Celebrity Wedding Planner David Tutera on Wedding Budget, Family Drama, and His Newest TV Show

David Tutera Wedding Planning Tips

Photo: Courtesy of We TV

Celebrity wedding planner extraordinaire David Tutera wears many hats, including: coordinator of over-the-top events, designer of gowns for his Mon Cheri bridal line, architect of wedding décor and accessories, and, of course, star in his latest We tv series David Tutera: Unveiled. In contrast with his other We tv show My Fair Wedding, which shines its spotlight on the bride and Tutera's task of spinning their dream wedding theme into an elegant concept, David Tutera: Unveiled examines Tutera's personal life, event planning snafus, and offers an unique behind-the-scenes look at some of his most popular weddings. Viewers will get an inside peek at everything from his creative process to dealing with divorce to prepping for a baby.

See more: Wedding Etiquette Tips: The Ceremony

In honor of the show's season finale this Saturday (airing at 9 p.m. on We tv), we snagged a few moments with David to ask him about everything from opening up his home for the cameras to wedding budget essentials. Read on for his planning tips and to watch exclusive clips from the show!

Brides: How has opening up your personal life on David Tutera: Unveiled differed from shooting My Fair Wedding?

David Tutera: When I was filming for My Fair Wedding, the cameras were around me all the time anyway, they just didn't always show everything! So filming for David Tutera: Unveiled didn't feel all that different. The big difference is really now when the show is airing and all of my fans are reacting to my personal life. It's been so great to see how supportive and caring everyone has been, and I love that I'm able to share all of my life's celebrations as well as challenges.

Brides: What is it like planning a "Super 17" vs. planning a wedding? Who is the easier client to please?

DT: Planning a "Super 17" was fun because it was more about the party and less about some of the formalities of a wedding. I could get a little edgier with the decor and entertainment than I can with many of the other events that I work on. I also got to focus all of my energy planning an awesome celebration, and didn't have to worry about a ceremony. I would say most of my brides are actually easier to please than my Super 17 birthday girl! She had some pretty high expectations and a HUGE imagination to deal with! Most of my brides let me take the reigns a bit more.

Brides: What would you say is the most important thing to splurge on for your wedding?

DT: To me, the most important thing to splurge on is a great photographer! You might not remember what songs the DJ played or how the catering and cake tasted when you celebrate your 20th wedding anniversary. But looking back on your photographs will remind you and your husband of all of your wonderful memories and the joy that was your wedding day! You want to make sure to hire someone who's work you love, and who you will feel comfortable and at ease with all day.

Brides: What is the least important thing to splurge on for your wedding?

DT: The least important thing to splurge on is the printed materials. You'll want your guests to have a great time and enjoy themselves, so entertainment and food are pretty high up there in importance. Though your printed materials are an important element of the day, they won't make or break the event. Printed materials are also an easy (and fun) element to DIY so you can save tons! Get creative with fonts, shapes, colors, and even embellishments to make DIY programs, menus, and escort cards your own!

Brides: What aspect of wedding planning is the most important?

DT: The most important thing is figuring out and sticking to your budget! This should be your first step (right after calling all of your loved ones to give them the good news) and you should continue to refer back to this throughout the planning process. Sticking to a well-defined budget will ensure stress-free days leading up to your wedding! This will also help you to narrow down options when planning all of the different elements of your big day.

Brides: How would you advise brides to deal with difficult family members and friends?

DT: Be open and honest with those family members and friends who may be a bit more difficult during the planning process. Tell them that, though you love them and appreciate their input, this wedding is about you and your fiancé, and the vision that the two of you have for your big day. You'll only get one opportunity to plan the wedding of your dreams, so don't let someone else's vision get in the way! If you know someone may be difficult from the start, it may be best to kindly keep them out of the planning process to avoid conflict.

Brides: How would you advise brides to deal with a wedding planner they realize they don't like mid-planning?

DT: Thankfully, this has never happened to me, so I can't speak from experience! But first, the same as with your friends and family, I would be open and honest with your planner about what you want and what you're expecting. If you're not able to come to an agreement, refer back to the contract that you and your planner both signed to see what your options are. If you decide to go with a new planner, you may lose your initial deposit. However, if things are on good terms, your old planner will hopefully help to transition any existing plans and contracts to your new planner.

Brides: Has a bride of yours ever disagreed with a suggestion or decision you made? If so, how did you come to a resolution, make her see your side and compromise?

DT: Yes, this has definitely happened to me. I meet with all of my couples before sitting down to plan the decor for their big day so that I can get an idea of what they like and what they're envisioning, but we don't always end up on the same page. However, each wedding is about the bride and groom, and not about me. If they disagree with a design I've come up with, I change and alter it until it's something that they love! There have been very few times that I've put my foot down (I can probably count them all on one hand), but it's only been because there is a time and a place for everything, and that place is not always at a wedding!

Brides: Do you have any new exciting developments in the works beyond your planning app, décor line, this show, and your bridal line for Mon Cheri, of course?

DT: Stay tuned to see what I've got coming up next!

Speaking of staying tuned, here are two exclusive clips (one sweet, and one a bit more salty...) from David Tutera: Unveiled. Enjoy!

—Lauren Frankfort

You Might Also Like:
See creative wedding décor ideas
50 Ways to Slash Your Wedding Budget
What To Do Once You're Engaged

Give a Subscription to Brides Magazine as a Gift

Get personalized planning advice, exclusive offers and must-read wedding news.

Thank You
for Signing Up!

Check your e-mail inbox for the latest updates from brides.com