A COLLECTION of kind-hearted north Essex firms have helped reward a heroic pair of NHS workers with everything they need for their dream wedding.

A group of 26 award-winning wedding suppliers from across the county teamed up to offer a competition for one lucky couple, one of which had to be healthcare worker.

Rosie Obeney, of florists Rose Decor Styling, came up with the idea and brought the companies together to create the prize package.

The wedding package includes everything from make-up through to the wedding dress.

It is worth an impressive £26,000, with the big day to be held at Tuffon Hall in Sible Hedingham.

Several Colchester businesses were involved in the whole process and are providing their services free of charge.

Rosie, 28, whose business is based in Rayleigh, said: “I wanted to do something to give back to the wonderful NHS and working in the wedding industry I have a big list of amazing people I love to work with, so I put the feelers out and the response was incredible.

“I was inundated with amazing wedding suppliers offering up their services to a well-deserving NHS couple.”

Chosen out of almost 600 entries, the couple lucky enough to win the competition were Natalie Chapman and fiancé Mark Bomford.

Natalie is a midwife in Basildon Hospital’s maternity department and Mark is a paramedic with the East of England Ambulance Service.

The pair were surprised with the announcement outside Basildon Hospital after being told they’d made the top three final shortlist.

Natalie and Mark were under the impression two other couples were also joining them for a photoshoot outside the hospital.

They believed the winners were going to be announced a few days later but unbeknown to them, their family, friends and colleagues were all in on the surprise and gathered at the hospital to celebrate.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

  • The couple celebrate outside Basildon Hospital

Natalie said: “I thought we were finalists to originally win some flowers for the wedding, then I realised it was for the whole wedding!

“But we don’t win anything so I thought we were just coming to have our photo taken and then the winner would be chosen out of a hat.

“We didn’t think much of it.

“It is absolutely amazing, we are totally shocked.

“Things like this do not happen to us.”

The couple, who live in South Woodham Ferrers, have been working throughout the pandemic and have a combined 20 years service in the NHS.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

  • Natalie and Matt's friends and family gathered for the announcement

Natalie and Mark’s wedding will now take place at the impressive Tuffon Hall Vineyard in March next year.