An unlimited budget would be nice, but that's not what most brides want when it comes to their wedding. "They want that fairy tale, the most magical, most special day in their life,” said Steve Kemble, a lifestyle guru and celebrity wedding planner. Kemble has orchestrated weddings on television for "Extreme Makeover: Wedding Edition,” Style Network's "Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?” and "Married Away,” and WE's "Platinum Weddings” and "Married by the In-Laws.” He works with brides who crave extravagance and others who prefer things understated. He enjoys both. It's their vision, he said, and he's just helping them get their dream wedding. Kemble will host the Wedding Workshop on Oct. 4-5 in Oklahoma City, presented by Dolly Levi's Event Design Studio. The talk-show format will include topics on budget, gowns, transportation, personal finances, video, photography and almost every other subject related to weddings. "So many people think about the glitz and glamour, but you need all the components to put it together. We do it in a very fun way,” he said. One topic at the workshop may keep couples from making a common mistake. "Most are not realistic about sitting down and doing a budget,” Kemble said. "It is absolutely the most important thing. It's really hard for planners, florists, caterers to give you what you want unless you tell them how much you want to spend. You have to be honest about that.” Couples who don't start with a realistic budget get into problems, he said. Planning a wedding is stressful enough without inviting even more frustrations. Another mistake couples make is not making the day about them, about what they want, Kemble said. A wedding isn't about impressing friends or dad's business associates. It shouldn't be the wedding the bride's mother never had. "It amazes me how many couples I talk to and it's almost like they're planning this wedding for all of their friends and all of their family. …They need to step back and think about what they want for their special day.” While wedding trends come and go, Kemble said he's excited about several that bring a subtle, interesting aspect. One that he really likes is the mixing of vintage items, such as linens or china, with more traditional pieces. "It personalizes the wedding. Personalizing is a huge trend right now.” Going green also extends to weddings, with recycled paper invitations, organic menus and flowers grown locally. In lieu of favors, some couples make a donation to a charity or organization in the name of the guest. When it comes to colors, Kemble said brides seem to favor the three-color combination. One favorite combo is taupe, navy and linen. Another is shocking pink, orange and brick. One that he thought was especially pretty was strawberry, chocolate and vanilla. The bride wore an ivory dress with a brown sash and carried pink peonies. The colors are then incorporated throughout the reception. Lighting is becoming more important to brides, too. "It can totally change the whole dynamics of how a space looks,” Kemble said. "Lighting can create this wonderful, wonderful atmosphere. Along with lighting is the use of candles in all different shapes and sizes. There's no better way to create a wonderful, dramatic, sexy and romantic atmosphere. It's the most cost-effective way to do it.” Kemble sees it all at weddings and helps plan much of it. One couple asked valets to put a special compact disc in the cars. It had a thank-you message from the couple and featured music from the reception. Another couple put magnetic bumper stickers on the guests' cars. The stickers said Amanda loves Richard. It was kitschy but fun, he said. One of his favorites was a surprise to the couple's parents. The bride and groom's first-dance songs were the songs played at their parents' weddings. "All that personalization makes a wedding special and fun,” he said. What makes Kemble cringe? "Those pastel mints. I love to eat them, but I don't want to see them at a wedding.” For more of Steve Kemble's thoughts, go online to Linda Miller's blog at blog.newsok.com/fashionmatters.
The Wedding Workshop•When: Bridal luncheon, noon to 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Trattoria Il Centro; the Wedding Workshop, 1 to 5 p.m. followed by an after-hours reception, 7 to 9 p.m. Oct. 5, Renaissance Hotel. •Featuring: Vendors and wedding professionals as well as a talk-show format about fashion, trends, receptions, food, budgets, photography, tips and honeymoons. •Cost, reservations: 605-4575 or www.wedding-workshop.com.