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As our fourth annual Weddings Week draws to a close and we've hooked you up with all of LA's best nuptial necessities—from gown shops to style inspo to venue options to bridesmaid dresses to workout routines to registry ideas—one of our finale features is an exclusive chat with superstar wedding producer Yifat Oren.
Boasting a client roster that includes Drew Barrymore, Natalie Portman and even the Capella Pedregal Resort in Cabo, it's safe to say that LA-based Oren knows what's now and next when it comes to planning the big day. Here, she calls out eight old-school wedding rules and their updated alternatives.
Myth #1: You have to wear white. "Gone are the days where you have to stick to basic white, cream or ivory for your wedding wear. Choose a color that more suits your personality. Blush, coral or a soft peach gown breaks the traditional white-dress-only mold and offers a great start to a more unique day."
Myth #2: You should hire your friends. "Yikes. This is something I would strongly discourage—I cannot be more vocal about this! Although the thought of working alongside your talented BFF seems ideal in theory, in reality it can turn sour very fast. Weddings are a high stress time as it is, so save yourself the personal aggravation and hire professionals to help capture your special day. I've seen one too many 'friends' that are 'the best photographers' also forget that they are 'the photographers' for the wedding, and somewhere between their third or fourth cocktail, the camera gets left on a table and somehow the documentation of your wedding day ends around 8pm."
Myth #3: You need extravagant table décor. "Less is more —really! It's easy to get lost in the notion that the more flowers, the prettier. I think it's more interesting to be innovative with the type of materials you use for centerpieces. As much as I adore fresh flowers, you can definitely create an elegant table with greens, moss, seasonal fruit or even all candles."
Myth #4: Only use round tables or long tables. "Let go of the notion that the only option to seat your guests are these two table types. Pay attention to the room and lay it out in a way that makes spatial sense. Round tables are extremely played out and very expected but they are the way to go if you are trying to fit the most amount of guests into a space, as they require the least square feet per person. If you are looking for a young, fresh environment where you and your guests can laugh and enjoy in comfort, chic communal tables are a great way to create a rustic yet current look. Incorporate high cocktail tables and lounge areas filled with couches, poufs and rugs, and every guest will be the last one there. Creating comfort is key."
Myth #5: Limit your dinner menu. "Your guests don't all share the same palate, so neither should your menu. You don't have to have one food profile the entire night. Instead, have multiple food stations or family-style courses for your guests to enjoy. Some of my faves include an oyster bar, a sliders station, risotto and grilled cheese for days."
Myth #6: You need assigned seating. "I'm just going to go out on a limb and say that assigned seating is not for everyone. Your mother-in-law from Palm Beach may be horrified, but I will just say that there's a certain casual comfort that many of your guests may appreciate. My only caveat is that you should come prepared with an additional 10% seating as this is not an exact science and you never know where people may choose to sit. Added bonuses: you don't have to stay up late at night before your wedding and do your seating, there are no last-minute changes and no escort cards to calligraphy."
Myth #7: At-home weddings are a good idea. "While absolutely cozy and intimate, do not go this route. I can tell you for absolute certain, if you are going this route because 'isn't it less expensive to have a wedding at home?,' this is not the answer. Only do it if your dream of getting married at your home is financially feasible and you can afford the valet, rentals, lighting and power, extra landscaping, some home repairs and much, much more. This is usually a more costly endeavor than renting out a location where much of the above is included in the cost."
Myth #8: Wedding venues come with a planner. "This is a common misconception. Although the on-site coordinator will be very helpful in regards to the venue, their assistance usually does not extend much beyond that. If you're looking for help with invitations, flowers, layout, timelines and guest lodging, then a professional is the way to go. If budget is a concern, planners come in all shapes and sizes and budget ranges, but be sure to go with a referral. A savvy planner has many existing vendor relationships that will save you much time and likely some costly errors along the way. I'm a firm believer in hiring experts for many aspects of my own life, so I would certainly do so for the most important day of my life."
· Yifat Oren [Official Site]
· All Weddings Week 2014 Coverage [Racked]
· Vera Wang Gowns and Lisa Vanderpump Advice at Unveiled [Racked]