Alex Apatoff
February 27, 2012 09:30 PM

Zandarin and Allen/Rex/Rex USA; Inset: Arnold Turner/Wireimage

Some of the most memorable star weddings in the last 10 years — Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale, Hilary Duff and Mike Comrie, Fergie and Josh Duhamel — have been the work of Mindy Weiss’s event-planning genius, but those weddings don’t come easy (or cheap!). Fortunately for the rest of us non-celebrity brides, Weiss teamed up with David’s Bridal to help launch her brand-new ultimate wedding planning binder, and to share star-tested tips on where to spend and save on a wedding.

“Even celebrities have budgets,” Weiss tells PEOPLE. “When we wipe away the idea of, ‘Oh my God, they’re celebrities,’ they’re these little girls who grew up dreaming about their wedding. They ask me the same questions as other brides — and I swear to you, they fill out that book!” Her advice to all brides (famous or not) is to pick the location first. “Once you have the location and the date, it’s like a domino — it sort of goes. We take a deep breath, figure out the budget and then go forward.”

Weiss says she’s noticed trends toward more personal (and often, less expensive) touches, like mismatched place settings from vintage stores and flea markets (an element of Duff’s big day); choosing to donate money to a good cause instead of party favors, which can be left behind; and saving on the dress and splurging on accessories instead.

“Now that Vera Wang’s gone to David’s Bridal, you’d be surprised which brides are buying there,” she shares. “Try to find a dress that isn’t crazy, because hopefully you’re not going to wear that dress again — but you can rewear those expensive shoes, or wear a beautiful sequined belt with jeans.”

Other celeb-loved trends that are trickling down are headbands (seen all over the red carpets this year) and lovely, light blush tones. “I always watch the red carpet to see what the wedding gowns are going to look like, and I see glamour, glamour, glamour,” she shares. “Lace accents in everything. And light makeup with beautiful lips.”

–Alex Apatoff


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