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Event Designer Anthony Taccetta Says “I Do” to Planning Your Perfect Wedding

The event designer, with his showman’s flair and keen storytelling ability, will help write your fairytale ending

Anthony Taccetta is wearing a long-sleeved, floral button-down when I meet him, which makes me think of a spring wedding almost immediately–probably in a garden, with pink peonies, chairs on the lawn; waiters in white tuxedos will serve canapés. This may be because Taccetta is one of New York’s best wedding planners.

When planning a wedding, Taccetta has to mediate a client’s wants: should the wedding be modern or traditional? Casual or formal? “There’s two people involved. [I] try to hear what both people would want and then put it together. I want to make sure both people are heard,” he says. I ask whether that’s ever almost like being a couple’s counselor to which Taccetta laughs. “It’s a little bit like couple’s therapy,” he agrees. “You’re always in the middle at first.”

While in weddings past, many brides got their ideas from the style section or any bridal magazine on the newsstand, that trend has faded away, along with those big, poofy-shouldered dresses from the late ’80s. Today’s wedding inspiration is usually borrowed from Instagram. Taccetta shares that many of his clients will first come to him with screenshots, which he then analyzes with the couple to help them verbalize what they like, and what they want to use in their own wedding. From there, the three will create a mood board with photos and visuals of inspirational, dreamland, fantasy-like details.

Before becoming an event planner, Taccetta produced Broadway musicals, and now uses that form of storytelling to help amplify every couple’s narrative, whether that involves a ballroom with a big band and a lot of dancing, an intimate rooftop celebration, or a sophisticated winery wedding. “I try to tell the story of this couple, you know, where they want it, where they want it to bring you, what their perfect day is. Like the story of their perfect day.”

One wedding Taccetta planned took place within an artist’s commune in Jersey City, where the décor was left up to whatever was being worked on in the gallery around them that week. Another wedding at the Museum Of Contemporary Art Chicago, was planned around an all-white exhibit in the museum’s lobby, which, the week of the wedding, was entirely replaced with black installations. “There’s always a chance [something like that could happen] when you sign a contract with one of those types of venues,” Taccetta says. But, he continues with a laugh, it was a black and white wedding, so he simply switched to white linens, changed the lighting, and brightened up the flowers. And it worked.

Taccetta notes that other venues that have become more popular are rooftops because they allow a couple to be on top of the world, both visually and in feeling. “People still love the Plaza,” he says, but shares that there are a lot of great rooftop venues gaining more popularity in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Long Island City in Queens. “All the hotels that opened up in Williamsburg–those are great [for a wedding because of their] beautiful views, rooftops, all of that. I would say the view is becoming more popular. You don’t have to necessarily be in the city, but having a view of it is great. They make great photos.”

I then ask if there are any must-haves that every wedding should have to make it a smashing success. “I know it sounds silly, but a photo booth,” he says. “I feel like that’s a really good investment for the couple because it really helps that feeling linger to the next day. Sometimes you don’t get the photos from your photographer for–it can be a week or two weeks. [Also] having the right size dance floor is very important, based on the guest count. And I would say the location of the bars is very important, too.”

As for wedding trends he forecasts for 2020? “What I’m seeing is a more natural feeling in events. Everything has this more natural feel as opposed to being very, like, in-your-face, over-the-top. Basically, [it’s] not your parent’s wedding anymore.”