Thursday 20 November 2014

A 14-year match ends in 'I do' for rugby star

Published 13/07/2013 | 05:00

The new Mr and Mrs Sexton after the service
The new Mr and Mrs Sexton after the service
Susie Amy (left) and Amy Ryan (right)
Johnny Sexton with his grooms men (from left), Mark Sexton, Jerry Sexton and Roy Sexton at his wedding in Adare Co Limerick
Ronan O'Gara and his wife Jessica at the wedding of Laura Priestley Johnny Sexton in Adare Co Limerick
Mr Sexton and Mrs Sexton after the service
Johnny Sexton has a laugh with Fergus McFadden and Rob Kearney at his wedding
Brian O'Driscoll at the Sexton wedding in Adare Co Limerick

CHILDHOOD sweethearts Jonathan Sexton and Laura Priestley finally said "I do" 14 years after they first got together.

The long-term couple exchanged their vows in front of 200 family and friends yesterday, with rugby stars Brian O'Driscoll and Ronan O'Gara watching on.

After the ceremony, a delighted Laura (27) admitted that the day was everything she had dreamed of. "We even got a glorious day, thank you everyone for coming," she said.

The 28-year-old groom drove into the car park of Holy Trinity Abbey Church in Adare, at 1.30pm, with a 'Mr and Mrs Sexton' registration plate on his silver VW 4x4.Dressed in a three-piece, grey suit by Dublin designer Michael Barry, with a silver tie and white lily on his jacket lapel, Jonathan was all smiles as he walked into the church accompanied by his best man, brother Mark, and his groomsmen, brother Jerry and cousin Roy.

Guests were handed chilled bottles of water as they settled in the church before the bride arrived.

WAIT

But they didn't have to wait too long as Laura and her father Maurice Priestley pulled up outside at precisely 2pm. Laura looked emotional as the doors opened and a string quartet began playing classical instrumental piece Pachelbel's 'Canon'.

The secondary school teacher wore a 1920s-style gown from Dublin boutique Myrtle Ivory.

The triple-silk design had a plunging neckline and diamond drop pendant at the back while she wore her hair up, accessorised with a diamante headband and white lily bud.

Her three bridesmaids, sister Cathy Priestley, Emma Richardson and sister of the groom Gillian, wore sea-green, floor-length dresses by Bastyan.

The marriage service lasted less than an hour, with Dublin-based priest Fr Paul Lavelle telling the Irish Independent that Jonathan and Laura wanted "to keep it short, but prayerful".

There were cheers from the 100 locals who gathered outside to congratulate the newlyweds.

"It was great," said Jonathan when asked about the ceremony.

As the newlyweds were chauffeured back to the nearby Adare Manor for more pictures, the guests enjoyed ice-creams handed out by a waiting ice-cream van.

Leinster back-row Devin Toner had been one of the first of Jonathan's teammates to arrive for the ceremony, with his girlfriend Mary Scott.

Kevin McLaughlin, Sean Cronin and Isa Nacewa were shortly behind, with Cian Healy strolling in hand in hand with model girlfriend Holly Carpenter and Andrew Trimble arriving with his wife, Anna.

Rob Kearney came with his brother Dave, Dave's girlfriend Hayley Ryan, Fergus McFadden and Ian Madigan.

Although the Lions full-back's on/off girlfriend actress Susie Amy was in attendance, Rob told the Irish Independent that he did not bring a date and was "flying solo with the boys" for the afternoon.

Onlookers were disappointed when former Irish captain Brian O'Driscoll showed up without his actress wife, Amy Huberman. A spokesperson told the Irish Independent that the mother of one remained in Dublin looking after four-month-old Sadie.

Ronan O'Gara, there with wife Jessica, told the Irish Independent he was "thrilled" for the newlyweds and said he was looking forward to working with Jonathan at his new club, Racing Metro, in Paris.

With the groom due to start training with his new club next week, the couple will enjoy a short honeymoon in Las Vegas.

Irish Independent

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