smart spending

Celebrity-style wedding on a budget


Some of the celebrity brides add expensive crystals to the wedding bouquets they carry down the aisle. Tori Spelling carried a bouquet of lilies of the valley with antique lace wrapping the stem of the bouquet as well as Swarovski crystals.

Brides can do something similar for much less by purchasing a special fabric or snipping a piece of lace from the underskirt of their mother's wedding dress.

"It's a special touch that can double as something borrowed and something old," says the wedding expert.

When Melania Knauss married Donald Trump on Palm Beach, Fla., she chose not to carry a bouquet and instead walked down the aisle carrying a family rosary.

Bridesmaid dresses

Custom-created bridesmaid dresses might be in the budget for celebrities, but can be too pricey for the average bridal couple and their court. Experts suggest checking out the better department stores such as Macy's, Nordstrom and Hecht's that stock bridesmaid dresses.

"You can save a lot of money by buying bridesmaid dresses off the rack and off season," advises Souza. After prom season, summer and Christmas, you can find real bargains.

Instead of spending $500, you might spend $50. Many brides are choosing shorter-length cocktail dresses that are also less expensive.

"One California bride had a friend fly back East after Christmas to a Hecht's where she found Ralph Lauren dresses in silver and gun metal at huge savings. She bought the dresses right off the rack at $50 apiece and even bought a few extra dresses and still saved really big," says the wedding event coordinator.

Or, instead of choosing the identical dress for your bridesmaids, choose the same color dress but different styles that flatter each figure. "By mimicking the colors of a celebrity wedding you can get the same look by having different styles of dresses all in the same shade," says Oliveira.

Wedding planner

Most celebrities hire a wedding consultant to help plan their dream wedding and coordinate all the details. But consultants can be expensive -- some charge as much as 15 percent of the total cost of the wedding or a flat fee that can sometimes hit six figures.

"If you can afford to do so, it's a great option. But if you can't hire a wedding planner for the whole affair you might consider hiring someone for the day of the affair just to help out and deal with any problems that might arise.

Bridal party gifts

Tori Spelling and Britney Spears each gave their attendants pink Juicy Couture jumpsuits that cost $99.

But you don't have to give an elaborate keepsake -- just something fun and trendy. If you can't afford a $99 jumpsuit you can buy tank tops or thongs. They can even say "bridesmaid" on them.

"Regardless of how much money they spend, whether the affair is formal or casual, the celebrities I've worked with make the event something about them and something they really love," says Souza.

"You can do the same, whether it is the colors you choose, that special drink or a fabulous wedding cake. You can focus on one thing and make it memorable that will have your guests talking about your wedding for months to come."


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