Just married: John Irvine and Anne Polland
John Irvine and Anne Polland decided after nearly a decade together it was the perfect time for them to tie the knot.
The 44-year-old architectural technician and 41-year civil servant first met at a party, but it wasn’t until a year later they ran into each other again in the Co Antrim seaside village of Whitehead.
“We met each other at a Christmas party in Belfast,” said Anne.
“We got chatting, but then didn’t end up seeing each other for about a year after that.
“Then John moved to Whitehead, where I was living.”
Romance blossomed and the couple began a relationship.
A few years later they had a beautiful daughter, Aimee, and then another gorgeous little girl, Jodie, came along.
John proposed at Christmas 2009 and the couple set the date of May 10, 2011 for the wedding day.
Anne’s sister Jennifer Magowan was her matron of honour.
Little Aimee (6) was bridesmaid and Jodie (2) was flowergirl, alongside the girls’ cousin, Natasha.
“We had the kids and wanted to gel and bond the family,” added Anne.
“Saying ‘my boyfriend’ in your 40s doesn’t sound quite right.
“We had a beautiful service at St Patrick's Church of Ireland in Whitehead. It was very personal and family-orientated, with hymns and readings that are personal to us.”
Afterwards the newlyweds enjoyed a reception with 80 guests at the Clarion Hotel in Carrickfergus.
Their first dance was Valentine’s Day by Steve Earle.
“We booked a friend to DJ and it we ended up having a rock disco,” Anne explained.
“We hired Pretty Little Details for our table dressings and they arranged a candy corner for the children.
“By the end of the night they were bouncing off the walls, but it was good fun and they enjoyed the kids’ entertainer.”
The couple than had a brief honeymoon in Dublin and say they are really enjoying married life together — but things haven’t changed that much for them.
“We took in the Roger Waters concert in the O2 on Tuesday night and had a great time,” added Anne.
“We’ve been together for so long.
“The only thing I’m having to get used to is being called Mrs Irvine.”