Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Just married: Karl and Nina Smyth

Teen romance: Karl and Nina married almost 14 years after meeting
The wedding in Italy of Ciara Burke and Mark Cromie

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Richard Kennedy and Heather McCrory on their wedding day

Karl and Nina Smyth, from south Belfast, fell in love as teenagers. The 34-year-old civil servant and 33-year-old support worker for people with autism met back in 1996, when they worked together at a local garage.

When Karl left for university in Scotland the following year they began to date.

The couple's relationship developed and then four years ago Karl proposed.

He asked Nina to marry him on his 30th birthday after a surprise party she had thrown for him.

Nina said: “We couldn't tell anyone for six weeks, until we got the ring made, which was strange. The ring is quite unusual. I love it.”

The couple organised their purple and cream vintage-themed wedding together — complete with a 1967 Volkswagen camper van as transport.

Nina wore her mother's wedding dress, which was made by her late grandmother.

“I went to my mum's house to get ready for my big day and to don the wedding dress that my mum had worn in 1977,” she said.

“It had been handmade by my Nanny, who sadly is not with us any more, and who had brought the dress to life all those years ago from a 52-piece Vogue pattern.”

Nina and Karl married in front of 100 guests on September 3 at a service in the Chapel of Unity at Methodist College, Belfast.They had a meal at Malone Lodge before everyone was transported to Belvoir Players studio in a red 1996 London double-decker Routemaster.

“Even after all the years together, the service was really nerve-racking,” Nina said. “But the whole day was great.

“Up at Belvoir Players, we had a hog-roast. Our band was The Pontiax Blues Band and they played with Rab McCullough. Our first dance was High-Heel Sneakers by Tommy Tucker.”

Nina said their special day — just three days short of their 14th anniversary together — was everything they had dreamed of and more.

“We just loved it and we want to thank everyone who helped us celebrate our day.”

The new Mr and Mrs Smyth enjoyed a relaxing honeymoon in Ibiza before returning home and settling into married life.

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