David Tutera was born to make the dreams of others into reality with his brilliance, vision and charisma. His name is synonymous with all things relating to weddings. The star has been planning weddings for over twenty-five years, and he has become a household name with his hit reality show. The new season of “My Fair Wedding with David Tutera: Unveiled” has become an instant hit with numerous viewers. The show airs on Saturday nights on the WE TV network. The famed wedding planner offers viewers a true look into what takes place on the show leading up to each wedding that he plans. The fans see the star bringing the visions of various couples to life, making their wedding a day that they will always remember. He is the best at what he does, and the show continues to inspire all who watch. He is a considerate professional that truly listens to what the brides and grooms wish to see happen for their special day. He brings his amazing visions for the events to fruition. David Tutera is truly exceptional, and his show is everything that viewers hoped it would be. The new season of the show will also feature two specials entitled, “My Fair Wedding: Revealed” in which the star will recount what it was like to plan weddings with various couples over the past several seasons. Apart from the sensational reality show, David Tutera has launched a line of wedding gowns, jewelry, shoes and much more. He is also the successful author of various books pertaining to the subject.
David Tutera was interviewed. He discussed the new season of the beloved show, offered insight and wisdom on planning weddings, and even revealed his favorite television shows of the moment.
Katrina-Kasey Wheeler: The fans are getting a very personal look at what the process of planning a wedding entails. It is such a great show, and it has been on for several seasons. What do you think of the new season?
David Tutera: I love it. I have been wanting to make this change for a while. I was worried about the changes that the show would have, but the number of viewers has increased. The fans are super excited about the new direction. Viewers are seeing the things that really happen that were never shown. We are showing that life has conflicts. The reality is that not everything goes as perfectly as has been seen in the past. I’m loving it because it gives me a chance to be me, and to have the voice that I have. All I’m doing is saying the things that viewers are thinking when watching, and it is coming out of my mouth.
KKW: Do you still encounter situations where some of the brides and family members find it difficult to surrender power to you since you are the wedding planner?
DT: I do. It becomes challenging for different people in situations on the show to know that they have lost control over what they were doing (for good or for bad). Obviously they are on a show and they needed to surrender because they were going down a wrong path. Just because they have a professional and they know that it is going to go well, doesn’t always mean that the feel comfortable enough to walk away and let me do everything.
KKW: What do you think of the way that the show has been received by viewers over the past few seasons? Did you ever imagine that it would go on to be the success that it has become?
DT: No. In fact, the first time that I was offered the show, I declined it four times. I was busy and I didn’t want to do it. When I watched it during the first season back in 2008, it took off right away. I know it is because I am being myself. There is no pretense or anything scripted. It is very real and viewers love that. Today’s viewers know fake reality from genuine reality. The unfortunate thing is that I think most of the shows are forced and faked reality. I’m just doing what I’m doing. I am an expert at what I do. I have been doing this for over twenty-five years. I’m just going out there and doing my job and the cameras just happen to be following me.
KKW: Was it difficult to make the transition from planning weddings, to then planning weddings on a reality show? Did you adjust quickly to being filmed?
DT: Maybe a little in the beginning. I had done a television show prior on the Discovery channel [Party Planner]. I was getting comfortable with television cameras. I think it works because they don’t get in my way. If anything I get in their way. You have to take ownership of the fact that I am a television host, but the reality is I am a wedding planner. I just always say, “follow me guys and this is what is going to happen.” Sometimes what you plan on shooting changes because there might be something different and more worthy of capturing that happens.
KKW: You must receive a lot of requests. How are the brides that become a part of the show chosen? What are some of the factors that go along with choosing the brides that appear on the show?
DT: The good news is that I have nothing to do with the process of selecting the couples. It is a large process. We only had three hundred couples during the first season, and in season five we had over ten thousand couples. The process is done through a casting company and then it goes to the producers. It then goes from them to the network. I meet the bride and the groom for the first time just as the viewers see. It is exciting. I love it! You never know what in the world you are stepping into.
KKW: Are you ever still surprised by some of the requests that you receive?
DT: Oh yes. Trust me. Sometimes I think, “what in the world are you doing? And why are you doing this for? The attention or to be on the show”? Every time that I think I am being one-upped and think maybe they are doing this for getting cast on the show — in the time that I spend with them — I come to find out that they really are committed. I say that in two different terms: committed as in committed, and committed to the concept for their wedding. It is fascinating.
KKW: Is there any way for a couple planning their own wedding to somehow make the process easier? Is a theme necessary and appropriate for a wedding?
DT: The reality of it is that no couple needs to have a theme. A theme in a wedding only makes sense if it makes sense to you as a couple. Why do you want that theme? Don’t pick a theme just to have one. Weddings can have a good color scheme and a sense of style based upon a look or a feeling. Themes are put onto our show because it helps create another storyline for the viewer. I always tell couples to pick something that they love, like, or something that they have done or want to be a part of their memory forever. Work together as a couple, don’t take over ownership as a bride or groom. There are ways to do it: take a deep breath and don’t try to execute everything all at once. Have a plan, and execute it one step at a time.
KKW: What would your advice be to a couple in this economy who would like to have their dream wedding?
DT: First of all look at your guest count. Do you want everyone at the wedding that is on your list? When you begin to shave down your guest list, that helps with the overall budget. Secondly, there are ways to do things that you may think are important but may not necessarily be. You don’t have to have an over-the-top cake. You don’t have to have favors. You don’t need a full band. There is nothing wrong with a great DJ, and simple décor on the tables. At the end of the day, people will walk away from a wedding not by how much you spend in the details, but in the storytelling as a couple. To me, that is more important than the overall budget.
KKW: Out of the numerous weddings that you have planned, do you have a favorite type of wedding to plan, or are they all special?
DT: It is more about the couple. I have thrown weddings that are very big in budget, but there is no connection to them emotionally sometimes. It really depends on the individual scenario.
KKW: You have planned so many weddings and events. The wedding that you planned for Shannen Doherty was documented on her recent reality show. It was a beautiful wedding as viewers saw. Is there anyone whose wedding you would love to plan?
DT: My fantasy wedding to plan would probably be Lady Gaga.
KKW: You have a large following on Twitter, and have garnered countless fans as a result of the show. Are you inspired by the support that has been shown to you and the show over the years?
DT: I am. I am very touched and excited about the response that I receive from the fans on Facebook, Twitter, and individual fans that write to me at the office. It is great. I never realized that the success of the show would be touching so many people in so many ways. To me, that is literally the icing on the cake. It does provide me with a very big responsibility: making sure that I am creating great weddings for the couples on the show, and also creating great experiences for the viewers as they watch the show.
KKW: How does it feel to know that you are having such a profound impact on the lives of others by making their dreams come true on one of the most important days of their lives? It must be very rewarding.
DT: It is. And it’s nice because on the day of the wedding, you are also touching the lives of the people that are going to it. It is an experience for all of the guests just as it is for the couple.
KKW: There is no doubt that you have inspired future generations of wedding planners. What advice would you give to someone who has been inspired by you and the brand that you have created with your artistic vision, and that would like to become a wedding planner?
DT: The piece of advice that I would give to anyone hoping to become a wedding planner is to become informed on all aspects of wedding planning. Just because you want to be a wedding planner doesn’t mean that you are there to just be in charge of the bride and groom. You have to know what you are doing. You need to know a little on every portion of planning the wedding. For example, intern with a florist, a catering company, or photographer. Know what you are talking about when you are speaking to these experts. Also, you don’t have to start big. Start small, take baby steps and learn from your mistakes. Also, go out there and be a trendsetter. Do something that makes you different and not a copy of somebody else.
KKW: You have launched a line of jewelry at Sears. There are four very distinct styles. What inspired you to categorize the rings in that manner?
DT: I categorized the rings based on the personalities of the brides. At the end of the day, each of these women have a very specific style of who they are as a bride. That style results in the ring that they put on their finger. The ring really begins the process of planning your wedding. I have just launched the online wedding program [The David Tutera Wedding Planners]. It is for those that cannot afford a wedding planner but want my knowledge of over twenty-five years. The program is a monthly subscription. They can get a lot of advice and speak to wedding planners that I have trained. They are available throughout the week for help. It is a great way to save money, get the knowledge and also relieve the stress of planning your wedding.
KKW: Your wedding gown line features a number of different styles and variations. When you were designing them, what inspired all of the different looks? As a wedding planner, are you seeing a current trend that brides are loving in regard to what type of gown they want to wear?
DT: We try to influence what they want for the future. My collection right now is based on lace and pearls. The brides want to know what the direction of the collection will be in the future. It is really important to have a style that is beautiful. My line has done so well because of the inner construction. There are a lot of dresses out there that are pretty, but they don’t have the inner construction that will actually allow the girl to look, feel and walk down the isle comfortably. My dresses go up to size twenty-eight. There is a dress for everyone: every size, body type and personality.
KKW: Would you say that choosing the right dress for one’s body type is the most crucial aspect in finding the “perfect” wedding dress?
DT: Yes, and I have written this in my book, [The Big White Book of Weddings]. You have to know your body type. If you know what silhouette is the best for your body type, then try on dresses of that style. Those are the dresses that you will look best in. Girls will often fall in love with a dress because they saw it on a celebrity in a magazine or a movie. They then buy it, and it is the wrong silhouette for their body type. You also can’t judge a dress when it is on a hanger. You have to try every type of dress possible. Educating yourself is important. You can’t go off of what you have seen somewhere else.
KKW: You have truly built an empire. You have a successful show, a line of jewelry, wedding gowns, shoes, wedding accessories and embellishments. In what ways would you like to see the brand expand in the years to come. What is next for the David Tutera brand?
DT: To continue to provide solutions for all women through television, my product lines, books and the continuation of brand expansion and other lines. I always say I’m just beginning even though I have been doing this for a long time. It is always going to be about giving women the chance to look and feel wonderful, and to be able to afford it. My brand is inspirational, aspirational and affordable. That formula is a rare combination. A woman should know that they can really feel wonderful about themselves and that is what my goal is. Beyond weddings, it is going to continue. You will see the brand grow, pre-wedding and post-wedding and everything will be about women.
KKW: Apart from your own show, do you have a favorite television show of the moment?
DT: My favorite shows on television are “Modern Family,” “The Voice,” and “The New Normal.” Those are my three picks on television now. On the WE TV channel I watch “Mary Mary.” The show feels very real.
For more information on the David Tutera Wedding Planners, please visit the official website.