Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Swede dreams as couple sets up shop for big day

Gillian Boyd and James McAlister give Ikea the thumbs up
Gillian Boyd and James McAlister give Ikea the thumbs up

Bangor bride Gillian Boyd would have been happy to be left on the shelf — so long as it was Swedish made.

Gillian and her husband to be James McAlister are so enamoured of furniture store Ikea, they chose it for the setting for their engagement photographs.

The old practice of having formal engagement pictures taken has been revived, and tweaked, in America, with the classic pose in a photographer’s studio making way for new locations in forests, carnivals, phone boxes and even bakeries.

Gillian and James decided to customise the practice with a made to measure session at Ikea Belfast, their favourite store.

Gillian, a law student from Bangor, explains: “James and I have a shared love for each other and Ikea so we thought it would be the perfect place for our engagement photographs.

“The idea started following a conversation with our friends Richard Torrens and Shelley Garrett of Ten21 Photography and we all thought it would be stylish, colourful, different and really fun.

“We had seen a few engagement sessions in the Ikea stores in America and thought they looked fantastic so got in touch with the Belfast store.

“We’ve spent the last six months in Ikea Belfast planning our new home together and we’ll be asking for Ikea vouchers as wedding presents,’’ said Gillian.

Marketing manager at Ikea Belfast, Christie Gregg, was delighted to accept the proposal. “It was a very unusual request but one which we were happy to accommodate. We had heard of engagement photos being taken in the US stores but this is definitely a first for Belfast.” she said.

Photographer Richard Torrens added: “As a photographer, it’s always great when a couple come to us wanting a creative and different angle.”

His colleague Shelley Garrett added: “The photography session was full of colour and a lot of fun. The pictures very much reflect their personalities and, of course, their passion for Swedish furniture.”

The couple, who met through Youth for Christ in Donaghadee and got engaged at Mussenden Temple, are planning to marry in Bangor later this year.

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