Lisa Vorce was the first designer I fell head over heels in love with when I became certifiably obsessed with weddings. She just gets it, and then some (and then some more). So when we had the chance to pick her brain, and discover how celebrity event designers do it, well, we jumped. And if you want a little peek into her home all dolled up for the holidays (trust me, you do) make sure to hop on over here after!

Biggest mistake brides often make?

Biggest mistake = not surrendering. It is so important to be in the moment and enjoy every second of the wedding planning process and most importantly – the wedding day.  Sometimes brides can get a little wrapped up in the minutia of wedding planning, and it becomes a not-so-fun process. Especially on the wedding day itself – I tell my brides to surrender! Whatever happens….happens. I remind them they will never be able to get their big day back – so it’s important to be in the moment and relish every second of it. It’s my job to avert crises before they occur – and deal with challenges if they arise – so we’ll take care of everything behind the scenes – they just need to relax and enjoy!

Your all- time favorite detail?

I really love spectacular welcome gifts! We put a lot of thought and effort into sourcing and producing the most amazing welcome gifts for our clients. This doesn’t mean they have to break the bank… they just need to be well thought-out. I love giving guests a taste of the local flavor and an intro into what they can expect for the weekend. Welcome gifts are typically the first introduction to the event – so make it stand out and set the tone for what’s in store!

What every bride should know about planning a destination wedding?

Don’t over schedule! Focus on quality, not quantity! So many of my clients want welcome receptions, rehearsal dinners, beach days, cocktail parties, excursions, etc, etc, etc. Focus on a couple core events and do them well! Then just provide your guests with curated information on local activities, things to see and do, local restaurants, etc. Give them enough information so when they have downtime – they can either choose to get a little R&R, or embark on activities / excursions. And… handing them a pile of brochures doesn’t count! A well-researched and well-written “city guide” is the way to go!

How do you make a small detail have a huge impact?

Be smart about the details you’re focusing on, and figure out which ones are going to give the most bang for your buck! For example, are striped paper straws going to make or break your event? Do you need to have your monogram on anything and everything? Probably not. The wedding is about the couple getting married, of course – but I always encourage my clients to pay close attention to the guest experience.  Guests who are comfortable and taken care of are happy guests and will enjoy and remember the event. They’ll think it’s the best party they’ve ever been to! For example – we often provide “heel savers” at our events (plastic “caps” that fit on women’s heels and protects them on gravel / grass, etc), cozy wraps, and things like sunscreen and insect repellant where needed.  Very small (and easy!) details that your guests will appreciate. I can hear it now…”oh wow…they thought of everything!”.

How do you use online sources for inspiration but tailor them to your own style?

Super easy! Just remember that online sources are for inspiration… not replication / duplication. Use them to get inspired and get the creative juices flowing, and not as a “catalog” of what you want at your event. So many times brides come to me with a Pinterest board of 57 different directions thinking they want them all. A well-designed and “bespoke” event is one that is truly about who you are at your core. Take the inspiration you see online and translate it into a vision that is most fitting for you. Stay true to yourself!

To you, what makes a wedding truly stand out?

A relaxed bride & groom, a supportive family, good food, good music, and a great bar!

Easiest ways to add wedding style on a budget?

Gorgeous lighting! We all look better in pretty light, right? It’s the same thing for an event. Make sure your event is lit beautifully through both candlelight and ambient lighting. A well-lit room even with minimal décor will be stylized and stunning.

Your favorite trend for 2014?

My favorite trend for 2014 is NOT following any trends! I prefer to focus on really understanding my clients and to ultimately execute their vision on their wedding day.  All of the events I design are custom and one-of-a-kind, so one of the biggest compliments I can ever receive is that I have captured each client’s style & essence, and that their wedding is a true reflection of “them”!

It’s hard not to be obsessed with a talent like Lisa. Well, lovelies, you can ogle over even more of her stunning work right here. And for a behind the scenes look at her amazing life, check her out on instagram here.

Design + Styling: Lisa Vorce | Instagram: Lisa Vorce