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Monday 26th August 2002

Rod, Ronan provide the music as who’s who flock to wedding of year

By Eugene Hogan

  • THE guest list for the weekend wedding of Katie Magnier and David Wachman was a veritable parade of the who’s who of sport, fashion and politics.
  • The 1,000-strong guests were treated to a stunning affair, including performances by both Rod Stewart and Ronan Keating, at the wedding banquet held at bloodstock breeder John
  • Magnier’s Coolmore stud farm in Co Tipperary.
  • Estimates put the cost of the lavish event at €3m.
  • The couple were married earlier at the 14th Century Augustinian Abbey on the outskirts of Fethard, Co Tipperary, just a stone’s throw from where stunning bride Katie (24) received her primary schooling, in front of 300 guests. Mr Wachman (28) is a native of the UK and is a well-known national hunt horse trainer based in Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary.
  • Among those who arrived at the church were composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, financier Dermot Desmond, horse owner/financier J. P. McManus — a fellow shareholder of Mr Magnier’s at Manchester United — horse trainer Aidan O’Brien and Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary.
  • Assembled media were allowed within a few yards of the abbey, and were able to witness at close hand the arrival of the bride, who looked radiant as she passed through the gates on her father’s arm at around 6.05pm. her husband-to-be had arrived around 35 minutes earlier.
  • The congregation comprised mostly immediate family, close relatives and friends; while the ensemble of guests that greeted them at the Coolmore Stud was breathtaking.
  • Security at the internationally renowned stud was watertight, but Mr Magnier’s huge influence in business, political and sporting Circles was reflected by a guest list that included government ministers Charlie McCreevy and Joe Walsh and former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds. Mr Magnier’s close friend, Manchester United Manager Alex Ferguson, was also present, as were Michael Flatley and model Jodie Kidd.
  • Others from the world of politics included Tipperary South TDs Tom Hayes and Noel Davern.
  • However, well known for his enduring humility, Mr Magnier also ensured that there was a large local representation on the guest list, including staff from the Coolmore stud, neighbouring farmers and Fethard business people.
  • Many guests stayed at the five-star Mount Juliet hotel in neighbouring Co Kilkenny, from where helicopters and chauffeur-driven cars ferried them to Coolmore, where festivities kicked off at 7pm.
  • The nuptials were organised by UK-based wedding planners, who are understood to have visited and measured the Augustinian Abbey some three months ago to ascertain exactly how many guests could be fitted in comfort into the stunning old church.
  • The giant marquee — so vast that it actually enclosed garden trees and shrubbery at the Coolmore Stud — was split on three levels and had stages at both ends, with the tunnel entrance scented with lavender.
  • On arrival, guests were also entertained by acrobats suspended on rings from the marquee ceiling.
  • Appetisers for the banquet included asparagus and artichoke with tomato and parmesan, or prawns and crab claws. Main course was fillet of lamb with colcannon and sugar snap peas. A selection of desserts included white chocolate and raspberry torte.
  • Despite the size and splendour of the event, Fethard folk were still very much taking it all in their stride as they went about their daily business on Saturday.
  • “It’s no different to any other wedding in the town is it?” said one rather unimpressed local.


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