The bridesmaids – her sisters Sharon and Caroline, sister of the groom Zoe Desmond and Andrea’s best friend, Niamh McElwaine – arrived just ahead of the bride, whose limousine arrived at the church at 2.56pm. Wearing Vera Wang, the petite singer was escorted into the church by her bridesmaids to meet the groom, who had arrived a full 45 minutes before her.
Stockbroker Brett Desmond, son of billionaire Dermot Desmond, was accompanied by his groomsmen, Derry Desmond, Noel Fox, Paul McMahon and John McManus.
The 350 guests, who partied late into the night at Doonbeg Golf Club, included Bono and his wife, Ali, Pádraig and Caroline Harrington, soccer boss Martin O’Neill and wife Geraldine, and comedian Patrick Kielty.
A team of 35 chefs from all over the world prepared the wedding banquet of prawn cocktail, sorbet, rack of lamb, black sole, mushroom risotto and meringue pudding.
Mary Boohan was one of the many local women who couldn’t resist coming down to have a peek at the celebrations.
“The church looks so beautiful and the wedding has given the whole place such a lift,” she said.
Parish priest Fr Sean Murphy greeted his namesake, Fr Malachy Murphy from Northern Ireland, who celebrated the nuptial Mass.
One of the concelebrants at the Mass was Father Batty Desmond of Clondrohid, Macroom, Co Cork, who is a granduncle of the groom.
The other celebrants were Fr Sean Sleeman from Glenstal Abbey and Fr Joseph Brennan, who taught the groom in Gonzaga College.
As the bride and groom walked down the aisle, musicians Sean McKeown, Eamon DeBarra, John McLoughlin and Mark Penny gave a rendition of the old Irish song She Moved Through the Fair. Other music at the ceremony included the Sally Gardens.
Local publican Cathal O’Loughlin was hoping to get the ceremony on a local radio signal.
“All the Masses in the church are broadcast locally on a local waveband. However, it seems the organisers put in their own sound system which prevented the local signal going out. It’s been great for the town and will be talked about for many a long day to come.”