By Rita Bratovich
Barely a month after Northern Ireland’s amended law on same-sex marriage came into effect, a lesbian couple has tied the knot and made history.
It is a requirement in Northern Ireland that couples who intend to marry must register 28 days prior. Same-sex couples were only granted permission to register as of January 13, 2020.
With the end of the requisite 28 day period from that date falling in the week around Valentines Day, there has predictably been a scramble among same-sex couples to be among the first to exchange vows.
Robyn Peoples, 26 from Belfast, and Sharni Edwards, 27 from Brighton, beat them all to the alter. In a bridal magazine styled setting, the couple were surrounded by well-wishing photographers in a hotel in Carrickfergus, County Antrim.
The brides wore matching white lace, full length slim-line gowns, each with long tresses of hair tumbling down over their shoulders. They sat on tall white thrones with white flower arrangements adorning the tables.
Peoples and Edwards met five years ago at a gay bar in Belfast. When they decided to formally commit to each other several months ago, Northern Ireland’s LGBTQI community was still campaigning for marriage equality.
The couple had originally booked a civil partnership ceremony which they swiftly changed to a wedding ceremony.
“We didn’t expect to be the first couple, it’s coincidental,” said Edwards during an interview.
“We didn’t set out to make history – we just fell in love,” she added.
“We are so grateful to the thousands of people who marched for our freedoms, to the Love Equality campaign who led the way and the politicians who voted to change the law.
“Without you, our wedding wouldn’t have been possible.
“We will be forever thankful.”