US couple Kelly and Harry Morra fell in love when they met in Belfast back in 2007.
Kelly (35), a marketing and events officer, and Harry (31), a basketball coach from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, were both part of the organisation Peace Players international, which uses basketball to bring children from different backgrounds together.
“Northern Ireland has a very special place in our hearts,” Kelly said.
“Working with Peace Players and living abroad was an absolutely incredible, life-changing experience.
“We were very fortunate to meet amazing people, mentors and friends during our time in Northern Ireland.
“We didn’t expect that our work bringing kids together would bring us together, but it’s pretty amazing that it did.”
In addition to their work with Peace Players, the couple opened a stand at St George’s Market called The American EGGsperience, selling breakfast sandwiches.
“It was our first entrepreneurial venture together and so much fun being part of the community there,” Kelly said.
“It's absolutely one of our favourite memories.”
The couple moved back to the US in 2009, but returned to Northern Ireland again in March 2011 for a holiday here and got engaged.
“When we lived in Belfast, we often took trips up to Portrush to spend the day, play golf or surf and we have great memories of those trips,” Kelly said. “It is a special place for us.
“So, on the last day of our visit, we drove up the coast and, in the dunes above the golf course, Harry got on his knee and proposed.
“It was an incredibly emotional and powerful moment.
“On our drive back to Belfast, we stopped at a Star of the Sea basketball game — Harry had played and coached with them — to see friends and share our news and then went on to enjoy dinner and a few celebratory pints with friends.
“It was perfect.”
The couple married and had their reception at Whispering Pines in West Greenwich, Rhode Island, near to Kelly's family.
They were married lakeside and had their reception in the main lodge on the grounds, taking to the dance floor as husband and wife to If Should I Fall Behind by Bruce Springsteen. The couple then enjoyed a surfing honeymoon in the Cerritos Beach area of Mexico and have settled well into married life.
“It has been fun,” Kelly said. “We are anxious to come back to Belfast as Mr and Mrs Morra. We are hoping to make a trip this summer.”
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