When Banbridge couple Michael and Victoria Henning got married last Friday they were gobsmacked when golf champion Graeme McDowell, scouse comedian John Bishop and Manchester United’s Jonny Evans joined them for their reception.
Thanks to Michael’s brother and best man Stephen having embarked on an ambitious twitter campaign a few months earlier, the Galgorm resort was a real celeb-fest with local band Ash, a few of the Ulster rugby stars, television personalities Colin Murray and Eamonn Holmes just a few of the faces making an appearance.
Following Stephen’s traditional speech the teenage sweethearts’ were directed to the big screen which had been erected to play a special message from what they thought would be loved ones who couldn’t make the big day.
After a message from a friend living in Australia, the video cuts dramatically to the Sky newsroom where presenter Eamonn Holmes invites viewers to settle in for a whole host of messages from celebrity well-wishers including Bridesmaid’s star Chris O’Dowd, Neighbours’ Alan Fletcher aka Karl Kennedy and boxer Wayne McCullough to name but a few.
Stephen told the News Letter he was pleased with the reaction to his six-month Twitter mission to gather as many stars, whether local or from further afield, to surprise the happy couple on their big day. “I was sitting beside Michael and his jaw was pretty much on the floor the whole time, they were both in total shock,” he said.
The 23-year-old who works for Nike in Newcastle, said he decided to give the idea a go back in January and was spurred on when marathon runner Paula Radcliffe agreed to give him his first message.
He said: “I suppose when I got a few messages coming in around April time I thought maybe this would be something that could go viral around Banbridge - but I never thought it would be as big as this.”
As of Tuesday afternoon the video had more than 5,000 hits on YouTube.