David, also a gymnastics coach in Bangor, was oblivious to the looming nuptials until last Thursday night, when Arlene informed him that they would be getting married at the Ulster Museum on Sunday (October 10).
“David and I have been together for 10 years and I just thought this would be hugely memorable and a lot of fun to surprise him with our wedding,” said Arlene.
“We had a family party on Thursday which is when I told him we would be exchanging vows 72 hours from then at a place we both love, the Ulster Museum. He was certainly shocked, but delighted.”
The couple, who met through gymnastics and dance in 2000, were joined by 100 friends and family on the day, with eight-year-old daughter Bailée playing a key role.
Arlene had been planning the event for a full two years, working with the museum’s event organisers to make sure it remained a secret. Patrick McLain, of National Museums Northern Ireland, said: “It’s not often the groom is given so little notice about his impending marriage so there was a great sense of anticipation within the team about this wedding.”
Conleth Kane, from the Fame TV show, performed and a retro show, courtesy of The Time of Your Life, rounded off the entertainment.