What to Do Before You Say I Do

fall 2010 los angeles wedding guide!

Whether the words “wedding budget” have you counting zeros or seeing stars, these ideas will have you making goo-goo eyes.

Gem Dandy
For a ring that will turn heads for the rest of your married life, head to Claude Morady for exquisite estate bling, like a 1930s art deco diamond and sapphire stunner ($4,950). For something a tad more understated, look to Kathryn Bentley for rustic luxury, like ten-karat gold rings (starting at $625) and organic bands perfect for dudes-to-be (starting at $1,200).

Gown and Out
Get fitted at Temperley London’s Melrose Place boutique for a ready-to-roll dress from the Off the Peg collection or something made to order, like the dreamy beplumed, becrystaled, and be-organza-and-georgette-flowered Twinkle dress ($11,980). Or save without skimping in a one-shoulder, Oscar-worthy frock from David Meister ($478) at Nordstrom.

sitting in a tree!

The Hand Off
If you put the why in DIY, leave event styling, design, and coordination to Sitting in a Tree. Myka Haddad and Tori Hendrix sign on from your first location scout to when the lights come on postreception, making things look charming every step of the way. Just want nitty-gritty coordination? Tact Events Jeff Loop Haro runs a tight but friendly ship, tackling your day-of Marvimon and SmogShoppe needs.

Nice Stems
Everything’s coming up roses and then some. Holly Flora brings the right kind of drama with an unforgettable floral mural (starting at $2,500 for six by nine feet; $45 per square foot). For decor that will live on way past your wedding day, deck tabletops with EmersonMade linen blooms ($125-$250 per custom centerpiece). While you’re at it, pick up one of the truly adorable ring pillows.

thunderwing press!

Paper Wait
Set the it’s-gonna-be-awesome tone with your invites. Thunderwing Press uses snazzy papers and techniques like foil stamping, screen-printing, hand-binding, and die-cutting to create one-of-a-kinders worth keeping (starting at $2,500 per 100). Or turn to Plurabelle calligraphy, whose fancy lettering, like two-color tiger lily, could make a Post-It note look good (contact for pricing).

’Til Death Do Us Eat
Wedding fare isn’t always fair. For dependably delish, call Campanile (624 South La Brea Avenue; 323-938-1447). Do it on a Sunday and we’re talking $20,000 for food, wine, valet, flowers — the whole shebang — for 100 folks. If you’re keeping the guest list small, go big with T Cubed chef Tehra Thorp ($50 an hour; $450 a day). For a taste, try one of her cooking classes or culinary tours.

sarah yates photography!What Just Happened?
Remember when? No, but WriteShot will. Less an album and more your very own book of love, the photogs/writers chronicle your story from “Who’s that?” to “I do” ($7,500-$10,000). For sweet, not sappy engagement snapshots and dreamy fun photography of the big day, shutterbug Sarah Yates will get the lovely job done (portrait sessions from $500; wedding day coverage from $5,000).

Save money and be your own DJ! Download our indie wedding playlist.

Photos: Courtesy of Kathryn Bentley; Sarah Yates / Courtesy of Sitting in a Tree; Courtesy of Thunderwing Press; Sarah Yates

engagement rings!
Looking for some sparkle? Browse our gallery of 23 rock-solid engagement rings.

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