JRR Tolkien famously wrote that there was one ring to rule them all – but for one Welsh couple, it took two rings to bind them.
Lord of the Rings mad couple Liam and Heather Mahoney exchanged replica rings of power from the fantasy trilogy in a wacky wedding at Caerphilly Castle.
The Cardiff couple were dressed up in costume with all their guests in fancy dress as cast members from the author’s epic fantasy world of hobbits, elves, dwarves, wizards and goblins.
“It made perfect sense for us,” Heather, 23, told Wales on Sunday.
“We’re both huge fans of Lord of the Rings. We’re constantly quoting the films at each other.”
The two met while working at a cinema in Cardiff and instantly clicked over their mutual love of film and fantasy.
From the moment Liam, 28, proposed to Heather, they knew they wanted a day like no other.
With the fittingly medieval backdrop of Caerphilly Castle as their venue, the bride and groom were joined by a whole host of Tolkien’s iconic characters. The eclectic wedding party even included an evil ring wraith.
Heather said: “It was just amazing how many people joined in. I didn’t expect everyone to dress up, but so many people were happy to get in the spirit of things.”
The groom dressed as noble ranger Aragorn, who was played by Viggo Mortensen in the films, while his bride wore a modern rendition of a medieval-style gown.
Even Heather’s brother was sucked in to the fantasy world, donning a wig to dress as the Lord of Rivendell, Elrond.
Mum-in-law Gail stitched up a set of red velvet dresses with sheer sleeves which were worn by bridesmaids Emma Poppleton and Bronwen Lloyd.
Heather said she was racked with nerves as she walked down the aisle to the theme of Lord of the Rings.
She said: “Seeing Liam standing at the top of the aisle in the glory of being Aragorn for the day was immense.
“He actually admitted afterwards of having a tear in his eye seeing me walk up the aisle towards him.”
No Lord of the Rings ceremony would have been complete without “the one ring”. In the books and the films, the ring is forged in Mount Doom by the dark Lord Sauron.
Luckily, the happy couple were able to order their rings from America. Both were authentic replicas of the ring carried by Frodo Baggins to be destroyed in the fires under Mount Doom, complete with authentic looping scripture.
At the reception, the magic continued as guests made their way to tables named after different regions in Middle Earth, including Hobbiton and Mordor.
Specialist cake maker Rhianydd Easton of Pontypridd-based Dragons and Daffodils created a minature Minas Tirith, the city featured in Return of the King, which neither the bride nor the groom could bring themselves to cut.
“Words cannot describe how impressed we were with Rhianydd’s work,” said Heather.
“She is so talented and has a passion for geekiness too, so she was the perfect choice.
“After our wedding breakfast, we pretended to cut the cake, but neither of us could, as we didn’t want to spoil all of her hard work.”
The happy couple said they wouldn’t have changed anything about their day. For Heather, it was all over far too quickly.
“t’s true what other newly weds say when the day goes quickly,” she said.
“All of our guests said that they had enjoyed themselves very much and that it was an unforgettable day due to its uniqueness and then fun that was had on the day itself.
“It was absolutely perfect.”
The fantasy will continue on the couple’s first anniversary in August, when they will head to Scotland in search of the famous Hogwarts Express.
“We’re determined to find the steam train used in the Harry Potter films,” said Heather.