From a DIY reception to over-the-top gala, gay event-planner-to-the-stars Brian Worley says the best way to enjoy your wedding day is to hire someone else to do all the work
Brian Worley first used his talent for staging movie premieres to mount his friend’s wedding — that’s what BFFs do. But he soon discovered he had a knack for making someones’ “special day” even more special. From that unlikely start, Worley has added A-list weddings to his repertoire.
For 11 years, Worley and his company YourBASH! has produced big events, including weddings.
Celebrity clients like Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl and Beverly Hills 90210’s Ian Ziering have entrusted him with their wedding days. He’s also done his fair share of same-sex ceremonies.
But famous or not, the one thing he tells everyone while planning a wedding is this: Enjoy the planning part, because the event is really for the guests.
“First and foremost, don’t put the day on a pedestal,” he counsels. “That’s my biggest piece of advice. The couple do all this planning but then they are having to take pictures while the guests are having cocktails and doing all their other duties. No matter how much money they are spending, I tell them to enjoy the process of planning the event.”
Originally from Austin, Worley majored in film at the University of North Texas. He moved to California to pursue his film career but found his talents matched elsewhere.
“Who knew this is what I would be doing,” he says. “I fell into this career really but I really love what I do. I still get to be creative. I’m the kind of guy who feels things happen for a reason. Now I’m in the middle of planning five weddings, an American Idol finale party and another movie premiere.”
For Worley, he sees weddings now as parties that have given way to modern celebrations. With same-sex unions, there isn’t that much tradition to build on so the couples can make their own rules. Whatever those may be, the goal is to have a beautiful day and take care of as much of the preproduction as possible. And to enjoy more of the day — hire a planner.
“The benefits of having a planner is that the couple or the hosts don’t have to worry about what’s going wrong, if there’s enough food, stuff like that,” he says. “What people forget is that the planner can stay behind the scenes and fix any problems. Guests should never know what’s happening and the couple can’t afford to be bothered.”
But is a planner in the budget? Worley explains that a planner may actually save money.
“First, it helps to hire one anyway,” he says. “But as planners, we use a lot of the same vendors and they have a better feel for that. So we give vendors work and business and they likely offer us better deals. A regular client won’t get that without one.”
Even if you want a planner, the planner must also want you. Worley interviews his clients as much as they interview him. Hiring a planner not only helps with the wedding, but you also add to the family. Worley says the level of involvement is so high, that most planners have to spend more time with the family than any of the members of the wedding.
“You start learning the dirty little secrets of the family when it comes to the seating chart,” he laughs. “But I’ve become really good friends with my clients. But I always work to get the business out of the way and then have fun.”
Even if you decide not to hire a planner, Worley offers these pieces of advice.
“Choose the location first, because if it’s not available, you’re not getting married,” he says. “Book your videographer and photographer to capture the memories and your entertainment. Caterers, florists, anyone else, will fall in place, but those are musts.”
Worley assures that planners have their clients’ best intentions in mind and they, like the couple, want every bit of it to be perfect.
“There are people who are there who love you and care about you so whether it’s a big wedding or not, have a great time with those people. We’ll take care of the rest.”
For more about Brian Worley, visit Your-Bash.com.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 4, 2012.