Kirsty Blake Knox: The I Dos and Don'ts of the wedding hook-up
It is wedding season, and thus also the season of the wedding hook-up.
It's one of the more common wedding traditions; 20pc of guests admit to finding love/ lust somewhere between the champagne and the cocktail sausages.
The Wedding Hookup occurs more frequently than the lesser spotted Bouquet Bridesmaid Fight - which I've only witnessed once.
I'll never forget it; there is something truly mesmerising about watching two grown women wrestling over baby's breath while 'Rock the Boat' plays.
But back to love, not war. It makes obvious sense that weddings can fan the flames of romance - people are openly professing their love to each other, left right and centre. There are twinkling fairy lights, fluffy cake and a band.
On top of that, you've put on your Sunday best and there is bucket loads of free booze. As the late Bernie Nolan said: you're in the mood for dancing, and romancing.
But contrary to popular belief, weddings are not a safe space for casual flings. You may trust your friend/sibling/work colleagues' judgment, but not everyone attending the knees-up is going to be a decent skin. Far from it.
Along with the guarantee of a 'druncle' falling asleep during the speeches, there will always be some wildcard wedding guests who have the potential to cause dating disaster.
Therefore, it's of the utmost importance you adhere to these I Dos and I Don'ts:
* Become a super-sleuth, and conduct a background check on anyone you fancy. Are they married/have a significant other? Is that an electronic tag on their ankle? Who is their favourite RTÉ broadcaster?
Questions like this will help separate the wheat from the chaff, and prevent you from cracking on to a debonair man at the bar only to discover that was his wife standing beside him.
* Establish what their relationship to the bride and groom is. If you want to keep things discreet, then a 'distant relative from overseas' is your ideal match. It's advisable to avoid lunging at anyone too close to the proceedings (such as the mother or father of the bride.)
* Dial down the tears. If you are trying to impress someone in the adjacent pew, it's probably best not to bawl your eyes out. Weddings are an emotional business. Wiping away a solitary tear is fine. Giving it the full Claire Danes treatment is never OK. (Even for Claire Danes).
* Be aware of 'Status Goggles'. Best men, for example, become mini-celebrities for the day. That can distort your better judgment.
* Wait until after the meal before rushing off together. Or, at the very least, until after the vows. Weddings are rife with idle gossip, and if you do the bould deed before the starter is served, news of your indiscretion will spread like wildfire.
* Be warned things can get real intense, real fast. It is impossible to attend a wedding as a couple, (no matter how brief your relationship is), and not compare yourself to the happy couple. And so you yo-yo between fantasising about marrying a complete stranger and becoming hyper and tragically aware of the fleetingness of your hook-up. Long story short; it can be emotionally taxing in a way you had not anticipated.
* Keep things PG on the dance floor. Grinding on someone is not sexy. And trust me, it definitely will end up in the wedding video. Plus, it's very distracting for the person captaining the wedding conga line - think of them.
* Do pose together in the novelty photo booth. It's fun and a great place to kiss.
* If you are wearing support underwear, change before the dinner, all the 'good' photos have been taken by that stage, and you need a little wiggle room.
* Accept there is no loyalty after the hook-up. This person can blank you for the rest of the weekend, or go on to have a string of other romantic rendezvous. You cannot kick up a fuss. You just have to accept you slept with a charlatan and move on.
* Accept you may be bridal party blacklisted as a result. Brides and grooms tend to be controlling, and may wish to avoid selecting a groomsman/bridesmaid with their own interests at heart. Although perhaps this is incentive to let Cupid work his magic.
* Finally, don't add them on Facebook/ Instagram/LinkedIn. You're better than that.