He has designed parties for Oprah and weddings for royals. He has created flower-covered carousels, crystal palaces and floral peacocks. In Dallas to celebrate the launch of his sixth book, Designing With Flowers, we sat down with the over-the-top Bailey
edited from an interview by BROOKE HAYLEY REAGAN
For weddings, which do you prefer: traditional or creative? I’m going to get in trouble for saying this, but I’m going to say it anyway. I don’t relate to simple weddings very much. I’m more over-the-top. I think all weddings should have something that’s exciting and new.
What can a bride do to differentiate her big day from all the rest? I did a wedding recently that broke tradition: The couple cut the cake when they came in instead of waiting for the end. People tend to leave when the cake has been cut, but if it’s cut beforehand, that’s not a possibility. It was a very interesting way to mix it up.
Given $1 million to spend on a wedding, what are three musts? Absolutely great décor — let’s be real! Fantastic food and, of course, the entertainment, either music or a performer. I like live performances because it breaks up the routine. With a well-known singer, there is always a little excitement.
What is the wildest wedding you’ve planned? [Napster co-founder] Sean Parker’s recent wedding. He had a theme: Game of Thrones. We created costumes for all of the guests. We hired [Lord of the Rings] costume designer Ngila Dickson. I loved what Sean’s bride told him at the altar. She said something, and I’m quoting, ‘I love you because you’re the only person who would play dress-up with your friends as an adult.’
And your favorite Champagne? I just did a wedding where they served 400 bottles of Dom Pérignon. I realize that is so over-the-top. I mean it’s ridiculous, but everyone really loved it. It was a surprise and everyone was like, ‘We’re drinking Dom Pérignon? We’re going to have as much as we can!’
What is your favorite part of any wedding? The ceremony. That’s so easy! It’s very personal. To see them saying their vows — I can’t help it. I love that part.
When it comes to wedding ideas, what do you think about Pinterest? I advise brides not to look. I really do, because then they have these preconceptions of someone else’s idea. It would be great if they went to the designer and told them what they like and see what they come up with instead of saying, ‘This is what I like. Do it.’ So keep away from Pinterest! You can tell me an inspiration but don’t say, ‘This is what I want.’
In your opinion, a bride should spare no expense on … Her dress. As much as I was about to say décor, I think the décor would be second. The dress should be first.
Your No. 1 wedding advice for a bride? Make sure she hires the right people. Make sure she gives them all of the necessary information. However, for the day of the wedding, let go! I think it’s so important to remember it’s a wedding and to have a great time.