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Secrets of a Celebrity Wedding Planner: Inside the Million-Dollar Nuptials of Reese Witherspoon, Anne Hathaway and More

Many stars also choose to host their weddings in their own homes (like Witherspoon’s wedding weekend at her ranch in Ojai, Calif., or Barrymore’s Montecito, Calif. affair) which add another dimension of expense and logistics. “Weddings can get expensive when you start serving things like caviar and having incredible synchronized waiter service, but once you start hosting in remote locations the cost rises,” says Oren. “The ambience that we end up building is incredible, but just getting everything to the location and the design and preparation and the load-in and load-out become so elaborate that the price tag skyrockets.”  Oren Co. uses the local economy whenever possible for a destination wedding—and they always donate leftover materials to local charities—but for the most part their clientele is such that they need top quality that doesn’t exist in a place like Big Sur. So if you are Natalie Portman or Anne Hathaway, you’re going to have to shell out to get the florist, band and caterer, not to mention a large production team, up Highway 1.  Even harder than coordinating the transport of a five-figure cake to California’s most remote coastline is the level of security and privacy that a wedding between two A-list actors requires. Every single step of the planning process is done with security in mind, from the location that the team chooses to how they design a tent. It all starts in the Oren Co. office, where they never use a client’s real name on a contract or rental agreement and keep the weekend’s attendees in the dark about details until the last minute. Yifat also recommends that the biggest stars opt for nuptials in smaller cities (read: not Los Angeles) and keeping the guest list small to ward off the chances of a busybody in the audience.  Next comes the day-of tactics. Decoy brides and cars are not unheard of, and guests at a celebrity’s big day shouldn’t be surprised if they’re asked to check their phone at the door.  “There also may be someone in a different house rental near where the wedding is actually taking place,” Oren teases coyly.

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Walking into their event should feel like stepping into an experience of who they are. I always say that we do a good job if no one knows we’re there.”  Of course, it’s quite the opposite during the planning process: Oren and her team are there for everything. The luxury and extravagance of these wedding weekends cannot be overstated; what else does one expect for the biggest day of Reese Witherspoon’s life? (And did we mention  Adam Levine and  Natalie Portman ?) The biggest and most important rule of thumb in the industry is that they are not in the business of saying no. An outrageous request is merely a fun challenge. An actress wants cheese flown in from France? Done. Another actress wants an entire outdoor living room designed from scratch (meaning not a piece of rental furniture in sight), complete with custom colors and fabrics? Sure. A girls trip to Paris try on dresses at the world’s best ateliers? Just show them where to park the private jet.  (And yes, these are all things that Oren has done—although who she did them for is a secret she’ll take to the grave.) Yifat is quick to mention that extravagant requests aren’t unique to just brides; grooms often have ideas of their own and it’s not unusual for them to come in the form of very specific musical entertainment. Iron-clad loyalty to her clients prevents her from divulging any more, but if a person wanted to be nosy they could simply read the rumors of  Stevie Nicks flying in to perform for Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo at their Cabo San Lucas affair to get an idea of what she means.  As is shocking to no one, celebrity weddings do not come cheap.

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