A lucky couple have won the chance to have their wedding at a romantic rural location thanks to the Dorset Echo.

We teamed up with Mapperton House and Gardens to give readers the exclusive prize.

At Mapperton Wedding Showcase on Saturday, September 8, which was held to celebrate the launch of their Coach House, competition entrants attended to see if they would be the lucky couple.

Mapperton Wedding Showcase presented some of Dorset's finest wedding suppliers and helped brides to be to find the perfect dress, sample some fabulous wines, wander the stunning gardens and chat through their plans. Visitors were also treated to a wedding dress catwalk show and an aerobatic display.

Following the wedding dress catwalk show all the entries received for the wedding giveaway were placed in a hat and then six finalists were drawn. The finalists chose a bouquet of flowers and as everyone watched on the brides-to-be unwrapped their bouquets to see if theirs contained a bride-to-be sash.

Lucky winner Kate Fooks had the bouquet containing the bride-to-be sash and along with her husband-to-be Ben Huish has won exclusive use of Mapperton as a wedding venue for one day, including the Coach House, the Orangery, the Gardens and the Pavilion Wedding breakfast for up to 30 guests, to include canapés and two course meal. The prize also includes hire of tables, chairs, crockery, glassware and cutlery.

Kate, from Beaminster, said she was 'shocked and elated' to win the prize.

She added: "We've been engaged for a year and entered because it's felt like it's now or never. All our friends and family are really happy for us."

She met Mr Huish 10 years ago on a blind date. The couple have three children - Chase, six, Owen, three and Keira, two - who are all looking forward to playing a part in the wedding.

"I ruined the proposal a little," Kate said. "Ben had arranged to meet my parents to ask their blessing to propose to me on holiday in Cornwall, but at the last minute I decided to go with him so he proposed right there at home."

As an added surprise on the day the winner was advised that Laverstock Farm have offered an additional prize for the winners, which is one night's accommodation for the winning couple or a member of their party.

Luke Montagu, of Mapperton House, said: "We were pleased to have received so many entries to the Mapperton Wedding Showcase and are delighted that Kate and Ben are the winning couple. They already have strong links with Mapperton and we are looking forward to helping the happy couple create their perfect wedding day next May."

Mapperton House & Gardens is nestled in rolling hills near Beaminster. Undiscovered, exclusive and wildly romantic, Mapperton was voted the UK’s finest manor house by Country Life magazine.

Exchange your vows in the elegant Garden Pavilion, then celebrate with champagne outside the majestic Orangery, with stunning views through the formal gardens into the tumbling countryside beyond. Then head over for your wedding breakfast to the impressive Coach House, recently converted into a magnificent entertaining space for up to 120 seated guests.