Rory McIlroy and Erica Stoll's Mayo wedding: Nine things we expect
Rory McIlroy will tie the knot with fiancée and New York native Erica Stoll this weekend.
Here's what we know about the upcoming nuptials so far...
1. The Venue
Celebrations will be held in the stunning five star Ashford Castle in Cong, Co. Mayo, which has been completely booked out from Wednesday. The couple have spent New Year's Eve in the exclusive castle for the past three years, with Rory said to enjoy the privacy of the luxurious property.
2. The Cost
Everyone knows getting married is an expensive business, and it looks like Rory and Erica will be forking out more than a few quid for their celebrations. According to the venue website, the cost to hire the lavish Ashford Castle during 'Mid Season' (which includes April) is just north of €100K, but with the couple and their guests spending at least a week at the resort -and booking out the various cottages and suites - estimates are currently around €200,000-€250,000 all-in. "
And no, this figure is not to be used as a benchmark for your own wedding budget, before you ask.
3. The Groomsmen
Although entertainment and sports reporters would LOVE the idea of a Harrington or a Clarke taking on the Best Man's duties for the day, that honour will go to childhood pal Harry Diamond. Rory has spoken about his "handful of close friends" before, and is said to really value the pals he's known for most of his life.
Harry runs a number of nightclubs in Northern Ireland and has already pulled off Rory's lavish stag party in Miami so, as long as he keeps the speech PC (but fills it full of embarrassing childhood anecdotes!), he should have no problems taking care of business on the day.
3. The Music
Back in February Rory revealed to Golf.com that he was having "a tough enough time" trying to book entertainment for his wedding. However it is known that Coldplay, Ed Sheeran and Bon Iver feature on his "mellow" playlists when he's out hitting balls, and insiders have tipped Chris Martin et al. to make an appearance on the day.
Rory has also mentioned Calvin Harris, David Guetta and Rudimental in his "Top 5 Driving Range Songs", but we're guessing he'll be keeping those beats for later on in the night...
4. The Suit
We might not know what the suit will be, but we know that it won't feature the crisp new green Masters jacket Rory failed to get his hands on at Augusta earlier this month. The blazer instead went to buddy and Ryder Cup team mate Sergio Garcia, who is rumoured to be considering wearing it for his own Big Day in July! We've every confidence McIlroy will be donning the coveted piece of clothing for his one-year wedding anniversary...
5. The Dress
New York native Erica has a chic and unfussy style, which will no doubt translate beautifully to her wedding day look. The bride-to-be has been pictured in some stunning gowns in recent years, but looks equally cool and confident in more laid-back, sporty attire. As a keen sailor she reportedly owns more than one pair of deck shoes - and we're loving the thought of her opting for a pair of those for her walk up the aisle!
6. The Rings
Erica's oval cut diamond engagement ring is an absolute blinger, but it's also clean, elegant and translates from her sporty style to her more glamorous looks effortlessly. We're tipping something super subtle for the bride's wedding ring, to slot in nicely with the cushion cut halo style sparkler.
Rory is known to enjoy a bit of bling himself, and as an ambassador for Omega has a collection of luxury watches to choose from on a daily basis. As long as it doesn't interfere with his grip we don't care what he wears...
7. The Guestlist
Along with Rory and Erica's family and friends there are quite a few celebrity guests rumoured to be heading for Cong this weekend. Niall Horan of boyband One Direction is said to be attending, as well as a host of heavy hitters from the fairways including Padraig Harrington.
8. The Honeymoon
Not too much is known about where the couple will honeymoon for ten days after the wedding, except that it will be "in the middle of nowhere". They are rumoured to be getting whisked off by private jet after the celebrations.
9. The Vows
Rory has become quite the romantic in recent years, and has no issues declaring his love for his future wife. "The greatest impact made on my off-course life has definitely been Erica.," he told a reporter at Golf.com earlier this year, "she has made me realise the person I want to be away from the golf course, which in turn I feel has made me better on it.
The only way I can describe it is if golf were to disappear tomorrow, I don’t think I’d miss it as much as I would have a few years ago. I felt I needed golf to be complete as a person, as it’s been a part of my life since I was born.
I don’t feel like that anymore." We're pretty sure this is the golfer's version of Jerry Maguire's "you complete me" speech, and if that's anything to go by, his vows will be as romantic as they get!