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General Election 2017: Newly-wed candidate Sorcha gets to the poll on time

By Rachel Martin

The only paper most brides plan on filling out on their wedding day is the register - but moments after saying 'I do' one Alliance candidate, Sorcha Eastwood, took to her local polling centre in her white dress to cast her vote.

The glowing bride was pictured smiling in her beautiful lace gown, as she stood outside the doors of Brownlee Primary School in Lisburn holding her yellow rosette.

The 31-year-old West Belfast candidate had been engaged to Dale Shirlow (34) since 2009, but the couple started making wedding plans last August.

The bride-to-be was left speechless on April 18 when Prime Minister Theresa May called a snap election on the same date as her big day - but she vowed to make the two-minute trip from St Patrick's Church in Lisburn to Brownlee Primary School to cast her ballot.

"I have given so much of myself to this process already and my partner has been so supportive, it would be a shame not to vote," she said.

The Prime Minister's announcement followed a prediction made by fiancé Dale last December that his wife-to-be would end up doing something political in her wedding gown. "I just have a feeling that something is going to happen," he told her - but she laughed it off as a joke.

And it wasn't the only complication for the bride.

Sorcha spent the last few days recovering in hospital after undergoing surgery on her hand following a "nasty" dog bite.

"That really hampered the wedding preparations," she said.

The couple's politically-minded friends will be able to keep an eye on the action on a big screen at the reception in Enniskillen's Killyhevlin Hotel to broadcast the early projections as they come in.

Sorcha added: "It's just one of those things. It's quite funny, it all comes back to Dale's vision."

She added: "It's been a lot to do and a lot to take in, but my family have been absolutely fantastic and my husband Dale has been absolutely fantastic and so supportive throughout the whole process."

While the newlyweds took time out to vote, they said attending the overnight election count in Belfast would be a step too far.

"We are going to give that a miss," said Ms Eastwood.

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