David Tutera is an award-winning celebrity wedding planner, event designer and reality TV star, who has been the creative force behind extravagant and lavish events around the world, with clients that range from The White House to Hollywood studios and from British royals to A-list celebrities. But perhaps one of his greatest events—especially in terms of the amount of love he put into it—took place just last Sunday at his own home, shared by husband Joey Toth and daughter Cielo.
Even though it was Father’s Day, Cielo’s birthday is June 19, so the family of three has always celebrated her birthday on Father’s Day. They decided to make Cielo’s fifth birthday party something even more special than usual and spent months planning the event together.
“The party very much involved her vision, and she’s been helping to plan her own parties since she was three,” Tutera said. “And she has very good taste. This year, she wanted to be Princess of the Butterflies. It turned out to be an awesome party with 24 children and 50 adults.”
“The color theme was yellow and coral (Monarch butterfly orange); and we had 600 roses in bright yellow and coral colors clustered in containers on the tables with lots of fake butterflies in them,” Tutera described. “There were custom salmon-colored silk tablecloths, yellow umbrellas and coral multidimensional butterflies.
“We had to decide how to keep the kids out of the pool, since we didn’t want this to be a pool party, so we hired a ballerina troupe dressed as butterflies to stay in the pool,” Tutera said. “There was a DJ, a singer sang songs from Cielo’s favorite movie, ‘The Greatest Showman,’ there was face painting with butterflies, children’s arts and crafts, and we surprised her by bringing her pony Minty to the party for an appearance.”
The birthday cake was a three-tier canary yellow lemon cake with meringue and edible butterflies.
But once all the festivities are over, they’re back to the usual.
“We’re a very close-knit family,” Tutera said. “We’re about arts and crafts, movies and art-related things. Cielo loves to swim, and we take her to dance class and riding lessons. We also travel a lot. She just went to pre-school for three years, and will start kindergarten this summer.
“We love our daughter so much, and we love being a family,” Tutera said. “We live quietly—we’re not a Hollywood family.”
Cielo is Tutera’s biological daughter, carried by a surrogate, and husband Joey has officially adopted her. Both dads were there when Cielo was born. When it comes to parenting, Tutera said he and Joey are almost always “in-step together” when it comes to which decision and direction to take, and is thankful that’s the case.
When asked if Cielo ever questions why she has two dads, Tutera said, “She doesn’t, because we’ve talked about it ever since I can remember. But she does sometimes have to answer questions from other kids. She’s a very cool, connected child and seems to understand what to say. She sees it as being lucky to have two dads.”
Tutera has been hosting his own reality television series on WeTV since 2008—”CELEBrations” (previously titled “My Fair Wedding,” “My Fair Wedding: Unveiled,” and “David Tutera: Unveiled”); and has also written books on event planning, offers symposiums on how to start an event planning business and designs his own line of wedding, event and lifestyle products, most of which are marketed through David Turtera, DaDa Media, Inc., and DT Studios, Inc.
His clients have included Jennifer Lopez, Matthew McConaughey, Ice T, The Grammy Awards, Elton John, Vanessa Williams, Barbara Walters, The Rolling Stones, Nancy Reagan, Prince Charles, The White House, Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and dozens of film premieres.
And this summer he is not slowing down—Tutera said he has major events coming up in Indonesia, Italy, the Canary Islands, New York City and LA. Toth serves as COO of Tutera’s various enterprises, handling the business end of things, which frees Tutera up for the creative part.