David Tutera PR Headshot

Celebrity wedding planner David Tutera loves a great party but don’t ever send him an email invitation.

DT dipping mannequin closer

“If somebody sends me an e-vite to something, I delete it,” he says. “I don’t even respond. That’s just my form of saying ‘this is unacceptable.’


“An invitation – something that’s printed on paper – makes you realize this is an important moment in life, especially a wedding.”


Working on the Paper & Packaging – How Life Unfolds ™ campaign, Tutera encourages personalizing your wedding with paper details.

“People forget this is really what begins and ends all the details and emotions and the storytelling of a couple,” says the star of “David Tutera’s Celebrations” on WEtv.


Although wedding DIY can seem expensive, intimidating and tedious, Tutera, who has wedding stationery and craft lines, says the projects are very doable.


There’s only one rule: “You have to have the right tools,” he says. “If you don’t have the right tools, it’s a disaster.”


Not sure how to use paper as a detail? Here are some of the cool ways Tutera has used paper recently:


  • He created an entire backdrop made out of paper for the band, which was cross-lit and front-lit. “It was literally all paper,” he says.PaperFlowers1
  • Adding small paper flowers, the size of a sweet pea or ranunculus, to real centerpieces. It’s not for price either – Tutera says paper flowers add texture when paired with organic centerpieces.PaperFlowers3
  • Paper flowers can be fashionable too. At another Tutera-styled wedding, the embellishments on the flower girl dress were made out of paper.PaperFlowers2
  • He’s also created paper bridesmaids bouquets, calling them “shockingly stunning,” noting the paper florals have “depth, texture and uniqueness.”PaperFlowers5
  • Even the designer’s daughter, three-year-old Cielo, is holding a bouquet of paper flowers in a pic for her dad’s social media pages. “It’s easy, super affordable and I think it looks incredibly expensive,” he says.


One of the best parts of using paper for wedding details? Each piece is a keepsake too – you can save these flourishes after the big day.

Groomed for Success

Tutera is focused on planning a very important wedding. He and his partner Joey Toth are getting married next year. While details are limited – Tutera will only say it’s going to be black tie on a Saturday night – he’s nervous because he’s doing the planning himself and wants it to be perfect.

“I had a terrible moment two nights ago where I though geez, ‘I’m planning a big wedding with my partner but then who’s executing it at the wedding?’”

“We’re going to have a very well orchestrated plan that we’re going to need to put in place,” Tutera continues, explaining two of the people in his bridal party work with him and typically handle big day coordination duties. “I need to understand that I can’t be in control.”

Tutera typically advises couples to keep their wedding childfree but he’s making an exception for his own “I Do’s.”

“Now my wedding is a black tie on a Saturday night but it’s our daughter and she’s going to be giving us away down the aisle so she’s a large part of the day,” he says. “If other people want to bring their children, that’s a question we’ll have to answer individually. It’s not a child friendly party.”

Don’t Make This Mistake

According to Tutera, communication is the biggest mistake couples make.

“Ring goes on the finger, the excitement has started,” he says. “Now you sit down, have a business conversation and talk about budget, what you can afford. You get that out of the way. Now go have fun and plan your wedding.”


Tutera says three wedding areas are worth splurges: food and beverage; design; and entertainment, which he says is often overlooked even though it’s essential for setting the tone of the party.

“They’re running to a DJ, which is great, it’s less expensive than a band, but that’s what gives you the energy for a successful party,” he says, urging couples to hire quality entertainers.

What can you do when you want to splurge but can’t afford it? “Cut your guest count,” says Tutera, explaining, “If you have a serious budget issue, and you have 125 guests and you cut 25 people out, which is a good percentage, you’ll be allowed to have the wedding you want.”

Trend Watch

The wedding expert is sharing his picks for a few 2017 wedding trends, including lots more metallic colors like bronze, pewter and copper, combined together.

Another trend affects the after party. Tutera is trying to keep the party and the after party in the same space, which he says saves money and keeps the energy in tact.

“You keep it in the same environment but you allow the party to unfold,” says Tutera, comparing the transition from party to after party to a Cirque du Soleil show. “You never move, it’s just the energy changes, the performance changes, the music changes, the lights change.”

A few ways Tutera recommends couples make that transition include unveiling a dessert area or opening up a little whisky bar in the corner.

David Tutera photos courtesy of David Tutera. Paper good photos courtesy of Paper and Packaging Board.

Blog post by Real Weddings Magazine’s writer, Kristen Castillo. 

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