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Tyrone care worker swaps Vegas wedding for Ballycastle glamping pod

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Rachel and husband Samuel

Rachel and husband Samuel

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Rachel and husband Samuel

A care worker for the elderly has swapped her luxury honeymoon hotel in Las Vegas for a tiny glamping pod in Co Antrim after her marriage plans were shattered by the coronavirus crisis - not once but twice.

But Tyrone couple Rachel McFarland and husband Samuel Managh, who were determined to go ahead with a down-scaled wedding ceremony, had a surprise waiting for them as they arrived for their re-arranged honeymoon at Bonnyview glamping in Ballycastle.

For their families had organised a romantic champagne dinner for the happy couple.

Rachel and engineer Samuel, who are both from the Omagh area, had to abandon their original wedding plans in May after Covid-19 restrictions were imposed.

And after they re-scheduled their nuptials for Friday, November 13 they were devastated to learn the pandemic had again disrupted their plans. "But we were determined that we were going to married this time, no matter what," said Rachel.

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The fresh restrictions meant that only 25 of their 120 guests could be at Mountfield Parish Church outside Omagh for the wedding and the reception at a hotel near Ballymena was cancelled.

So after the Rev Ian Linton pronounced Samuel and Rachel man and wife they were on their own.

But Samuel's six sisters Alison, Yvonne, Carol, Elaine, Diana and Rachel had surprises up their sleeves for the newly-weds.

Said Elaine: "We spoke to the owners of Bonnyview, Claire and Mike, and they helped us do Rachel and Samuel proud by decorating the pod with lots of balloons and scattering rose petals on their bed.

"They also arranged for the delivery of a slap-up meal from a nearby restaurant.

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"Okay Ballycastle isn't Las Vegas or Texas which were on the original honeymoon itinerary but Rachel and Samuel have told us they were delighted with the way things turned out at Bonnyview which has its own hot tub.

"It wasn't the wedding they'd planned but it was still a very special day."

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