Final preparations for Andrea Corr wedding
Singer Andrea Corr held a 40-minute wedding rehearsal in a church in a picturesque Clare village last night as part of the last-minute preparations for her big day.
But locals in Miltown Malbay hoping to catch a glimpse of the petite singer in her frock, or her stockbroker fiance Brett Desmond, entering or exiting St Joseph's church today may be disappointed.
As part of the rehearsal last night, the drivers of the three black Mercedes cars that brought the wedding party also carried large purple umbrellas, which they used to shield the guests -- including Brett's billionaire businessman father, Dermot -- from prying eyes.
It is expected that those umbrellas will be extensively used today, although the couple are not thought to have signed any exclusive deals with magazines for rights to the wedding.
Once inside last night, however, the mood lightened considerably.
"They were all absolutely lovely, no airs or graces, and she (Andrea) looks lovely," one very young man with the inside track told the Irish Independent.
The party smiled and waved as they left the church shortly before 7pm, and the bride-to-be rolled down her car window and accepted the congratulations of a small group of locals who had gathered outside the front gate.
"Thank you, thank you very much," she smiled.
The 35-year-old, along with her sisters Caroline and Sharon, and brother Jim, arrived in West Clare yesterday.
Among those in the Desmond party at the rehearsal last night was Brett's brother Ross, who will be his best man, and his sister Zoe.
The wedding party has the nearby Doonbeg golf resort and spa completely booked out for the weekend, with extra security drafted in to ensure privacy.
Rumours of attendees at the lavish reception tonight include the possibility of a performance by U2, close friends of Ms Corr. The band played Sheffield last night and are due to play Cardiff tomorrow night as part of their world tour, but are not scheduled to perform anywhere else tonight.
Locals said that triple-major winning golfer Padraig Harrington was also in Doonbeg yesterday, although it was not clear if he was attending the wedding. A number of churches in the area had been tipped for the vows, but it became clear that St Joseph's had been chosen when engineers installed sound equipment including speakers, amplifiers and a large mixing desk there yesterday afternoon. It is thought that Ms Corr's siblings will sing at the ceremony.