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David Tutera on weddings, parties and traveling
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times

This article shared 10703 times since Wed Dec 21, 2011
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Celebrity event planner David Tutera returns to WE tv with a brand-new season of My Fair Wedding. He is the author of seven books, with the most recent being A Passion for Parties: Your Guide to Elegant Entertaining. We talked about WE and weddings on a Wednesday for Windy City.

Windy City Times: Hi, David. Welcome to Chicago!

David Tutera: I love Chicago. I always say if I ever leave New York I would live in Chicago.

David Tutera: Let's talk about your career. You basically started from the ground up.

DT: I did. I started when I was 19. I seriously got into the business accidentally through a bat mitzvah, specifically; then I did a wedding; then the next thing I knew, I owned a business. It really was from nothing to something. It has been a long time. It has been 25 years. It has been quite the journey since doing client's events in the county of Westchester to New York to all over the country, now all over the world. I have written seven books and have product lines that I have developed and are very successful.

David Tutera: So you fly everywhere to do weddings all over the place.

DT: I'm leaving Dec. 26 for Durban, Africa. So when you say everywhere, I literally go anywhere!

David Tutera: Is it hard traveling and leaving your partner, Ryan Jurica?

DT: It is, but he is actually coming with me, we travel a lot together. It is one of the great benefits. Ryan and I have been together for 13 years. He works with me and for me in the company. He is a large part of the success of all of what we do. This is due to the fact that we do it together.

David Tutera: What was your personal wedding like?

DT: Ours was really great. We had 120 people come in Manchester Village in Vermont eight years ago. It was pretty spectacular. It was an emotional weekend. We had four parties over the weekend, ending with a black-tie ceremony in a beautiful 17th-century church.

David Tutera: Your show is about surprise makeovers, correct?

DT: It is brides that have gone off track. They may not realize it. These may seem like good ideas but these half-baked ideas wind up being more of a mess. So I come in under three weeks and change everything. They have no control anymore and they don't know what it is going to be like until they actually show up at their own wedding.

David Tutera: So it is a lot of trust in you…

DT: Listen, I am not sure I could do it if I were on the opposite side. With the success of five seasons they know at the end of the day they have gone from not-such-great weddings—sometimes $3,000 budgets—to several hundred thousand-dollar weddings and something fabulous. They get the whole experience, so that is what people love about the show.

David Tutera: Have you ever had a disaster where they just hated it?

DT: No. There have been challenges in the episodes leading up to the day of the wedding not wanting me to make the changes that I am doing, but the reality is that is the show and what they signed up for. It is not like they can have one change and not another. They have relinquished control to me. At the end of the day they know that was a good decision.

David Tutera: There are issues of the economy now that you have to deal with.

DT: Yes, it is a great show because people are very stressed about budgets and the economy. They want the fund for a big wedding. These girls have these struggles, just like the viewers at home are having. It is great to step into these fantasies that come true. It is a great payoff at the end.

David Tutera: Have you done a lot of gay weddings?

DT: Personally, I have for my company, yes, but for the show, no. I am hoping in season six that we embrace gay weddings. It is on the top of my list as a gay man myself, who did my own wedding. I think it is time to see more of it on television.

David Tutera: Gay weddings are happening more. That is another thing.

DT: They are happening more. You and I are aware of it because of who we are and what we do. It is time for people like myself to make it more aware that they are happening more and more. I think it is the responsibility that we have but not throwing it in the faces of people and making them uncomfortable but making it acceptable. It is one thing to read about it, but different to see it.

David Tutera: How is it working with celebrities such as Elton John and Barbara Walters?

DT: They are just like everyone else. They want something different but the challenge is the same. The thing with celebrities is they have less time to give you to make decisions. They always want something different that has never been done. Their expectations can be higher and the length of time that they are planning is typically shorter. It becomes a little more of a navigational process.

David Tutera: I saw you on The View. That looked fun!

DT: It was. I do that show all the time and they are a fun group. I was just on The Talk on CBS with Sharon and Julie, then did The View a day later. Next week is Rachael Ray. It is fun to go out there and not just give my tips on wedding advice but on entertaining, which is my grass roots.

David Tutera: Now that you have done seven books, is there a book that you still want to write?

DT: I am actually in the process of working on three. The ones I really to do now are more about friendly advice, as opposed to doing the big entertaining blowouts. People really want to know what to do at home and truly afford it, as opposed to a once-in-a-lifetime experience, like a wedding or big celebration. I am working on more budget-friendly advice for everybody and anybody.

David Tutera: Do you think holiday weddings are good or bad?

DT: I think they are a terrible idea. If you invite me to a holiday wedding, odds are I am not going to go.

David Tutera: Where can people go for advice on holiday parties from you?

DT: My website is . That will navigate them through my fashion, craft and jewelry lines. These are things that I have created for budget brides and budget people entertaining. They can look and feel fabulous without spending stupid amounts of money!

My Fair Wedding with David Tutera marches down the aisle Sundays. Visit for listings and details.

This article shared 10703 times since Wed Dec 21, 2011
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