On Sunday, January 26th, Vienna Woods Country House in Cork are hosting a Wedding Fayre where brides and grooms-to-be can meet with wedding suppliers, get professional consultations, and treat themselves to a menu tasting experience.

We caught up with hotel owner Michael Magner, who will advise those attending the event, to find out more about the top trends he expects to see throughout Irish weddings in 2020.

Top Wedding Trends predicted by Vienna Woods Country House:

Sustainable Weddings
These days, people are trying to bring sustainability into every aspect of their lives - including their wedding day. According to Michael, you can expect to see many more plant-based options on menus, digital invites to the ceremony and late-night snacks delivered in reusable containers.

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"Sustainability is such a hot topic," says Micahel. "Couples are trying to be a little bit more aware of it. We have brides who have bought second-hand dresses because they know they're only getting the one day out in it.

"Wedding favors are becoming more sustainable," he added. "I had a couple who had a flower garden at home and they dug up bulbs over a period of time and gave each couple at their wedding a rose bulb.

According to the hotel manager, wedding invites are a lot more likely to be sent via e-mail and text while wedding menus can be printed on recycled paper.

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Fresh, Local, Seasonal
Keeping in theme with the sustainable wedding trend, couples are looking for local and fresh produce on their wedding menu. The provenance of food is becoming more and more important when it comes to the environment, and in terms of supporting Irish suppliers.

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As a member of Guaranteed Irish, Vienna Woods Hotel is committed to providing quality fresh and locally sourced ingredients, and all suppliers are local or Irish.

"We purchase from our suppliers because, in terms of being sustainable, you're buying within a 30-mile radius for maybe 60-75% of your products so that's pushing down your carbon footprint in terms of delivery," says Michael.

"Plus, you're buying in season. If you look for vegetables or produce that aren't in season, it means you're potentially looking outside of Ireland to source those products which is adding to your carbon footprint and stepping away from the local economy"

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Instagram moments
If it's not on Instagram, did it even happen? Modern couples care deeply about the aesthetic of their special day which makes sense seeing as, before they've even said I do, guests will often have posted photos of their ceremony to social media.  

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In order to capture all the little details in a visual way, couples are creating Instagrammable moments throughout their ceremony. 

For this reason, cakes are becoming more impactful and are used to showcase a couple's personality, wedding locations are sought out for their aesthetic appeal and, generally, couples will spend more on photography to ensure they get the right look and feel.

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Personalisation
Now that everything is on Instagram, brides and grooms are fighting to stand out from the crowd and not to follow in the footsteps of those who wed before them. Many aspects of the wedding day are becoming more personalised from inscriptions on bridal party gifts to embroidered accessories, through to the décor.

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Brides and grooms want to show their personality on their big day so themes are becoming more about showcasing who they are as a couple rather than just a matching colour scheme. However, Michael does note that personalisation can come at a cost and advises couples to brainstorm before committing to anything.

"Have your wedding and plan it with your heart but always allow your head to make the final decision," he warns. "The most important things to any couple is to make sure their guests are looked after so that should always be the takeaway when planning a wedding."

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Bridal trend
According to Michael, this year we will see more embroidered wedding dresses, dresses with sleeves and non-traditional bridal attire such as jumpsuits, separates, suits and coloured dresses.

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If it's good enough for Vogue Williams, it's good enough for us! The TV personality wore her "wedding jumpsuit of dreams" from designer Kate Halfpenny.

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The year of the rose
With couples favouring a romantic look, 2020 is expected to be the year of the rose but it doesn't have to be as expensive as you would expect. According to Michael, some couples will go all out with a rose-filled centerpiece on every table while others will have a more subtle approach with a single petal by each name place card.

"Where at all possible, you can bring the rose element into your day," Michael assures me. "You could have a rose sorbet, you could have your table plan with a reference to different roses in the name, you could have rose petals on the couple's bed - little things like that."

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Gender mixed wedding parties
The rulebook is out the window when it comes to wedding parties. It's 2020 and many couples are choosing to have the people closest to them by their side regardless of gender. Michael has already welcomed some fabulous Best Women and Brides-men in 2019. Just think about the outfit options!

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Quirky Afters Food
While it is hard to beat a selection of chicken goujons and ham sandwiches to keep guests energised on the dance floor, many couples are now opting for a late-night pizza slice bars and donut walls as their evening food options.

To keep things sustainable, brides and grooms are ditching the plastic container of curry chips in favour of foods that can be served up in a paper box with reusable cutlery.

Civil Ceremonies
More couples are opting for humanist or civil ceremonies and Vienna Woods has seen an increase in couples who want to host both their ceremony and celebration at the hotel.

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The Wedding Fayre takes place Sunday, 26th January, from 5- 7pm at Cork's Vienna Woods Country House.

To make an enquiry contact the Vienna Woods Wedding Co-ordinator on 021 4556800, email weddings@viennawoodshotel.com or visit www.viennawoodshotel.com.