davidpressmanevents

I produce special events, weddings, fundraisers … & help people celebrate life's joys, little victories, passions and philanthropy. Oh, and my cat snores too.

Getting to Know David Pressman Events, by Melissa Bilodeau for Style Me Pretty

Day in and day out, I thank my lucky stars that I get to work in this biz. Wedding vendors are some of the most driven, passionate, and talented people I’ve met and it’s quite the inspiration. David Pressman Events is one of those people. From using his fashion sense with brides while dress shopping to helping couples find the perfect venue to pulling together kick-butt teams of vendors for each event, David is a planner extraordinaire—and we’re getting to know him a bit more today. Keep reading for the interview below, sprinkled with gorgeous imagery from Aaron Delesie!

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SMP: Working previously with American fashion icons such as Perry Ellis and Calvin Klein, how does fashion inspire your weddings?

DPE: Once you’ve had the opportunity to work with one of the great fashion designers, it’s really hard to ever get that out of your head, no matter where life steers you. For weddings, those amazing experiences (and time with couture designer Mary McFadden and the brand Ellen Tracy) made me so aware of the inspiration behind each collection, and the research and creative essence that was driving that designer in terms of everything. From the overall style of a design collection to fabrics and colors, to lighting, music, and even chairs chosen for fashion editors and clients to sit in.

An answer in one word, would be “completely.” What I’ve learned in fashion taught me how to understand that the big picture would never come to life without all of the details being perfect.

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SMP: Any favorite wedding dress designers?

DPE: Damn. That’s so hard because part of my process is to take my clients shopping and see them in all sorts of dresses until it becomes obvious what style or designer is going to be perfect for them. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a woman doesn’t know until she’s in the actual dress and has someone trusted – without an agenda – who can be honest and gently point out what works and doesn’t.

The final dress down a fashion runway is generally the wedding gown, so I lean towards designers who create, and with all due respect, more than wedding gowns. Vera Wang is a great example and clients are surprised when I walk them through the evening and Ready-to-wear items they can add for their after-party honeymoon or just to collect to build a wardrobe of perfect pieces. Along those lines Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta, Delphine Manivet, Elie Saab, Monique Lhuillier and of course Chanel all stand the test of time. In terms of wedding gown designers Claire Pettibone continues to stun me with the delicacy of her work and fabrications that go into her stunning gowns and each new collection from Lazaro just makes his reputation that much stronger.

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SMP: We love the simple, understated beauty in the weddings you design. Following the “less is more” approach, how do you create a clear sense of style?

DPE: I start by engaging my clients in a conversation and asking lots of questions so I can find out what is most important to each of them. Unless I’m given carte blanche by a client to make all design decisions, I will share curated lists of photographers and other vendors for them to check out. Their response lets me know how stuck they are on what they thought they wanted after our second or third conversation.

If the wedding destination is Cabo for instance, it’s highly unlikely that I would design a Hollywood Deco type wedding. So the destination or venue is very important to the design process for every vendor that becomes part of the team I’m assembling. A huge part of my job is getting that team right. And I consider everything from how hard the load-in at the location will be, to how many events will come together to make up this particular wedding experience and what that’s going to require of everyone. The planner part of me wants everything on THE day to come off just like it is on my timeline, but the designer in me knows that isn’t always possible, so in addition to “less is more,” I also believe my clients have hired me to make their day as close to 100% stress-free as possible (sometimes no one can prevent that one toast from going on too long), which means a drama free team too.

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Another major attribute to having a great team is the ability to feed off of other ideas. I may have a vision for my client in my mind, but if the floral designer or décor house has a better idea than I want to hear that idea. My goal is to deliver an unforgettable wedding, start to finish. And collaboration is key to achieving that goal for me.

In my world of design, change is allowed up until the very last moment possible and if I believe it will serve my clients better, than let’s go for it – all things being equal and not going over budget. I don’t believe that style can be bought, but I do believe that it can be seen and sensed. A perfectly lit table has style; guests look better, they feel better, they photograph better. Less is more, especially if it means pulling something at the last minute when you realize one fewer element is going to add more to the overall look of the design you’ve been working on for months.

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SMP: Being a location manager in a previous career, we have to know, where are your favorite wedding destinations?

DPE: I love the challenge of creating something new for every wedding I work on. A great deal of which comes down to making the destination work. Whether it’s a working motion picture sound stage outside of Detroit or the lobby/rooftop of an amazing Art Deco building in Manhattan, some destinations can be more “challenging” then others for purely logistical reasons. But if one has the means, a way can always be figured out to make the chosen destination work.

So in addition to saying that my favorite wedding destinations are where my couples have the time of their lives, I’m going to say places with lots of flexibility, no rules about when the party has to end, lots of interesting spaces to use and access to nature. That means incredible resorts that can be bought out, private estates whose neighbors are either invited or too far away to care about noise, city spaces that have character and great bones and the perfect backyard. And anywhere fireworks are allowed!

