Belfast Telegraph

Couple says 'I do' at Republic of Ireland's first gay wedding fair

By David Raleigh

Every couple wants their wedding day to be perfect whether they are becoming Mr and Mrs -- or Mrs and Mrs.

Yesterday, over 50 same-sex couples travelled to Ireland's first ever gay wedding/civil partnership fair at the Absolute Hotel in Limerick.

And one couple got more than they had hoped for when they got a chance to take part in a mock civil ceremony to show others how the service is performed.

David Nally (28) from Athlone, and Neil Ash, (27) from Athy, Co Kildare, are to say 'I do' at a civil ceremony in Co Laois in January 2014.

Amid the razzmatazz and entertainment of the wedding fair, the couple were taken through the ceremony by Rev Penelope Thomas.

"It was great fun and it was nice to practise the ceremony for when the real thing happens. It gave us an idea of what to expect too.

"The minister showed us how to plan the ceremony and we had a good chat about whether we were religious and all that too. We know how to say 'I do' now," Mr Nally joked.

Mr Nally, who works for Three mobile phone company, said he and Mr Ash, who works for hair-product company Wella, had got a few good ideas from the 50 or so suppliers advertising their services at the fair.

Organisers of the wedding fair were delighted with the response to the event and are planning more, although dates and venues have yet to be finalised.

Marianne Purcell and her partner, Shane Costello, from Raheen in Limerick, are the straight couple behind

The pair have three children together and decided to start up the business after seeing a major gap in the market for same-sex weddings.

"Today was just fantastic. We've had amazing feedback from everyone who came and who took part. We had 51 vendors and 50 genuine couples, which was great," said Ms Purcell.

Belfast Telegraph


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