WE-TV recently held an unusual multi-city tour with event planner David Tutera to promote “My Fair Wedding” although the show is well into its fifth season.
He came into Atlanta last week at 103 & West. The publicists invited CNN, me, radio personalities such as Ramona DeBreaux at V-103 and a raft of blogger types such as Bossip targeting African Americans. Dwight Eubanks, the stylist formerly known as a recurring cast member on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” was in attendance as well.
“I’m just so blessed to do this show,” he told the media. “It’s the most incredible experience.”
At age 19, he fell into event planning, doing a bar mitzvah for $2,500.
Tutera’s clients now typically spend $300,000 or more on a wedding. On the TV show, he provided a sampling of what he gives his high-dollar clients to people who couldn’t otherwise afford them. For those who haven’t seen it, it’s largely a feel-good program, pure wish fulfillment for the viewers. (There were 300 applications season one. By season five? About 10,000! It’s like winning the lottery!)
“My Fair Wedding” airs at 9 p.m. Sundays against Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” While Tutera’s show draws around 350,000 viewers, “Real Housewives” brings in 3 million. Tutera is not a fan of the “Real Housewives,” declined to comment about them.
On his show, Tutera can be colorfully opinionated when a bride offers something he construes as less than tasteful and gently nudges them into a direction he feels is more apropos.
The casting producers try to ensure the brides they cast are truly grateful people, anti-”Bridezillas.”
Not that this is guaranteed. One woman made Tutera nervous from day one but he went with it. On the day of the wedding, he said, at the reception, the bride became agitated over the chicken. She started screaming at the executive producer. “This girl is out of her mind!” he said. “I turn to her and say, ‘Honey. Can you at least look me in the eyes?’ She says, ‘You disgust me!’ I say, ‘No. You disgust me!” I turned and walked out. That was one of the most horrifying experiences I’ve ever seen. She was on the wrong show!”
Tutera said he chooses to have nothing to do with casting. He likes going in with a blank slate so he can be surprised along with the viewer. He also uses the show to promote his own line of rings and gowns. (Hey, why not?)
Tutera, who lives in New York and Los Angeles but does weddings all over the world (including a few in Atlanta), has been married to his partner for eight years. “I totally overproduced my own wedding,” he said. “Shocking!”
Will there be a same-sex wedding on “My Fair Wedding”? He said yes. “I owe it to the community to do that,” he said.
He also put to rest all the nasty rumors about Star Jones’ wedding, which he designed. “She paid me,” he said. “She paid for everything. Not one thing was free. I have had celebrities come to me and want me to do it for free. The answer is no!”
And he is no fan of Kim Kardashian and her wedding. “Don’t even get me started on her! I’ve been asked by my publicist to stop going on a rant about her wedding. But they make me so angry. I get tongue twisted. I hate her. I can’t stand her!” (He was given raving applause for that one.)
Below is my one-on-one with him: