This week on Dates & Mates, we’re celebrating Valentines AND Galentines.

Every single human on earth could use more love and more happiness right now – so it’s time we take matters into our own hands and make some space for love.

If you are new here – welcome!

This show is hosted by your certified dating coach, Damona Hoffman, and we’re all about navigating the challenges of modern dating – confusing texts, dating app frustrations, ghosting, bad breakups and confusing pandemic connections.

For 15 years Damona has been coaching folks on how to find and admittedly, the pandemic has made everything a little more complicated…

Ok – a lot more complicated – but there is still hope! 

Damona’s clients are still going on dates, falling in love, and some even getting married. It is possible!!

That is why we have invited celebrity wedding planner and TV personality David Tutera on to the show to talk about how you can set the stage for love this year – yes, even in the midst of a pandemic.

We’ll give you tips to make your home visually inviting – even if over zoom, ideas for celebrating Valentine’s Day – single or coupled – and David will give his predictions on what the future of weddings will look like this year and beyond.

Here’s the rundown: 


Couples Therapy: The key to having it all

Michelle and Barack are the hottest couple ever in the history of couples. But even they – and a few other celebrity couples – need couples therapy according to our friends at TooFab. Damona breaks it down.


Feb 13th: Just as important as Feb 14

DON’T forget about Galentine’s Day in your Valentine’s Celebrations. On Feb 14th, we celebrate romantic love but Feb 13th is the day for waffles, self care, and friends. Damona gives a few suggestions on how to celebrate Galentines with some self-care rituals:

  • Mindfulness
  • Gratitude
  • Community
  • The basic bitch stuff like bubble baths and yoga
  • Ordering flowers, dancing to loud music, hiking, foam rolling, massagers – not that kind – and even reading literaotica



Today we hear from David Tutera, artistic visionary, lifestyle influencer, tv personality and celebrity wedding planner behind such shows as “My Fair Wedding”, “Wedding Cake Championship”, “My Great Big Live Wedding.”

Plus he’s a familiar face on the Today Show, Good Morning America, The View, The Talk, OWN, and so much more. We talked about A LOT: 

(13:00) Valentine’s at home with kids – should you include them?

(13:55) Making this Valentine’s memorable for your pandemic bae

(16:00) Stress-free Valentine’s for singles

(19:00) More ideas on how to  make your Valentine’s memorable

(20:00) Look cute on Zoom: You should always dress better than you think you should and please DEAR GOD clean up your room

(24:00) The state of weddings today

(26:00) The worst party planners David’s worked with

(28:30) What you need to know about the future of weddings

Find more from David at davidtutera.com and follow him on IG @davidtutera



Submit your questions Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and hear our answers live on the show! Here’s what our listeners asked about this week:

  • April (Google Voice): I am a bisexual female. I got out of a relationship with a woman. And so now that I’m putting myself back in the dating scene, I would like to date men, but I guess I I’m just confused as to maybe went to bring up the fact that I’m bisexual and that my last relationship was a woman. I feel like it should be something shared, but I guess I just don’t know what would be the best time to bring that up. So often any advice that you have would be great.
  • Kaitlynn on IG: I’m 24, single, and trying to go on more dates but I will also be starting medical school this fall. I’m so excited to become a doctor but also nervous about knowing that my life will be taken over by my schooling for the next 8+ years of my life (med school and residency). I’m nervous that I’ll meet great guys but then they’ll bail when they realize that they may have to take a backseat to my medical education for a long time. How and when should i discuss the realities of dating a medical student with prospective partners?



The app solves many major challenges that Damona’s clients face in dating today:

  • You can keep your main number private
  • You can separate your personal and dating contacts
  • Plus, It’s easy to use and FREE.

We are proud to collaborate with an app that empowers modern daters to feel safe and secure. If you want more information, check out Damona’s video on when to give out your number to people you meet on dating apps. Click here!


Download OkCupid today!

OkCupid is FAMOUS for matching people on what MATTERS MOST to them, from food to the type of relationship they want…to politics. They ask you really thoughtful and provoking questions to get to the heart of who you are and what type of person you’re looking for.

Are you missing out? Download OkCupid today!

