Just married: Ruth-Anne Matthews and Matthew Arneill - picnic on the beach ends with proposal
Matthew and Ruth-Anne Arneill, from Lisburn, fell in love at university and are enjoying married life following the wedding of their dreams. Teacher Ruth-Anne (23), the youngest of four sisters, and Matthew (24), a doctor and the eldest of four brothers, get on well because they are both "pretty laid-back".
They met four years ago while studying at Queen's University.
"I lived in a house of girls and he lived in a house of boys," Ruth-Anne explained.
"One of the girls in my house was going out with one of the boys in his house – the boys used to come round and steal all our food.
"Our first date, at Common Grounds cafe, was secret from our friends, because they would have turned up."
The young couple fell in love and became engaged on September 15, 2012.
They had talked about marriage previously and had even looked at rings just days earlier but Matthew's proposal in Carrickfinn, Co Donegal, still came as a surprise to Ruth-Anne.
"We had a Marks and Spencer picnic. He always goes on that it's the most expensive picnic he's ever bought," she said.
"We had a picnic on the beach and had a swim and went for a walk. Then, in a wee cove, he had dessert and roses and got down on one knee and asked me to marry him."
Matthew and Ruth-Anne were married on June 20 at Newtownbreda Baptist Church in front of 120 guests.
"Our minster, Tim Robinson, has been a family friend for years," Ruth-Anne added. "The service was really beautiful – very personal."
A reception followed at Malone Lodge and the couple had photographs taken at St Thomas and Lady Dixon Park, the setting for one of their early dates.
"We had a wonderful day," Ruth-Anne said. "There was lemonade and ice-cream on arrival, the food was amazing and we had a ceilidh in the evening and everyone was up on the floor.
"Our first dance was Hey Ho by The Lumineers."
The new Mr and Mrs Arneill headed to Sorrento in Italy on honeymoon and are home now and enjoying married life.
"We've never lived together before," Ruth-Anne said. "I'm a girly girl and he's a guy's guy and I'm not used to having a boy around the house, but we are very happy.
"We want to thank all our friends and family for making such an effort to spend the day with us and make everything so special."