A Bedfordshire bride has won her dream wedding in a national competition, becoming Take a Break magazine’s first ever ‘Bride of the Year’.
Michelle Dawson has been crowned Take a Break magazine's Bride of the Year, after judges were touhed by her 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 put on hold when Mike’s 16-year-old daughter, Sarah, was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma - a type of blood cancer.
Along with Mike, Michelle loved and supported Sarah through chemotherapy, and she is thankfully now in remission - although she will need further treatment in the future.
Sarah and Mike met at a salsa class (Credit: Take a Break magazine)
With Sarah's health looking better, Michelle proceeded with planning her wedding earlier this year.
She 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.
And now, thanks to winning Take a Break's Bride of the Year competition, she can.
Michelle expalined: “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 £5000 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.’”
Sarah found out about the competition by accident (Credit: Take a Break magazine)
Commenting on her win, Sarah said: “When I told Mike and the girls, they were over the moon. The £5000 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.”
You can read more about Sarah and Mike in this week's Take a Break magazine (Credit: Take a Break magazine)
Take a Break Editor Rebecca Fleming commented: “We received more than 1000 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.
You can read more of Michelle and Mike’s story in this week’s Take a Break magazine, on sale now. The couple’s wedding will feature in the magazine later this year.