Let’s Roam: Letsroam.com/datesandmates

You need an ADVENTURE – a socially distanced one. Get Damona’s new scavenger hunt with Let’s Roam at letsroam.com/datesandmates


Are you a fan of the show and want access to Damona’s Weekly Facebook Live Q&A? Join Damona’s Patreon FWBs – Friends with Benefits!!! – at patreon.com/datesandmates



Damona is hosting 3 events for singles this week! Here’s what’s up:

Dating for vegetarians, flexitarians, the veggie curious with OkCupid & Sweet Earth


A Lesson on How To Ace Your Virtual Date with Washington Post Date Lab Team damonahoffman.com/washpost

Saturday the 14th: Valentine’s Day cooking, comedy, & love lessons with actress Mayim Bialik and comedian Pamela Rae Schuller




Damona  0:26  

keep waiting for the fairy tale, or you can get on board with the new rules of relationships. If you’ve read my advice in the LA Times, then you know, this ain’t your mama’s love advice. This is dates inmates with damona Hoffman. Hello, lovers. Welcome to Davidson mates presented by text now. If you are new here, welcome. I am your certified Dating Coach damona Hoffman and this show is all about navigating the challenges of modern dating. From confusing text to dating app frustrations, ghosting, bad breakups and confusing pandemic connections. For over 15 years, I have been coaching folks on how to find and keep love. And I have to admit the pandemic has made everything a little more complicated. Okay, a lot more complicated, but I still have hope. My clients are still going on dates, falling in love, and some even getting married. That is why I have invited celebrity wedding planner and TV personality. David Tutera here to talk about how you can set the stage for love this year. Yes, even in the midst of a pandemic, we will give you tips to make your home visually inviting, even over zoom ideas for celebrating Valentine’s Day single or coupled. And David will give his predictions on what the future of weddings will look like this year and beyond. But first, as always, I’m gonna get you up to speed on this week’s headlines. Of course, celebrities, they’re just like us. And every once in a while they need their heads shrunk to you can find out which perfect couples have used therapy to improve their relationships. And why the day before Valentine’s Day is just as important as Valentine’s Day itself. Plus, I’ll be answering your questions in dear Dimona, like when to bring up crucial information about your identity, like your sexual preferences to your dates. And if you’re married to your job for the foreseeable future, should you even be dating All that and more on dates and mates. And since it’s Valentine’s week, let’s bring out the good China for this dish he’s


Unknown Speaker  2:47  

dating dish


Damona  2:50  

to fab.com was nice enough to share with us the secret lives of celebrities. Okay, well, it wasn’t really that secret. They just compiled the names of people who are celebrities and who believe in couples therapy. Some of you may know Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade, said that they’ve been in therapy and it’s really helped them be happier in their relationship. Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard have been very vocal about the fact that they see a couple’s counselor. And this one really threw me for a loop. Barack and Michelle, they said marriage is hard even for us. And we have a great relationship. And Michelle said I was one of those wives who thought I’m taking you to marriage counseling so you can be fixed. But Barack, of course, of course, she he really she realized that she thought it was because she was perfect. And he needed to be fixed. But then they realized they had to work on it together. And the bottom line is the pandemic is tough for everyone, whether you’re single or in a relationship. I’m a big fan of therapy. And I think everyone literally everyone listening to this podcast right now really could benefit from talking to someone about what they’re feeling what they’re going through, I think we’re going to see as things start opening up and and then things start opening up and the pandemic continues to drag on. We’re going to see more and more people talking about mental health. And I think it’s really important that we release the stigma around it even just a few decades ago, when you would tell somebody that you were in therapy, well, you wouldn’t tell someone that you were in therapy but if you said that you saw a couples counselor, people would automatically assume that meant that your relationship was on the rocks and it wasn’t going to work out. And that is not the case anymore. And it doesn’t have to be the case. So as you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day, maybe a great gift to give your partner is the gift of talk. If you are single this Valentine’s Day, don’t worry because You have something else to celebrate. You have Valentine’s Day, my friends. gala tines day you may have heard is actually the day before Valentine’s Day and this is supposed to be the day that you and your lady friends. If you have lady friends, you get together and you do something fun. I didn’t realize, though, that the origin of Valentine’s Day, according to cosmopolitan.com was actually an episode of the show, parks and recreation, where Leslie Knope got together with her closest gal pals, for of course, brunch with waffles, and love. And I think this is a really important idea. Even when I was single. And believe me, there were a lot of Valentine’s Days that I was single, I would always take the time to send my friends Valentine’s Day cards, I know really sappy, but to take the time to acknowledge your friends and your family and the other people with whom you share love, even if it’s not romantic love. And I think it’s important for us, especially in the middle of the pandemic, to continue to reach out to one another bridge those gaps, share that love, even if you’re not in a romantic relationship. And I do know sometimes people call Valentine’s Day Singles Awareness Day, sad. I was there so so many years before I met my husband, but it doesn’t have to be. And I was talking with my coaching group this week about ways to boost yourself through self care and self love. And for some people, they were like, what does that even mean? Like what is self care mean? Does it just mean like, some girl doing yoga and a bubble bath, saying like, hey, my life is great, because I did the self care. That’s absolutely not what it means. I mean, actually, that’s part of what it means. But on a deeper level. I think self care starts with mindfulness. It starts with being aware of the patterns that you have in your life, the way that you speak to yourself, the the words that you use, to to judge what who you are what you’re going through the situations that you’re in, and that are repeated again and again, thereby reinforcing them in your mind. That is not kind to yourself that is not loving to yourself. So I invite you today, on Valentine’s Day or on Valentine’s Day, to practice a little more mindfulness about the self talk that you practice, as well as gratitude, gratitude for what you have, you can get down really quickly, if you are looking at all of the things that you don’t have, especially as we scroll through Instagram, and we see all these things that people seem to have, that we don’t have. That just breeds a feeling of lacking, when I’d love for you to embrace a feeling of fullness, and have gratitude for the things that you already have in your life. So self care includes doing a gratitude journal or voicing to those people in your life, that you are grateful for them. It also means community. I get together every Saturday with my yoga community. We practiced in real life back, you know, 2019 every Saturday together for many, many years. And even though the pandemic has kept us apart physically, we’ve continued to do that every Saturday together and I do feel so much more full even seeing their faces on the screen. And maybe it’s not yoga for you. I also do a wine club. I also do game nights with friends but having that community of like minded people who lift you up and make you feel full is really important. And yes, of course I do the basic bitch stuff of bubble baths and yoga like I said, but there were a lot of other things that the gals in my group came up with, like ordering flowers, dancing, the loud music, hiking foam rolling for that sensory input. You know a lot of us have skin hunger from not being touched or hugged for so long. foam rolling weighted blankets, other sensory inputs can really help you with that. Even massages can make a big difference. No, not that kind of massagers just like massage for your back or for your feet. And someone even brought up litter Radhika, you know, erotic reading erotic stories. I don’t know what kind of massages they might be using. But it might work for you. So don’t give up on love. And let it begin with self love and self care this Valentine’s Day. Those are the headlines for today when we come back. David Tutera celebrity wedding planner is going to tell you how to make your Valentine’s Day at home fabulous, whether you’re single or coupled. And if you’re looking for a fun way to spend Valentine’s Day or a fun game just to play at home any day. I’m super excited to share that my friends at the let’s roll app have designed a special dates and mates themed Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt that you can do from your own home anytime this month. My husband and I played our first let’s roam hunt a couple months into the pandemic. And when I’m telling you we literally giggled like schoolgirls the whole night. I am not lying. It is such a fun night. It is a perfect way to spend Valentine’s day it is a perfect way to spend gallon tines day or just a way to make special memories with your someone special. We will put our special link to the dates and made scavenger hunt in the show notes or you can just go to let’s roam.com slash dates and mates and guess what dates and mates listeners get 15% off their first hunt. So go check it out. Let’s roam le@sroam.com slash dates and mates.


