'I think I fell in love with her there and then' - a First Dates Ireland couple is engaged
Fans of First Dates Ireland will be over the moon to hear that one of the show’s most successful pairs have decided to tie the knot.
Dubliner Shannon Whelan (21) and Monaghan farmer Ciara Smyth (22) instantly clicked when they first met on the popular RTE dating show in 2017.
But neither of them ever dreamed that their brief encounter would end up with them walking down the aisle.
And just like their first date, the moment of their proposal was also captured on camera.
In a video posted by Coco TV, Shannon is seen getting down on one knee in front of a large crowd at her 21st birthday party and popped the big question.
Thankfully, an emotional Ciara accepted straight away, with the classic hit ‘Maniac 2000’ blaring out as they embraced.
Speaking from their new home in London, Shannon from Donaghmede said since First Dates she had always known they were meant to be together.
“Even though we just met a year and a half ago, it’s honestly like we’ve known each other our whole lives,” she told Independent.ie.
“While I was waiting for Ciara on First Dates, I had a few sips of a very strong cocktail just to calm the nerves.
“I was looking in the reflection of the glass in front of me when she walked in and as soon as I turned around, she bought me a Baby Guiness. I think I fell in love with her there and then.
“After the show, Ciara went back to the farm in Monaghan, but we stayed in contact with one another via Snapchat.
“Then very soon after things got serious and we thankfully became inseparable.”
The 21-year-old added that during the Christmas period she asked Ciara’s parents if she could marry their daughter.
“We were at a big family reunion in Monaghan, which was a really great chance to bond with her parents. I asked her mam if she would be OK if I married Ciara and if I could use her engagement ring to propose.
“She was so nice and was more than happy to let me use her ring.
“Even though I was very nervous at the time, it just felt like the right thing to do.”
Bride-to-be Ciara Smyth told Independent.ie that she’s still in shock at the surprise proposal.
“My jaw literally hit the floor, it came to me as a complete surprise,” she said.
“I got so nervous, all I could really say was ‘I suppose I will’.
“But I know I’ve made the right decision and I can’t wait to spend my future with the girl I love.”
The happy could have recently moved to the UK where they’re both employed at a London-based sales company.