smart spending

Celebrity-style wedding on a budget

Some bespoke touches on an inexpensive gown can be another way to imitate a celebrity look with the addition of a splash of color. "Monique Lhuillier is famous for having these colored sashes on her gowns and many celebrities use her as their designer," says Oliveira. "So, you could buy a plainer gown that doesn't have a sash and then have a seamstress add one and use a fabric that is perhaps less expensive."

The wedding cake

A few celebrity clients of wedding consultant Souza opted for miniature wedding cakes for each of their guests over the traditional large wedding cake.

"It's an elegant, but expensive, statement," says Souza.

"Instead of serving individual cakes you might have one centerpiece wedding cake for each table. It serves each guest at the table and doubles as a centerpiece. It's very cool and unexpected. It's also an interactive and fun thing -- each table could cut their own cake as the bride and groom cuts theirs. It's a classy touch that solves two separate issues -- the wedding cake and the flowers for the centerpiece," says Souza, who was one of the Top 25 wedding industry trendsetters in 2004.

Carmen Electra had a towering multi-tiered white wedding Oreo cookie cheesecake decorated with fresh red roses and 50 to 60 Swarovski crystals suspended on wires shooting out from each layer. The cake cost more than $5,000.

Budget weddings can still feature extravagant cakes. "Usually cakes are priced by the slice so if you're feeding 600 people, that's a really huge cake," says Oliveira. "Chances are, you aren't having 600 people at your wedding, so if you want to copy a celebrity cake you can do it on a smaller scale."

For even more savings with the same elegant appearance, a little serving trickery goes a long way. "Display a much smaller cake and supplement that cake with a sheet cake kept in the back that nobody sees. Let's say you copied Eva Longoria's wedding cake. You can get a cake that serves 100 people and serve everyone else from a cake in the back. No one will be able to tell how many people a cake will serve just from looking at it," Oliveira says.


Celebrities often get jewels worth thousands of dollars on loan from famous jewelry designers such as Neil Lane, Fred Leighton and Harry Winston. Jennifer Lopez borrowed a diamond bracelet and necklace for her wedding to Marc Anthony from Neil Lane. Tori Spelling borrowed a beautiful vintage floral brooch for her hair.

Jewelers may not beat down the door to loan you a diamond tiara but friends and family might. Wearing a family heirloom in your wedding could make it all the more special and add to a unique, personal look.


Reception touches

You can add unique personal touches to your wedding that cost very little money. Take a clue from these celebrity touches:

"I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry" star Adam Sandler handed out Krispy Kreme doughnuts -- his favorite -- at his wedding. Another celebrity groom had waiters carrying great silver chafing dishes filled with McDonald's hamburgers. "Bachelorette" Trista Rehn had personalized heart candies.

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