PREPARATIONS for the wedding of Northern Echo competition winners Julie Bond and Darren Hird are continuing with gusto.

Having already chosen the groomswear from Affleck and Moffat menswear in Darlington, the happy couple continued their quest to plan the perfect big day with flowers and make-up next on the agenda.

The couple are receiving items for their big day for free after winning The Northern Echo’s Win a Wedding competition and today (Thursday, April 17) it was up to Miss Bond to choose the bride and bridesmaids bouquets and four buttonholes worth £250.

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These were supplied by Flowers by Nattrass of Darlington.

Next up was a trip to The Hair Sanctuary, within the Morrisons on North Road, Darlington, for a hair and make-up consultation for the bride and bridesmaids, plus a luxury manicure each worth £306.

Miss Bond and Mr Hird have been together for four years and will tie the knot at a civil ceremony on June 7 and the Darlington couple won the most votes in The Northern Echo's 2013 competition.

The prizes cover all aspects of the wedding and consist of the following; suits from Affleck & Moffatt, cake from Sadie May Cakes, dress from Happily Ever After, photography by Valentina Wedding Photography, Hen and Stag Days at York Racecourse and a full day at The Croft Hotel including ceremony, wedding breakfast and Evening Reception.