Just married: Laura and James Nelson
Laura Bush had no love for politics, having endured years of teasing for sharing her name with the USA’s former First Lady.
The Lisburn student was, therefore, surprised to find love last year... at a Westminster election results party.
Laura married James Nelson, a trainee doctor, on September 5 at Bloomfield Presbyterian Church in Belfast and was delighted to finally ditch her maiden name.
“I’m glad to get rid of it,” laughed the bubbly 23-year-old.
“It wasn’t so bad after George Bush left office, but people used to wind me up all the time.
“I went to America and the Customs at the airport, who are usually so serious, even made a joke about my name.”
Laura explained how someone with no interest in politics came to meet her future husband at the Westminster post-election party in May 2010.
“It is really embarrassing how we met,” she said.
“My friend works at Stormont and she was having an election results party after the last Westminster election.
“I just went because she lived near me and, it turned out, James was the only guy there.
“There were no fireworks between us, we just chatted for a bit.
“Then, three weeks later, he sent me a text message asking me out for a coffee. I didn’t even know who he was.”
The public relations student described James (29) as very different from her, but she believes opposites attract.
“He is quiet and quite introverted, whereas I’m completely the opposite,” she said.
“He’s quite interested in politics, while I’m not, really. He tells me I bring out the fun side in him.
“I think the most important thing is finding someone who loves you for you and just lets you be yourself.”
The couple got engaged in March and married six months later. The reception was held afterwards at the Dunadry Hotel in Antrim, where Laura’s parents celebrated their wedding 28 years ago.
“It was a great venue,” Laura said.
“The staff were very helpful and it was very reasonably priced.” The weather held up for most of the day, allowing guests to play lawn games such as croquet and garden Jenga, which kept them entertained.
Laura had two bridesmaids — her friends Stephanie Montgomery and Karen Jardine, at whose election party the couple had met.
“The highlight of the day was sitting at the top table and just seeing everyone we cared about together,” Laura said.