It will be a family affair for one local couple as they tie the knot this weekend - on the same day as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Elaine McKay and David Mitchell, who live in Larne, will be celebrating their nuptials at the Hilton Templepatrick this Saturday, May 19.
Joining the wedding party on the day will be Elaine’s children Kim, Caoimhé, Shannen, Odhran and Jamie, along with David’s daughters Chloe and Katie.
“Our children all get on well together and we are delighted that they are all part of the bridal party; the girls are all bridesmaids and the two boys are groomsmen,” said Elaine, a district nurse.
Elaine, 47, and 46-year-old David, a manufacturing engineer originally from Carrickfergus, met through an online dating site after Elaine’s daughters “pestered” her to join.
“I had been on my own for 18 months and David for four years; we met for the first time at a coffee shop in Whitehead,” the bride-to-be said. “We hit it off straight away and talked until the shop closed and we were asked to leave!
“We walked around Blackhead path and continued to talk until 11pm. I knew that day he was ‘the one’.
“We were discussing marriage within a few weeks of meeting and David proposed on our first anniversary while on a weekend break in Letterkenny.”
Some 55 guests will be attending the couple’s ‘country garden’ themed celebrations this weekend, with Rev Lesley Addis from Woodlawn Presbyterian Church in Carrick officiating.
“I am from a very big family so there will be lots more invited to the evening reception. My sister Louise and her family are travelling from North Carolina for the wedding and I can’t wait to see her.
“She and my daughter Kim made my wedding invitations and Kim has made all the table decorations by hand. She is very talented,” added the proud mum.
But how does it feel to be sharing their big day with the royal couple?
“We were initially a bit annoyed that the royal couple decided on the same date as us,” said Elaine. “I have visions of everyone trying to watch it at the hotel bar! The FA cup final is also the same day.”
Both keen runners with Larne Athletic Club, the newlyweds will have plenty of time to relax as they depart next Monday for their honeymoon in Rome and on Italy’s Amalfi coast.