Wedding Planner Marcy Blum

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Julie Skarratt

Honored as "Trendsetter of the Year" by Modern Bride magazine, Marcy Blum is recognized as one of the top wedding and event planners in the world. From planning celebrity weddings and events (Billy Joel, Regis Philbin, Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick are a few of her clients) to authoring the best-selling book, Wedding Planning for Dummies, Marcy definitely has her pulse on what's hot (and what's not) in the world of weddings. We asked her for her picks on the latest trends and her #1 piece of planning advice for brides. Here's what she had to say: —Anne Chertoff

How can brides cut costs but still have their dream wedding?

Obviously, the most impactful way to cut costs is to cut down the guest list, but it's also necessary to honestly assess what is most important to you and your fiance as to the wedding. In other words...

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hone in on YOUR dream wedding, not the ones you've seen in magazines and decide what is important enough to spend your money on. Is it the food? The decor? The venue? Etc—assuming you can't have everything, make choices.

What's one detail you always advise brides to include in their ceremony or reception?

I'm fond of readings at ceremonies (assuming they aren't the ones that have been done to death) and I really like it when a bride and groom speak at their wedding in response to all the toasts made to them.

Is there one detail you advise they don't include?

I can't stand receiving lines, they are an enormous waste of time and usually very awkward and the same goes for announcing the wedding party into the room.

What are some trends you're seeing now?

Current trends include extending destination weddings to five days of events, quirky or unexpected music for ceremonies (not in churches or synagogues of course) and emphasis on seasonal menus and interesting cocktails, wines and micro-brewery beers.

When a woman gets engaged, what's the first planning detail she should tend to?

She should absolutely savor the moment—take a week off before starting the planning. After that, the date and venue are most important.

BONUS: What's your #1 piece of advice to brides and grooms?

My number one piece of advice is to hire people you trust and then give them the leeway to do their jobs once you've been clear as to what your likes, dislikes and budget. Obsessing won't make things better and it will exhaust both you and them.

To learn more about Marcy visit her Web site, marcyblum.com.

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