Outrageous wedding cakes, favors and more
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Big Day, Big Ideas1 of 10
By Elizabeth Jenkins
It used to be that a wedding planner's most important responsibility was maybe being a buffer between you and your new mother-in-law, but over the years, brides' expectations have grown. We talked to top wedding planners to find out about the latest, most lavish and original wedding day ideas.
From Paris, With Love2 of 10
Chicago event planner Debi Lilly of A Perfect Event counts Oprah among her clients, so she knows all about grand gestures. When a bride asked Lilly to have 40 Philippe Starck Louis XVI Ghost chairs monogrammed, she made it happen. And taking the macaron trend to a new level, the same client wanted the French treats straight from famed Parisian pastry shop Ladurée. "Ladurée does not ship, so two days before the wedding we flew to Paris to hand-select and carry them back to Chicago,” says Lilly.
Trunk Show3 of 10
Elephants are a symbol of luck in both Indian and Thai culture, which made them important to one California couple, who worked with Christina Whittle at Dolce Designs Studio in L.A. Not only did the groom ride in on one at the ceremony, but the couple also asked for miniature versions made out of flowers. "We used more than 1,500 yellow carnations for the body, and orange marigolds and fuchsia pink carnations for each of the elephants' blankets," says Whittle.
Game On4 of 10
A New York City couple came to Ceci Johnson at Ceci New York with a completely original idea for their wedding invitation. The groom had proposed by slipping a note into one of their favorite board games, explains Johnson. "We carried that theme into the next chapter of their story, playfully asking their guests to join them in their personal Game of Life." The invitation came with custom dice and game pieces tucked into an envelope.
Perfect Pitch5 of 10
For the ultimate in glamping, the Red Welly resort in North Wales has a sprawling tent available for an intimate wedding reception of up to 100 people. While the teepee wedding trend has caught on in the U.K. with multiple vendors offering tent services, brides in the U.S. will have to settle for smaller versions of the wedding tent, like this cozy offering from BHLDN.
Star Power6 of 10
While rumor has it that Adele may be performing at Jennifer Aniston's wedding, more and more non-celeb couples are securing big names for their receptions. When Santa Barbara planner Merryl Brown learned two days before a client's wedding that guest Kenny Loggins would perform two songs during dinner, she rejiggered the order of events to accommodate the Grammy winner. "He sang two songs and had every single person at the wedding up and dancing!" says Brown.
Circus, Circus7 of 10
The Paramour in Los Angeles's Silverlake neighborhood is said to be haunted, so weddings there are anything but ordinary. Local planner Kristin Banta worked with one couple who fully embraced the unconventional setting. "They wanted something dark, mysterious and fun," says Banta, who hired contortionists, acrobats and more for their circus-worthy wedding.
A Whale of a Time8 of 10
Famed New York City cake maker Ron Ben-Israel has designed cakes shaped like poker chips, peacocks and windmills, so when a bride asked for a whale-inspired cake, Ben-Israel didn't flinch. "Sperm whales are beloved in Nantucket, where the wedding was taking place, so I agreed to fashion a 4-foot-long replica for the reception," he says. "The client chartered a private plane for us to transport the cake."
Bow Wow9 of 10
Having beloved pets participate in wedding ceremonies is nothing new, but honoring your pooch with an ice sculpture is certainly unexpected. "This was a first," admits Los Angeles planner Julie Pryor, who worked with a couple who wanted their adorable dachshund replicated in ice. The finished product served as the centerpiece for the elaborate seafood station.
Surf's Up10 of 10
Planner Julie Pryor helped this couple paddle off into the sunset after their wedding at the Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara. "The night before the wedding they asked me to rent two paddleboards," says Pryor, who made several calls before finding a pair that would be available. A the end of the festivities, the newlyweds hit their boards in full wedding attire.