Everybody deserves to be with their true love, and for this couple with Down syndrome, the search for a life partner ended when they met each other. Now, they are set to face a new chapter in their life as husband and wife.
Being a mother to a child with Down syndrome is both a tough and rewarding experience. People born with this condition are one of the sweetest and most loving souls that anyone could meet. Unfortunately, despite the amazing characteristics they possess, they can’t escape the prejudice that some individuals in society have over them.
Tessa Branch knows this all too well, for she has a son born with Down syndrome named Kieran Duffy, who is now 26 years old.
Kieran has found the love of his life and married 21-year-old Emmie Houckham – who also has Down syndrome – on August 23.
Tessa couldn’t be any happier for her son now that he’s found the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with. But aside from wishing them a happy marriage, Tessa also hopes that the couple’s love will change people’s judgments towards people like them.
The couple first met six years ago at a camp for people requiring additional needs. The pair quickly developed a close bond and in 2016 during Boxing Day, Kieran proposed to his then-girlfriend Emmie. He first serenaded her with his rendition of Wham!’s “I’m Your Man” and got down on one knee, presenting Emmie with a pink and sapphire ring. Of course, she said “yes” to the proposal!
Tessa says the duo “are no different to any other young couple.”
Their families advised them to first try living together, so they did for a few months before they decided to push through with the wedding.
“They didn’t end up killing each other and so the wedding plans were put firmly on track,” Tessa jokingly said.
Tessa says the two were very involved with the wedding preparations.
“They’ve looked at everything themselves, from the table decorations to the songs that are going to be played,” she said.
Instead of the traditional hymns used at weddings, the couple chose songs that are meaningful to them, including “The Wonder of You” by Elvis Presley and “Make You Feel My Love” by Adele.
Along with their favorite songs, Kieran and Emmie also wanted a reading of the lyrics to “You’re The One That I Want” from the musical, Grease. Traditional vows were said during the wedding, but the couple encouraged their guests to “meet, speak to and laugh with strangers”. Everyone felt so much joy for the young newlyweds, and it’s safe to say that their wedding was a huge success!
Just like most couples, Kieran and Emmie go through their own share of relationship struggles. But the fact that they each possessed a quality that their partner didn’t have makes them the perfect match.
“They really complement each other well,” Tessa said. “Say if they go out to a restaurant they’ve not been to before, Kieran might struggle to read the menu, whereas Emmie would be able to do so fluently. But if they needed to ask for help, for example, Kieran has more confidence, so he wouldn’t be afraid to do that.”
While they are both so much in love, Kieran tends to enjoy having time for himself, while Emmie wants to be with him all the time. It’s a struggle, but it’s something that the couple could definitely work on.
“He adores Emmie but likes his own space at the same time, whereas she likes to be with him all the time. Sometimes he’ll ring me up and say ‘how do I get her to just go up to bed?’ or ‘how can I just get five minutes on my own?’ But you could argue that’s the case for an awful lot of couples,” Tessa explained.
Best wishes to Kieran and Emmie, a love as beautiful as this deserves to be shared with the world!
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