Married at Twilight

Tammy Carmona, the renowned Hollywood wedding and event planner responsible for the wedding scene in Twilight: Breaking Dawn, reveals how to create a stress-free day that Bella and Edward would be proud of!

How can I minimise planning stress? There are two ways to avoid unnecessary stress. The first is to simplify everything. Have one good bridesmaid for advice because five different opinions is five times the headache, therefore, five times the stress. And while their opinions may be important to you, they actually can create unwanted, excess stress. Rather than help, they hinder.
The second is to always have a back-up plan. Take your venue, for example. If you are planning on being outdoors in the summer, you’d better plan an alternative in case it is a scorching 80 degree day or the heavens open up and torrential downpours ensue. Uncomfortable guests are much more stressful than a safer venue.

How can I make my day stand out from the rest? There are many ways to be original. One of my favourite examples of this is an event I had where we worked to match the menu to the décor. The theme consisted of the colours black, red and white, so we had a menu that consisted of those same colours. It takes the theme to another level, and gives the event that extra touch of originality.

It’s always difficult deciding who should sit where! What are your tips for putting seating plans together? There isn’t a written ‘Wedding Rules Book’ that gives tips on how to create the perfect table. So, you have to use your judgment, and remember a few helpful points.
Don’t be afraid to be pro-active in making your seating chart. I say pro-active because – let’s face it – you won’t get every RSVP back when you need it. Make the phone calls and get the confirmation that you need, so you know what you are working with.
Once you know who exactly will be joining you on your special day, it’s time to think about the atmosphere and your guests’ relationships. What would make your guests comfortable? If they would be happiest with close friends or their family, then go in that direction. An uncomfortable guest can ruin the atmosphere, and that is the last thing you will want to do.
As you are thinking of who belongs where, also consider if you have a large group that has a common bond – such as school or work friends. It’s okay to create a few oversized tables, such as banquet tables in the middle of the room that could easily be incorporated into the décor. Not only will you be adding another unique touch to the reception, but you will be creating happy guests as well.

I have children attending my wedding. What would you recommend to keep them entertained? Children love weddings – at least the arriving at the venue part. Once they have to sit still, that affection will change, and fast!
If you are having young children at your wedding, I would suggest having a room dedicated strictly to children. And there are many ways you can make this completely kid friendly. Fill the room with toys, perhaps some sweets and have a babysitter on hand – you just saved yourself a few hours worth of headache. You can pick them up when you want them to attend, and drop them off when you are done. So now your flower girl doesn’t have to sit through the reception – something a young child might not be so fond of.
Very young children, the two or three year-olds, don’t understand the concept or the importance of a wedding, so a separate room is the go-to option there. For your older kids, consider giving them something special at the table – perhaps something to keep them busy instead of a traditional floral centrepiece. Also consider seating a young adult with them to keep them from problems.

What do you predict the next wedding trends to be? The nature look is huge right now. We saw it catapult into popularity with the Twilight wedding, which I was privileged enough to design myself. When I say the nature look, I’m talking a rough, earthy vibe using stones, moss and pieces of raw wood and refined blooms. It matches rustic and simple with elegant and raw beauty. I like to think that moss is the new black!

I’m at a loss on how to put together a scheme that reflects our personalities. Where should I begin? I always start with this – close your eyes and envision yourself walking down the aisle. What do you see? It is different for every bride. It could be anything from a sandy beach to an elegant church. As you sit alone with your ideas, imagining only you and your future spouse, you can narrow down what kind of venue you want. That’s the first step.
Once you have a venue, then think, “How can I incorporate all of my feelings into a concept, and then apply that concept to my venue?” You aren’t going to pair funky chic venue with refined elegance. It doesn’t fit. Make sense of your concept and your wants and needs and build your own experience. You never look generic that way.

How can I have a celebrity-style wedding on a budget? Many people make the mistake of throwing all their money into the venue and are left with, essentially, no budget for the rest. That isn’t the important part. What’s truly important is what you put into it – the décor, food, music, photography – those are the key components that make or break a wedding. You can get the venue you need without engulfing your budget from the start. Take a simpler place, invest the money in the décor and make a statement that is much stronger than a commercial-looking banquet hall.
You should also keep in mind that celebrities have designers. They aren’t adding surplus accessories to their décor. I believe that less is more and that elegance means being confident in your design. Don’t worry about the odds and ends.

[Above: Tammy predicts that the nature look is going to be big] What’s the easiest way to create the wow factor at a wedding? Do something that people don’t traditionally think to do. I recently worked on a wedding where we had a comedian perform during the second course. It was fun, and people liked the idea that, instead of the quiet music they hear while they eat, they were able to hear someone make fun of relationships and marriage. It’s ironic and unconventional, and it worked for the best!
The wow factor doesn’t have to be costly.
I once had a bride who loved to bake, and she was good at it. Rather than the traditional dessert spread, she made small cupcakes for the guests as a dessert, hiding notes and riddles in the cake that led them to a dessert table in a larger room. They thought that they were only getting cupcakes, but then were able to discover these surprise tables. It’s fun, easy and interactive, and it makes the guests feel special, which helps make it memorable.