Ben spoke to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette‘s Ed Bouchette this afternoon about his upcoming wedding to Ashley Harlan:

The wedding will be July 23 and it will be huge, more than 500 people, at a location in the Pittsburgh area. All of Roethlisberger’s teammates have been invited, as have coaches and people from the front office, one reason it is so large.

“People can say that it is whatever, but people who know and can see and are around us and know me, know that it’s something special when you find that person, and I’m extremely lucky.”

Instead of wedding gifts, they’re asking their guests to make a donation to the quarterback’s foundation and he will then turn it over to Ronald McDonald House and Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.

The wedding will occur about one week before training camp opens, if the current labor strife does not delay the start of football this summer.

“I think a small part of her is hoping we hold out for a week so we can honeymoon,” Roethlisberger said today. “I told her I was laughing with coach [Mike] Tomlin; he said ‘You guys might have to have the honeymoon suite at Saint Vincent.'”

You can read more of this exclusive interview here on the Post-Gazette’s Sports page, and here on Mr. Bouchette’s PG Plus blog (pay site).

You can also listen to Mr. Bouchette’s interview on 93.7 The Fan here.

Update: More from Ben on Mr. Bouchette’s Thursday PG Plus blog here (pay site).

Congratulations to both Ben & Ashley on their engagement!

Also, thank you to everyone who has taken the time to send emails to the site and messages (to my Facebook page) of congratulations! I will be posting them on the site this weekend.