Welcome back. I am so excited to say that I have David Tutera here. I have been trying to get this man on my show for like five years and you’re gonna see why in a minute. He is an artistic visionary, a lifestyle influencer a TV personality and a celebrity wedding planner. You’ve seen him on tons of shows like tlcs mifare wedding wedding cake championship, my great big live wedding celebrations. You’ve seen him on today’s show. Good Morning America the view the talk Oh, so much more. Y’all need to give some big smooches to David Tutera. Oh my gosh, I’m so excited to have you on dates and mates. This is it’s Valentine’s week. So I know a lot of people they’re stressing out and let’s be real, this pandemic, it threw a curveball and all of our plans. I want to know first of all, what what you like to do when you have date nights at home? Do you do anything to make it special?


David Tutera  12:01  

With two little kids, by the way? So by the way, having a date night at home somewhat is almost impossible, but not not fully impossible. I mean, the reality is, is that we are all trying to figure out how to have a little bit more love and a little bit more happiness actually and a rephrase that a lot more love and a lot more happiness. And I think that is our goal right now for 2021. So let’s let’s look at how do you have a date night, at least for us, my husband and I we you know, we’ve got two kids, two girls. So sometimes we include them in making it really fun and putting together a great dinner or doing the great activity in the house and then letting date night sort of continue later after kids go to sleep. So we can have sort of a part A with the kids and Part B with the adults. And I think it’s a nice way to remind ourselves that we’re we’re a unit, we’re a family that had been in the home together for almost a year, you know, so how do you separate us in the middle of all this? That’s the hard part. Yeah,


Damona  13:02  

that’s the hard part. It’s also the fun part. Like I always I must admit, I always silently judge those people that were like, I’m going to incorporate my kids into Valentine’s Day and like, we’re gonna do a family Valentine’s Day. And I’m like, forget that I’m going out with my husband later. But you know, I’m in the same boat, I have two little kids at home. And actually, this year is the first year we’re like, well, maybe we do incorporate them and really kind of shift shift the meaning of Valentine’s Day. But for a lot of our listeners, there may be in new relationships, there may be casually dating. And Valentine’s Day certainly takes on a different different tone when it’s maybe your first Valentine’s Day. How can we make it romantic and special if like you’re making this memory of your first Valentine’s Day together, and you can’t go out and do the things that people used to


