STARING longingly into the camera, this bride belts out her own hilarious version of the smash-hit song Let it Go from Disney’s Frozen – in the hope of bagging herself a luxury honeymoon courtesy of The Sun.
To mark the Royal Wedding this Saturday, we offered couples who missed out on a honeymoon the chance to win a luxury holiday to the Greek island of Zante as part of our Right Royal Honeymoon competition.
Hayley Smart Hayley and husband Carsten wed three years ago in Gretna Green
Three lucky runners-up will also bag vouchers from Buyagift.com which they can spend on anything from relaxing spa breaks to supercar driving lessons.
The winner of the competition will be announced tomorrow, the day before Prince Harry and Meghan tie the knot. But today we can reveal the three lucky runners-up.
The first of these, Hayley Smart, 45, has dreamed of a honeymoon in the sun after waiting 17 years to get married.
Hayley, an admin worker from St Albans, entered our Right Royal Honeymoon competition – pulling out all the stops with her Frozen spoof – in the hope of winning a fantastic trip to Greece, in conjunction with loveholidays.
Hayley Smart Hayley Smart with hubby Carsten – who once bought her hoover bags as a Valentine’s gift
We are offering one lucky couple a seven-night luxury stay at the Mabely Grand Hotel on the beautiful Ionian island of Zante, recently visited by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for a pre-wedding getaway – asking readers to impress the judges by writing a message or sending a video stating why they should win.
Three readers who missed out on the main prize will win £129.99 Ultimate Time Together boxes from Buyagift.com, which allows you to choose from over 900 experiences to share with your partner.
Lucky Hayley was one of these runners-up, netting the £129.99 box for herself and long-term partner, Carsten Price, 49, who she wed three years ago.
They tied the knot in Gretna Green, with their only guests being their two children, Ashley, 17, and Jasmine, 15.
Witnesses were fetched from the gift shop – two tourists from Suffolk decked out in jeans and trainers.
Hayley hoped that the low-key affair would be followed up with an exotic honeymoon soon after.
Hayley Smart Hayley’s rainy campsite honeymoon was not the glam affair she’d imagined
A trip to Jamaica or a sailing trip in Cyprus were what she had in mind.
But it wasn’t to be.
Unromantic Valentine’s gift
Carsten’s not known to his wife as a particularly romantic man. He once bought her Hoover bags for Valentine’s Day.
And he proposed to Hayley in hospital just after the birth of Ashley – “a time at which I was not looking or feeling my best and all I wanted was to get home,” says Hayley.
Instead of a luxurious honeymoon she had been hoping for, the couple ended up in a tent in Essex, with the kids, in the rain, in April.
“It was a four-man tent with two berths separated by just a piece of fabric. Us on one side, the kids on the other. It was not romantic,” says Hayley.
So when she spotted our competition while reading through our website, she says she just had to enter.
Hayley Smart Hayley’s hilarious entry for our competition featured husband Carsten reading The Sun in the background
And she went all out with her entry, re-writing the lyrics to Disney’s smash hit Let it Go from the Frozen movie and uploaded a video of her singing it.
Carsten could be seen sitting in the background reading The Sun as his wife hilariously belted out her bid to win the prize.
“I’m so low, let me go, on a royal honeymoon,” she sang.
“As a bride, been denied. Please let it be real soon.
“I’m not saying he’s tight. But he took me to a campsite.
“It was cold and grey.”
Then she delivered the concluding line, “I should have married Hugh Grant anyway”, as her son wearing a mask of the Hollywood A-Lister made an appearance in the video.
Hayley Smart Hayley’s hilarious video featured her son wearing a Hugh Grant mask
While we were impressed by her funny and original video and greatly sympathised with her plight, Hayley missed out on the top prize.
However, Hayley and Carsten’s voucher gives them hundreds of experiences to pick from – everything from a relaxing overnight break in the country or a pampering treat to an adrenaline-fuelled adventure – and they are thrilled to have won.
