Columbus Weddings sits down with an industry expert.
Columbus Weddings sits down with an industry expert.
David Tutera has made quite a name for himself in the wedding industry. He's planned the big day for the likes of Star Jones and Shannen Doherty (not to mention designing major events for countless other celebs). He has his own lines of bridal gowns, bridesmaid dresses, shoes, jewelry and DIY craft items. Tutera has even created his own invitation collection. He'll give a presentation at the Columbus Weddings Show on Jan. 14-15, 2017. (Make sure to stick around after his talk to say hi and grab a selfie!) We chatted with him to get some planning pointers from one of the best in the biz.
You've planned a lot of celebrity weddings and events over the years. What tips do you have that translate from those large-scale affairs to wedding planning for the average person?
I think the formula remains the same, whether you're spending $100 or $100,000. I think what people assume is that more money equates to a better, [more] successful party, and it's more memorable. But what I like to share with people is, it's more about the details and the story that you're telling.
What are some avenues for couples to do that?
Storytelling is done through a lot of simple ways. A really good start is with printed materials. There's things that you can infuse into your save-the-dates, if you do save-the-dates, into your invitations; you can share little storytelling things that you know about one another or how you met. It's also great to do on a wedding website.
And then when it comes down to the things like menu selection, pick menus that either are culturally related to you as a couple or a menu that maybe you dined on when you were proposed to, or a menu that reminds you of your grandmother. All of these things that are personally connected to you-right down to flavor of the cake, and why. The music that you choose, and why.
What's one question couples always ask you, and how do you respond to it?
Ah, the one question I get consistently for 30 years is, "How can my wedding be different?" Well, you have to either commit to that or not. So everybody wants to be different, but everyone is scared to step outside the box.
Once we get into learning what their definition of different is, or unique, or creative, then I can do my job. I think what happens right now is, people are so caught up in everything online-Pinterest has completely destroyed everything.
So should to-be-weds avoid Pinterest altogether?
I think if they glance at it, there's nothing wrong with it. But what happens is, they make a decision, collectively or individually, they go to vendors, and then they start going online and they start seeing other ideas. ... It's causing couples to make too many changes, costing them more money. Also, creating confusion and creating a disconnect with what they've chosen because it starts to not make sense.
Well, I was going to ask what the biggest mistake couples make is, but it seems like you've already answered that. Is it relying on Pinterest too much?
It is. It's starting too early in the planning, not sitting down and taking a deep breath and going, "What is our vision?" Which doesn't have to be accurate, but if you really don't know the vibe, the style, the objective to what you want your guests to leave with, then it's impossible for you to sit and plan your wedding.
Is there anything couples should do at their wedding that isn't often done?
I think that brides and grooms don't speak at their weddings, and I think they ignore the opportunity to thank their guests for being there. They wind up being sort of these passive participants in getting up and doing the formalities; you don't really hear a voice from them. I always have said that I'd rather hear the bride and groom make a thank-you and a speech to each other and to their family and friends, than the ancillary toasts that really don't make much of a difference.
Are you saying to pass on the best man and maid of honor speeches?
Or shorten them, but I would include, in addition, the bride and groom saying something.
So looking ahead, what are your favorite trends for 2017?
You know, the trend started middle of last year, which has started bleeding in now to '17, will be the continuation of more of a modern industrial look. … But what I am seeing and what I am doing for clients is taking modern industrial and softening it.
So if you can imagine, using pewters and coppers and bronzes with lavender and coral. Which is great, because lavender is an offset of silver; coral is an offset of gold. And it's a great infusion with the metals, creating more of a contemporary-slash-romantic look.
We're really excited to have you at our show in January. Other than seeing you, what should couples plan to do at the Columbus Weddings Show or shows like the Your Wedding Experience that you present?
It's important for couples to go into [bridal shows] with open minds; to look for vendors that they feel comfortable with and connected to. Don't make decisions based on prices. Yes, budget is important, but vendors need to understand who you are and what you want instead of you fitting to the mold of what they do.
We also, at Your Wedding Experience, create an experience. There's a lot of interactive moments going on; it's not just a floor of vendors and sea of people. There's an incredibly high-end fashion show, there's interactive areas where people can ... get a chance to really do things, so they feel like they're really participating in the planning and not just hiring vendors.
Definitely. And you know, we have some of those interactive elements at our show as well.
Which is great. And it's important for the couples to come and leave not feeling overwhelmed.
How can they prevent that?
I think they need to go in with an open mind and not assume they're going to book, like, six vendors. I think if they go in thinking-and I use this as a stupid analogy, but it's almost like orientation at college: going in to learn and have fun and not going to try to find your best friend and your final career.
OK, last question: What's your best advice for newly engaged couples?
To enjoy being engaged. To start talking about the planning of your wedding just as a couple, and not open the dialogue with too many people. ... Really try to understand what each of you wants, and then collaborate together on what you will wind up getting. œ
The Columbus Weddings Show 2017
The Columbus Weddings Show, presented by Worthington Jewelers, returns Jan. 14-15, 2017! Head to Cardinal Hall at the Ohio State Fairgrounds from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday for a one-stop shop for all your wedding needs. Cardinal Hall, which opened last summer, is the fairgrounds' newest facility and offers a host of amenities, like plentiful onsite parking.
The show will feature fashion shows-presented by David's Bridal and Men's Wearhouse-at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. each day, with the latest looks from both shops and Henri's Cloud Nine, Joan's Bridal Couture and White of Dublin.
David Tutera will give a special one-hour presentation at 2 p.m. both days, followed by a chance for guests to say hi and snag a selfie with the wedding planning guru.
As if that weren't enough, show attendees can peruse the booths of more than 200 wedding vendors covering virtually every aspect of the big day, participate in unique interactive stations and register to win some fabulous wedding-themed prizes.
Tickets are $10, with several package options available, at cbusweddings.com; they'll be $12 at the door. Stay tuned to Columbus Weddings on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and on our Bustled blog at columbusweddingsmag.com to get more details and updates as the big day approaches!