Perfect match as Paul O'Connell marries new wife Emily in France
Published 27/07/2013 | 05:00
A VERITABLE who's who of Irish rugby are celebrating the wedding of legend Paul O'Connell and his bride Emily O'Leary in France.
Looking stunning in a bridal gown of flowing white chantilly lace with a draped back and a small train and a head-dress of flowers and feathers, Emily was greeted by a warm round of applause by Irish holidaymakers and locals.
Fashionably late, she arrived with her father, Pat, in a vintage Renault car, looking nervous as she prepared to enter the Sainte Marie Cathedral in beautiful Auch, an hour outside Toulouse in South-West France.
Her bridesmaids, wearing long dresses of mint floral print, were her two sisters, Stephanie and Danielle and her best friend since childhood, Lorraine Murray.
Her flower girl was Paul's niece, Julie O'Connell, in pink.
Paul, in an elegant suit of blue and tan shoes, had arrived earlier, with best man, his brother Marcus and groomsmen, brother Justin and Paul, Emily's brother.
The couple's three year old son Paddy, cute in a little suit of shorts and a waistcoat and wearing a pair of green canvas shoes, clutched his favourite toy rabbit as he walked up the aisle ahead of his mother.
Donnacha O'Callaghan and his wife Jenny and Ronan O'Gara with wife Jessica were the first of the 'big names' to arrive amid the rising heat of the day.
Asked if they were looking forward to the nuptials, Jessica replied: "Dying for it."
The wedding party have taken over the stunning Chateau Lartigolle, in nearby Pessan, for today's reception - 'French country with a cosmopolitan twist'.
The 18th century estate, set amongst rolling hills and fields of sunflowers is owned by English ex-pats and has won several awards, as well as being voted the 'best chateau for special celebrations' by the London Times.
Guests will enjoy a banquet of local seasonal produce like canapes of local foie gras with fig chutney or pan-fried duck breast, starters such as prawn and fennel bisque, warm wild mushroom tartlets with a spit-roast as the centre-piece.