Academy Tutor Profile – Zoe McKeown

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Last week we launched our new Tutor Profiles blog series, introducing Australian Academy tutor Lisa Macale.  Here at the Academy we believe that the best way for our students to learn is by being educated and mentored by industry professionals and business owners. Who better to set you on the path to your career in weddings & events, than those who have already made a success in this wonderful industry. Studying with us exposes you to the knowledge and advice our tutors want to share from their own experiences, and I personally have benefited from the wisdom our UK Academy tutor Zoe has shared with me in my assignment feedback. So lets find out more about the fabulous Zoe Mckeown and her business Cherish Wedding Planning.

How did you get into the industry?

I started Cherish wedding planning in 2008 as a complete career change from teaching. I have 3 daughters and was looking for a job that was more flexible and in complete contrast to being a secondary school teacher. In 2010 I met Kylie (Company director) for a coffee in London as she was looking to expand the UK branch, and I have been working with her and the team ever since. I still run my own wedding planning business too and I find this helps me to give current advice about the industry and honest answers to student questions, which I think is important.

What is the most memorable event you have worked on?  

One of the most memorable weddings I have supported a couple to create was based on a graffiti theme. The couple also had a keen interest in trains so chose a roundhouse as the venue right next to the train station for some more unusual photo’s.
It was a blank canvas venue and the couple used an event stylist to design and dress the space. I had worked with the couple and their extended family for over a year meeting once a month for updates. The planning was very much a family affair and this gave us all some great brainstorming time and also the opportunity to share ideas and make decisions about the best way forward. The roundhouse was very big so the designs needed to fill the space, the graffiti idea came about from a discussion with the couple about their passions. From some home art they created between meetings the colour choices emerged for the design and it was then followed through in all the décor. My main job with this wedding was to collate ideas and keep the planning process on track. But what emerged was that actually I also provided the family with set meeting times to come together and enjoy an evening of focused planning time. They were all busy professionals but by having a planner to pull them all into one location they were able to indulge in wedding chat without any other distractions, often over a glass of bubbly. The pictures attached give a clearer picture of the actual wedding day, it was stunning and had a really fun atmosphere – check out the monster cake. Everything went to plan, the groom was over-whelmed, the bride was calm and together they enjoyed the perfect day that reflected their personalities.
Zoe MckeownZoe McKeownZoe McKeown

How has your experience shaped your business?

My philosophy for brides is that they should enjoy the ‘process’ of planning their wedding as much as the day itself. The planning time is longer than the actual wedding day will be, so it is my business aim to help them cherish that time as the preparation makes great memories too.


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David Tutera

Leading Wedding & Entertaining Expert, David Tutera is hailed as an artistic visionary whose ability, uniquely creative talents and outstanding reputation have made him a tremendous success in the lifestyle arena. Tutera has created a name for himself by taking his passion for designing spectacular events and transforming it into a lifestyle.

He continuously exceeds the expected with an unmatched level of inspiration, imagination and innovation to create the latest trends in entertaining. Tutera’s grandfather, a successful florist, first noticed his grandson’s artistic ability at an early age and encouraged David to pursue his destiny. At age 19, with the sound advice of his grandfather and only one client, David opened his own event planning business.

Today, David Tutera presides over an award winning company built from experience, dedication and Tutera’s natural talent for transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary. His name has become synonymous with style, elegance, creativity and vision. David Tutera has a natural talent for transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary. His name has become synonymous with style, elegance, creativity and vision.

Honored by Life & Style Magazine as “Best Celebrity Wedding Planner,” David’s impressive client list includes Jewel, Star Jones’ wedding, Real Housewife Taylor Armstrong’s wedding, Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul’s wedding, NY Giants Antonio Pierce’s wedding, Shannen Doherty’s wedding and events for Jennifer Lopez, Matthew McConaughey, Brandy and Ray J, Jenni “JWoww” Farley, Lil’ Kim, the Official Post Grammy Parties in New York City, Elton John, Barbara Walters, the Rolling Stones, Nancy Reagan, Prince Charles, The White House, private events for the Vice President, Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger, Susan Lucci, The John F. Kennedy Center, as well as countless film premieres and celebrity parties for royalty, politicians and socialites.

Tutera has also designed events for several charities including the Prevent Cancer Foundation, the Alzheimer’s Association, DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting Aids) and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. David has made guest appearances on Today, Extra!, Good Morning America, The View, CNN, The Rachael Ray Show, The Talk, Steve Harvey, Wendy Williams and many more. In addition People, USA Today, In Touch, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, In Style, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Bridal Guide and Town & Country have all featured his work.

Tutera has also made special television appearances in the popular daytime soap, The Young & the Restless and TV Land’s The Exes. David lives in Los Angeles with his husband Joey, daughter Cielo and their rescue dog Lucy.