A COUPLE from Great Sankey are close to winning a spectacular £60,000 wedding in France, after theirs was cancelled due to coronavirus.

Alexander Clough and Claire Roche are one of 14 engaged couples competing to win the prize from Chateau Challain, a French wedding venue, which launched the competition to say thank you to frontline workers.

The Warrington pair, aged 28 and 26, had been working tirelessly throughout lockdown, with Claire working in the NHS as a midwife at Wythenshaw Hospital.

After getting engaged last year, they had been looking forward to the perfect wedding on August 1.

"We had been planning our wedding non-stop since the engagement trying to get every last little detail right," Alexander said.

"We wanted a lovely French chateau wedding, and that's exactly what we went for.

"We found a brilliant place in the south of France that offered everything we’d dreamt of, but sadly things started to unravel when lockdown hit, and it became increasingly clear that it wouldn’t go to plan.

"Eventually the wedding had to be cancelled in May due to major travel restrictions and disruptions, as well as the increasing health risks to everyone travelling and the pandemic bringing the world to a halt.

"We will not receive any refund whatsoever, and have lost years of savings and thousands of pounds."

In a stroke of luck, Claire was at work helping to deliver a couple's twins when they told her about the Gifted Wedding at Chateau Challain.

Alexander explained: "They had actually got married at the chateau which was gifting the wedding and told Claire about the competition!

"Initially Claire was hesitant because she thought that we didn’t stand a chance and we weren’t worthy, but after much convincing we entered.

"The first prize involves a full free wedding costing £60,000!

"We’ve managed to get into the finals and there are 14 couples.

"To win we simply need to have the most votes (likes) on our picture on the Chateau’s Instagram page: challainchallain.

"It would mean more than anything to us - it would bring all of our dreams to life!

"For me to be able to give my future wife the wedding she deserves after being crushed financially would be life changing.

"She deserves everything and more."

To vote for Alexander and Claire by 'liking' their photo, visit instagram.com/p/CC2ROjADNh9/?igshid=xe71eaydrrhf.