Nicky Byrne and Georgina Ahern met as twelve year olds at their school St. Nessain's Secondary. He first
saw her as he was walking into his class and she was sat on the first desk. And, like all hormonal teenagers, he had an immediate
crush on her. He claimed that although he noticed all of her, he confessed that, "the first thing I noticed were her eyes.
It was just like, Oh my God, I could have lost myself in her eyes!" That day he came home to tell his mam, Yvonne, that he
saw the girl he was going to marry. Like all mothers, Yvonne was amused when she heard this. Little does she know.
Today, Nicky and Georgina Byrne is one of the most famous couples in Ireland, often seen out and about in
the newly hip Dublin. The couple lives in an exclusive complex in Malahide, where Georgina is from, and is neighbours with
the likes of Ronan and Yvonne Keating. Nicky, one fourth of Ireland's biggest boyband, Westlife, and Georgina, a business
management graduate, married in France on August 9, 2003 in front of 410 guests. The fairytale wedding sealed their love and
commitment to each other. But all wasn't always perfect, certainly not at the beginning...
After seeing Georgina for the first time, Nicky didn't manage to speak to her for two years. He would walk
along the corridor several times every day just so he would pass her, even though they were sharing four classes already:
business studies, music, choir and science, where they used to sit across from each other and shared glances all throughout
the lesson. Unknown to him, she noticed him right from the first day of secondary school: "I remember our first day at school,
in the afternoon, when I went back home, some of my friends asked, 'What are the guys like?' I thought of Nicky and said,
'There's only one good-looking guy there, but I don't think he even noticed me.' That's how it seemed."
Georgina's shy nature left it up to Nicky if he wanted to take their friendship further. But the normally
outgoing Nicky had been struck down by shyness whenever he was around her, as he recalled, "I'm very shy if I like a girl.
I'm not normally shy but if I like a girl I don't know what to say to her because whatever I say, I think she's going to just
laugh at me. Whereas if I say nothing then I can't go wrong." What he didn't realise was that she also had developed a crush
on him, as did the other girls in school it seemed! She remembered her first impression of him "in his smart new school uniform,
his school-bag on his shoulder, he was kind of posing against the corridor wall."
When they were in third year, he finally took the step. He knew a boy from his geography class, Michael Heynes,
who took the same bus home with Georgina, so Nicky asked Michael to ask her if she would go out with him.
She said no.
It crushed Nicky and he decided to let it go, at least until he was ready again. However, a year later his
best mate, Cos, took the matter to his own hands and asked Georgina's best mate, Anita Tracey to ask Georgina again. Nicky
was livid when he found out. Until Anita told him that Georgina had said yes.
Georgina and Nicky first went out together on October 8, 1994 to a party, even though they didn't date properly
until a few months later. They did, however, have their first kiss that night. Georgina described the kiss as, "a class act,
a perfect kiss." He became her first ever boyfriend.
It's well known that shortly after they became a couple, Nicky joined Leeds United's youth team as a talented
goalkeeper. He moved to Leeds, leaving his family and Georgina behind. Two years later, Nicky was sent home to Dublin because,
at 5ft and 10in, Leeds United deemed him to be too short to be a professional footballer. He was understandably devastated,
but Georgina stood by him. Her strength became his "inspiration".
Georgina tried her best to kept Nicky occupied to help him. When she received her pocket money every Sunday
from her dad, she would buy a take away and shared it with Nicky, who was still readjusting from receiving an income from
football to suddenly nothing. She kept up her support and optimism when he went to audition for a new boyband Louis Walsh
The couple have never hidden their relationship from the press and Westlife fans. Long before Nicky became
a household name along with the rest of Westlife, Shane Filan, Mark Feehily, Kian Egan and Bryan McFadden, Georgina was already
well known as the eldest daughter of Ireland's youngest Prime Minister.
In 2001, the couple bought their first house together, a four-bedroom outside Dublin. An interview with Hello!
Magazine revealed that they were still confident about getting married but would not get engaged until Nicky's schedule calmed
down and Georgina's studies were done.
The long-awaited proposal happened on Christmas Day 2003, after eight years of being together. Nicky had
been planning the proposal months before. He had bought the teardrop-shaped diamond ring he promised her before the band even
started. Despite that he waited until Christmas Eve to ask Bertie and Miriam, Georgina's parents, for her hand in marriage.
On Christmas morning, Nicky gave Georgina a Labrador puppy, much to her surprise, as she is scared of dogs.
In her own words, Georgina recalled the precious moment: "The last thing I was expecting was to get a dog from Nicky! I'm
afraid of dogs and he's always known that. While I was recovering from the shock he said, 'Okay, we have the house, we have
our dog, but there's still something that's not quite complete,' and with that he did the whole romantic thing and got down
on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was the happiest moment of my life. I'd always hopped he wouldn't do it in front
of a whole lot of friends, so for me it was just perfect."
The couple immediately planned a summer wedding and chose Chateau D'Esclimont in Gallardon, France as the
venue for their big day. However, they had to register their marriage legally in Ireland before the church ceremony and celebration
in France. They planned to do it in London, but decided to do it in their home country instead, opting for county Wicklow
on August 5, 2003. The couple arrived along with their mothers, Yvonne Byrne and Miriam Ahern, wearing very casual clothes,
Nicky in t-shirt and baseball cap and Georgina in jeans and oriental top. Both Nicky and Georgina didn't consider themselves
married until the church ceremony.
On Saturday, August 9, 2003, Nicholas Bernard James Adam Byrne fulfilled his words to his mum and married
Georgina Ahern after nine years of strong relationship.
The ceremony was recorded in photography by UK's Hello! Magazine. The colour theme was cr╦me, lilac and purple.
The glowing bride was wearing a beautiful white hourglass strapless dress with heart-shaped neckline, 20,000 crystal beads
sewn diagonally and six-foot long train designed especially for her by Synan O'Mahony. Her hair was made to be wavy and little
flowers doted at the top. Completing the look was a diamond cross necklace and a bouquet of fresh elegant cream roses. Nicky
matched Georgina's look with a cream bootlegged "contemporary retro" suit, designed by Donald Brennan and Niall Tyrell. The
grooms men, Nicky called them his "bestest men" and his best man, brother Adam Byrne were wearing dark purple mohair suits
with cream roses and purple violets on their buttonholes. While the bridesmaids and maid of honour, Georgina's sister Cecelia
Ahern, were wearing "lavender silk-crepe corsets and skirts, overlaid with French lilac Chantilly lace."
The precious day was celebrated with close family and friends, but to Nicky and Georgina, the day was just
about them, celebrating a love that has gone through the test of time, crushed dreams, and fame amongst the usual hurdles
of relationships. To the public eyes, the couple is a proof that love withstands, that dreams do come true, and that beautiful
fairytales do exist.