How to plan a dream wedding


Planning the wedding you've always dreamed of is no easy task. There are so many details to consider, so many choices to make. Wedding and event planner Marcy Blum offers advice for every couple as they begin to plan their dream wedding.

How to plan a dream wedding

Here are a few keys to making your wedding beautiful and on budget.

  • Wedding planners can help with all the details, from lighting to decorating to transportation. Planners cost $5,000 to $100,000 depending on what services are included.
  • Be prepared when you go to a wedding planner. Know how many people and what time of year (but try not to fixate on a specific date as spaces may not be available).
  • Have a theme to your wedding, even if it is as simple as a color.
  • Deciding on a venue for your dream wedding will depend largely on the number of people you are inviting.
  • The number one way to save money is to limit the number of guests.
  • Holding your wedding on a weeknight or even a Sunday will also save money.
  • Send invitations at least six weeks before the wedding date; send out a “Save the Date” invitation 4-6 months prior to the wedding, especially for a destination wedding.
Transcript LISA: Hi I’m Lisa Birnbach for and we’re going to talk about how to plan a dream wedding with event planner and author of Weddings for Dummies, Marcy Blum.


LISA: Does everyone need a wedding planner to get through this big ceremony and the party and the ordeal of it?

MARCY: I don’t think anybody who hasn’t been married really understands just how much is involved. From the moment you get engaged and need to come up with a guest list or figure out which invitations to send, or we spend hours in the post office looking for the right stamps will match the invitation. Or to put the flag stamp of this beautifully calligraphed frou-frou invitation. To what everyone is going to wear, to what the bride and the groom is going to wear, and the ushers are going to wear. And the air-conditioning and the lighting and the wine list and the transportation which is my least favorite part but really really important.

LISA: Somebody wants to hire a wedding planner, how much are they thinking about spending?

MARCY: Well, there are day of, weekend planners, they start up to five thousand these days and go up to a hundred thousand pending on what’s included.

LISA: Does a wedding need a theme to really cohere?

MARCY: I think it’s a good idea to have a hook. So even if the theme is a color, pink and green for example, the yuppie colors, it keeps you on track so you’re not all over the place. If romance is the theme, which may sound obvious, some people aren’t into romantic looking flowers or romantic décor, the may like contemporary or sleek. As long as there is something that keeps you on track.

LISA: Marcy, does the theme affect the venue, or the other way around?

MARCY: I think the venue is only affected by the amount of people and the budget frankly.

LISA: The budget, a lot of people want a lavish wedding they’ve dreamt about but don’t have the budget, or are amazed by how much everything costs. Are there tips for brides that are confounded by the money object, or ways to cut corners that nobody will notice?

MARCY: The number one tip, and I say it at nausium; I say it to friends, cut the guest list. No matter what if you have three hundred people to feed, and to sit at tables, and to have centerpieces at the tables, so in the end… And If you want to get married on a Saturday night in Los Angeles or San Francisco, New York City, or Chicago there is a premium for that so..

LISA: A weekday wedding is a lot cheaper.

MARCY: Thursday nights, which have become more and more popular compared to Friday nights, at least a third less expansive, or Sunday brunch something like that.

LISA: When somebody is going to see you to make an appointment to have you Marcy to plan their wedding, she should be a little bit prepared right?

MARCY: I’m very grateful when people are not fixated on a date for some romantic, karmic, or astrological reason before we find the space. If your coming to me in September and you want to get married December 15th, in Manhattan, and tat you’ve had your heart set on it, there aren’t any spaces left.

LISA: Now etiquette sort of suggests that you send out an invitation what six weeks in advance?

MARCY: Six weeks is if you look in Emily post, that’s what they’ll say, but that is really these days pretty short notice. Particularly because there are so many destination weddings. For a destination wedding I always suggest to save the date hopefully four to six months before.

LISA: Marcy thanks so much it was good talking to you.

MARCY: Thank you.

LISA: For I’m Lisa Birnbach.
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  • Marcy Blum

    Marcy Blum Wedding and Events Planner Marcy Blum is a world-renowned event planner and wedding expert. She has written many articles on food and entertaining. more about this expert »