Two women made history on Tuesday as
the first same-sex couple to marry in Northern Ireland.
Robyn Peoples, 26, and Sharni Edwards,
27, tied the knot at the Loughshore Hotel in Carrickfergus, County
The women had booked a civil
partnership ceremony at the hotel to celebrate their sixth
anniversary as a couple. But after years of stagnation, same-sex
marriage abruptly became a reality over the summer.
In July, lawmakers in the UK
overwhelmingly backed a plan to extend marriage equality to the
region, bringing Northern Ireland into line on the issue with the
rest of the UK. A similar vote was adopted on access to abortion. The
changes took effect as the Northern Irish government remained at a
The brides changed their ceremony to a
wedding as the law was set to take effect this week.
“We didn't expect to be the first
couple, it's coincidental,” said Edwards. “Today is our six-year
anniversary so we wanted to go ahead with a civil union partnership
but when the bill was passed it was perfect timing and it was a
complete coincidence, a happy coincidence.”
“[I]t means the absolute world” to
be married, she