Michael Docherty: Brian and Pippa's big day was a blast - especially as I avoided getting a hiding
Ray Shah's eve of wedding tweets were an ominous sign, and it was therefore with mixed emotions that I faced up to Brian Ormond and Pippa O'Connor's big day on Saturday.
Given the stellar guest list, I was guaranteed to meet some people to whom I had been less than reverential in recent Herald columns, and chief amongst those was Ray 'Who?' Shah, who had jokingly tweeted the previous day that he planned to knock my block off. At least I think it was a joke.
VIP had, of course, negotiated a deal for exclusive coverage of the day, and the initial signs were good. A dozen or so press photographers at the church showed that interest was high, and as Brian and Pippa emerged with beaming smiles, the rain laid off and the sun shone down.
Over Kir Royales and canapes, the guests mingled in the hotel reception, while Brian and Pippa went off to get VIP's 'money shots' -- the posed photos in front of the Powerscourt waterfall that would hopefully make up our front cover.
We sat down to dinner at 4.30, and my heart sank slightly as I checked out the table plan. I was sitting right next to Wesley Quirke, whose father's plans for a huge casino in Tipperary I had just ridiculed in both the Herald and Vincent Browne's chat show, and whose brother Andy I had also recently mocked for his "Everyone's Drinking" video.
I needn't have worried however, as Wes was a model of tact all the way through the meal, even when guests maliciously brought up the subject of the casino and Andy's video to try and embarrass me. Rosanna Davison played the role of mediator impeccably, and when asked whether she and Wes would be next to stroll up the aisle, she giggled coyly "you never know". Oh Rosie, you old tease...
And it just kept getting better. Brian gave an unscripted, heartfelt speech about his new bride and their two families -- plus the occasional plug for services on the day which he may have secured at a discounted price...
Best man Mickey Joe Harte poked fun at Brian's current difficulty at finding work on TV, by suggesting that he and Pippa had great trouble fitting the wedding into their busy schedules, Brian's schedule being incessant rounds of golf and teeth whitening sessions. Cruel, but funny...
The formalities over, it was time for the second wave of guests to arrive -- the 200 or so extra who would fill up the main ballroom, which had been converted to resemble a nightclub,
From then on, the night descended into a swirl of cocktails, photo ops, and all-important gossip. No, Fade Street was definitely not being recommissioned. Yes, Vogue was likely to appear in a major celebrity reality TV show this summer. And yes, a giggly, beaming Georgia had a great time in Italy with the legendary lothario that is Calum Best.
Annette Rocca was elegance personified, Claudine Keane dazzled in two different outfits and Brian Dowling, again on the receiving end of one of my columns, avoided me like the plague.
And as for the famous showdown with Ray Shah? You know what, he never turned up. Chicken...