A COUPLE finally tied the knot – nearly two years after bagging £5,000 of goodies towards their dream wedding as part of an Echo competition.

Shane Hanby, 24, and Josephine Duggan, 22, from Thundersley, delayed their big day as they wanted daughter Violet, now 18 months, to be a flower girl.

The couple said becoming husband and wife had made their family, which includes three-year-old Leo, complete.

A judging panel from the Echo and the Westcliff Hotel unanimously voted the pair top in the Win a £5,000 Wedding competition in October 2012 because of their sense of humour and genuineness.

The new Mrs Hanby, a beauty therapist, said: “I don't think we would ever get married if we hadn’t won the competition.

It is just so expensive nowadays.’’ The couple wed at Our Lady of Lourdes and St Joseph Church, Leigh.

Mrs Hanby said: “The whole day was fantastic. It was everything we wanted. We both felt so special and nowwe can start our lives as a proper family.’’ The top prize included a reception for 50 guests at the hotel, in Westcliff Parade, Westcliff, complete with a three-course meal.

The package also included help with the wedding dress, groom’s suit, and cake.

Toastmaster Steve Ashby helped host the proceedings and violinist Caroline Pattrick performed for guests.

Mr Handby, a window cleaner, proposed on Christmas Eve, 2011.

The couple met six years ago at the Paul Pry pub, in Rayleigh.

They impressed judges by talking about how attractive they found each other when their eyes first met, and answered 18 gruelling questions about their life together, to beat nine other couples to the top prize.

The other finalists each received a gift of 20 per cent off their wedding and free room hire.