David Tutera  13:55  

do? No, you can’t. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make new things happen that are really clever, creative, fun and memorable. So you know, one of the things I’m a big I’m a big advocate for is writing notes. So I think leading up to Valentine’s Day, obviously same day, every day, so you can’t forget it every year, I should say. So writing little love notes I read I read a lot of notes to my husband. So sometimes it’s because I’m saying I’m sorry. And sometimes it’s because I’m saying I love you and miss you. And you know, I believe in a simple love note. So leading up to Valentine’s Day. So everyone listening right now, seven days leading up, there’s no reason why you can’t prepare now whether you choose to want to mail it, or if you want to choose to hand it to someone you live you live with, you can create this series of love notes. And the love notes lead up from the seventh of February to the 14th of February. And you have the bigger note the bigger note of sort of sharing this little you know, the antidotes of the your relationship and the you know the clever things that you think about the person that you care about whether you’re married or you’re in a relationship as friends are in A relationship that’s going to get bigger. He’s sort of set that storytelling. And I think that builds up the 14th to not just being here’s your box of chocolates and red roses and let’s those rose petals down have dinner. I think it’s sort of it escalates the experience, even though we can’t make it bigger or go to a restaurant. Does that make sense?


Damona  15:19  

Absolutely. Yeah. And it also, in a way, takes a little bit of the pressure off of just that one day. Yeah, like that. You know, like everybody, I feel like, I remember when I was single, I just put so much emphasis onto whether I had a date that day or not, like watching my roommates get picked up. And like every year, I’m like, why? David, I was like, always single on Valentine’s Day before I met my husband, because I was like a serial. Well, we won’t go We won’t dissect me. But I was like, serial avoidant, like, if you if you didn’t make the cut, you were gone. You’re gone before, before the new year. So but for me, there was way too much emphasis being put on that one day. And so when you kind of tease it out, and you make it bigger, and make it more meaningful to where it’s not just like, let’s how much money can we blow on a dinner? But really, like, teasing out? How do you feel about that person? That’s really cute. That’s really romantic.


David Tutera  16:18  

I also think that what’s important now is that we cannot stress ourselves out. You personally, you stress yourself out so much on Valentine’s Day, right?


David Tutera  16:26  

Right. Yeah.


David Tutera  16:27  

So you’ve already built it up to a disappointment before it was even a possibility of being successful. Right? So day night doesn’t necessarily have to be with someone that you want to date or in a relationship with. It could be with friends, it could be with a friend, it could be with someone virtually, that you’re having a conversation with and laugh about all your horrible dates that you’ve had in the past. And how great tonight is because there’s no pressure. Yeah, and not saying that where we are today has led us to the point of having lower your expectations and actually saying, increase our expectations, and increase them in a different direction to make it a little bit more creative and unique. And fun and memorable.


Damona  17:06  

Yeah, you could do your Valentine’s Day. That’s cool. That’s


David Tutera  17:08  

good. There’s nothing wrong with that. I would listen, I would, I would say people can have a Valentine’s date with their parent, their mom, their, their their best friend or co worker, there’s no rhyme or reason to this right now.


Damona  17:21  

Okay, well, we might be considering the pandemic situation. So let’s, let’s separate it out to those who are in a bubble with someone. And already or I don’t know, breaking the rules. I’m not your mom, I’m not Dr. Fauci, I’m not gonna tell you what to do for Valentine’s Day. But if you are in a bubble with someone,


David Tutera  17:45  

can you talk about ways to make,


David Tutera  17:47  

like if


Damona  17:48  

we’re so stuck in this in the same environment all the time. And like, I know you have a beautiful home collection, and even just changing out a few pieces in your home, can really shift the tone and the way that you feel in the space.


David Tutera  18:02  

Yeah, beautifully said and you know, you can do it. And so interesting ways being creative. And think about it, if you’re in your home, which is where we are, there’s ways to create little nuggets of space, when you when you entertain for just the two of you. So you can have champagne in one area of the house, great champagne flutes that maybe you got that are new, and in a beautiful in a beautiful champagne bucket with, you know, here we go, again, a little message by the by the glasses to toast to the two of you. And then you can shift to another part of your home. And if you’ve got, you know, little areas, it doesn’t have to mean you have to have a big space to keep shifting, but allow yourself to, you know, move throughout the several hours here together. And then you move to order or you move to you know, you could do it in a great cheese platter and strawberries. And you don’t need to have the red roses and a vase and a heart box of chocolate. Create the love experience as you’re moving through the home and seeing the things that maybe you’ve added to your house. And the things that make it special. Go outside and have a cocktail outside or a coffee outside, come back in and do dinner in an unexpected area of the home and then do dessert somewhere else. It’s really like a progressive party for 40 people but for two,


Damona  19:24  

I was gonna say that I love progressive dinners. Maybe that’s a little old fashioned of me, but I think it’s really fun. When making tea breaks, it


David Tutera  19:32  

breaks it up, but it makes it more unexpected. And listen, you can split it. Let’s say you’re living together and your husband, your wife, right? You’re living together. So you know the house, right? So maybe you take the first one you take the second one, don’t tell me where you’re going and you guys split it up. So it’s at least somewhat of a surprise to the opposite participant. So you’re responsible for three locations. You’re responsible for three, do what you want, you get first course I get sad. Of course, you get dessert, you get cocktails, have fun with it.


