Meet our final three couples – who wins is down to you!
Who wins our fabulous competition to win a wedding reception at Sandon Hall next April is now down to you – as we introduce the three final couples who are going forward to the public vote.
The competition has been great fun and we’ve had so many wonderful entries from couples telling us their proposal stories. Choosing the final three was a real challenge – there were stories that brought tears to our eyes, some that made us laugh and others that were just jaw-droppingly romantic. Our finalists all have very special stories and we feel that a public vote is the fairest way to decide who wins this prize of a lifetime.
Those who made the final cut are Tom Savage and Amber Griffiths of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Lisa McCandliss & Stacey Hulse of Stone and Cameron Howard-Wight and Charlotte Hughes from Stafford. Here are their stories and a short video interview with each couple to help you decide how to cast your vote…
Scroll to the bottom of this page to vote!
Amber & Tom’s story…
“After 6 months of planning, the day had finally arrived. I was taking Amber, my girlfriend of what was nearly 4 years, to what she thought was a 2-day break to do some Christmas shopping. Unknowingly to her, this was to be our engagement.
From Stoke-on-Trent train station, we had to get three trains from Crewe to Chester, and then on to Ruabon, where we would be getting a taxi to our final destination, Llangollen. The perfect decoy I thought, we would arrive at Chester, and she would assume this is where we would be going, but when she realised there was yet another train, she had no idea what was going on. This part of the plan, worked perfectly.
After many questions of where we were going, we boarded the train from Chester to Ruabon. About 5 minutes into the journey, Amber dropped the line all budding proposers DO NOT wish to hear, ‘I hope you’re not going to propose to me.” She said this in her usual sarcastic, humorous way with no meaning to it whatsoever. But of course, the fear set in. Little did she know the ring was above her head on the luggage rack. My face was calm and smiling, laughing it off with her, how, I don’t know!
The next 45 minutes of the journey was the longest in history. After a short taxi ride we arrived in Sun Valley B&B, Llangollen. It was truly the perfect setting, a gorgeous cottage, looking over the valley as the sun set. As soon as we got into the room, I took the chance I had in front of me.
As we walked in, her back was turned looking around the room. I quickly searched my bag and (eventually) found the ring, before quickly dropping to one knee. She turned, smiling at the idea of the romantic weekend ahead, then her face dropped in total shock. I (just) managed to ask her ‘Will you marry me?’ before we both burst into tears. The ring (my Nana’s unaltered engagement ring) fit perfectly, much to my relief.
We each enjoyed a glass of prosecco, whilst we enjoyed the moment looking over the Sunset filled Valley. We spent the next 2 days enjoying the amazing views, walks, steam train rides and amazing firework displays of Llangollen, and have already been back once to relive the amazing experience.”
Lisa & Stacey’s story…
“Growing up I never thought I would ever have the opportunity to raise a family, let alone get married – however I was lucky to fall in love with an amazing and inspirational woman who has given me both these dreams. A woman who invited me into a fabulous world of supporting the upbringing of two amazing people. After twelve years of being part of this family I knew I had to be the one to find the courage to propose.
To me every proposal needs two essential ingredients, the venue and the ring.
The Venue – three years in the planning we were in the middle of the Caribbean Sea on a beautiful cruise ship, my girlfriend under the impression she was there only to celebrate her recent significant birthday – venue check ✅
The Ring – when I told my mother of my plans to propose she instantly removed a ring from her finger and asked me to propose with this. One of the most important and significant moments in my life I will always treasure as this was a gesture offered by a woman with Alzheimer’s. So clutching tightly the solitaire diamond ring my late father bought for her on their last Caribbean cruise together, I managed to transport this safely with me for this moment, I was ready! – Ring check ✅
The evening was perfect, the scene was set – sat holding hands in the Atrium bar at the foot of a breathtaking staircase, looking at the magical, twinkling night sky, I glanced at my gorgeous girlfriend and whispered ‘I have something I want to ask you …..”
Charlotte & Cameron’s story…
“Born and raised in Stafford, Charlotte and I met at the local high school when we were just 14 years old and have been together (through good times and bad) ever since. Now approaching our 28th birthdays, we have stayed a couple through teenage years, university, first jobs and early adulthood.
Despite the length of our relationship, the proposal was still a surprise to Charlotte. I think she had given up all hope after our last holiday!…
To celebrate our having been together for 10 years, and as a Christmas present in our first home together, I arranged for a surprise trip to New York. Charlotte was overjoyed as she had always wanted to go and seemed particularly excited in the run-up to us leaving. We had a fabulous time and explored the city visiting art galleries, Central Park and roof-top cocktail bars. It had not occurred to me until after we returned home, with Charlotte seeming somewhat dejected, that she had been expecting a proposal the whole time!
I had to put things right. I scoured the internet searching for the most romantic places to propose…
Two years later (with Charlotte’s hopes of a wedding now disappeared) and on the first evening of a city break to Rome on 3rd October 2017, I forced Charlotte to trudge all the way up to the top of one of the seven hills that overlook the city. As we finally approached the orange gardens at the top of the Aventine Hill, which I had read overlooked the illuminated Vatican City and Rome beyond, it seemed unusually quiet.
My research, showing the gardens close at 9 pm had not accounted for the fact that we would be there just three days into the Winter opening hours. During the Winter, gates are locked at 7 pm! Red-faced but determined not to let this spoil my second chance, I found a vantage point with equally impressive views through a side gate to the gardens. It was here that I got down on one knee and (finally!) ’popped the question’.
Thankfully, she said yes and we now look forward to marrying in a special location, close to where we both grew up.”
Who should win their wedding here at Sandon Hall? - cast your vote below.
- Amber & Tom (50%, 8,766 Votes)
- Lisa & Stacey (38%, 6,767 Votes)
- Charlotte & Cameron (12%, 2,059 Votes)
Total Voters: 17,592