A Sandy 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, 32, 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 explained: “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.’”
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 said: “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. You can read more of their story in this week’s Take a Break magazine, on sale now. The couple’s wedding will feature in the magazine later this year.