Couple to marry on same date as Prince William and Kate

A local couple will share their wedding experience with Royalty next April, writes Kellie McKillop.

Denise Henderson, from Derrykeighan, and Chris Holmes, from Mountsandel in Coleraine had originally set their wedding date for April 29th 2012, but on Friday 22nd October, the local couple brought their big day forward a full year and just over a month later - November 24 - Prince William and Kate Middleton announced that their wedding would be held on the same date.

Denise and Chris got engaged on Saturday, May 1 this year.

Chris arrived at Denise's Grandmothers' house, where she was, with a red rose and took her in his car to Dunluce Castle, where he got down on one knee.

When Denise accepted, the couple drove to The Royal Court, Portrush, where their friends and family were waiting for them to arrive.

Both admit that they did not know what love was until they met each other, and it was love at first sight.

"Since we met, we have barely been apart, and I wouldn't swap him for anyone, not even Prince William!" Denise told the Times.

Denise explained that the reason her and her fianc reached the decision to bring the wedding forward a year was a sentimental one,

"My mum had been very sick in the Royal Victoria hospital and it gave me a real scare.

"I told Chris that if anything had happened to her I didn't think I could have gone on with the wedding as it would break my heart.

"My father has been sick recently too, this tough time made us realize that life is too short to waste time".

The Royal Couple chose the date as they stated they wanted the day to be a "classic British occasion with good spring weather".

Denise and Chris telephoned Lisanoure Castle at Loughgiel, immediately and asked to change their date to an available one in April 2011 instead of 2012.

The only two dates available were Friday 29th and Saturday 30th. Chris told the Times that he had told Denise that he would have preferred to set the date for the Saturday, but the final decision was left to Denise. She concluded their wedding day would be Friday 29th April 2011.

A month later, Clarence House announced that the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton will take place on Friday 29 April at Westminster Abbey.

When Denise heard the news, she text her fianc to inform him. Her big day was going to be made even more special. Chris told the Times, "I thought Denise was joking but any day to marry her would be a great day. This is the day I will be marrying my Princess".

Downing Street confirmed the day of the Wedding would be a bank holiday. It will mean two long weekends in a row for many, as the previous week is the Easter break and the Monday after the wedding is the first May bank holiday.

The local couple told the Times that this was the most exciting thing to come out of this.

"It's great that every anniversary can be spent together without work and nobody has to take a day off of work to join us in our special day".

Denise and Chris are also excited that they could be accepting vows at the same time as the Royal couple and that "My dress could be even nicer than Kate Middletons'!" Denise laughed.

She admitted that on the day after her wedding she will be watching the Royal one.