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'I DO' TAKE TWO Experts reveal how to put the wow back into your micro-wedding

As Ireland's pandemic brides finally prepare to walk down the aisle, our experts tell Deirdre Reynolds how to put the wow back into your micro-wedding, from gorgeous gowns to picture-perfect hair and make-up

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Dress: Nala by Willowby by Watters, €1,850, from MK Bridal; Pamela Earrings, €32.50, from Stash

Dress: Nala by Willowby by Watters, €1,850, from MK Bridal; Pamela Earrings, €32.50, from Stash

Dress: D3010 by Essence of Australia, €1,900, from MK Bridal; Headpiece: Celstia Crown, €64.50, from Stash

Dress: D3010 by Essence of Australia, €1,900, from MK Bridal; Headpiece: Celstia Crown, €64.50, from Stash

Dress: Fielding by Sottero & Midgley, €1,800, from MK Bridal; Hat: Model’s Own

Dress: Fielding by Sottero & Midgley, €1,800, from MK Bridal; Hat: Model’s Own

Headpiece: Willow Crown in Gold, €246, from ByKyna

Headpiece: Willow Crown in Gold, €246, from ByKyna

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Dress: Nala by Willowby by Watters, €1,850, from MK Bridal; Pamela Earrings, €32.50, from Stash

The big day may be smaller than ever before - but as our fabulous and exclusive bridal shoot shows - it's still every inch as glamorous.

Covid-19 has forced thousands of engaged couples here to put their entire wedding - and not just the bubbly - on ice.

With weddings of up to 50 people permissible in most counties, now many are getting ready to say 'I Do' - take two.

Elegant sleeves, shimmering headpieces and tumbling curls are just some of most sought-after bridal trends this autumn.

And whether it's just the bride and groom - or even being done by Zoom - there's no downsizing on style, according to the experts. "All of our brides that have gone ahead have had a fantastic day," says Mairead Kennedy of MK Bridal in Navan.

"The attitude now is: 'If it's 50 people or five, no matter what, I'm getting married and I still want my dress'.

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Headpiece: Willow Crown in Gold, €246, from ByKyna

Headpiece: Willow Crown in Gold, €246, from ByKyna

Headpiece: Willow Crown in Gold, €246, from ByKyna

"Where they can save on the ceremony they're putting more money into the dress of their dreams.

"Sleeves is the major trend that is popping up more and more this year.

"Boho is still very popular, especially for outdoor ceremonies, but simpler, sleek styles are also making a comeback."

Shot on location by Darren Byrne at the stunning Boyne Hill House in Meath, the dreamy snaps show how it's still possible to wow as you exchange vows this year.

Dewy, camera-ready skin and a daring plum lip will ensure brides across the country are equally ready for their close-up this micro-wedding season.

"2020 brides may have had to compromise on lots of different elements of their wedding due to restrictions," says make-up artist Pamela Matthews.

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Dress: Fielding by Sottero & Midgley, €1,800, from MK Bridal; Hat: Model’s Own

Dress: Fielding by Sottero & Midgley, €1,800, from MK Bridal; Hat: Model’s Own

Dress: Fielding by Sottero & Midgley, €1,800, from MK Bridal; Hat: Model’s Own

"Hair and make-up, however, is not one of those things. Covid brides are going as glam as ever. Fluffy brows, softly defined eyes and glowing skin is the sought-after look at the moment.

"Soft pinks and peaches work beautifully on the lips for spring/ summer, taking it into a deeper mauve or plum autumn/winter."

Wild Feather Event Styling, By Kyna and Stash Studios put the finishing touches to the ethereal outdoor shoot.

And with the rise of outdoor weddings due to coronavirus, bridal hair needs to withstand being windswept too, says hair stylist Kelly-Anne O'Hanlon.

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Dress: D3010 by Essence of Australia, €1,900, from MK Bridal; Headpiece: Celstia Crown, €64.50, from Stash

Dress: D3010 by Essence of Australia, €1,900, from MK Bridal; Headpiece: Celstia Crown, €64.50, from Stash

Dress: D3010 by Essence of Australia, €1,900, from MK Bridal; Headpiece: Celstia Crown, €64.50, from Stash

"Loose textured up-dos, plaits and hair accessories such as hairbands are huge at the moment," she reveals.

"Incorporating elements from your dress such as pearl, lace or beading into your chosen headpiece will finish off your look to perfection.

"While the right products will ensure your hair is set in place while still maintaining that soft, romantic finish."