The home of UK weddings

29 September 2015

Party Planner to the A List Gives Us His Wedding Planning Advice

As a celebrity wedding and events planner, David Tutera has planned events for Al Gore, J-Lo and Elton John, has his own TV show and was named ‘Best Celebrity Wedding Planner’ by Life and Style Magazine and we caught up with him to pick his brain for all his wedding planning advice. Enjoy!

What’s the recipe for a beautiful wedding?

The two most important factors that make up a recipe for a beautiful wedding, or any great celebration for that matter, include elements that appeal to the senses and unique, personalized touches.

The foundation of any event is always going to be your entertainment, food and décor. These key factors utilise the senses, allowing guests to touch, taste, see and hear the beautiful elements of a wedding. And the cherry on top of a great wedding is the personal touches infused into these components that speak to who you are as a couple.

This can be anything from the colour palette or custom monogram that appears in your décor, on printed materials and in several places throughout the wedding, to the choice of music and entertainment or a favourite food item on the menu. These are great ways to reflect your taste as a couple and take your wedding from ordinary to extraordinary just by bringing out your personalities. This is the recipe that makes a wedding unique and memorable, setting it apart from the rest.

How can a bride have a wonderful wedding on a budget?

Just because you are on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t have a beautiful, well-executed wedding. It is possible to have the wedding of your dreams with any budget. A few things to keep in mind when planning your big day to help keep your costs low include:

  • Opt for flowers that are in season to save on cost. Also, instead of cutting back on the number of flowers, cut back on the number of kinds of flowers. Using any one in abundance – from hydrangea to sunflowers or even branches, all of which will make a great impact throughout the space.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of the glow. Candles, candles, candles! Even tea lights in abundance are a great way to create a romantic, elegant ambiance while cutting costs on floral. Whether arranged in clusters, in squares or used to line your ceremony alter, stairs or venue windowsills, candles make for an amazing look!
  • For most receptions, the tabletops will take up the majority of the visual space in the room, but elaborate linen rentals can add up quick! You can save a fortune here by sticking with the standard white or cream option your caterer most likely has and adding only a unique overlay or runner instead.
  • Choose a location that requires minimal décor and can stand alone as the beautiful backdrop to your celebration - like a garden or beach. Mother Nature can take the credit here!
  • You don’t need to have a rock-star budget to have your entertainment be a hit with your guests. Some of the greatest performers are the most cost-friendly—whether you hire a local church or children’s choir or a solo guitarist or violinist from a local music school.
  • Some options for scaling back – tastefully – on the catering costs include; serving fancy pasta as your entrée. The fillings and presentation can be gourmet – just not the price tag. Eliminate seafood and prime meats from the menu – especially at cocktail hour where a single shrimp appetizer can cost several pounds! Daytime weddings and dessert receptions will cut back on the amount of food required as well.

How important is it to have a wedding theme?

It isn’t all that important to have a theme per say, but, a choosing a colour palette is key! Now for some brides, this is easy, they have had the colours picked out before the groom even entered the picture. But for others, choosing wedding colours can be a stressful process. A colour wheel is a great tool to help you choose coordinating colours and the time of year is a great way to narrow it down as well. Try to limit your colours to two or three, so things don’t get too jumbled. And make sure to stay consistent with your colors throughout the wedding.

Have you ever had a very difficult bride?

When handed a difficult bride it’s so important to be proactive. I set very high expectations for myself, which gives me a bit of padding even with the most challenging brides. I also try not to take anything too personally. Sometimes if I suggest an idea or a piece of fashion and the bride doesn’t agree, the best thing to do is to find another option and try to keep the bride happy. A lot of the time, a ‘difficult’ bride is just looking for someone that is willing to listen, agree on things and be on the same wavelength as them. Wedding fears can bring out a lot of different personalities and it’s part of my job to remain composed, keep the bride calm and reassure her that everything will turn out just as she imagined it.

The best wedding planning tip you have?

For some brides, the words ‘wedding planning’ can be intimidating and exhausting. Just the thought of never ending to-do lists, the possibility of exhibiting ‘bridezilla’ symptoms and on-going stress may not seem all that appealing. But, planning your wedding should never elicit those feelings.

Although there are a lot of planning tips to keep in mind, you should never lose sight of enjoying the process. How often do you get to try an abundance of food at a tasting, try on a dress that has you in tears (happy ones of course), and are able to personalise an entire event to reflect who you are?

Planning your wedding is an exciting time and remembering to enjoy the journey is something that I know you won’t regret and you shouldn’t let slip away in the midst of it all.

Three wedding day essentials?

1. Wedding License - This is the one thing that every couple needs in order to seal the deal. People often get so wrapped up in the planning that they completely forget about the legal documents. Make sure to put this on the top of your ‘to-do’ list.

2. Wedding Day ‘Emergency Kit’ - Pack a wedding day ‘emergency kit’ ahead of time to include necessities for any day-of mishaps or touch ups (i.e.: Plasters, safety pins, lipstick, bobby pins, hairspray, aspirin, etc.)

3. Vendor Contact Info & Payments - A list of vendor contacts and any final payments and gratuities due on the day-of should be sorted in advance and marked in individual envelopes and entrusted to a family member or bridal party attendant to hand out on your wedding day.

Non-white dresses – yay or nay?

Yay! Infusing colour into wedding dresses is something I love and I’m no stranger to it! I’ve designed my David Tutera for Mon Cheri collection with plenty of colour options to cater to every bride’s style. A wedding dress tells us about the bride’s personality, and showing some colour in your wedding-day attire is the best way to depict your vibrant personality and fashion-forward style for all of your guests to see. From tea rose blushes to powder blue hues, the options are endless when it comes to choosing your wedding fashion and there is no right or wrong colour to walk down the aisle in.

You’ve worked with some of the biggest names in the world – have you ever gotten star-struck?

I think I get more of a feeling of excitement to have the opportunity to work with celebrity clients than I do being star-struck. I feel so honored when someone notable takes notice in my work and then wants to bring me on board for their own event.  It’s a great feeling and with these amazing clients, as excited as I am to work with them, I always like to remain professional. 

What takes a wedding from nice to amazing?!

It’s really all about the experience your guests have. Like I mentioned before--appealing to the senses through your entertainment, food and décor and then infusing your personal touches into it, really takes a wedding from zero to sixty. More so, music and entertainment are the heartbeat to any event, and getting guests out of their seats and on the dance floor is what will leave a lasting impression as well. You want your guests to be able to look back and remember what an amazing night they had.

A few of David's beautiful weddings:



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