IMAGE Grooms Padraic & Gary

THEY ARE Padraic Fleming, Health Services Researcher and Gary Rooney, Procurement Manager at Twitter THEY LIVE In Dundrum, Dublin THEY MET In 2009 THEY FELL IN LOVE Having found one another online

When Gary and Padraic stood in front of their friends and family for their civil partnership, they wanted their union to be viewed as equal to any other. ?We got married last year, except we had to sign a civil partnership certificate instead of a marriage certificate - a marriage certificate that would have recognised us as equal citizens, as well as the strong, stable, committed family unit that we are?, says Gary. Despite the legal shortfalls, there was no doubt, among their congregation, of the commitment being made, by these two. Designing their own ceremony, the couple were able to personalise their day and emphasise the love, strength and stability that forms the foundation of their relationship. One important element for Padraic and Gary was their unity candle - a flame kept alight from their legal ceremony on the morning of their wedding, which was then passed from guest to guest later that afternoon. ?For a lot of our guests, this was first gay wedding they had ever been to and one of the most emotional. You could feel the love in the room during our main ceremony, with a lot of tears being blinked back,? says Padraic. ?We only hope that this level of love and understanding spreads throughout the country on May 22. Passing the Marriage Equality referendum would send a powerful message that this Republic cherishes and protects all its children equally.?

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Photographs Rubistyle

Venue Castle Durrow

Kate O'Dowd is editor of IMAGE Brides, for more from this gorgeous gathering, plus the full list of suppliers, pick up the first issue, out May 29th

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