As a wedding planning professional, I was incredibly excited to hear that David Tutera was going to be in town speaking on all things bridal and wedding! I mean David Tutera, the all- knowing being when it comes to wedding planning!

The person all wedding professionals dream and strive to be like! So I did what any wedding planner would do and jumped at the opportunity to learn from the very best. 

For those of you who have never heard of David Tutera, he is a celebrity event planner, who has worked with some of the biggest and well known celebrities in our lifetime. He has also had a very well-known television series on WeTV called My Fair Wedding, and a relatively new series, CELEBrations, focusing on other events outside of weddings. He is known for making dreams come true and the impossible, possible! David not only has an amazing event planning company, but also has his own bridal line with Mon Cherie Bridal, Jewelry line, and more...

So what did David Tutera have to say? A lot! David spoke of how he got into the business of wedding and event planning by starting out delivering singing telegrams and eventually buying the business and turning into the fabulous person he is today! He reminisced about previous weddings and events he had done and regaling the tales of how he turned the ordinary into extraordinary! More importantly he gave advice about how to make your event a remarkable experience. 

PLANNING AS A WHOLE

When brides are asked the question: “What’s the one thing you want your wedding to be?” Most of the time the answers are: Memorable, unique, and incredible! But when it comes time to actually incorporating those things that would make your wedding memorable aren’t actually accomplished.

“Brides get scared of thinking out of the box and are afraid of going over the top, and end up playing it safe and having the same wedding that every other bride has had. They begin regurgitating things they have seen other places and using the same ideas over and over again,“ says David, “A good way to prevent getting into that rut is to think of yourself as a guest at your own wedding. As a guest what would you like to see? What will make you as a guest go WOW!” Keep that frame of thought throughout the planning process to help keep you focused on making your wedding a one of a kind!

PINTEREST

It’s a great tool for brides to use. But be careful when looking for things to incorporate into your wedding. With so many ideas and options is easy to get overwhelmed and combine ideas and themes don’t fit into the big puzzle. David recommends trying to find a theme for your wedding that incorporates both you and your fiancé, for example a quote that was said that had meaning during your relationship. And use that in your theme and find things around that quote to incorporate into your décor. Once you find your theme stick to it. Wedding planning is a big puzzle and all of the pieces must fit into the overall picture without being forced, from your vendors to the small details. Use personal touches to make it your own and don’t be afraid of thinking out of the box and doing something incredible!

TIMELINES

“You should have 3 separate timelines. One timeline that shows the details of events throughout the day starting from when you wake up until you go to bed. The second timeline should incorporate those details in a more concise fashion starting from the beginning of your ceremony until the end of your reception, and the third should not only include those same elements but the necessary photos needed for your photographer.”

Timelines should not be made by the bride but by your planner in conjunction with your other vendors and input from you, so everyone is on the same page. Timelines are a guideline not a schedule that must be stuck to with force. Things will happen throughout the day that will require the timeline to be altered, however it is good to have an idea of what to expect and what will happen next.

BAND VS DJ:

Really it depends on what kind of feel and element you want your wedding to have. Each type of vendor produces a different effect and it’s up to you to figure out which one will fit into your theme and budget. Bands are typically more expensive then DJs and offer a live performance quality that DJ cannot. However most bands fail to bring the hype and excitement needed to achieve full party status. If you picture having a dinner and desire the main focus of the event to be the food and incorporate dancing throughout then a band maybe for you. DJ’s not only bring

the “funk” and can hype up your guests for a “Party” feel but many times can offer thing in addition to the music service such as lighting, montages, and special effects. A DJ can easily take the setting from calm and sedate to crazy, and amped! So if you want your guests on the dance floor all night then a DJ is the way to go.

EARLY CEREMONY AND LATE COCKTAIL HOUR

Many times church ceremonies begin early in the afternoon and the cocktail hours must begin a good 4 hours later. That is a lot of time in between events for your guests to figure out what to do with themselves. One of two things typically happen: either your guests skip the ceremony entirely or your guests arrive late to your cocktail hour and reception. Try to make the [san of time in between events shorter for your guests, to make going from one venue to the next easier and convenient.

FIRST LOOKS

“Always try to do first looks!!!” says David. First it helps you stay in control of the timeline. Second, many times when you are trying to get that special moment of walking down the aisle on film, the perfect moment between the bride and groom gets lost when all of your guests are there watching. First looks give the couple a special private and personal moment without all the distraction for the photographer. The difference between first looks and live ceremony photos is huge.

HOLIDAY WEDDINGS

“Don’t do it!” Especially for New Year’s Eve! If your guests are going out to celebrate a wedding on New Year’s Eve it better be a New Year’s Eve Party! If you can’t meet their expectations your wedding may not hit that “memorable” mark! You’re’ responsibilities as a hostess are increased for holiday weddings.

So if you are going to throw a holiday wedding successfully, how do you keep a wedding classy while making it a fun event they will remember? Going back to New Year’s Eve -David says to ...”make sure you have all the new year’s accoutrements that are expected such as party hats, horn blowers, sparklers, confetti, etc...and make sure you ramp your wedding up to PARTY MODE about an hour before midnight and throw in that countdown! Keep the party feel going by changing the lighting, the music, etc. until just after midnight, when you can wind it back down to WEDDING MODE.” For events like the fourth of July, keep with a summer theme without bringing the red, white and blue that everyone will see all over the place. Keep is light and playful without being over the top.

AFTER PARTIES

Don’t do it! After parties can be expensive and sometimes asking your guests to change multiple venues or to stay for a longer 6-7 hour wedding isn’t in the cards. You will end up paying large sums of money for guests that are leaving at the 5 hour mark or not bothering going to the second venue and just going home. An easy and fun solution that David recommends is to incorporate that after party into your pre-existing timeline for your reception. Change up the atmosphere for the last hour by changing the type of music played, maybe doing a large dessert station or multiple smaller dessert stations, and changing the lighting or the color of the room, maybe change your bridesmaid’s dresses and bridal gown into something more club like while staying with the color scheme!

I definitely learned a lot last night and I hope that in reading this you did too! Remember as a bride to use your heart and not get too focused on the planning, but to have fun with it. Planning can be a delightful and exciting adventure that you can include everyone in on. And remember that your vendors and professionals are there to guide and direct you when you need it. Use their years of experience to help you create a day not only about you and your fiancé but memorable as well!