When the time comes to plan your big day, you’ll generally have a gaggle of girlfriends and family members on hand to help, as well as a multitude of magazines, blogs and books to read. However, wouldn't it be nice to get tips and advice from a planner who has orchestrated hundreds of weddings? With many of them being for the biggest names on the planet?
Celebrity wedding planners manage to cope with the huge demands (and possibly huge egos) of famous actors, musicians, TV stars and the like, so you know that they have the skills to help plan a remarkable wedding day. Here are ten of the top planners, that according to the stars, have been creating spectacular events for years.
10 Yifat Oren
A wedding planner in Los Angeles for more than 12 years, Yifat Oren has helped create luxurious events for a host of well-known clients including, Natalie Portman, Anne Hathaway, Reese Witherspoon, Kevin Costner, George Lucas and Drew Barrymore. Oren helped Natalie Portman create an intimate, yet, elegant affair for her wedding to Benjamin Millepied in Big Sur; and was also the planner for Reese Witherspoon’s country ranch marriage to Jim Toth.
9 Mary Micucci
With a long history of planning star-studded events, (she has handled more than 400 movie premieres plus Grammy, Emmy and Academy Awards parties) Mary Micucci has been in the industry since 1975. The planner was the face behind the 1998 wedding of Barbra Streisand to James Brolin and has also produced events for former U.S. Presidents Clinton, Bush and Carter. Micucci has received the Modern Bride Trendsetter Award and was inducted into the industry’s BizBash Hall of Fame in 2007.
8 Sarah Haywood
An award-winning, internationally-acclaimed event producer that is, according to Conde Nast Brides, “Britain’s most sought after wedding planner”, Sarah Haywood has a client list that includes celebrities, public figures and nobility – not that she will name names or release any details of past or future clients.
Haywood is also a best-selling bridal author, having written the United Kingdom’s top-selling bridal book, Wedding Bible; and has created wedding events, workshops and master-classes around the world. She was the “go-to” expert for CNN’s coverage of the Royal wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton, and was also a judge for the Wedding Industry Awards in Britain this year.
7 Lady Elizabeth Anson
If you want to throw a wedding event fit for Royalty, than look no further than Britain’s Lady Elizabeth Anson, a cousin of the Queen and her party planner since 1960. The event creator was an advisor for the Royal wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton, as well as the nuptials of both Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.
Anson is often considered as the, “doyenne of party organisers” in the U.K. and, since founding her event business over half a decade ago, has produced events for other famous clients such as Baroness Thatcher, Sir Mick Jagger, Tom Cruise, Ivana Trump, former U.S. President Bill Clinton and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
6 David Tutera
Awarded the “Best Celebrity Wedding Planner” gong by Life & Style Magazine, and having worked with famous faces such as Jennifer Lopez, Elton John, Shannen Doherty, Barbara Walters, Star Jones and Matthew McConaughey, David Tutera is another planner who knows a thing or two about celebrity weddings.
He helped Shannen Doherty create an eye-catching wedding aisle that was built over a pool; and aided Star Jones to celebrate her nuptials in a palace-like setting with Swarovski crystal-dusted tables. In addition to his event planning, Tutera is a professional speaker; host of a primetime reality wedding and events show; author of seven books; and designer of wedding dresses, accessories, shoes and embellishments.
5 Bryan Rafanelli
A popular planner to those in political circles, Bryan Rafanelli has worked on events for famous clients such as President Obama, Chelsea Clinton and Laura Bush. Rafanelli first began planning events in 1996 and now has offices in a number of locations around the United States. The businessman has appeared as an industry expert on TV shows such as ABC’s Good Morning America, The Martha Stewart Show and NBC’s The Today Show, and was named the “event planner of the year” by Town & Country magazine.
His most famous wedding event to date is the multi-million dollar 2010 nuptials of Chelsea Clinton (daughter of former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) to Marc Mezvinsky. Guests attending the big day needed to wear specially-issued ID bracelets in order to board a bus to the ceremony, and had to hand over their cell phones and camera to be permitted inside the venue.
4 Kevin Lee
Kevin Lee is one of the most popular wedding planners in Los Angeles, with a host of big-name clients such as Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt, Drew Barrymore, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Oprah Winfrey. Lee was the planner on call when “golden couple” (though now divorced) Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston tied the knot in a lavish $1 million event that featured 50,000 flowers and a fireworks display.
He has been featured on a number of TV shows including CNN, E! Entertainment, and Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Additionally, he is said to have been the inspiration behind the character Franck, played by Martin Short in the early 90s movie classic, Father of the Bride.
3 Preston Bailey
After more than 33 years in the event planning business, and with clients such as Donald Trump, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Douglas, Jennifer Hudson and Donna Karan, Preston Bailey is one of the most in-demand wedding planners in the United States. The businessman (who grew up in Panama before moving to New York later in life) is known for his ability to transform plain spaces into breathtaking, theatrical settings – many inspired by his memories of Panamanian rainforests.
Property and television tycoon Donald Trump hired Bailey when he married Melania Knauss in an estimated $1 million wedding in 2005; while Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones enlisted Bailey’s help to thwart wedding crashers at their nuptials with specially embossed hologram invitations that couldn't be faked.
2 Colin Cowie
Born in Zambia and raised in South Africa, Colin Cowie is a celebrity wedding planner that has brought his international background to business, and now travels the world creating luxurious events for star clients. The event specialist is a regular contributor to NBC’s The Today Show and often featured on HSN; and has also released a collection of entertaining and lifestyle books.
Clients of Cowie’s have included big names such as Tom Cruise, Jennifer Lopez, Oprah Winfrey, Nicole Kidman, Alyssa Milano and Kim Kardashian, all of whom no doubt like his “JDM” approach to weddings – that is, a belief that all big days should incorporate at least one jaw dropping moment. Cowie helped revellers stay fuelled at Alyssa Milano’s wedding with a late night supper in the form of a pizza truck and a Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream truck. He was also the planner responsible for famous bachelor, Hugh Hefner’s second wedding.
1 Mindy Weiss
With a huge list of star clients to her name, including Pink, Ellen DeGeneres, Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Garner, Ben Affleck, Nicole Richie, Joel Madden, Katy Perry and Jessica Simpson, Beverly Hills-based Mindy Weiss is one of the most well-known and well-regarded celebrity wedding planners around. The specialist opened her first consultancy in 1992 and has since expanded her brand into books, product lines and spokesperson partnerships.
She helped Fergie and Josh Duhamel create a personal, fun wedding that included a cake designed like a princess castle and a wedding invitation that featured a caricature of the pair. She was also hired for Nicole Richie and Joel Madden’s big day which was celebrated in a tent with hand-painted floor tiles, vintage chandeliers and a wall of mirrors. Guests were even also greeted at the door by a live elephant! Named as one of the top five wedding planners in the U.S. by The New York Times, Weiss is the uber-planner you want on your side if funds permit!