In the words of the great Vince Vaughn, "It's wedding season, kid!" Whether it’s the nuptials of a friend or family members, your own trip to the altar, or — lucky you — a voyage across the pond to Prince William and Kate’s lavish affair, chances are a wedding is in your near future. Or, more specifically, a party. Which means someone's got a lot of planning to do for the big day. (Hey, at least it beats writing vows.)
For suggestions on how to throw the perfect post-wedding wingding, The Feast sat down with Bronson Van Wyck, a man who knows a thing or two about a party, having planned lavish nuptials for socialites and dignitaries the world over.
An Arkansas native, Bronson first cut his event-planning teeth by throwing after parties for his own theatrical productions while still an undergrad at Yale. Following stints in The State Department and as a Hollywood set dresser, he returned to his passion, partnering with his mother -- a woman whose own wedding ranks among the top 100 of the 20th century, according to Town & Country magazine -- and setting up shop in Manhattan. Soon the duo were planning 16 back-to-back events for the 2000 Democratic Convention, getting requests from the Bush administration to plan its inaugural celebration, and throwing parties for P. Diddy and Chanel. Today, Bronson's work takes him all over the world, but throwing his own sister's wedding -- an atmospheric, masquerade affair held in candlelit tobacco field in South Carolina -- ranks as the highlight.
Bronson's wedding planning philosophy can best be described as yin and yang. "The important thing to realize ... is that you've got two things going on at the same time that are not actually opposed: One is the very sacred joining together of two people ... After that it becomes very profane, and really what you are doing is throwing a party." But how do you get there? Bronson suggests starting with a guest list. "You need to figure out how many people you're going to have there because that ultimately kind of determines every other thing about the wedding."
Watch the clip above for all his tips, like whether to go with a DJ or a live band, where to get inspiration and the importance of surprising your guests, plus his own thoughts on the impending Royal Wedding.
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