THE couple set to have the first same-sex marriage ceremony in Northern Ireland have explained how a lucky coincidence turned them into history makers.

Sharni Edwards, 27, and Robyn Peoples, 26, will be married in Co Antrim on Tuesday. The day marks their sixth anniversary as a couple.

Initially, the pair had booked the date as a civil partnership ceremony before the landmark law change that legalised same-sex marriage.

But Edwards, from Brighton, and Peoples, from Belfast, have now decided the event will be a wedding ceremony.

Peoples said the build-up to the high-profile day has been an "amazing whirlwind". 

She said it was "the biggest coincidence" that she and her partner ended up making history. 

"We didn't set out to be the first or have all this attention, but we are grateful to be able to set the way for the rest of our community," she said.

Same-sex marriage was eventually legalised as a result of a law passed last year by Westminster MPs who stepped in and acted on the controversial issue during the powersharing impasse at Stormont.

Edwards explained she did not even know the law was different in Northern Ireland until she moved to Belfast from England.

"Every year you just felt knocked back and knocked back no matter how many marches and protests there were, but finally we are there," she said.

"Before I met Robyn I didn't know myself, because obviously it's legal in the rest of the UK, so I didn't know myself until I came over and she opened my eyes.

"When I found out, I couldn't comprehend it, I couldn't understand why Northern Ireland was so behind.

"Now the bill's been passed to see history being made it's just amazing."

The couple paid a visit to a Belfast mural dedicated to murdered author Lyra McKee as they spoke about their wedding plans today.

McKee, who was shot dead by dissident republicans as she observed a riot in Londonderry last April, was a vocal campaigner for same-sex marriage.

The couple are planning an intimate wedding ceremony followed by a big party, after which they will catch a flight to Cyprus for a two-week honeymoon.