Damona  20:04  

That sounds so much fun. Like, I’m, I’m rethinking my whole plan right now talking to you, this is amazing. For those of you who are either separated from the person that they love, or maybe earlier in the phase of dating, where they want to have a date for Valentine’s Day, but they don’t really feel safe seeing them face to face, I break it down for me, because I mean, your setup looks beautiful behind you. I’m in my audio booth. So anyone looking on Instagram at the video right now is gonna be like, what was demona talking about this when I’m talking to you, and you’re the expert. Talk to me about ways to make a good first or second impression on a a video chat or zoom, like I always telling people, you have to think about the whole context, you’re giving people what is behind you, right? Aside from unmade beds, like are there


David Tutera  20:59  

I have, we’ve lived in this world of virtual right now right too long. But the reality is, it’s now become comical to me, because I have said countless times I’m seeing you, I know it’s behind you, I’ve actually pay more attention to the nightmare behind you than I am of the words coming out of your mouth. So take the sheet down, or the curtain or the curtain rod down, or the bat or the or the shower curtain down. And if the bed is behind, you at least have the bed made, like at least right or I’ve actually had conversations with incredibly important people that had had boxes behind them stacked up as if they were moving or coming into their home. And I thought just shift over shift the view of the camera angle, or move the stuff that’s behind you. I mean, I keep it simple, right, I’ve got plant frames, flowers backdrop, which is my wall in my office. And you can see a tip of my plant and a little bit of light. It’s this when you see me on zoom, or any virtual experiences I’ve done, it always looks like this, because it’s exactly how I want it to be clean. Focus on me, so you can hear me see me and pay attention.


Damona  22:11  

Yeah, and that’s what we want in dating too. I think we forget that. how little you actually have to do like everybody’s like, how do I prepare? What do I wear? How What should I talk about, it’s like, if you if you’ve already done those decisions in advance, you’ve set your room up, then then you all you have to do is decide what you’re wearing, and then show up and be present. It does take a little bit of the pressure off of that moment. But since I mentioned what you’re going to wear, you look fabulous. Thank you. Any tips for us? How much should we be dressing up for for a first date Valentine’s Day zoom?


David Tutera  22:52  

Well, I think you should dress up more than you think you should for first time, zoom date, or a second date or a third date, because all your Listen, we are now put into such a small square or rectangle. And we are being literally broken down, you know, piece by piece because people are paying attention to what we’re wearing, how we’re sitting what our face looks like what our hair looks like. We don’t do that that much when we’re present with one another. Because we don’t have the ability to sort of shift and look in different places. We have to connect right now even more importantly, which actually will be a really interesting stage to step out of, because I think it’ll let us grow up to be better people to be able to, you know, really connect with another human being in person, when we walk outside the box literally


Damona  23:41  

imagining that we can leave the box at some point. I know some people are also moving towards, towards marriage. And this must just be the weirdest wedding season you’ve ever, ever worked through


David Tutera  24:02  

30 years I’ve been doing this, and I never in my wildest dreams would see the insanity of where we are today with with weddings. I mean, we have seen this shift. As we all know 2020 weddings have been sort of just washed away. And they have been either postponed cancelled or pushed forward to 2021 back end. You know, I think most people are now realizing just go for 2022 because I don’t want to sit and go will it be canceled again and the stress of the preparation of a wedding should be enjoyable not panic right now. And everyone’s been very panic. So we’ve been doing virtual weddings, we’re seeing the increase in virtual weddings. I think it’s great if you want to keep your wedding date and do a small gathering on social media on zoom or social media or any platforms that exist. Then do the ceremony but let the celebration happen later. Don’t let that fall to the side because what happens is that people will just move on with life and never have had that moment that they had wanted to plant into experience. So don’t let love fall away, because weddings are all symbolized based on love. And don’t do it just for the sake of doing it, do it right when the time is right.


Damona  25:17  

I love that advice. And I really do think that those moments matter, I have two clients who got married, within the pandemic on zoom, I have another one that was supposed to get married in November, and postponed it in I don’t know until indefinitely. And I just keep thinking about my own wedding and how that really was, it was such an important memory in our love story. And I just it makes me feel really, really bad that they are not getting that time or that moment. So I love the advice that it’s even if it’s not happening right now, it can happen later. Because nobody cares, if you like, sign the paperwork before paperwork before and then you have a party later. Absolutely. So if we’re pushing into 20, late 2021 2022, what are some things that people should keep in mind when they’re wedding planning?


