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Exclusive: Strictly's Kristina Rihanoff and Ben Cohen reveal summer wedding plans

Kristina Rihanoff and Ben Cohen are considering two locations for their wedding

ben cohen kristina
Sally Morgan
Contributing Editor
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In an exclusive interview and photoshoot in HELLO! magazine, former Strictly Come Dancing star Kristina Rihanoff and Ben Cohen reveal their excitement as they make their plans for a summer wedding.

The couple, whose surprise engagement took place when former rugby union ace Ben proposed to the 45-year-old dancer in The Maldives last October, are considering two locations for their nuptials - Tuscany or Oxfordshire, followed by a big party at Soho Farmhouse, where the Duchess of Sussex held her hen party, in the Cotswolds.

MORE: 8 of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's most romantic moments in public

Kristina, who first met Ben, 44, on Strictly in 2013, already has a particular style of wedding dress in mind. "I adore the designs worn by Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor," she tells HELLO! at the exclusive shoot at Rushton Hall Hotel and Spa.

Kristina Rihanoff poses in white dress as she joins Ben Cohen

The couple looked incredibly loved up

"I love classic simplicity, an hourglass shape that suits my body, and will probably opt for a shade of white. I want to look at my photos in years to come and not say 'What the hell was I thinking?'"

Ben’s daughters – six-year-old Mila from his relationship with Kristina, and 15-year-old twins Harriette and Isabelle from his first marriage – all witnessed their father’s proposal and are set to be bridesmaids.

"Mila can't wait," says Kristina. "She's already told me what she’s going to wear. 'I want this kind of dress, Mummy, with a long train like you will have,' she tells me. She certainly knows her own mind."

Kristina Rihanoff looks stunning in scarlet dress

Kristina looked lovely in a scarlet gown

Before their big day, Ben and Kristina are set to celebrate their engagement with an intimate party attended by their family and famous friends.

"I wasn’t convinced that we needed an engagement party, at first," Ben tells us, "but Kristina is right, it will be lovely to have a relaxing evening with friends.

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SEE: Strictly's Tess Daly celebrates special family milestone in the sweetest way

"Over the last nine years we’ve been through the wringer. Our working days are always full throttle and for so long we’ve been in our own bubble. Now I’m looking forward to having a get-together with loved-ones.

"Most of all I’m happy to be doing this with Kristina," he adds. "To support each other through difficult times in business is the ultimate test in a relationship. I’ve watched her flourish, from her becoming a mum to growing as a businesswoman, and it has strengthened our bond."

As for celebrating Valentine’s Day, Ben claims that he's not a traditional romantic - but he has certainly proved to be master of ingenious surprises.

"When we met he told me, 'I don't really do chocolates and flowers,'" remembers Kristina. “But his proposal in The Maldives was beyond my imagination.

"My friends keep saying, ‘He’s so romantic! When he asked you to marry him it was like a scene from a movie. He needs to show other men how to do it.’ “They’re right. The way he proposed was amazing and where he did it is now my favourite place in the world. I can’t wait to go back one day.”

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To read the full article, pick up the latest issue of HELLO! on sale now. Subscribe to HELLO! to get the magazine delivered free to your door every week or purchase the digital edition online via our Apple or Google apps.

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