Bruce Russell, MD and Owner of By Bruce Russell, offers independent specialist services for weddings, as well as, private parties and the most special of occasions. His creativity combined with his experience honed over many years means that he offers clients strategic counsel to deliver exceptional events. His contagious joie de vivre is an ongoing inspiration to clients and it is little wonder, therefore, that he has an ever-increasing and loyal base of clients who turn to Bruce when looking to host stand-out events that are truly unique.
Bruce Russell’s illustrious provenance includes over 15 years working in high-end hospitality around the world, including The Plaza New York and his recent appointment as Director of the Savoy Weddings By Bruce Russell, attracting an international clientele to the 5-star London hotel and driving the hotel’s global profile in the wedding industry.
Bruce Russell is taking part in the Exotic Wedding Planning Conference that will be held in Dubai on 5 and 6 April, we took this opportunity to ask him a few questions:
How did you start in Wedding Planning & why?
After working in the hospitality industry for over 15 years, it was time for a new chapter. I knew I wanted to still be connected to the industry but in a much more personal way. One day a close colleague commented that she wished I had organised her wedding after attending a small client event I had planned - 12 months later, there I was launching my new business. I love bringing such personal events to life for my clients.
What are the latest trends in Weddings you are noticing in Europe?
Destination weddings are still very popular and Europe has endless options when it comes to unique locations and venues... whether it be a chateau in France, a villa in the heart of Tuscany or a ski lodge in the Swiss Alps. Multiple day celebrations are also increasing - more and more clients want to extend the festivities with welcome parties, day after brunches - they want to spend the most time possible with their friends and families. It’s a once in a lifetime celebration!
What are the 2 top luxury weddings you executed that are closest to your heart?
Last year we planned a 4 day wedding in London for an international couple - a Persian bride from the US and a groom from Pakistan. It was exciting to mix both culters from the traditional point of view, but also from the entertainment side of things. Plus, the backdrop was London - the four venues were all significant in some way. Iconic venues for iconic and grand celebrations; from Kensington Palace with ‘Royal’ guards to welcome guests, to the Dorchester Hotel which is the the couple’s home away from home.
The second was a wedding we did a few years ago in Italy - an intimate celebration for 75 guests over 5 days. The groom was originally from the area and we planned everything locally... it was so personal with only closest friends and family.
What is the most outrageous thing a couple has asked to have at their wedding?
In my opinion, nothing is ever too outrageous, if there’s a valid reason behind the request, and if it’s physically (and legally) possible! That said, sometimes it’s the simplest things which end up being the most challenging - like sourcing 500 butterflies in the perfect shade of white to be released at the precise moment the bride & groom exit the ceremony....simple!! That is until the grower informs us that due to unseasonably warm temperatures that year, they’ve started hatching early!! We did save the day in the end!
What are your expectations from taking part in the Exotic Wedding Planning Conference in Dubai in early April?
I love meeting new people within the industry from all corners of the world, and discussing best practices or challenges everyone faces... though we all work in our separate corners of the globe, it’s a small industry, and you never know when your stories and experiences might be able to help a fellow colleague, or when you might just need their wisdom and advice.