David Tutera  26:20  



David Tutera  26:20  

right now, it’s


David Tutera  26:21  

really important to understand, you have to be prepared for two options. This is what I’ve been telling, predominantly everyone. So your version of the small, the small gathering and the version of the large gathering. So, you know, I always I remember doing parties years ago for a very, very wealthy woman. And she used to have two parties, she had the a party and the B party, the a party were the people she really loved in the B party with the people she had to have. And she never put the parties together. But then the end, the a the B groups never knew that night one, you know, she did the same party for night two, as a planner, I thought that was incredibly rude. But as now looking at life today, it’s sort of had prepared me to say, okay, you want your 20 people 25 people make that list doesn’t mean that’s a or b, that’s the list you have to have of the people that need to be with you the B list. So the A and the B list will either happen because of what we can or cannot do. Or it will happen later when you choose to do it. And a and b might become C, which is the group of everybody. And you have to be prepared. So weird way you’re preparing for a celebration, because you’re having to think about who is most important to you at that moment. But it’s really where we are in reality.


Damona  27:34  

I went through that definitely. And the other factor that I think some of our listeners who are going along with with us for the fantasy, but maybe aren’t at this point yet, aren’t thinking about is all the other people who are involved in your wedding. So I had my list, my husband had his list, his parents had their list, my parents who are divorced, had each of their individual lists. And when we put them all together, I was like we cannot have 275 people at this wedding. So it actually created a lot of awkward conversations with our family about who really needs to be there. Do you have any tips for navigating those conversations? And then like, how to make it all work if everybody has to come together? And not everybody like coming from a divorced family? Not everybody is safely in the same room?


David Tutera  28:26  

My answer always goes back to removing the emotion and I always sort of put on the hat of saying what can you afford? You know, how many people can you afford to have that you’re comfortable with? So I take out the equation of saying all of those entities that you just refer to all those people that are being asked to come because someone says they’re part of my family or part of business or part of my friendships? Well, I always say, Who are the people that you will look at that photo in 10 years from now and remember their name and their faces, if you know them now just for a short period of time. They’re not on that map that important list and I’m not trying to be rude or so direct, but I’m legitimately saying have the people around you that you know or a hope will be with you for a lifetime. You know, the season the reason the lifetime. It’s the same scenario for you know, for putting together a guest list for any celebration, not just a wedding that specifically for a wedding.


Damona  29:24  

Now, that’s great. That’s great. I’m definitely thinking back there are some people that were in attendance, but I never talked to you anymore. But


David Tutera  29:32  

the same thing. We had 300 people at our wedding and I look back, you know, I look back today I say to my husband all the time. I’m like, what why did we Why is she here? Not what at the moment but back looking at the photos going? I don’t remember even liking her. How did she wind up coming to our wedding. And you look at this and then you’d say we there’s another one and there’s another one and I’m in my head because as a planner. I’m like, Oh my god, that just cost us X amount. money because did we think we were being kind by inviting them? I don’t understand. So you think and I’m a planner, I’ve been doing this for clients, I should have known better. But you want to make sure the people that are there that people that back to the word love that you really, really love or want to love even more.


Damona  30:19  

Okay, since you brought up the financial part. Yes, as I know, that’s on everyone’s mind to what do you see as the biggest budget busters? Like what are the things that people are spending money on? where it’s like, honey, you should have put that into something else?


David Tutera  30:34  

Yeah, I think Well, are you meaning but budget busters or waste of money?


David Tutera  30:40  

waste? waste?


David Tutera  30:41  

Yeah, I want to clarify what I think you are asking. I don’t think you need to spend an enormous exuberant amount of money on a wedding cake. No one sees it happen. Nobody, honestly. And cake designers are going to not like me for this. But it’s not the biggest thing at the table. It is a formality that people are obsessed with. I think you can save money by not having to have a big band and a great DJ, which quite frankly, I’d rather hear a DJ play the actual music I love as opposed to a band trying to play the music that I thought I used to like until I heard it from the band. So I think there’s ways to save money that can still keep a wedding or, you know, truly elevated. And the most important thing is, is that there’s this there’s a level of energy and there’s no dip in, you know, a wedding. Listen, I think weddings are important. It’s my job. But I think weddings can be the worst six hours of someone’s life because they can be so painful and boring. My job is to teach and to share with people how to make it an experience to walk away and go. Wow, this is this is something I never saw her before. I mean, that’s what I hope to see.


Damona  31:49  

Yeah, I actually that’s how I plan my wedding. And I’m not a planner. I’m not by any means a planner. But I thought, what is the experience I want to create for my guests? Maybe because I’m a producer?