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SMP: What is a typical day in the life of David Pressman Events?

DPE: I have a to-do list on my desk. Unless I have a morning breakfast with a client or colleague and I’m not on the road early to check out a potential venue, I like to start each day by putting a very healthy homemade protein smoothie on top of that list, feed the cats and reply to any inquiries that might have come in during the night.

As a wedding & event designer/planner some days are filled with meetings or networking events all over the place. So I might start in West Hollywood, meet a client for breakfast or lunch, drop off my dry cleaning, and head back to the computer if I’m working on updating budgets, sending venue pics and links to clients, etc. As I’m driving around doing errands I like to note potential event locations, sometimes I’ll just stop and go inside. I take photos to remember things, Instagram images that I find inspiring, provocative or just fun to share – and yes, once in a while an indulgent selfie. By 4pm I try to phone my 91-year-old mom back on the East Coast so I can find out if she won at Bingo; she likes to ask me when I’m getting married…

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Since David Pressman Events is a true boutique business, i.e., I bring on assistants when I’m actually in the last days before a wedding or event. On average about three nights a week I’m out networking with colleagues or checking out new venues and restaurants. If I’m not out or catching up with friends, chances are I’ll be right where I am now, at my desk catching up on emails, and make a new to-do list for tomorrow. And finally, I have a terrible habit of loving to watch TV via TiVo late into the wee hours, sometimes with a pint of my favorite gelato and almost always with a pile of magazines and books. Don’t ever think that wedding designers & planners have great diets, because we don’t.

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SMP: Best piece of advice for newly engaged couples?

DPE: Hire professionals. Trust them. Never forget that it’s your wedding day, no one else’s.

 

Event Planning and Design: David Pressman Events

Photography: Aaron Delesie

 

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A Bad Day Turned Around

Yesterday was just one of those days. The day that starts out bad and just turns to shit. At least that was how it was headed until early evening when I met friend and photographer Timothy White at the restaurant bar at legendary West Hollywood hotel the Sunset Marquis for a well needed cocktail.

The Sunset Marquis, currently in the midst of updating some of its rooms, is also in the midst of turning its restaurant, RESTAURANT over to Top-Chef Master and James Beard Award winner Chef Michael Schlow for a redesign of the menu and the dining experience from bar snacks through dessert as it marks the hotels 50th Anniversary.

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So imagine my surprise when Chef Schlow stops by to say hi to his longtime friend White, and asked us if we would like a bar snack. Who are we to turn down such an offer, and moments later a dish filled with Jalapeño Tater Tots with a side of Smoky Bernaise dip appear in front of us. That bad mood I referred to was long gone between having a great chat with Chef Schlow about where he’s been dining around LA (literally eating at a different restaurant every night to get a feel for food in this town) and his favorite oysters from Cape Cod, Wianno Oysters, surprisingly my favorite oysters as well.

Back to the tater tots. Just forget any idea you have about what a Jalapeño Tater Tot can taste like until you try one of Michael Schlow’s. Fried with a creamy green filling that melts in your mouth with just a hint of the spice you might expect to overpower, but doesn’t. Easily making these the best Tater Tots of any kind I’ve ever eater in my life.

Chef Michael Schlow's bar snack at the Sunset Marquis restaurant.

Chef Michael Schlow’s bar snack at the Sunset Marquis restaurant.

And those are his handmade potato chips lurking in the background. They didn’t last very long.

Chef Michael Schlow all smiles at the Sunset Marquis hotel.

Chef Michael Schlow all smiles at the Sunset Marquis hotel.

Joined now by our friend Camie, manager of the Kiehl’s stores at The Grove and on Montana, Chef Schlow asked us what we wanted next. One of our favorite things at the Sunset Marquis is hanging at the Restaurant Bar, so we really didn’t want to sit down at a table and have a big meal. To our surprise and delight Chef Schlow quizzed us each about our food likes and dislikes and then excused himself for the kitchen. It’s important to point out that this menu is still being created and the current great menu is what greets diners, rock legends or mere mortals alike. But this James Beard Award Winning Chef just slipped away into the kitchen to prepare a meal for us to have at the bar. And before we knew it, 3 beautifully plated meals appeared in front of each of us, followed by the Chef who described what he had prepared – a slow cooked Steelhead Trout with fresh porcini mushrooms and roasted pearl onions. An absolutely perfect tasting plate that each of us left wiped clean and secretly wished we had the nerve to ask what this great Chef would come up with for dessert if we asked. Truth be told, that gives us a great excuse to do this all over again.

Slow cooked Steelhead Trout with fresh porcini mushrooms and roasted pearl onions from Chef Michael Schlow at the Sunset Marquis.

