So, the ring is on the finger, you’re looking at venues, but what’s in vogue at the moment for your nuptials? Franc, Ireland’s top Wedding and Event Designer chats to Mary O’Brien about planning the perfect day. Above: A recent wedding styled by Franc, which took place in a big shed.
“Wedding style is of course down to individual taste,” explains wedding designer Franc “but of late there has been a decided move from a vintage trend to a more relaxed and understated country garden theme. Bunting, bales of hay, it’s a very rustic look.”
“Weddings are a big industry in Ireland today so there is a huge range of wedding vendors and suppliers to choose from,” says Franc. “But whoever you go with, I would always recommend keeping budget and quality of service in mind.”
Franc’s advice to couples planning a wedding is to first sit down and decide exactly what you want in your wedding. Then pick a venue that suits you, whether it’s for the views, the accommodation, the location, food, style, at home or vacation.
“A lot of couples are choosing venues away from where they live so destination weddings inside Ireland are very popular at the moment,” says Franc
“Remember to keep to your own vision for the wedding; don’t be led astray. Talk to each other before parents, friends and family share their opinions.”
Franc is a supporter of tradition but detests etiquette. “You don’t have to have speeches if you don’t want to! It’s always more refreshing for the guests if you break the formula and do things that people don’t expect. People will enjoy a wedding more if it reflects the personalities of the couple — your wedding will be a lot more fun and unique.”
Another important piece of advice is not to separate the crowd at the wedding service. “For example, use tasteful signage, which says ‘Pick a Seat – Not a Side’ or ‘Two Families Become One’,” explains Franc.
Take care that your music at the drinks reception afterwards is upbeat. “After being in a church for an hour, your guests will be tired, so the last thing you should have is relaxing music. You’ll put them to sleep. You need to create a sense of anticipation for the rest of the day,” says Franc.
Another way to keep energy levels high is to serve the dessert buffet style after the meal. “This means your guests will be back up chatting and mingling. After dessert, the couple should walk on to the floor for the first dance to keep the momentum going.”
“Or you could have the first dance outside,” suggests Franc. “Give your guests a shot glass of mulled wine, port or hot whiskey on the way out. It will keep them warm and adds wow factor.”
If you think you’ll save money by going the DIY route, think again. “I’d advise any couple on a small budget to book a hotel; it will always work out cheaper than renting a hall and doing everything yourself, which could cost you three times what a hotel will do it for.”
The biggest mistake that Franc sees most couples making is trying to please everyone but themselves. “If the couple are not happy then no one is happy — you’re better off keeping it a surprise,” he says. “And, reduce the stress by planning the wedding to take place within the year if possible, keep the wedding within your budget and make the most out of what you have.”
Franc advises couples all over Ireland how to create their dream day by working creatively with a wedding budget in mind. During a consultation, Franc will give you inspiring advice to make your wedding day a personal experience for both you and your guests, while also giving you essential secrets on how to make this the most memorable day of your lives.
Franc will be at The Ultimate Weddings Live shows at Castlebar on February 7 and 8 and Punchestown on May 16 and 17.
Find Weddings by Franc at… www.facebook.com/weddingsbyfranc. www.franc.ie. www.snowbusiness.ie