What every bride needs to know to be bang on trend for her big day
From 'wedsites' and virtual guests to nail art and the honeyfund, the rules have changed for couples tying the knot, says Deirdre Reynolds
Rosanna Davison, Jennifer Aniston and Sofia Vergara are just some of the stars currently planning their big day.
But with married couples still accounting for 70pc of all families here, they're not the only ones saying 'I Do' to tradition.
Despite the rise of cohabitation, there are 144,000 more married couples in Ireland than there were five years ago, according to the latest census figures.
In fact, marriage is now so popular that Kate Winslet has just done it for the third time at 37.
So from coloured frocks to virtual wedding guests, here we look at some of the top wedding trends for 2013.
From The Great Gatsby to Downton Abbey, the roaring '20s is back with a bang for your big day. In contrast to last year's shabby chic aesthetic, this year it's all about elegance – think vintage gowns, birdcage veils and costume jewellery.
Hollywood star Anne Hathaway showed how it's done when she swapped vows with Adam Shulman in a floor-sweeping Valentino frock and headband last September.
Move over Angelina – the thigh-high slit is just one of the catwalk trends set to turn up on altars across the country this year. Forget frumpy pastel horrors – bridesmaids here will be giving bride-to-be Angie a run for her money in all the latest designer trends.
Other sexy new styles for ladies in waiting include illusion necklines – sheer fabric that gives the illusion of a high neckline.
You've got mail! Research shows there's been a 25pc jump in the number of couples using the net to plan their nuptials in the past two years. And top of the list is a personalised wedding website – aka 'wedsite' – detailing everything from directions to dress code.
Email 'save the dates', invites and RSVPs are just some of the other ways soon-to-be-weds are saving on stamps. Meanwhile, almost a third of those who got hitched last year sourced at least some of their suppliers through Twitter and Facebook.
BRIDAL NAIL ART
Hair and make-up aren't the only things brides have to worry about on their wedding morning. Now their nails are expected to look picture perfect too.
From floral to lace, nail art – as seen on the paws of engaged stars including Miley Cyrus and Cher Lloyd – is big for brides in 2013. If arty talons aren't your thing, mint and metallics are among the hottest nail polish hues instead.
Still fancy jetting off somewhere more tropical? With the average Irish couple spending over €5,000 on their honeymoon, increasing numbers are asking their guests to chip in. Known as a "honeyfund" Stateside, cash gift registries are reportedly on the rise here too.
Rather than stuffing cash into a card, guests transfer money into a PayPal account for the happy couple. Given that half of affianced couples say they'd rather receive cash or gift vouchers than gifts, it certainly beats yet another toaster.
THE AFTER PARTY
Sleep is for lightweights! Weddings could soon go on for up to a day if the latest 'after party' trend takes off. More and more couples are choosing to keep the party going after the official wedding reception has ended.
Usually involving a change of entertainment and ever-popular food trucks, the idea is to keep everyone from grandma to the groomsmen happy without the expense of a separate party.
NOT FORGETTING THE GROOM . . .
This year sees the rise of the 'Groomzilla'. Groom's cakes, rings and gifts are just some of the ways guys are getting more involved in their big day.
While a 'Groom's Lounge' – a wedding reception area featuring scotch and cigar stations – is sure to keep male guests smiling. When it comes to groomswear, Pee-wee Herman-style bow ties and pocket squares will be all the rage.
MINIMOON: Traditional two-week honeymoons could soon be a thing of the past, according to a new survey. Almost 80pc of just-marrieds plan to jet off for less than a fortnight due to finances, Wedding Ideas magazine found.
Like the 'nanobreak' and 'staycation' before it, this year sees the rise of the 'minimoon' – or 'mini-honeymoon'.
Editor Rachel Moschke reckons: "A minimoon is the perfect way to start married life, without busting the budget."
Who needs jet-lag, when there's a romantic getaway right on your doorstep, says minimooner Deirdre Leahy (above), a primary teacher from Cork.
"After getting married three years ago, my husband Kieran and I spent 10 days 'minimooning' at Fota Island Resort in Cork and Dromoland Castle in Clare.
"We still talk about how relaxing it was – sitting by an open fire with a hot port, with snow outside. Organising a wedding is stressful enough, so we wanted to take the stress out of our honeymoon.
"Our five-star minimoon wasn't cheap – around €1,500. But it's still cheaper than going abroad, and we were treated like royalty.
"Best of all, you don't have to worry about missing your flight!"
Getting married abroad? Don't worry – now loved ones can double-click their way to your big day. Live streaming weddings – where couples broadcast their nuptials live online – are set to be all the rage this year. In 2011, more than 72 million people worldwide watched the royal wedding live on YouTube.
With around one-in-10 Irish couples now getting married abroad, Kate and Wills won't be the only ones whose vows go viral.
Rotary International employee Tara Finglas from Dublin and husband Joe celebrated their big day with virtual guests from around the globe.
"My husband Joe and I got married two-and-a-half years ago at sunrise by Lake Michigan in Chicago, where we live. My family live in Dublin and we have friends scattered all over the world. But we really wanted them to be part of our special day, so using Joe's smartphone and a tripod, we broadcast our vows live on Ustream.
"We also shared the link to the recorded stream with those who were unable to tune in. Having our loved ones with us virtually made our wedding even more special.
"Meanwhile, my mam has just completed an adult computer course so that we can continue to use new technology to stay in touch.