Expert advice from celebrity wedding planner Marley Majcher

Designing events for the likes of Nick Lachey, Katherine Heigl, Snoop Dogg and Britney Spears, it’s obvious that celebrity wedding planner Marley Majcher knows how to create a memorable big day. But with years of experience under her belt, she also knows how not to do it—and she wants to save you from making some big no-nos. If you want a stylish, chic and low-stress affair here are five ways to do just that—by not doing this…


  Why I Love Fall Weddings

Summer may be known as the wedding season, but for Majcher, autumn takes the cake. “The weather is milder, there’s a variety of really interesting fall leaves and branches to play with and incorporate in the décor,” she says. “Plus, you don’t have to worry about four people having their wedding on the same day!”

Mistake #1: Not Working Within Your Budget.
If you want a $100,000 wedding on a $10,000 budget, something’s gotta give. Otherwise, you’ll be serving caviar with Coors Light—and that’s not a good look for anyone. “Concentrate your wad on the things that matter the most and forget the rest,” says Majcher. “If you and your partner are total foodies, splurge on the gastronomic aspect and cut back on elaborate decor. If your crowd loves to booze it up, spend freely on the full bar but consider have the reception start later in the evening so that your food cost will be lower.”

Mistake #2: Not Being Organized or Prepared Enough.
A lot of brides delude themselves into thinking that they can be too prepared. You can’t. “Successful productions—and that’s what a wedding is no matter how small—take lots of planning,” she says. You can’t be too careful when it comes to insurance, vendors and reconfirming commitments in writing. If you can afford it, hire professionals to make sure all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed, or get a trusted friend to help out, so you don’t have to worry about everything. “Stressed out faces don’t photograph well!”

Mistake #3: Having Unrealistic Expectations.

This is for the bride who is determined that she will have tulips at her wedding—and then plans her wedding when tulips aren’t in season, and cost three times what they normally would to get them flown in from across the world. The bottom line? Don’t try to squeeze blood from an orange. “Work with what you’ve got!” says Majcher. “If your venue is a gorgeous beach setting, don’t try to transform the space into a retro ’80s party.” Your life (and your wallet) will be a lot happier.

Mistake #4: Thinking You Can Please Everyone.

You can’t. “Every time I work with celebrity clients I’m reminded how many different agendas need to be satisfied—managers, publicists and then, oh yes, the client,” she says. “Your wedding is no different. Just because your future mother-in-law is dying for you to invite her entire high school class that she hasn’t seen since 1964 doesn’t mean you need to cave. Figure out what you and your wife- or husband-to-be want and stick to your guns.”

Mistake #5: Not Living in the Moment.
When planning a wedding, it’s easy to get caught up in all the details and the stress. Majcher’s advice? Remember why you’re doing this in the first place. “It’s because you’re in love and desperate to spend the rest of your lives together, not because you’re trying to give a Broadway show a run for it’s money,” she says. “Keep your eye on the prize and keep reminding yourself what the point of all of this is anyway.”