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Meet the Northern Ireland brides-to-be loved up in lockdown

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Shannon Collins and Scott McKeag

Shannon Collins and Scott McKeag

Rachael McKibbin, fiance Lewis Henry, Robyn and baby Lilly

Rachael McKibbin, fiance Lewis Henry, Robyn and baby Lilly

Shannon Collins and Scott McKeag

Meet the Northern Irish brides-to-be loved up in lock down....

Scott McKeag (20) and Shannon Collins (19) from Killinchy got engaged on the first Sunday after lockdown started here when joiner Scott surprised Shannon by popping the question in their allotment.

"I'd gone to check on our nine-week-old baby, Grace, who was sleeping in the car, and I was giving off to him because he hadn't put a jacket on the baby," laughs Shannon, who works in a day nursery. "But when I looked up I saw him down on one knee in the shed doorway!"

She says the hardest thing has been not being able to share the news face to face with loved ones. "Afterwards all I wanted to do was go and see my mum and show her my beautiful pear-shaped diamond ring and get a hug," says Shannon sadly. But she's determined to look on the bright side. "This is an awful time but one of the positives is that Scott is getting to spend so much more time with Grace when she's so young. She's keeping us focused right now."

Rachael McKibben (28) works as a self-employed nail technician at Manor House of Beauty in her hometown of Saintfield with her partner Lewis Henry (28) who works as a self-employed auctioneer.

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Rachael McKibbin, fiance Lewis Henry, Robyn and baby Lilly

Rachael McKibbin, fiance Lewis Henry, Robyn and baby Lilly

Rachael McKibbin, fiance Lewis Henry, Robyn and baby Lilly


The Co Down couple have hated not being able to work but Lewis credits lockdown with giving him the push to take the next step in their relationship.

"We'd been three weeks in self-isolation and the timing was right," says Lewis. "I'd had the idea for a few months and the ring for a while but I was just waiting for the right time."

The couple, along with baby Lilly (14 months) and Rachael's daughter Robyn (10), went for a walk in the countryside where they live and when they stopped for a picnic, Lewis popped the question.

"We Facetimed everyone to tell them the news," says Rachael. "It's hard not being able to go and see family and I miss all my customers so much and can't wait to see them again. But this has been something lovely to come out of a horrible situation.

"And the extra time at home means I've plenty of time to plan the wedding! I've already ordered my bridesmaids dresses!"

Belfast Telegraph