Celebrity Wedding Planner and Entertaining Expert, David Tutera is known for his astonishing style and reputation for producing remarkable events. The wedding planner extraordinaire’s artistic skills was spotted at an early age by his grandfather, a successful florist.
At the age of 19, with the advice of his grandfather and only one client at the time, David launched his events planning business. In the years that followed, David Tutera’s natural ability to design impeccable events won him an impressive client list that include celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Matthew McConaughey, Star Jones, NY Giants’ Antonio Pierce, Elton John, Kenneth Cole and Tommy Hilfiger, to name a few. The highly sort after genius wedding planner’s client list also include the Official Post Grammy Parties in New York City, movie premieres, royalty and more. But it doesn’t stop there. He is every bride’s dream wedding planner and the host of WEtv’s hit prime time show, David Tutera’s CELEBrations. We recently caught up with him – he shared details of his fabulous job, the secret to having an amazing wedding, plus more.
Celebrity Style Weddings You’re a celebrity wedding planner, bridal fashion designer, author and more. How does David Tutera do it?
David Tutera It takes a lot of juggling and a great team to help keep track of my ever-changing schedule and to remind me where I’ll be traveling to that day! I always have so many different projects going on: designing events for my private clients, filming for my television show David Tutera’s CELEBrations on WEtv, working with each of my different brands to create and design all of my products and collections, sitting down for interviews like this; a little bit of everything! It’s fun because my days are never the same, but I can never tell you what tomorrow will bring! I just try to take it one day at a time.
On the newest season of his hit primetime show on WEtv, David Tutera’s CELEBrations…
This season, I am planning all kinds of events for my celebrity clients. Viewers can expect to see a lot more of my personal life and family, a slew of crazy celebrity requests, and all of the drama that follows them (and me!)
CSW Can you tell us a little more about your wedding dress collaboration with Mon Cheri? We’ve seen the dresses and the designs are absolutely gorgeous.
DT Thank you! It’s been really fun and rewarding working with Mon Cheri. I wanted to create a line of dresses that were both affordable and flattering on every body type. Most of my designs are inspired by classic and timeless silhouettes, but there’s always elements like beautiful beading and unique cutouts to really set my gowns apart. I have a clear vision of what I want my collection to look like each season, so I take pride in having a big hand in the design process from the beginning to end.
CSW What would be your biggest piece of advice for couples who are in the process of planning their weddings?
DT Take time to enjoy being engaged and going through the wedding planning process! It goes by in a flash, and you’ll never experience a time like this again. And definitely make sure your wedding is yours! You’ll find that friends and family members have a lot of opinions when it comes to your wedding, but they’ll have their own opportunity to plan a dream wedding (if they haven’t already), so stay true to your personality and style as a couple. Don’t get flustered and carried away with the little things, because at the end of the day you are there to celebrate your marriage with the one you love and that’s all that matters.
CSW Have you ever had a demand from a bride or groom that you could not fulfill?
DT I’ve had some pretty crazy requests, and I always do my best to make them happen, but sometimes it’s just not possible! A couple years ago I had a bride request an elephant for her grand entrance, to her wedding in New York City! There was no way we were going to be able to get the permits to shut down the streets for that, so she compromised with a beautiful horse-drawn carriage instead.
CSW All our brides and grooms would be eager to know what you think is the secret to having an amazing wedding? Can you give them a few great tips?
DT The secret is definitely to bring as much personality to your event as possible. With websites like Pinterest, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the wedding industry “trends” that you see scattered across your computer screen. Your big day should be representative of and meaningful to you as a couple. The close friends and family that make up your guest list will recognize and appreciate the special touches, and it will really make for a memorable evening. I’m also a fan of unique specialty entertainment, something that your guests will never forget!
CSW If one of our brides wants David Tutera to plan their wedding, what can they expect?
DT My clients can expect to have their wildest wedding dreams met! I pride myself in taking my client’s vision and making it even bigger and better than they could have imagined, and I spend a lot of time with each of my clients going over every little detail of their event to make sure that they are truly happy with the result.
CSW What was the smallest time frame you’ve been given to plan a wedding?
DT For my television show, we’ve done it in as short as a week! For private clients, it was more like a month or two. It’s definitely do-able to plan a wedding in a short time frame, but they present a whole new set of challenges. Not only are you limited to what vendors are still available, but anything with a long lead time (such as a custom designed gown or hand painted signage) may no longer be an option. When I know I have a short time frame like this, I plan my design accordingly so that we can focus on elements that are achievable for the big day, rather than wasting time on details that won’t come to fruition.
CSW You have a beautiful baby daughter. How do you cope with balancing your crazy and amazing work schedule and being a parent?
DT I bring Cielo with me most of the time when I travel so that I don’t miss out on spending quality time with her. She takes priority over everything in my life, and she always will. It’s been so amazing and rewarding being a father, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world!
CSW What is the best part of your job?
DT I love seeing the joy and excitement on each of my client’s faces when they first experience the event that I’ve created for them! It’s so rewarding to see a project go from conception to actuality, and it’s even better when my clients are truly blown away by it!
CSW You are an established name in the industry and your empire just keeps growing. What is next in store for you?
DT Now that I’ve really established a name for myself in the industry, I’m working on expanding into home and “everyday entertaining”. Keep an eye out for new lines of products from me ranging from candles and frames to furniture and tableware! It’s been a fun and crazy process translating my event design eye into home products, but the results so far have been amazing!
CSW Tell us something about yourself that people will find surprising.
DT People always find it surprising that I have a full blown addiction to chocolate! It’s really my kryptonite, and everyone in my office knows to keep a big stash in their desks for when I’m around.
CSW What are your tips for staying sane when working in such a stressful environment?
DT If you’re really stressing out, take a step back and breathe. In my industry, I’ve really learned that anything is possible with a little thought and a lot of hard work. I also look to my family a lot to help me unwind after a crazy day at work.
CSW What is an average day for David Tutera like?
DT It’s hard for me to describe an average day in my life because it’s constantly changing. My dog, Lucy, usually wakes me up bright and early every morning when I’m home, and then I definitely go right in for an iced quad Venti cappuccino from Starbucks and a little daddy-daughter time with Cielo of course. I also call my mom and go to the gym every morning like clockwork. I then check in with my NY and LA teams to see what’s going on for the day. The remainder of my days usually consist of filming for my show, taking meetings, going over design direction for a client event, conducting interviews or traveling for appearances—a mixture of everything really. My phone and emails are going all day until I head to bed and get ready to start it all over again the next day.