Celebrity wedding and event planner David Tutera has seen it all, and then some. Fans of his hit W TV television show "My Fair Wedding with David Tutera" (recently renamed "My Fair Wedding: unveiled") know that Tutera is well-versed in the art of the wedding, and always brings something special to the table for his clients. In addition to his hit television show, Tutera has written seven books on entertaining and events, including My Fair Wedding, The Big White Book of Weddings: The How-To Guide for the Savvy, Stylish Bride, and America Entertains: A Year of Imaginative Parties.
Not one to rest on his heels, Tutera also has his own line of wedding dresses with Mon Cheri, and wedding accessories that are available at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft stores. Currently traveling the country on his "Dream Bigger" tour--a talk-show style, 90-minute interactive show--Tutera sat down to answer a few of our burning questions about weddings, what inspires him, and whether there is really a difference between celebrities and the rest of us!
David Tutera's "Dream Bigger" tour stops at the Houston House of Blues this Thursday, August 8, at 5 p.m. You can purchase tickets for "Something Borrowed, Something Blues" online.
Houston Press: Tell us a little about your "Dream Bigger" tour, and how it helps you engage your national audience.
David Tutera: I'm really excited about "Dream Bigger!" It's a multi-city inspirational speaking tour that I'm proud to be hosting. Each show is in the style of a 90-minute talk show featuring surprise guests, competitions, giveaways Q&A's and secrets straight from me on what goes into throwing a fabulous event. What I love about this tour is that it's for everyone - fans, brides, future brides and the bride that never stops being a bride and anyone who simply just wants to live their life in style. The tour has given me the opportunity to come face to face with brides and fans from all over the country and inspire them to "Dream Bigger."
HP: How did you get into event planning, and why do you find it fulfilling?
DT: Growing up, my grandfather owned a flower shop and was the first person to notice my interest in flowers and event design. He encouraged and mentored me - teaching me everything there was to know about the flower business from the ground up. It wasn't until I owned my own singing telegram store in a small town that I was hired for my first gig. I loved to decorate my store window and was hired to design an event by someone who was merely passing by my store and took interest in my window decor. One small job led to another and they grew in size and status each time and my passion for weddings and events has only grown stronger since.
HP: What are some of your favorite bridal "dos and don'ts" for women?
DT: DO inject your and your fiancé's personalities into every element of your big day. You want this event to be uniquely yours! Signature cocktails, thoughtful favors, and your favorite foods or desserts are great places to bring in personal touches! DON'T spend the day updating your social media! I know you've been waiting a long time to change your relationship status to "married", but save it for the next day or even the next week. Stay in the moment and spend your wedding reception connecting face to face (not virtually) with your loved ones and new husband!
HP: Why are weddings so stressful, and how can all parties--brides, grooms, parents, attendants--do their part to make it more fun-filled?
DT: Weddings are stressful because everyone including the bride, groom, family and friends can get so wrapped up in trying to ensure that the big day goes off without a hitch. Taking on the role of a bridesmaid is both a big honor and comes with a lot of responsibility. You were chosen as a member of the bridal party because you are special to the bride and groom; however, both you and the bride should keep in mind that although you have made yourself available to support and assist with their journey to the altar; you are not their indentured servants either. The best advice from all parties is to listen and understand the bride and groom's wants and needs for the wedding. Help them stay organized and thrilled about their wedding and remain their constant support system. So give stress a big kiss good-bye and save the drama for the bride's dramatic entrance!
HP: You have worked with a lot of celebrities. Without naming names (or do!) what would surprise "regular women" about the process of planning a celebrity wedding/bash? How are they the same, how are they different?
DT: Aside from the star-studded guest list, I'd say what goes into planning a celebrity wedding is pretty similar to what goes into planning any other event.
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HP: Can you tell us a few simple, inexpensive wedding/event planning tips or tricks that anyone could accomplish that end up giving guests a great impression and/or add elegance to the occasion?
DT: There are so many simple and inexpensive things that you can do to elevate your event and give it the look of a celebrity style wedding. If you're a bride who likes bling, get your hands on my David Tutera self-adhesive rhinestone sheets from my craft line, available at Michael's and JoAnn's craft stores. Simply add them to spruce up the stem of your bouquet, your centerpieces or even your printed materials! Another cost-effective way to make a great impression with your event décor would be to use less floral and more candlelight. An abundance of candles in different sizes scattered throughout your tabletops and event space adds just the right touch of romance and ambiance to any event. (But be sure to check with your venue that you're allowed to use open flame. If not, opt for great battery operated versions for the same effect.)
HP: Who are some of your favorite clients you have worked with--famous or not--and could you share an anecdote about a favorite event, or aspect of an event, that our readers would enjoy? A funny "it could have gone badly but it didn't" moment?
DT: I've had really great experiences with all of my past "My Fair Wedding" brides, getting to know each couple and their stories have inspired me in so many ways. I will say many curve balls have been thrown my way in the show, from bizarre themes to family drama to battling it out with members of the bridal party; I've had my fair share of challenges within the three-week planning process. But at the end, everything comes together perfectly--it's an amazing experience and so rewarding. I'm excited for my fans to see my newest season of "David Tutera: Unveiled" which gives a more in-depth behind the scenes look at my life as an event planner, and oh yes--lots of drama