Romance blossomed for Bebhinn McKinley and Damian Rodgers at a party in 2005. Policy officer Bebhinn (29), from Rasharkin, and engineer Damian (32), from Tannaghmore, both Co Antrim, had been at school together but a small gap in age meant they didn’t really know each other.
“I was friends with Damian's sister, but we didn’t get to know each other at school,” said Bebhinn.
“In 2005 we were at the same party and he asked me out.”
The couple’s relationship developed and, in January 2009, they became engaged at the Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel in Dublin.
“We were down in Dublin for a weekend break after Christmas,” added Bebhinn. “Damian got down on one knee in the restaurant part of the castle with an engagement ring and ask me to marry him.”
Bebhinn immediately said “yes” and set about arranging their wedding for September 28, 2011.
They tied the knot in front of 150 guests at St Mary’s Church, Rasharkin, followed by a reception at the Roe Park Resort in Limavady.
“We had a lovely day,” Bebhinn said. “Father Murray, our local priest, conducted the service. It was full of humour and very light, so that took the pressure off.
“We then got pictures taken at Dunluce Castle, and then on to the reception for great food and music.”
The couple’s first dance as man and wife was to Love by Nat King Cole.
“Gerard Dillon Entertainments provided the music and people still say to me how great it was to see the dancefloor full all night,”
Bebhinn added. “We had a great time. The whole day was relaxed, which is what we both wanted.”
A few days after the wedding Bebhinn and Damian headed to South Africa for their honeymoon.
“We flew out to Johannesburg and out into a game reserve in Cougar National Reserve. We went on safari and then stayed outside Cape Town,” said Bebhinn.
“We had a fantastic time. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Just amazing.”
The happy couple are now home and looking forward to what the future will bring, as the house they are building, between Rasharkin and Dunloy, is nearly finished.
“We really want to thank everyone who helped us celebrate on our wedding day and wished us well,” Bebhinn said.
“Our parents were brilliant and my Aunt Kathleen helped me a lot as well.
“We’re busy decorating the house now and we got a dog called Alfredo, so he loves to get out walking.
“Married life is great.”