Barrister Emma-Louise Logue is settling into married life in Rome after her beautiful September 1 wedding to Italian designer Hagos Kidane.
Emma-Louise (29), from Killough, Co Down, met Hagos (30) at the ancient Colosseum when she moved to his home city for a few months in 2005.
They fell in love and carried on a long-distance relationship until Emma-Louise made the permanent move from Belfast — where she was based for work — to the Italian capital.
Hagos made a surprise proposal at the Colosseum one night when no one else was around.
“I couldn't believe it when he started saying all these sentimental things and then got down on one knee with the ring,” Emma-Louise said.
She wore a stunning dress by Belfast designer MaryRose McGrath for the wedding service, held in St Stephen of the Abyssinian church in Vatican City, directly behind St Peter's Basilica, where Hagos had been baptised.
“It was so private and peaceful. The service was really nice and we had an Irish priest, who is a family friend, which connected it to home,” said Emma-Louise.
Towards the end of the ceremony the couple received a special telegram from the Pope, wishing them luck and happiness in their married life.
The newlyweds then had photographs taken in the Vatican gardens before their reception in the Marriott Grand Hotel Flora on Via Vittorio Veneto.
“They have an amazing rooftop terrace, with a panoramic view of the city, and the reception room has glass walls so even from inside you can enjoy the view,” Emma-Louise explained.
“We wanted to have it somewhere with a view of the city, so people could really feel that they were in Rome.”
Guests were entertained by jazz and soul band Eddie And The Hot Rocks and the couple's first dance as husband and wife was to Beyoncé's Love On Top.
After the wedding Hagos and Emma-Louise went on a mini-moon to the south of Italy and will head to the Maldives in 2013.
They thanked everyone for helping them celebrate their special day and are enjoying every moment of being married.
“People always say it doesn't feel any different, but I think that it does. When Hagos says to people I'm his wife, it still seems so strange, but I love it,” said Emma-Louise. “We are enjoying getting settled in Rome together.”