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Aoife dazzles in boho chic

Rugby star Gordon D'Arcy and former Miss Ireland Aoife Cogan enjoyed a wedding theme of "love and good music" as they tied the knot in hippy style.

The grinning couple became man and wife at a glamorous bohemian-style wedding at St Macartan's Cathedral in Monaghan surrounded by sports and showbiz pals.

Aoife looked gorgeous as she walked down the aisle in an Amanda Wakeley dress -- a designer who is a firm favourite of Kate Middleton.

The backless ivory silk dress, with bronze beading was the first outfit she tried on in the run up to her big day.

She teamed the beautiful dress with a striking beaded headpiece and wore flat sandals to avoid towering above her new husband.

Gordon's team-mate Brian O'Driscoll and his wife Amy Huberman were on hand to congratulate the happy couple.

Amy revealed that the couple had decided on a theme for their nuptials and stuck with it.

Amy, who wore a pink and orange Pinko dress, said she was delighted for the couple: "It's lovely to be here. Aoife looks incredible -- it's so her. They both stuck to the theme they wanted which was 'love and good music and happiness' and they were so relaxed about everything."

Rugby star Rob Kearney and his actress girlfriend Susie Amy were also soaking up the atmosphere, which wasn't dampened by downpours of rain.

Susie, wearing a light pink Lipsy gown, said: "Aoife is the most beautiful bride."

Dairine Cullen, wife of fellow Leinster star Leo, said she was "so excited" for the after celebrations in the renowned Castle Leslie.

She also said that Aoife's choice of having two men for her 'bridesmaids' was "really cool -- a bit different."

The cathedral, decorated in a classic style with bouquets of white hydrangeas and lanterns, was also full of guests including fellow Blues star Jonathan Sexton and models Sarah McGovern and Ruth Griffin.



excited

Gordon (32) arrived at the church at 1.40pm in a classic 1978 Honda Civic with his groomsmen, who were all wearing suits by Hachets. He beamed from ear to ear as he said "I'm unbelievably excited. I've been waiting months for this day to come. It's been a nervous week, but my best man, my brother Ian, has looked after me and now the day is here -- well this is the easy part."

He added that they chose Monaghan as their weddng destination as he and Aoife (29) fell in love with its people and surroundings.

Following the church event, guests retreated to the luxurious confines of Castle Leslie -- the same spot where Paul McCartney and Heather Mills married in 2002.

"The minute we walked into the cathedral, Aoife turned to me and said, 'this is where I want to get married'. We just fell in love with the place and the people of Monaghan have been fantastic and done all that they could have to welcome us."

As the guests began to arrive, so too did the rain, but the downpour did little to hinder the good mood of the day.

At 2.40pm, the beautiful bride stepped out hand-in-hand with her father Brian, and accompanied by her bridesmaid, sister Sinead, and bridesmen, brother Niall and cousin Dara.

Her relaxed mood was highlighted when she playfully posed with the peace sign at the waiting paparazzi.

The ceremony lasted for more than an hour and included the couple's music choices such as Bob Dylan, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

Aoife also designed the mass booklets herself, which were donned with the words "Love, Peace, Music" on the front cover.

They signed their register to the tunes of The Stone Roses.

When it was time to leave the cathedral, guests were relieved to see the weather had cleared up, and as Aoife posed for pictures laughing and kissing Gordon, she exclaimed "everything went great".

The newly-married husband and wife will be heading off to Barbados for their honeymoon next Monday to escape the miserable Irish weather and have some fun in the sun for a couple of weeks.

They had been dating for two years prior to the engagement, when Gordon got down on one knee and proposed in Minorca last summer.

hnews@herald.ie