Rodgers honeymoon tragedy: Heartbroken close friend who made wedding cake pays tribute to 'wonderful' couple
A close friend who made the wedding cake for the tragic newlywed Co Down couple who died on honeymoon in South Africa has spoken of her heartbreak in an emotional tribute to the "wonderful, kind and generous spirited" pair "taken far too soon".
Lynette (26) and John (28) Rodgers died after getting into difficulties while out swimming together at Plettenberg Bay on the Western Cape on Friday.
The couple were married on October 17 at Holywood's First Presbyterian Church after being together for the past four years.
They had just arrived in Plettenberg Bay, west of Port Elizabeth in the Western Cape, and were staying in the five-star Robberg Beach Lodge, next to the beach when tragedy struck.
Tributes have poured in for the popular couple.
In a joint statement the couple's families said that they had been left devastated.
An "old and dear" friend of Lynette who made their wedding cake shared a poignant tribute on her Facebook page Cake, Rattle and Roll and said her heart has been broken.
It was posted alongside a photo of the late couple cutting their cake.
It read: "It is with great sadness I post this picture, I had the utmost pleasure of being an old friend, wedding guest and cake maker for John and Lynette Rodgers who were taken far too soon last week in South Africa while on their honeymoon.
"I was so pleased to be asked to make the wedding cake by my old and dear friend Lynette and was thrilled to attend the wedding to her soul mate John - hearing and seeing the news regarding what has happened has broken my heart but I am SO glad to have known such beautiful people and participated in the happiest day of their devastatingly short lives.
"Lynette and John, rest in peace together and know that while you are gone you will never be forgotten for the wonderful, kind and generous spirited people you are. "
It has been liked more than 7,000 times with hundreds of people commenting on it.
One read: "Too wrong, too sad, too tragic utterly heartbreaking."
Post-mortem examinations are expected to be carried out on Lynette and John today and their families hope their bodies will be returned to Northern Ireland before the end of the week.
The joint statement from the couple's families said that their "happiness in sharing their recent wedding has been thoroughly devastated".
"It has come as a great shock to both the Reilly and Rodgers families to learn of the sudden and tragic events in South Africa, which have taken the lives of Lynette and John.
"Our happiness in sharing their recent wedding has been thoroughly devastated. Both were very dearly loved and brought us great joy."