Bedfordshire couple win exclusive dream wedding

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A Bedfordshire bride has won her dream wedding in a national competition, becoming Take a Break magazine’s first ever ‘Bride of the Year’.

The judges were touched by Michelle Dawson and her fiancé Mike Courtney’s heart-warming story.

Three years after meeting at a salsa dancing class, Mike proposed to Michelle but their plans were set aside when Mike’s daughter, Sarah, 16, was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma, a type of blood cancer.

Along with Mike, Michelle has loved and supported Sarah through chemotherapy. She is currently in remission but her treatment will continue.

Earlier this year, Michelle booked a wedding venue, sent out invitations and found a dress but her budget was stretched and she wanted to make sure Sarah had a custom-made wig and dress, a make-up artist and a nurse to look after her all day.

She explains: “One day when I was in hospital with Sarah, I picked up a copy of Take a Break and saw the Bride of the Year competition.

“The winner would get £5,000 to spend on a dream wedding. I handed the magazine to Mike and said: ‘Look at this. We could use the money to pay for Sarah’s nurse, her dress and a wig.’”

Commenting on her win, Sarah said: “When I told Mike and the girls, they were over the moon. The £5,000 means I can help my beloved girl to feel like the special, beautiful princess she is. After everything she’s been through, she deserves it.”

She added: “I can’t wait to marry Mike and share our perfect day with our family. Becoming a stepmum has been a heart-breaking and exhausting experience, but it has also been the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me.

“I feel honoured to have joined Mike’s family and I am so proud to be Take a Break’s Bride of the Year.”

Take a Break Editor Rebecca Fleming added: “We received more than 1,000 entries for our first-ever Bride of the Year competition.

“Michelle is such a deserving winner. Her devotion as a stepmum moved us to tears. We are thrilled to be able to make her wedding dreams come true.”

Michelle and Mike will be getting married in a stately home, with the ceremony taking place inside a maze within the grounds.

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