A BRIDE-to-be got an extra special gift on Valentine's Day when she won a free wedding.

Yvonne Clarkson, of Shildon, won the package during a wedding fair at Redworth Hall Hotel, near Newton Aycliffe.

Yvonne and her partner of more than three years, Christopher Connor, 34, are planning a September 2006 wedding.

The 27-year-old nursery nurse convinced judges to award her the top prize by composing a poem about the couple's dream to marry at the Grade-I listed hotel.

The couple will travel in a limousine, get a free cake, invitations, bride's hair styling, a hat for the mother of the bride and photography and wedding dress discounts.

Up to 50 guests will also enjoy breakfast and an evening reception as part of the prize.

Yvonne said: "Christopher and I still cannot believe our luck."

The contest was the second one held at the hotel's wedding fair and there are plans for a similar give-away in September.