Barry and Katie McGrath, from south Belfast, are enjoying married life following their beautiful August 10 wedding in Italy.
Katie (28), a retail manager from Belfast — whose maiden name was also McGrath — first met Barry (34), a sales executive from Downpatrick, at a fancy-dress house party three-and-a-half years ago.
“I was dressed as Poison Ivy,” Katie said.
“Barry had crashed the party, so he wasn't dressed up. He had a Johnny Cash T-shirt on.”
Barry knew straight away he wanted to see Katie again, so he asked her out on a date. She agreed and they met up at the The Empire in Belfast.
From there, they fell in love and then, in April 2011, on a trip to Paris, Barry proposed.
“We were just outside Notre Dame,” Katie said. “It was so lovely — and very romantic.”
The couple organised their wedding together. They opted to travel to Rome to tie the knot and married in front of 40 guests at the San Silvestro in Capite.
Katie's new sister-in-law is celebrated Belfast designer MaryRose McGrath, so there was never any doubt about who would be making her wedding gown.
“The dress MaryRose made for me was perfect; I am incredibly lucky,” Katie said.
“It was a beautiful service. The church we married in is hundreds of years old. It was stunning.”
After the exchange of vows, the wedding reception was in Bracciano at Le Papere restaurant, which sits right on the town's lake.
Their first dance as husband and wife was Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.
“The whole day was relaxed and laid back,” Katie said. “All the young ones swam in the lake during courses and most guests paddled at some point in the day.
“Our best-man speech, by Conor, was lovely. It was one of the highlights of our day.”
The McGraths headed to Sicily on honeymoon, but are now back home in Northern Ireland.
“Sicily was amazing,” Katie said. “We went to Mount Etna, which was a dream come true.
“I love being married and not having to change my name is nice,” she said.