There are so many things a wedding can be - intimate or grand, traditional or unusual, simple and understated or glitzy and extravagant.

Whatever it may be, the one thing a wedding day has to be is perfect for the couple and their families.

The Win a Wedding Competition is sponsored by The Birmingham Post, the Radisson SAS Hotel Birmingham and a host of the city's most prestigious retailers.

Although the judges faced a difficult decision to narrow down a shortlist from the many happy couples, they have managed to whittle the entries down to these three fabulous couples. Here our three brides tell their stories:

Couple 1: Sarah Lonie and David Johnson

Our first pair are from Derbyshire. Sarah Marie Lonie and David Anthony Johnson, have been together for eight years.

Primary school teacher Sarah, aged 25, met 26-year-old composite specialist David over the internet as a teenager and spent years in a long-distance relationship.

She said: "I feel like I've known him all my life. We met on an internet chatroom over 10 years ago. I was 15 at the time and he would have been 16.

"We were friends for a couple of years. He was living in Liverpool and I was living with my mum in Derbyshire. We would email each other and speak on the internet and texted."

Their long distance relationship continued while both were at university, with David attending Sarah's university in Sheffield to study a masters degree. Shortly after, they moved in together.

"My father passed away when I was only five and my mum brought me and my brother up. She's like my best friend and that is one of the reasons we have put it on hold because I'd hate to think she has to pay a lot of money for the wedding and my brother is still at uni," she said.

"If we won, I'd be over-the-moon. It would be a dream come true. It is just something we have had to put on hold and not think about since we have got a mortgage."

Couple 2: Stephanie Samuels and LaTaryl Williams

Our second couple, 27-year-old Stephanie Samuels and her 29-year-old American fiance LaTaryl Williams, met on a night out in Broad Street, Birmingham, in 2005. They soon realised they shared a passion for sport, as she plays football for Birmingham City Ladies Football Club and he played for the Birmingham Bullets basketball team.

They too had to endure a long distance relationship when LaTaryl was transferred to Mexico and then Finland before putting in a request to return home to Stephanie. He now plays for the Birmingham Panthers.

Stephanie said: "A love of sport was the first thing we had in common. Win or lose, we were there to support each other.

"He proposed when he was playing for a team in London, during one week in the Easter holidays. I didn't know anything was going to happen. There was a shop around the corner that sold the most beautiful carrot cakes and I thought it was that when he showed me two boxes. I opened the box and there was no carrot cake but one ring box and he was down on one knee and he asked me to marry him and I said yes."

If they win the competition, the couple, who now live in Acocks Green, are looking forward to inviting LaTaryl's American relations to visit Birmingham for the wedding.

Couple 3: Anna Dingley and Richard Newson

Couple number three are Anna Dingley, who works in the Birmingham University communications office, and insurance underwriter Richard Newson. They are both aged 34 and live in New Oscott with their two sons.

Anna said: "We have known each other for almost 10 years. We were friends for a very long time first and we got together in 2004.

"In 2006, we had twin boys Myles and Julian and they have just turned two.

"This year, for Valentine's Day, Richard popped the question. We were in the lounge on the sofa and Richard presented me with this massive box with lots of little boxes inside and the ring box was inside one of them.

"It had been a complete surprise to me and he asked me if I'd marry him and I said yes and that was the best Valentine's I had ever had but we couldn't go out because of the boys. We had Champagne on the night though.

"Winning the competition would mean a great deal to us as we haven't had a chance really to plan things properly for the wed-ding, because we don't have a large amount of money bearing in mind what has happened to us in the last few years.

"This will give us the chance to have the stylish wedding that we dream of and to involve the boys."