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couple celebrate with £51 eBay wedding

With the average white wedding costing around £15,000, Colette and Lee Clark feared their chances of holding such a lavish ceremony would be beyond them.

But their dream 'big day' came true when a local hotel auctioned off a full wedding package on eBay which the couple won with their bid of £51.

The hotel near Telford, Shropshire, had turned to the auction side after receiving a last-minute cancellation.
couple celebrate with £51 eBay wedding
Do you take cash? Collette and Lee hand over the £51 which paid for their celebrations at the hotel

couple celebrate with £51 eBay wedding
All together now... The newly-weds pose with friends and family at the Shropshire hotel

With the average wedding costing around £15,000 Colette was overjoyed to discover her bid of just £51 bid had won at a venue where she'd always wanted to hold her wedding day celebrations. Her father paid the hotel in cash.

'I couldn't believe I could bag a wedding for just £51,' said Colette, 25, a sales representative. 'As times generally are hard with the credit crunch we didn't want to splash out too much cash on our wedding.

'We had been quoted almost £1,000 for a wedding package and it was just a bit too much out of our price range.

'Then we heard the hotel were planning to auction a wedding day on eBay and we just thought we would see if we could strike lucky.'

The wedding package at the three-star Buckatree Hall included red carpet arrival and champagne reception, followed by a sit-down three-course meal plus wine for 35, and a 50-person evening buffet.

Colette added: 'I went on (eBay) that day and I bid £2 but I was outbid. Another bid came in at £50 but I bid £51 and thought no more about it because I just thought I wouldn't stand a chance of winning.

'Incredibly I got a call later on to say I had won and I couldn't believe it.'

With a baby on the way, and Colette had been desperate for her seriously ill grandfather to see her walk down the aisle with civil engineer Lee Clark, 34.

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Bargain: Colette and Lee pose by the cake. Colette said: 'The wedding was absolutely all I wanted.'

The package at the 62-bedroom hotel also included a glass of bucks fizz per guest, table decorations including linen, cake-stand and floral arrangement, toastmaster, plus a complimentary overnight stay on the wedding night for the bride and groom.

Colette said: 'The wedding was absolutely all I wanted. You would never have guessed that it cost just £50 - because it was worth a hell of a lot more.

'You can't really put a price on your big day but not having the worry of being saddled with debt afterwards has really helped us enjoy our day.'

Lee proposed after 18 months together and they both agreed they didn't want a long engagement and quickly went about looking at venues.

When the auction was advertised in the couple's local paper they thought the bid would rise well above their modest £51, but they were thrilled when the hotel called to tell them they had won.

Colette continued her bargain hunting and managed to bag an ivory wedding gown for half-price at just £450, along with the wedding cake featuring figurines of Colette in the dress and Lee in his stock-car racing overalls and helmet - both paid for by her grandmother.

We were really lucky that my Nan helped me out with the dress and cake because they are two big expenses which put the price of the wedding up.

'My Dad also helped with the cost - and because I had got such a good price on the venue he offered to pay for me to have a few extra guests there to see us get married - and even change the evening buffet to a hog roast.

'We are really happy and now we can look forward to our honeymoon in October - without starting married life in debt.

'We can't wait for the arrival of our baby, so we can start proper family life.'

Colette says she first met Lee, who is a race car driver in his spare time, in the local pub and they quickly became serious.

'I liked him straight away. We swapped numbers and the next day he asked me to go for a drink with him.

'We only recently found out I'm expecting - I'm only 10 weeks gone. We had spoken about having children in the future - we didn't quite think it would be this soon but we're delighted.'
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