"If you've got 300 invited, you’ll probably have 200 who’ll go", says Franc, the inimitable wedding planner, speaking about destination weddings. "But then again if they know I’m doing the wedding, 300 will go!"

Franc - whose real name is Peter Kelly - has certainly earned the right to such self-confidence, as the man behind many of the most lavish, romantic and unique weddings in and out of Ireland.

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While once his creations seemed like the fantasy world of weddings, now more people are looking to make their big day as spectacular as possible, so it's no wonder he was inundated with questions while on The Ray D'Arcy Show this week. 

The average cost of a wedding is now around €30,000, he says, with guests usually at the 160 mark. "The numbers are coming down and the average is going up." Add to this costs like €2,500 for a live band, as well as €800 for a DJ, and you're looking at serious saving. 

If there's one bright side to such steep spending, it's that more couples are taking ownership of their days, making them truly about their tastes and personalities.

"I've been fighting to break tradition in one way because people were doing things that they didn't have to do", he told Ray. "Why are you sitting on a straight-top table when you would never do that when you go to dinner?

"Most people now are having dinner in the middle of the room with their friends and family around them and they feel like they're at their wedding, they’re not watching their wedding."

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A key trend for weddings now is "organic", both in terms of how they play out and the ethical thinking behind them. 

"They're trying to not have such restrictions", Franc says "Flowers now are becoming much more organically wild, or they’re picking a venue just because it’s in a pretty setting and it doesn’t need any extra flowers brought in. It’s already in a really fantastic field or there’s a sea view."

And if you're booked as a bridesmaid this year, you can breathe a sigh of relief: "Bridesmaids are getting more individual dresses that suit their shape, style or their colour."

"Sometimes there might be a colour chosen that everyone looks well in, or muted tones of the one colour so it goes from pale blue to a dark blue. Some of the girls prefer the dark blue, some prefer the lighter blue but at least they get an option. Before you got one dress and everyone wore it."

No longer happy to be outshined, the groomsmen are coming into their own, with a growing trend of buying rather than renting suits and opting for more unique and expressive outfits. 

"Men are really coming into their own at the moment", Franc says. They're starting to wear a lot more, Peaky Blinders has a lot to blame for it! They’re really getting into the comfort zone of wearing something nice themselves."

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Perhaps most prominent is the shift towards vegetarian and vegan weddings, something that would have seemed sacrilegious just a few years ago. For his part, Franc loves vegan weddings, and the challenge of catering to Irish people's particular taste for meat-and-veg dishes. 

"I did a wedding for 300 guests and the couple were both vegan and I said, 'okay, let's do the whole wedding [vegan]’ and they were like, ‘Jesus, no, there’ll be war!’

"When you go into a vegetarian restaurant, when you come out you should come out not even knowing you missed meat."

There are some traditions that die hard, though, such as the timeless romance of a church wedding. Even here, Franc says, there can be room for personalisation - if the priest is open to it. 

"Each church is really dominated by a priest and the priest can be either left or right and if he's really strict one way, that’s the way you have to abide."

For Franc's tips on how to avoid spending a fortune on your dream wedding, and whether or not you should buy a gift on top of attending a destination wedding, click the video above!