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Bangor couple wins £25,000 at Northern Ireland's largest wedding exhibition

By Valerie Edwards

Crowds of engaged couples flocked to the Titanic Exhibition Centre to participate in the Wedding Journal Show and witness one couple win a £25,000 wedding.

Lorna Mannis (36) and David McMurray (41) walked away with the Wedding of the Year package worth £25,000.

The prize features an £8,000 wedding reception at the exclusive Manor House Country Hotel in Irvinestown, County Fermanagh and a luxurious honeymoon in Crete worth £6,000, courtesy of Pinnacle Worldwide.

The couple was announced as finalists on Q Radio Friday. Lorna said: “I wasn't allowed to say 'hello', I could only say 'I do' when I answered the phone and I was so glad that I did."

“I think David thought I was crazy when I decided to find the runaway bride to enter us in the competition, but now he is over the moon.”

The wedding package came as a blessing to the couple who were going to get married in Mexico because it's much more affordable than Northern Ireland.

Lorna said: “It's such a relief to have a wedding at home. We were worried about my father not being able to make the journey because he hasn't been in great health lately.”

During the final show, Lorna and David were on stage with eight couples. The first challenge was for the brides-to-be to pick a ring box, give it to their fiancé’s, and hope there was a ring in the box.

A few couples were eliminated and in the second round each couple had to guess how many miles the runaway bride had travelled throughout the week.

In the final round, Lorna and David were up against one couple. Two shoe boxes were placed in front of them and the couple had to pick the runaway bride's shoes.

Lorna said: “We couldn't believe it. I still can't believe we won. My phone has not stopped from people calling and messaging me wishing us well.”

The two have been engaged for a year and plan to get married next summer.

This year’s show featured a new shopping area, Say Yes To The Dress, where brides-to-be tried on dresses and could purchase them on the spot. 

International models and dancers modelled wedding dress collections, bridesmaid dresses, grooms wear and wedding outfits at the Bridal Catwalk Show. Each 30 minute performance occurred three times a day and brought together the latest designs from leading Irish bridal boutiques, department stores, international designers and manufacturers.

More than 300 of Ireland’s and Northern Ireland’s top wedding suppliers and businesses were under one roof including Travelmood, Virgina Park Lodge, Debenhams, and many more.

The next show will be in Dublin this weekend September 26-27. For more information visit WeddingJournalOnline.com.

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