Slow cooked Steelhead Trout with fresh porcini mushrooms and roasted pearl onions from Chef Michael Schlow at the Sunset Marquis.

All I can say is that not only did this whole experience turn my day around completely, but Michael Schlow is not only an incredibly nice guy, but when this restaurant launches (maybe in January) at the Sunset Marquis, this iconic property is going to have a new jewel in its crown with the imprint of a true Top-Chef Master to kick off its next Fifty Years of well deserved fame as one of Los Angeles’s top dining and event hotels.

What Makes A Good Wedding Planner Great …

What makes a good wedding planner? What makes you different from all the other wedding planners out there?

These are generally two of the first questions prospective clients ask  - and they’re very reasonable questions.

My answer is very simple, I bring the fireworks to your wedding. Sometimes literally, like in the photo below, but more often the fireworks are the passion I bring to my job. I’ve always loved the feeling I get when I watch a great fireworks display – sometimes I get chills – often I just stare in wonderment and amazement, and allow pure feelings of joy and contentment to wash over me. It’s the same feeling I get watching a bride walk down the aisle, or when I hear a father toast his daughter and the man or woman who is now going to take care of ‘his little girl’, or watching newlyweds kiss for the first time …

Babington House, Somerset, UK

Babington House, Somerset, UK

And for a client to be able sit back and look at their family and friends – laughing, hugging, dancing – without a single worry in their heads, that’s bringing the fireworks too. Because the fireworks are what makes your wedding day the most special day of your life.

It’s the emotion from driving in the car to your wedding with your father seated beside you …

The drive to your wedding, alone with a loved one.

The drive to your wedding, alone with a loved one.

To hearing yourself pronounced married and walking back down the aisle past everyone you love, all of them with smiles and pure love in their hearts for you and your new partner in life …

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Newlyweds Brooke & Keith, now husband and wife.

And to sneaking that kiss as if nothing and no one around you existed, yet you’re surrounded by everyone transfixed watching the love in both of your eyes.

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Sneaking that kiss.

Knowing that your day was magical, that it was everything you ever could have dreamed of and more.

Photography By / Aaron Delesie Photographer Wedding Planning By / David Pressman Events LLC

That special look between two people so very much in love.

And the icing on the cake – you get to see your dreams unfold in front of your very eyes, and whether it was a month or a year of planning – you get to taste the icing and share it with everyone you want to be around you on your special day – because my team and I took your dreams and turned them into a reality that leaves you with the best feeling in the world.

I bring that icing.

I bring the passion for what I do to make your day truly “your day”.

That’s what makes me different.

And I’m not alone. Their are truly wonderful wedding designers and planners available to you, many of whom are my friends. But find the one that brings the fireworks for you.

all photography (c) aaron delesie photography

The Los Angeles Food Bank

As an event planner my colleagues and I see great amounts of food go to waste. And with our society becoming more and more litigious, we’re no longer allowed to deliver left-over food to food kitchens, pantries, Church’s, Mosques, Synagogue’s or other places where those in need can find food readily available.

The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank  is marking it’s 40th year of service to the greater Los Angeles community, distributing over 1 million pounds of food on a weekly basis. And they are a lifeline to hundreds of thousands of people we see on the streets around us every day.

Where do they get their food that they in turn make available to outreach programs for those in need. It’s a great list, and worth sharing so you might consider supporting these companies (politics aside, this is philanthropy). These are the top food donors and the poundage they have donated since 2002. And if you don’t see your Big Box food store of choice on this list, i.e., where’s Costco

Ralph’s………………………34,215,277

Vons…………………………18,694.213

Albertsons………………….10,360,050

General Mills……………….8,101,088

Target………………………..6,591,058

Sam’s Club…………………..4,164,147

Walmart……………………..2,911,167

Entenmann’s……………….2,172,903

Flower Foods……………….2,065,125

Trader Joe’s…………………1,874,438

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How can a child learn if all they can think about is when they will eat next? Over 400,000 children in LA County face hunger.

Donate with confidence.  The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank has been rated as a four star charity by Charity Navigator and has been awarded the “Best in America” seal from Local Independent Charities of America.  Thank you for your support.

DONATE NOW

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A Soolip Wedding 2013

We are proud to have been a Pearl Sponsor for A Soolip Wedding this past weekend at the Bel-Air Bay Club, and thrilled to have collaborated with Rrivre Works and Mille Fiori Floral Design on our space at this modern luxury bridal show.

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Well over 300 guests attended this curated bridal event with brides-to-be, family members, and industry professionals crowding the Bel Air Bay Club to meet the top bridal experts in Southern California and beyond.

We invite all the brides-to-be and their families to contact us directly to talk about how David Pressman Events can help your wedding become the event of your lifetime.