David Tutera  32:02  

Or a producer? Yes. Yeah,


Damona  32:03  

I thought, How do I want them to remember this wedding? What do I want them to say when they leave? And still people say my wedding was one of the most fun weddings they’ve ever been. I had to kick people out like literally at midnight. Like they were like, do you want to keep going? Do you want to pay for another half hour? And I’m like, I’m gonna wrap it up. Don’t worry any more alcohol, DJ, cut the power we’re done. But I don’t think enough people like this is how we get into bridezilla territory, right? They’re thinking about like, it’s my day, what do I want, instead of the people that you’re sharing it with? and expanding that that thinking that thought process out to who’s going to be in attendance


David Tutera  32:47  

perfectly said if people couldn’t remind themselves that you’re creating a party? Yes, it’s for you. We know you’re getting married. We get it, we get it, we get it, we see it on the invitation. But if you can actually create a wedding celebration for your guests, and not make it so self centered about yourself, like you did, like we did people leave feeling like they legitimately are part of the wedding, not just a cast member sitting in a seat, eating food, being forced to get up and dance, eat the cake, go home and leave and go out just another wedding. I don’t care if they spent X amount of money. It’s still just another wedding, making it out the guests.


David Tutera  33:28  

That’s great. That’s great. Okay,


Damona  33:30  

you’ve probably seen a lot of different wedding trends. And all of your years did you say 30 years?


David Tutera  33:36  

Don’t tell anybody


Damona  33:37  

I was gonna say cuz like I can. Okay, all right. Give me your Give me your skincare regiment later. But meantime, I’m going to ask you to play Nostradamus of weddings for a moment. What trends if you can predict coming out of the pandemic? What wedding trends Do you think we will end up saying?


David Tutera  33:58  

Ah, great question. I don’t think anyone’s asked that of me yet. I will say that we will see an opposite of what I just said shortly before, we will see larger guest counts because people need to celebrate and people want to see the people they haven’t seen. So that’s going to be a really hard thing to do is to keep the numbers low. As much as I’m saying be careful because of budget. So that trend is going to increase. We’re also going to see probably less people less weddings with longer sit downs of eating food and more up on the dance floor or more experience is created or around the space. People want to be social and are going to need to be social. And when we’re all up and ready to get back there. I think there’s going to be really cool entertainment companies right now are producing virtual, you know, ways of creating entertainment to go online that’s going to blow up to being live for weddings, or for any celebration. So we’re going to feel like we’re going to a Broadway show that we are going to a wedding which is All of that is what I’ve always stood for. So for me, it’s like, yes, we’re gonna we’re gonna be doing the things I’ve always wanted our guests and clients to be part of.


Damona  35:09  

That’s great. That’s great. I will definitely come. Like anyone listening. If you have a Broadway wedding. I’m so there. You better invite me.


David Tutera  35:18  

And I want to see that on TV. Yeah,


David Tutera  35:21  

it would be yes. And I have a couple of Broadway friends and one specifically that has performed for us for a party and we’re doing another project with her and you can’t have it up Broadway for me. For sure.


Damona  35:33  

So speaking of television, Broadway, all those things, what can we expect next? from you, David? Oh,


David Tutera  35:39  

my goodness, so much going on. Right now. We’re, we launched several months ago that David Tutera mentorship program for people in the industry to learn from me, over the course of a year, there are some exciting things coming out that can be seen that may be seen, I should always say may be seen. creatively based upon what I do for a living in it forum of, you know, seeing me on something, something so vague, it’s ridiculous. Um, let’s see what else I am launching a program called wedding wishes. And that is, everything comes to your home for your wedding. That’s based upon the style of what you want. So that is you know, not just about being where we are in the world. But it’s even beyond that. So it’s a lot of exciting new ventures that have been built out of being home and being built out of the needs of seeing things that are not existing. Oh, that’s


Damona  36:36  

wonderful. I’m glad to see you’ve been using the time wisely and doing things that are also giving back and helping others to achieve this level of brilliance that you were at. We will be sure to put all the links in the show notes. But But personally, I’m just so happy to have a chance to talk to you. I’ve actually been trying to get you a database for literally years. So it’s such a treat to get to speak with you and thank


David Tutera  37:02  

you and have a great Valentine’s Day. And again, everybody please remember don’t stress yourself out. You know, have fun, be silly. And just embrace the the day of love because the everyday should be filled with love, not just one day,


Damona  37:19  

said perfectly. Thank you so much, David.


David Tutera  37:21  

You’re very welcome, y’all. David


Damona  37:22  

has a line of home goods, a beautiful line of bridal gowns, even an event planning team. You need to find out more about what he’s up to go to David tutera.com. Or check him out on Instagram at David Tutera. I love answering love questions, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with this segment.


