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Big Spender: Weddings

Puttin' on the glitz for nuptials

Big Spender looks at the big business of catering to those with cash to burn. See more at Send ideas to

December 21, 2007|Kimi Yoshino | Times Staff Writer

Money can't buy love, but it can buy a really, really extravagant wedding. Say goodbye to the one-night shindig that has guests leaving before midnight after a champagne toast and a few spins across the dance floor. The trend today? Weddings with after-parties that greet the sunrise and lavish, four-day events that last longer than some Hollywood marriages.
We asked Yifat Oren, party planner to the socialites and stars, for the dish on how affluent Southern Californian brides and grooms are spending big for their big day beyond carats and couture.
She should know: Kevin Costner, Mariska Hargitay and designer Jenni Kayne are on her client list, and most drop $1,000 to $6,000 per guest. Oren's fee is about 15% of the total cost. Here's where the cash goes:


Cakes for the tiery-eyed

The pastry chef at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills created this towering 3 1/2 -foot-high, five-layer chocolate masterpiece that had a white chocolate mousse filling. It was topped with a chocolate ganache glaze and white chocolate icing.



Hire two dozen strolling violinists for $14,000. Too passe? A major recording artist will play a private party for $250,000 to $1 million.


Pricey props Borrow or buy furniture used in the movies, or rent Philippe Starck-designed Louis Ghost chairs for $60 each. Cover tables in custom tablecloths that cost $80 to $220 a table. Tent interiors draped in organza or satin will set you back $20,000 to $40,000.


Extravagant extras Designer Jenni Kayne had four driftwood chandeliers made for her beachfront wedding for $3,700. Her guests also boogied on a one-of-a-kind plexiglass dance floor that covered sand, starfish, succulents and lights. Or, for a touch of the exotic, rent an elephant for $3,500.

Blingy favors

Send the guests home with something they'll remember: Cartier pens, Tiffany key chains, or Lalique crystal figurines, $85 and up.


Invites that send a message

Forget Crane's -- that would be like sending a Hallmark. Oren's clients shell out as much as $200 a pop for handmade paper, multicolor letter press and hand-stitching. One had invitations engraved on a brass plate and hand-delivered. For a wedding in Italy, another commissioned hand-sewn suede "save the dates" reminiscent of a passport holder. The $90 reminders were debossed with custom artwork and included a pencil and letter-pressed cards with wedding details. For a romantic look, some use vintage stamps.

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