What you will win
Here’s what will be coming your way if you’re the lucky winner of our Right Royal Honeymoon competition:
A seven-night stay for two at the Mabely Grand Hotel in Zante in a sea-view room All-inclusive board, as well as a complimentary dinner in the Avantage restaurant. A fruit platter and bottle of sparkling wine upon arrival Flights and transfers
A further three couples will be chosen as runners-up and will receive a voucher worth £129.99 for the Ultimate Time Together Smartbox, courtesy of BuyaGift.com.
There are almost 1,000 experiences to pick from – everything from a relaxing overnight break in the country or a pampering treat to an adrenaline-fuelled adventure.
See full T&Cs here.
Hayley said: “I’m delighted to have won and I think we’ll treat ourselves to a spa break or perhaps take a journey through the countryside on an old steam train.
“Carsten is a good man and lovely husband and father and it will be great to spend some time together just the two of us.”
Sun brought couple together
Julie Jessup, 57, from Catterick has also bagged herself a £129.99 runner-up prize.
Julie and hubby Steve fell in love thanks to the Sun.
When we launched a competition asking for penpals for troops in Northern Ireland back in 1976, a 16-year-old Julie saw the ad and began writing to Steve, who was a medic serving in the Gloucestershire Regiment.
Caitlin Muir Julie was just 16 when she met Steve, who was seven years older and serving in the Gloucestershire Regiment as a medic
“Through writing every day and regular visits we fell in love and have now been married for 38 years,” she says.
They got engaged on Julie’s 18th birthday in 1978. “He proposed over the phone one evening – I thought he’d had a few drinks so I didn’t believe him.
“But he phoned again later that day and that was that. It wasn’t romantic.”
The couple got married on St Patrick’s Day – March 17 – 1979, in the days between Steve finishing his tour of Northern Ireland and being posted to Germany.
They had a very makeshift honeymoon – two nights in a tiny hotel in Southsea, Portsmouth, where Julie grew up.
“We turned up at 2am and were let in by the very unimpressed owner who answered the door in his long johns before showing us to our room.
“There were twin beds nowhere near each other, a shared bathroom, and there was a heater on the wall you had to fill up with 5p coins to get any heat out of.”
In need of a break
Julie says they never had time or the money for a honeymoon for a long time afterwards. The couple welcomed two children, Shelley, now 36, and Craig, 31, and spent the next 11 years moving around army bases.
They moved between Germany, Tidworth, Crickhowell, Berlin and Northern Ireland before settling in Catterick, North Yorkshire in the early 1990s, where they bought their first civilian home.
Caitlin Muir The couple couldn’t get away on a family holiday until Steve’s 50th birthday
Holidays were spent travelling home to see family and friends, and it wasn’t until Steve’s 50th birthday that the pair went on a family holiday.
Julie says she’s excited to have one the runner-up prize and that the couple are hoping to use the Buyagift.com voucher to get some much needed rest and relaxation.
“There have been some accidents and illnesses in the family recently and we desperately need a break.”
Our final runner-up is Caitlin Muir, 22, a bank worker from North Lanarkshire, Scotland.
She married Billy, 27, a call centre assistant, last October in a local hotel surrounded by their nearest and dearest.
They were due to book a sun-soaked honeymoon this summer. “But everything seems to have gone to pot for our family”, says Caitlin.
“In January, my wonderful mum Liz, 49, was diagnosed with breast cancer. And a few weeks after her diagnosis, my dad, Mark, 49, then had a heart attack.”
Caitlin Muir Caitlin Muir and husband Billy have had a tough time
Caitlin says she essentially moved back in with them to help look after them and barely saw her husband.
“We were like ships that passed in the night,” say Caitlin.
Unfortunately, the bad news didn’t stop there.
“In March my husband was let go from his job as a carer,” she says.
It was a hugely difficult time for the couple, who met at a gig and have been together for seven years.
But things are starting to improve.