachael Bailey and Beonard Kola and Emma Keyworth and Duncan Broomfield, who win a £1,000 discount on a wedding at Balmer Lawn Hotel & Spa.
The competition was run to celebrate the venue's 1,000th wedding, with couples asked to submit their most meaningful song choices and the love stories behind them.
Kerri and Sam, the winning couple, have been together for two and a half years, having started their relationship as a workplace romance. It was their engagement story which won the heart of the nation with Sam re-enacting their first date, when they went rock climbing.
Sam proposed on a rose-petal laden blanket at Swanwick Lakes, using a scrap book of their time together, with the final page reading, “Will you marry me?”.
Commenting on their win, the happy couple said: “We couldn’t believe it when we were told we’d won. We’re absolutely thrilled. The New Forest holds many happy memories for us and winter in the New Forest is a beautiful time of year, so we’ll be hoping for some snowfall. It's wonderful to know our dream wedding can now start to become a reality.”
Michael Clitheroe, general manager at Balmer Lawn Hotel, said: “It’s a fantastic feeling to give away a wedding – and we’re really looking forward to helping Sam and Kerri plan their big day. Given the size of the vote share, it’s fair to say they’re very worthy winners and clearly the popular option among the public. We’ll now start putting the appropriate plans in place to ensure they have a truly wonderful day when the time comes around.”