Annie and Geoff Claffey on their wedding day. Picture: Peter Rowen

The Vow

Real Irish Weddings: How Annie and Geoff went from best friends to bride and groom

When Annie Byrne and Geoffrey Claffey first met at college, they had no idea their friendship would turn to a lifelong romance.

“We were the best of friends,” Annie tells Independent Style. “When college finished we both went our separate ways and met up again when we were both living in Dublin. It was nearly eight years to the date that we first met when Geoff asked me on a date. I couldn’t say no and the rest is history!”

Annie, an enterprise manager at Bank of Ireland and Geoff, a project manager at State Street investment firm exchanged vows at Keadue Church in Boyle, Co. Roscommon and celebrated their reception at Kilronan Castle.


The beautiful bride said the fact that both venues were so close in proximity added to their joy on the day as they were able to spend more time with their guests.

“We got married early in the day and the church was only three minutes’ drive to our reception,” she explained. That meant that once our photos had been taken, we still had a lot of time with our guests and each other.

“I think that was my favourite part, just being able to enjoy the company of my new husband and our guests on the day. After all, enjoying this special moment with your partner and closest friends and family is what traditional Irish weddings are all about.”

Keeping with the timeless theme of the day, Annie wore a classic David Field gown with a layered neckline from Myrtle Ivory in Dublin and an embroidered floor length veil.

Geoff pulled out all the stops to ensure his proposal was a memorable one.

“I came home from work one Friday evening and when I walked into the house there were rose petals all over the hall,” Annie said.

“We have a little doggy called Holly and she was eating the rose petals. She was also wearing a pink jumper saying ‘Mammy, will you marry my Daddy?’. I opened up the door to our living room and Geoff was down on one knee in a three piece suit (although it was one of the hottest days of the summer). 

“He booked the Rustic Stone for us for dinner that night, he had one of my favourite dresses ready for me to wear (he knew I’d be panicking about what I should wear).

“The next morning we got up. He had booked me an appointment to get my nails done and then we went to the jewellers to pick the ring. He made it really special.”

They couple honeymooned in Los Cabos, Mexico, Las Vegas and San Francisco for two weeks.

“We didn’t want to leave and we would go back in a heartbeat.”

Pictures: Peter Rowen Photography