Houston is upping its bridal game. Bridal shows seem to come to town weekly, but David Tutera, event and wedding planner extraordinaire and host of David Tutera's CELEBrations on WE tv, is bringing a unique wedding experience to the George R. Brown Convention Center this Sunday.
“It’s unlike any bridal show, which is why we call it Your Wedding Experience,” Tutera says, “because it’s a very emotional, personal experience for all your friends and family."
Tutera, renowned for throwing lavish celebrity weddings, knows the grit of the wedding is in the personal experience. While each expo offers a fashion show and a Nominate Your Fiancé photo contest (grand prize is a three-day inclusive Caribbean vacation), each city has a tailored experience, from the vendor list to the celebrity guest model—Houston’s is Josh Murray from The Bachelorette.
“Anyone who has a ticket will find vendors who are local,” Tutera said, “My vendors’ quality is the most important reason to go.”
Vendors cover the range of bridal needs: bridal wear, which will be featured in the show, florists, stationary, photographers, caterers, bakers and even travel guides. You can look forward to seeing, Winnie Couture, Who Made the Cake!, Gr8Plate, Pixel Studio Productions, Melange Events, and much more. But the event isn’t just about nabbing the right vendor, even though it’s high on the necessities list.
“You want to give your story and heart to your [wedding] attendees,” Tutera said, “not just another great vendor, service or product. At the end of the day it’s your wedding experience.”
Tutera hopes Your Wedding Experience gets Houstonians over whatever obstacle they’re facing by providing vetted professionals, ideas and resources all in one. But if Tutera's epic style isn't enough, he's bringing in another expert, famed New York wedding and event planner Preston Bailey.
“I think [Tutera] is amazing. I jumped at the opportunity,” Bailey said, “I like meeting new brides, answering questions and just being out there.”
Bailey’s work brought him to Houston once previously, for Dallas Cowboy legend Emmitt Smith’s 2000 wedding. He’s worked in Dallas, but over the past decade Houston has been a relatively untapped market, leaving Bailey curious. But as far as what a Houston wedding would look like, Bailey and Tutera are in unison.
“Ultimately it’s the client’s story,” Bailey says. “My job is to tell an interesting story, a combination of beauty and entertainment and interpreting someone else’s point of view.”
Bailey, who started as a florist, is impartial to blooms and blossoms for decorum. But he, like Tutera, stresses ingenuity—especially for a better budget—as an essential mindset. “Out of the vase,” is a running theme on Bailey’s blog for new and unique ways to incorporate flowers.
“I try to bring the beauty indoors. I love the idea of being surrounded by nature,” Bailey says. Coincidentally this is similar to Tutera’s current favorite style, except his ideal is more organic-woodsy than flowery.
But both are inclined to making the client’s dream a reality, no matter the theme. As old hands at event and wedding planning, they understand how to navigate the stressful loops and hurdles, from finding the right vendor to keeping to the budget. And both, no matter the time in the profession, still love the experience of meeting brides, grooms and their families and helping them find the right fit. It’s what the expo is all about, the personal touch.
“You’re planning one of the biggest days of your life. You have the opportunity to not just see a picture, but be exposed to talent,” Bailey said, “It empowers and gives a different layer or point of view.”