First couple to get married after meeting on RTÉ’s First Dates will walk down aisle in November

Irish couple set the date for their big day after meeting on show... and the restaurant staff have been invited!

Carla Maria and Gerard ‘Shez’ Sherry will tie the knot

Carla and Shez hit it off on their date

Eugene MastersonSunday World

The first couple to get married after meeting on RTÉ’s First Dates show will walk down the aisle in November.

And top of the guest list for happy couple Carla Maria and James Gerard ‘Shez’ Sherry’s big day will be the people they say helped put a bit of spark into their romance — First Dates maître d’ Mateo Saina and waitress Alice Marr.

More than 200 people have been invited to the first wedding in the eighth season of the hit show, with Corick House Hotel in Curragh Co Tyrone chosen as the venue for the nuptials on November 25.

“Mateo and Alice have been invited and we’ve been told they’re coming, it’s all very exciting,” beams Carla (41).

“At the end of the day if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have got together, so we have to have them there. We asked Rob the producer as well, and Ethan the former barman too, although we haven’t heard back from him yet.”

Carla and Shez hit it off on their date

Carla originally hails from Antrim and now lives in Magherafelt, Co Derry with her Dundalk-born fiancé Shez.

“I love around December and I love Christmas, so I had initially wanted to do the week between that and New Year. I was looking for a New Year’s Eve wedding but that date was gone, so I said I’d go for another date,” explains Carla.

“I asked ‘when do you put your decorations up?’ and they put them up mid-November. So we will still have a Christmassy wedding without it being in December.”

Carla, who is a mental health nurse, has to pinch herself that she will be a married woman by the end of the year.

“We are together two years past in October, so it will be just over three years by the time we get married,” she says.

“It is crazy. I use a journal quite a lot and I found a journal from that time and the day before I was writing in it, ‘I’m so excited’, I’m just like ‘I know this is the one, I’m so excited about tomorrow, I can feel it’ and then lo and behold tomorrow comes and it all comes true.”

Shez admits Carla was initially not the type of woman he told researchers he was seeking.

“I was asked before I was on the show what type of girls I like and I said ‘fat white girls’ — I like a bit of cushion for the pushin’ — and then I got someone pretty much the opposite. Carla is beautiful, mixed race and normal sized,” he points out.

  • First Dates continues on RTE2 on Thursdays at 9.30pm

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