Final preparations are being put in place for a lavish wedding as racing tycoon JP McManus' only daughter walks up the aisle tomorrow.
The multi-millionaire has spared no expense for a wedding hosting 1,500 guests, but like all brides this summer, Sue Ann McManus will go to bed tonight hoping it will stop raining.
The family has spent huge sums on preparations in the rural Martinstown area of south Limerick where large numbers of village neighbours will rub shoulders with celebrities from the worlds of sport and business.
A temporary air traffic control unit will guide helicopters descending on the location, while The Corrs are set to headline the entertainment.
The family has remained tight-lipped on the plans but James Houlihan, county councillor for the rural community where they live, said there was huge excitement as Sue Ann prepares to marry her college sweetheart Cian Foley.
“The McManus family would be known as very generous people and it’s not the only time they have brought large numbers of locals together for a meal, though this is obviously a very special occasion,” said Mr Houlihan.
“The people of the area are delighted for them. They are very decent and their generosity is well known, particularly to the disadvantaged. Everyone is hoping the rain will hold off and they can have a wonderful day.”
The wedding is on a massive scale, with a huge marquee erected outside the McManus family mansion to provide the impressive setting for the guests.
In a development that will worry hoteliers fearing copy-cats, the dinner is made up of separate his and hers menus.
Male and female guests will enjoy separate dishes for three of the meal’s four courses, though all those present are offered a fillet of beef as their main meal.
The bride’s family paid for Martinstown Parish Church to be refurbished for the occasion, with the interior redecorated, pews freshly varnished and roads leading to the venue resurfaced.
The church grounds also got a facelift, with fresh landscaping and planting.
A fleet of limousines and helicopters is expected to ferry guests arriving at Shannon Airport.
It has been claimed that the number of helicopters expected to fly in and out of Martinstown has forced wedding planners to arrange for a mobile air traffic control unit.
Sue Ann will wear a €20,000 wedding dress by Irish designer Synan O’Mahony, who also created the dress worn by the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern’s daughter Georgina when she tied the knot in 2003 with Westlife star Nicky Byrne.
Mr McManus and his wife Noreen have invited their daughter’s school and college friends and all their parents, along with colleagues of the Kerry-born groom, who works as an auctioneer in Limerick.
Mr Houlihan said: “The McManus family has shared its wealth with the community and they are very popular, very ordinary, unassuming people. Everyone wishes them well. I hope they get the weather.”