A COUPLE stunned guests at a Christening by also getting married.
Karen Simmons and Gearoid Dunne thought they'd have a double celebration with their newborn twins but nobody thought it included exchanging vows.
Karen (34) and Gearoid (30) met whilst playing for a GAA club in Calgary, Canada.
But trying to build a new house in Tubbercurry, Co Sligo, and managing three children all under the age of two put marriage plans on hold – until they decided to make the Christening of eight-week-olds Leah and Conor extra special.
Karen, an office administrator from Letterkenny, said the only other person in on their secret was Fr Martin Jennings.
"We decided that the vast majority of people we would want at our wedding including our families and close friends were there anyway," she said.
"We didn't want to put them to any additional expense or fuss so we decided we would have our wedding ceremony after the Christening. We are trying to build a new house as well so it all just made sense."
"Some of my team-mates from my GAA club in Canada, where I had been the captain, were home over Christmas and that made it more special."
Karen said the announcement at the church in Tubbercurry shocked the 60 guests.
"I told them we had another small ceremony to complete and we'd also be getting married and everyone just went quiet. They were in shock and slowly they all began to cheer," she said.
Gearoid's brother Cathal, who was home from Australia to be godfather to little Leah, was best man and Karen's sister Maureen was told she would be bridesmaid.
Parish Priest Fr Martin Jennings said the whole day was "wonderful".
The new Mr and Mrs Dunne have no honeymoon planned.
However, the 4-star Mount Errigal Hotel in Letterkenny heard about former employee Karen's surprise marriage and offered them a honeymoon weekend.