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During this year’s Association of Bridal Consultants’ ( annual conference we attendees found ourselves lunching among one of the most famous names in the wedding industry, event planner Colin Cowie ( Known as the “party planner to the stars,” Cowie has designed events for some of the biggest names in show biz, including Oprah Winfrey, Elton John, Tom Cruise and Jennifer Aniston. On November 11th, 2008, Cowie spoke at the Association of Bridal Consultants’ “Business of Brides” conference.
Cowie wowed the audience with a slideshow of some of his amazing weddings and events. Cowie is renowned for the lavish weddings and events he produces. While speaking about the planning and logistics of some of his weddings, we were lucky enough to view before, during and after photos of what goes into producing a Colin Cowie style Wedding.
In particular, Cowie spoke about one wedding last year in Columbia, Mo. He showed slides of elaborate structures built on the family’s property to be used just for the wedding day. One of which was a stone façade chapel with a fountain-flanked aisle. He noted the wedding had 600 guests and 300 waiters. “The most important thing is service,” he said.
The massive wedding cake, a silver leaf design, sat on a base that was the reverse of the cake (imagine the top of the cake, yes the smallest part of the cake, being the part on the bottom upon which the entire cake is balanced), giving the illusion of a cake rising from a four-inch pedestal on the floor.
Guests at the wedding danced from midnight to 6 a.m. on a dance floor with a special lighting installation. There were rock star bartenders on hand to make “well-crafted cocktails,” and a fireworks show was part of the extravaganza. “It wouldn’t be a wedding without fireworks, would it?” he said. While Cowie stays and oversees much of the event, he has never stayed till the end – he doesn’t want to see all that work torn down and leaves while the party is still in full swing.
At one of the wedding dinners, guests sailed in vintage boats to enjoy an old-fashioned clambake under a tent it took weeks to install (and a fire marshal to appease). The bride and groom’s initials were on bibs used by guests at the clambake.
At the wedding reception, Cowie used four different designs for the tables. Three used tablecloths — a nautical stripe, an Aztec-Indian print, a blue toile, and the fourth was a plain wooden table with beautiful napkins. Cowie says he likes to mix the designs and use different floral arrangements. He said that “it doesn’t cost any more to have four different looks.”
During a question and answer session, Cowie was an open book to the many wedding and event planners in the room. Cowie gave much credit to his team and says that he stays at his peak by, “not drinking anything but water during the day so he can have cocktails in the evening,” by working out every day and eating right.
In a surprise moment, Cowie decided to auction off a chance to intern with him and his team with the proceeds going to the Miss Dorothy Heart Scholarship program (to learn more, go to In total, 10 people won the chance to intern with Colin Cowie. Shauna Henry with LifEvents was one of those lucky winners – we’ll keep you posted as news comes to us.
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