On Saturday, February 4, nearly 600 people waited on line in the bitter cold at the Tanger Outlets at the Arches to see David Tutera, veteran event planner and star of the WE TV show My Fair Wedding. On the show, Tutera is a fairy godfather, swooping in three weeks before the big day to give brides an event beyond their wildest dreams. In real life, Tutera has 25 years of experience handling the events of celebrity clientele including Elton John and Jennifer Lopez. Brides-to-be traveled from near and far for the chance to hear some of Tutera’s advice on weddings and romance in person.
“The turn-out was phenomenal,” said Monica Tarantino, co-owner of A Taste of Home Bakery, which catered the event (including a special personalized chocolate heart for Tutera). “David was one of the most accessible celebrities in the sense that he made sure that anyone who waited in line for a picture or an autograph got one, he stood there for everyone.”
Guests warmed up once inside with an array of goodies supplied by the bakery, including chocolate-covered strawberries, heart-shaped brownies and sparkling champagne. We sat down with David before the show to find out his thoughts on black wedding dresses, fake flowers and if the man ever gets a chance to sleep.
Long Island Press: In terms of tradition, I know that sometimes when brides on the show come to you with things that may not be considered traditional; you are a little hesitant, occasionally. I wonder if your ideas of tradition have changed since you started doing the show?
David Tutera: First of all, I’ve never been a really traditional person to begin with, so I’ve always said pre-My Fair Wedding that I’ve always been the one to take the rules and break them. Unfortunately, sometimes traditions sort of set us for an expected wedding ceremony and celebration. The show, if anything, has made me realize that a lot of people are trying to have crazy themes to have a great wedding. Although that makes great television, it doesn’t necessarily in the normal mainstream world of weddings that you have to have a theme to have a wedding. You don’t—you can have color scheme or style, but you don’t you have to have theme. Although, as I travel, I listen to people who do have crazy themes… It’s interesting. And the thing for me has always been, if you have a concept that tells a form of the personality of the bride and groom, then you are adding something that’s a little bit more unique…
LIP: In the same vein, there have been brides on the show didn’t want white wedding dresses…
DT: I hesitate on that one.
LIP: I think Vera Wang did some black wedding dresses last year.
DT: Yes… others have too. If that’s what a bride wants, then I understand it, but I don’t necessarily agree with it. I’m a little bit more traditional on that. Every bride only has this one moment in their life to wear a wedding gown. You can wear a black dress 365 days of the year, every year!
LIP: In terms of brides doing their own thing, maybe not using a wedding planner, or can’t afford a planner for the whole time, what would you recommend when brides can’t use/ afford real flowers and are thinking about artificial flowers?
DT: First, I highly recommend a wedding planners in general and not just because I am one, but because it’s not necessarily a luxury, but a necessity. And I think that people think wedding planners are costly, but if you have a good wedding planner, they should be saving you money. They should be executing contracts with vendors better than the ones you would have solidified yourself. It’s still a work in progress, in the industry.
In regards to having fake flowers at a wedding: I’m not a big fan of it, but I do think if done right, it could work well. The trick to fake flowers is when you use one type of fake flowers. So, maybe all fake tulips or hydrangeas or roses; when you start to mix it together, then it looks like a bad hotel. If it were me, I’d have an abundance of candles and rose petals. I think that’s a great compromise.
LIP: Aren’t you wiped out after you’re done with an event—are you totally exhausted?
DT: Me? No, I feed off of it. I feed off the passion. You know, 25 years I’ve been doing this. I just go from one to the next. When people are planning their weddings, they get so caught up in the concerns, that it becomes almost a job as opposed to enjoyment. In reality, it’s supposed to be just as fun planning as it is the day of. It is from when you get the ring to the walk down the aisle. You’re not making life-threatening decisions—you’re making a choice to pick blue or green.
We asked Nancy Larson, General Manager of Tanger Outlet Center at the Arches, to let us know what else she had in store for 2012, and she made us aware of these great upcoming events!
• A summer concert series which runs throughout the summer on Saturdays
• A Fortune 52 networking event in July
• Spring Fashion Week & Create Your Own Style Contest
Go here for more details!
Tanger Outlet Center at the Arches
152 The Arches Circle
Deer Park, NY 11729