Jason Ellery and Grace Lamont-Ellery have known each other for the last decade, but it was a chance meeting at the doctor’s surgery and then a friendship on Facebook that was to lead to love and marriage.
Grace, a Campbell College teacher from New Mills, Co Tyrone and Cardiff-born Jason, the equipment manager for the Belfast Giants ice-hockey team, arranged to meet for coffee and began dating about 18 months ago.
Jason — known as Taff to Grace and his friends — quickly discovered he had met the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. On December 8 last year, during dinner at an Indian restaurant in Bangor, he asked Grace to marry him.
“I laughed,” Grace said. “I thought he was joking, but I realised he was serious and, without hesitation, I said, ‘Yes’.”
Grace then set about planning the couple’s wedding for April 26.
Jason sorted out the cars, but because Grace thrives on organisation, everything else was arranged within a few months.
The couple married in front of a wedding party of 24 guests at Malone House in the Shaw’s Bridge area of Belfast.
“The service was lovely,” Grace added. “I am quite a highly-strung person, but the whole day was very relaxing.
“It was an intimate wedding, with just a small gathering of some friends and family.
“I can remember the day from start to finish.”
After a celebratory meal, the couple had arranged to spend the night at the Merchant Hotel in Belfast. As a surprise, Jason had booked a Rolls-Royce Phantom to take them to the luxury Cathedral Quarter venue.
“All our guests saw us off,” Grace said. “I felt very special. We were the first to leave and it was a lovely touch.”
With busy schedules, including a house move, there was no time for a honeymoon, but the couple hope to take a holiday later this year.
“Our wedding was on a Thursday and I was back to my A-Level class on Monday,” Grace said.
“We want to thank everyone who celebrated our day with us and a big thanks to my parents for all their help.
“It’s lovely being Taff’s wife, but I’m not keen on being called The Wife, or Wifey.
“Married life is lovely. It’s bliss and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone.”