Unknown Speaker  37:48  

damona helped me. Hi, Simona This is April from Michigan. I have a question. I am a bisexual female. And I just wrote about last year I got out of a relationship with a woman. And so now that I am putting myself back in the dating scene, I would like to date men. But I guess I am just confused as to maybe when to bring up the fact that I’m bisexual and that my last relationship was a woman. I feel like it should be something shared. But I guess I just don’t know, when would be the best time to bring that up. So any advice that you have would be great. Thank you love your show by


Damona  38:31  

April from my home state of Michigan. Thank you for your question. I think you’re right, I think it does need to be revealed. Probably sooner rather than later. We actually did an episode with Carlton from love is blind a few months ago. And you may remember the backlash when he did not share that he was bisexual until a little bit further into the relationship say after the proposal. So don’t wait that long, certainly. But first or second date. One of the reasons I love working with OkCupid is that they’ve always been ahead of the curve on letting people define their sexuality in different ways. I know on that app, you can share upfront that you are bisexual and that you’re interested in dating men or women, or just men. I do see this sometimes with my bisexual clients. It’s like the pendulum will swing in one way or another sometimes. So I’d like for you to keep it open if you can. But I do recommend that you disclose from the beginning because some people are going to have their big feelings about the fact that you date men and women and ultimately you want somebody who’s going to be secure in that and isn’t going to be thinking like Oh, if you’re with me, you might be thinking of women instead. maybe find somebody who might be excited by that fact or be impressed that you have had more experiences than maybe they have had or just Appreciate you for who you are. And if they run away at the beginning, if they’re turned off by that or they’re concerned, then you know what I’m gonna say April wasn’t your person to begin with. And for those guys that you tell that are like weirdly turned on, because they’re automatically picturing you and another woman and him, you have to set your boundaries really quick on that if you’re looking for a monogamous relationship, that should be very clear from the start. And those guys that are just turned on by the idea of a threesome, or the idea of you being bisexual and are not attracted to you specifically as a person, are not the ones for you. This next question comes to us from Caitlin on Instagram, she says I’m 24 single and trying to go on more dates, but I will also be starting medical school this fall.


April  40:59  

I see you,


Damona  41:01  

I am excited to become a doctor she says but also nervous knowing that my life will be taken over by schooling for the next eight plus years of my life, medical school and residency. I’m nervous that I’ll meet great guys, but then they’ll bail when they realize that they may have to take a backseat to my medical education for a long time. How and when should I discuss the realities of dating a medical student with prospective partners? Oh, she said that. So formally, I love it. Caitlyn, first of all, props to you. Go get your degree, go get your residency, and live your life. But at the same time, you cannot put your life on hold. You cannot put your love life on hold for your professional life. And it is just what you say a matter of finding someone who is understanding of the lifestyle that they’re signing up for. I can tell you this, my sister in law, met my brother in law when she was in med school. And they even had a kid when she was in residency, which sounds bonkers to me like being up all night and having a newborn. Somehow they made it work. My own parents met when my dad had just completed residency and was working a ton as a doctor in a hospital. And they made it work, you know, for a while. But what I would say to you, is to continue to pursue your studies. But just remember that dating, if you still want a relationship should also be a priority to and I can tell you sound like you’re a pretty organized person. So I would say schedule in your date days, I say this often to very high achieving women who will often put their lives and their attention into their work, and then sort of date on the side whenever they can find time for it. And that sort of philosophy. If you don’t give it equal weight in your life, it is a recipe for finding yourself still single 810 1520 years from now. So if this is a priority in your life as well just go ahead and write it into your calendar. Schedule. In that time in advance, people will tell me, I’ll do it when I find the time or if I meet the person, then I will find time for them. And as you very perceptively realized that person will never feel like you have the time for them if you’ve never actually carved the time out in advance and made it part of your regular schedule and something that is as important to you as your school and your work. So you should discuss the realities of your schedule, but don’t make it seem like it’s a burden from the beginning. Just be very Matter of fact, this is how much time I have for dating or I can see you every Tuesday I’m off, I’d love to see you then. Again, make it an invitation so that you are inviting them to spend that day a week that you’re off with you. And they will either opt into it from the beginning knowing what the limitations are of your availability, or they will opt out and know that they man enough for you. I’ve had so much fun in this episode. I don’t want to wrap it up but it’s Valentine’s week I got lots to do I need to get my let’s roam scavenger hunt together. I need to plan my gallon tines day dates, I need to set my home up so my virtual background is on point. So hopefully you will run off and do those same things. This was Episode 347 of dates and mates. let’s hook up not like that. But you know, let’s hook up on the socials. I’m at damona Hoffman and remember I’m making this show for you. I want to make sure your love life is exactly what you want it to be. So don’t be shy. DM me your questions, especially voice memos. I love the voice memos, and you could end up on a future show. And also be sure to check the links to our sponsors in the show notes or on the blog at dates and mates.com. We’ll be back again next week with Dr. Gary Lewandowski. He is a professor fessor of psychology and he has a brand new book called stronger than you think. We have a fascinating conversation about great expectations, great expectations for your relationship, of course. And that’s one episode you certainly won’t want to miss. Until next week. I wish you happy dating


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