It’s a story they will tell their grandchildren — how a former President of the United States dropped in on their wedding day.
Patrick Howard from Killavullen in north Cork and Kelly Seamans from Minneapolis, Minnesota, had their wedding reception in the Castlemartyr Resort where Bill Clinton was staying last weekend.
Mr Clinton was there as a guest speaker for the annual conference of an Irish-American philanthropist group.
Patrick and Kelly, who were married in Annakisha church near Mallow, had heard Mr Clinton was in town but never thought they would get the opportunity to meet the man who was instrumental as a broker in Ireland’s peace process.
It was an amazing sighting for the 35 American guests, with wedding organisers telling them to savour the moment as it would never happen in the US.
Patrick said: “It was a fantastic experience. We knew he was around but nobody knew what he was doing as it was all co-ordinated by the Secret Service.
“He was very gracious and knew exactly where Kelly came from when she described it. I had thought a few times throughout the day what I might say to him, just in case, and I thanked him for all he did for the peace process and being such a friend to Ireland.”
Some of the 200 guests, which included Patrick’s parents Denis and Ann and Kelly’s parents Jeff and Kathleen, met Mr Clinton at various stages throughout the day, making it a huge success in the couple’s eyes.
Patrick and Kelly, a post-doctoral scientist in UCC, plan to go to France for a few days on honeymoon at the end of the week.
Patrick joked: “Who knows who we might bump into out there? It was a brilliant day made all the better by a memory that will last forever.”