County Mayo, Ireland
Pierce Brosnan married Keely Shaye Smith on August 4, 2001 at the 785-year-old Ballintubber Abbey in County Mayo, Ireland. A total of 120 guests attended the 5 p.m. ceremony. The bride arrived 20 minutes late and waited behind a velvet curtain until it was time to walk down the aisle. A momentary disruption took place as the couple’s four-year-old son, Dylan Brosnan, yelled “Where’s Daddy?” from the back of the church. At that point, the curtain opened, and the groom finally saw his bride.
Keely walked down the aisle in a pearl-encrusted Richard Tyler gown, with a French lace coat covered in thousands of hand-sewn freshwater pearls. She clutched a lily of the valley bouquet. Dylan, who acted as ring bearer, wore a tux and motorcycle boots (after giving up on the Hawaiian shirt he originally begged his parents to wear).
The couple exchanged traditional vows in a full Catholic mass officiated by Msgr. John Fleming. After being pronounced husband and wife, they departed in a vintage Rolls-Royce for the 13th-century Ashford Castle. Their reception was described as “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” meets “The Secret Garden.”
At the castle, guests entered a glass-fronted structure erected for the occasion and were greeted by bagpipers. Florist Rob Van Helden used nearly 15,000 flowers to transform the castle into an indoor garden, including delphinium and roses from Holland. For the reception, Keely changed into a second Richard Tyler gown with strapless neckline and handmade silk roses.
The couple shared their first dance to Bruce Springsteen’s “If I Should Fall Behind” and then broke into a rehearsed jig to a song performed by Irish band The Chieftains.
Dinner included buckwheat blinis with Beluga caviar and Cleggan lobster. For dessert, baker Mich Turner of Little Venice Cake Company flew in a six-tier carrot cake from London, decorated with edible crystallized flowers provided by the bride’s mother, Sharon. The cake was modeled after the wedding cake of John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier.
Before the night was over, the bride and groom took turns surprising each other with gifts. Keely’s surprise for Pierce was a three-quarter ton ice sculpture of Rodin’s “The Kiss.” Pierce countered with a fireworks show over the castle’s surrounding water.