The global wedding planning industry is estimated to be worth more than $300 billion annually. And with more and more people relying on professional help to design their weddings, it is not surprising that the industry is growing very fast, both in India as well as around the world. Despite employing close to a million people, it is a business that is far from being corporatized. The big and famous players across the world continue to be individual entrepreneurs who stand out for their experience and quality of service. Here we list some of the big global names.
Mindy Weiss : She began her journey as a party planner, and is today one of the most sought-after names in the business. Based out of Los Angeles, Mindy Weiss Party Consultants, her first consultancy, was founded in 1992, and has since grown the brand into product lines, spokesperson partnerships, and even books. This Beverly Hills-based mastermind has done the extraordinary; think, organising a live trained elephant to greet the guests at the door at Nicole Richie and Joel Madden’s wedding. Her other famous clients have included the likes of Jenna Dewan and Channing Tatum, Fergie and Josh Duhamel, Nicole Richie and Joel Madden, and Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi.
Colin Cowie: He believes that every big day should have a minimum of one “JDM”…Jaw Dropping Moment! With a philosophy like this, you can only begin to imagine what this man brings to his events. Based in New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, Cowie has been creating memories and magic since more than 25 years. He has successfully organised functions from a size of 50 to 5,000 guests. He has penned a number of bestsellers, including Extraordinary Weddings and Colin Cowie Wedding Chic, and is a regular on NBC’s The Today Show, and broadcasting television network, HSN. His big clients have included Hugh Hefner and Kimberly Conrad, Don Henley and Sharon Summerall, Kenny G and Lyndie Benson, and Jennifer Grant and Randy Zisk.
Preston Bailey: Based in New York City, this wedding planning veteran, with an experience of more than 33 years, is best-known for his OTT and breathtakingly beautiful floral décor. Explains why he’s the author of Designing with Flowers and six other books. There’s an inherent class in his wedding affairs, and his art installations have travelled the globe. He’s a regular at seminars, television and radio interviews, and editorials. Bailey helped create exclusive embossed hologram invites, which couldn’t be faked or replicated, at Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones to keep the wedding crashers at bay. Among the big names that he has helped marry include the likes of Michael Douglas/Catherine Zeta-Jones and Donald/ Melania Knauss.
Sarah Haywood Wedding Design: Britain’s favourite name when it comes to wedding planning, Haywood’s magic lies in the personalised services that her company offers to its clients. From Azerbaijan to Ireland, her popularity has no geographical boundaries. Based out of London, she was the go-to international commentator at Prince William and Kate Middleton’s royal wedding in 2011. Haywood is the UK’s top-selling bridal author and has been featured in a number of leading magazines, including Harpers Bazaar Bride, Bride and Wedding Magazine. She also launched the ‘Ultimate Wedding App’ for BlackBerry, Android and iPhone in 2010.
Somchit Srimoon: Thailand with its huge variety of resorts and holiday destination is among the most popular wedding destinations in the world. And you are looking for an authentic Thai wedding planner than the go to person is the Bangkok based Somchit Srimoon. Her Chiang Mai based company Thailand Weddings is among the most experienced and famous of the many Thai wedding planners in the business. Her usp according to the company website thailandweddings.com: “ we are not a company created by westerners to serve the tourist industry but a local company created to serve local wedding couples, which just naturally ended up offering our service to English speaking couples as well.”
David Tutera: He began his journey to success by founding an event planning company when he was just 19 years old. From making Star Jones’ big day special by organising it in a palace-like décor with Swarovski crystal-dusted tables, to designing a stunning wedding aisle built over a pool for Shannen Doherty, Tutera is a master planner. This man of many talents, who is based in Los Angeles, is also a professional speaker; host of TV shows, such as My Fair Wedding with David Tutera and David Tutera's CELEBrations; author of seven books; and designer of wedding dresses, accessories and shoes. Among the more notable weddings that he has planned include those of Star Jones and Al Reynolds, Rachel Reilly and Brendon Villegas, Shannen Doherty and Kurt Iswarienko, and Antonio Pierce and Jocelyn Maldonado.
Yifat Oren & Associates: Based in Los Angeles and New York City, Oren, along with her Managing Partner, Stefanie Cove, and the firm’s team, has been credited for the creativity and execution rendered to each event. Oren and team were responsible for Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied’s elegant wedding story in Big Sur, as well as the scenic country ranch affair of Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth’s Big Day. His list of clients include Amy Adams and Darren Le Gallo, Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux, Drew Barrymore and Will Kopelman, Jason Bateman and Amanda Anka, Christine and Kevin Costner, Cameron Diaz and Benjamin Madden, Anne Hathaway and Adam Shulman, Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth, Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo, and Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied.
Bryan Rafanelli: With more than 21 years of experience in events, this Boston and New York-based entrepreneur has featured on TV shows, such as The Martha Stewart Show, NBC’s The Today Show and ABC’s Good Morning America. This ‘King of Romance’ is best known for the multi-million dollar 2010 nuptials of Hillary and Bill Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea, to her former investment banker and Co-Founder of Eaglevale Partners beau, Marc Mezvinsky. Other notable couples in his client list include Matt and Lucy Damon (vow renewals), Robert Duffy and Connor Dodd, Allison Williams and Richard “Ricky” Van Veen.
Larissa Banting : Costa Rica, the Central American country with beautiful beaches that front both the Caribbean as well as the Pacific is increasingly gaining popularity as a wedding destination among the rich and mighty around the world. And one of the reasons for this is the international popularity of that country’s most famous wedding planner Larissa Banting. She set up her company Weddings Costa Rica in 2003 after experiencing numerous challenges planning her own wedding. Since then she has conducted more than 500 weddings.
Text & Image Credits: Benaifer J. Mirza, Shutterstock and official websites of planners
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