Fair City's Suzanne plans fairytale wedding to long-term love
BIG DAY: Soap stars on guest list for castle bash
HER on-screen marriage to Damien Halpin may be falling apart -- but in real life Fair City star Sarah McDowell's love life couldn't be better.
The actress, who has played the character of Suzanne Doyle on the RTE soap for over 20 years, is set to wed her long-term boyfriend Laurence Flood later this year.
And despite her initial hopes of jetting abroad to tie the knot, it seems her future husband's desire to hold their nuptials closer to home has won out.
Sarah (28) revealed how Larry has a large family and, in order to accommodate them all, they have decided to wed here in Ireland.
The loved-up couple, who have a daughter called Jennifer, will marry in May in County Roscommon, with Sarah walking down the aisle in a Kathy de Stafford gown.
The pair got engaged last April, after more than six years together and are now looking forward to being newlyweds.
Their wedding reception will take place in the nearby Kilronan Castle, Ballyfarnon, with a number of Sarah's Carrigstown colleagues, including her TV hubby Maclean Burke, expected to be in attendance.
Other well-known invitees are said to include members of her on-screen family, including Jim Bartley, who plays her dad Bella Doyle, Ciara O'Callaghan, who plays her bitchy sister Yvonne, and Jean Costello, who played her mother Rita for many years.
The Fair City actress first met her hubby-to-be in Australia when she took a year out of the soap to travel for 12 months in 2003 and admitted it was love at first sight for the pair.
Larry, who was also in Oz on a gap year, followed the bubbly TV star home to Dublin just three months later and within a year the couple had moved in together.
Sarah said: "It's crazy that you go 10,000 miles to meet a fella from Dublin!
"We only knew each other a few months, but we had spent so much time together in Australia. We moved in a year after he came home and we got engaged in April.
"He's brilliant and he's great with Jennifer, although I think I'll have to be the strict one. I think she'll get away with murder with him," she added.
Jennifer is now 18 months old and the doting mum says she cherishes every minute she gets to spend with her.
Her character Suzanne, meanwhile, is still desperate to have a child of her own and Sarah is still hopeful that this will happen someday.
"I think she will convince him (Damien) it's the right thing for them. She thinks a baby would be great for them and would make them complete as family. Suzanne was born to be a mother and I think she will make sure that happens," she added.