Just married: Ronnie and Norah Coates
Ronnie and Norah Coates, from Larne, fell in love three years ago. The hairdresser and forklift-driver were in England in 2008 when they were introduced to each other by mutual friends.
Ronnie is originally from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and Norah was born in Scotland, but she has lived in Northern Ireland for the last 30 years.
“It was a case of opposites attract,” Norah said. “He is so different from me, but it works.”
The couple’s relationship developed and then, on December 31, 2010 — Ronnie's birthday — he made a very romantic proposal of marriage to Norah.
“We were having a New Year’s Eve party with all my family and he told me to head out for the day to pamper myself, so I did,” Norah explained.
“Then, that night, he asked me to come outside into the garden. He had bought loads of fairy lights and spelt out along the fence, Will You Marry Me?
“Everyone else had followed us outside, he got someone to switch the lights on and they were all cheering and clapping.”
The couple chose Ballygally Castle for their wedding service and reception and set the date of December 29, 2011 to tie the knot.
Around 40 guests, including family travelling from Scotland and England, gathered to watch the couple marry.
“It was a fantastic day,” Norah said.
“We read our own poetry and vows before the formal vows.
Jackie Tennant, the registrar was wonderful.
“We were inspired by the film Hitch to do something fun after the service, so everyone in the wedding party danced down the aisle when we were coming back out.” The couple's first official dance as Mr and Mrs Coates was to a medley of songs they love, including, Adele, Make You Feel My Love, Summer Lovin', Thriller, plus some Blues Brothers and Tina Turner.
“We had practiced our dance routine for two days,” Norah said. “Nobody knew we were going to do this — they thought the dance would be over after Adele. It was so funny.”
Norah and Ronnie then headed to Torremolinos for a relaxing week-long honeymoon and are now back home.
“Married life is great,” added Norah. “We haven't had our first argument yet, so we're doing good.”