We’re excited to have assembled the top industry thought leaders from around the world for the 2018 & 2019 Advisory Board. Members of this board play many important roles in our organisation and for our industry. They provide guidance for our students, contribute their expertise for our course materials, and are instrumental in giving our students a practical look at the industry by providing a variety of work experience opportunities. They also give input into our two publications, the Wedding Business Magazine and our annual International Wedding Trend Report.
Each week our students are able to ask questions to a different Advisory Board member which gives them invaluable insight into the industry from people who are experts in their field and have all the insider knowledge.
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.
Gifted with a natural sense of grace, and a passion for creating and celebrating beauty all around her, Zainab has always considered herself a true citizen of the world. Multi-lingual and multi-cultural, she was born in Baghdad and raised in Europe and the Middle East, and today, she calls Dubai, the US and Italy home.
Zainab started her professional career as a banker and quickly realized this was not her calling. Her desire to see people happy and to play an instrumental role in making them so, drove her out of banking, and into and into the wonderful world of weddings. A gifted communicator with a keen business sense, Zainab was able to compliment her unbound creative passion with real world pragmatism and a strong business and organizational foundation, to create her luxury wedding boutique, Carousel.
Zainab loves being part of the amazing celebration of love and the outpouring of joy that weddings are. It is truly what motivates her when she designs and plans each and every one of her weddings. She has also become one of the most respected authorities in the Middle East on all things wedding, and has been covered, and quoted, in countless regional and international programs and publications, in various languages, in radio, television, print, and online. She has also been recognized on numerous occasions as one of Dubai’s leading female entrepreneurs.
Through her vision and passion, her love of people and her compassion, and her attention to detail and personal grace, Carousel has become one of the most admired and exclusive wedding agencies in the Middle East, and Zainab has become a true inspiration for Middle Eastern women of her generation, and the generations that follow.
SARAH S ALMUGHAMIS
Sarah Al‑Mughamis, a sought‑after wedding and event planner, understands the art of coordinating spectacular affairs. Sarah has a passion for event planning services, which she realized it after her wedding in 2004. Shortly thereafter, family and friends asked for her help in the planning of their special events. To her surprise, coordinating events and gatherings came quite natural and with her warm, enthusiastic nature and keen eyes for everything chic and glam; it was obvious that event planning was indeed her destined career path. So after years of working in financial services, Sarah decided to pursue her aspirations and founded Q8 Planner, an event planning company that produces high‑quality products and services.
Since opening in 2012, Q8 Planner has affirmed an artistic lead and is well‑known for their flawless precision and attention to detail. Now, Q8 Planner is a full‑service event planning like social occasions, graduations, and expos with a focus on weddings and destination weddings.
I moved to Dubai in 2016 to persue my love of marketing and event planning, creating full 360 solutions for clients across the UAE, integrating online services with on ground events.
As the world became more digital, so did I, with my focus shifting towards digital marketing. I joined weddingsonline.ae in 2015, and now oversee the day‑to‑day running of the business from both supplier and couple facing perspectives. I understand the importance of integrating many suppliers to achieve the shared vision of the bride, and the joy for me is in seeing this transpire.
Vintage bloom is a bespoke avant garde floral studio, that provides flowers for weddings and events.
We pride ourselves by constantly creating new styles, and innovating ways to make each wedding come to life.
Glamour, like style is more of an attitude, and flowers should never be underestimated, it can be a mood game changer at a event or wedding.
Iman El‑Huni, founder and Managing Director, launched Party Social in 2015 with a view to offering a premium differentiated rental product to the events and hospitality industry in the UAE. She comes from a varied professional background having started in the FMCG world, before moving to advertising and eventually co‑founding a non‑profit organization in 2011. Her desire for new opportunities led her to Party Social and there has been no looking back since. Having lived in the US, Europe and the UAE, she finds the international and cosmopolitan nature of Dubai a perfect fit for her family and the growing business.
Graduating with a degree in Tourism Business Management, Emma made the move to Dubai back in 2004 and 14 years on firmly calls Dubai home.
Prior to joining Address Hotels and Resorts, Emma found her passion with Event planning and established herself as a Wedding & Events planner, honing her skills and delving into the nuances of the wedding industry in Dubai. She also made a foray into contributing wedding content to articles for local and international publications.
Her next big leap was a career with Address Hotels & Resorts based in Address Montgomerie where her in depth experience of the local wedding industry quickly translated to an increased demand for wedding bookings at the Resort. Today the venue is celebrated as an award winning Wedding venue, most recently conferred with the title of “Middle East Continent Winner for Luxury Wedding Destination” by World Luxury Awards.
Progressing into a role with much larger responsibilities; Emma’s experience allows her to be considered the go‑to on all things “wedding”. Whether it is intelligence on wedding market trends or representing Emaar Hospitality /Address Hotels & Resorts overseas at Wedding conferences or even planning the annual Emaar Wedding Fair, the most anticipated in the city of Dubai, Emma’s continued passion and tenacity in the field is a true testament to her success as a “Wedding Expert”.
Julia is the co‑founder and CEO of Creative971, but also the creative side and driving the business development and marketing. She graduated in Banking and Finance in Germany, which provided her with a background to understand and drive the attention to efficiency in businesses. She was working for Emaar Properties in Dubai before, excelling her skills majorly in marketing and sales.
One of Dubai’s original wedding bloggers, Rhiannon, first came up with the idea behind brideclubme.com when she became engaged in April 2012, and found she had a barrage of unanswered questions and wanted inspiration and ideas at her own convenience. After researching the bridal media market in the UAE, Rhiannon saw a gap for a modern, stylish and interactive website. Five years later, Bride Club ME is now an award winning and leading online wedding inspiration website and directory for brides and grooms in the UAE, also putting on fun and interactive events for readers and vendors alike.
Rhiannon’s background in print and online media spans 18 years, and encompasses some of the largest and most respected publishing houses in both the UK and UAE.
Rhiannon is also a professional industry speaker, and Founder of The Engage Academy, the first consultancy of its kind in the UAE for wedding entrepreneurs, with the aim of facilitating networking and proffesional consulting within the growing UAE wedding industry.
She has contributed to various articles published by global entrepreneur websites, newspapers and wedding magazines, including The National, khaleej Times, Time Out Dubai, Good magazine, Asian Bride and The Media Network and has been invited to speak at several high profile wedding industry events across the UAE.
Rhiannon is the official wedding ambassador/columnist for AQuarius Magazine and a member of the Emirates Wedding Planning Academy advisory board.
JOUMANA TANNOUS KADRI
From the intriguing creative world of Advertising, Events and Marketing to the world of dreamy weddings, comes a free spirited soul who is constantly inspired by everything around her and believes that the sky has no limits. Joumana is an expert in the art of celebration who has worked alongside more than 90 luxury brands and created numerous avant-garde and elegant events for high end fashion houses and perfumery labels, to private Gala Dinners and top notch corporate events since 1998.
Combining her love of communication with her love of art, she won several international awards for the best product launches and best Marketing tools used for her clients back then.
With a wealth of Knowledge and expertise in the event industry, her fashion flair and love of design and arts , her genuine loving character and her highly personalized planning and impeccable attention to details, will work closely with every couple to make sure their wedding day exceeds all expectations and is everything they imagined and more. She is a music lover, who creates her own pieces, an art lover who enjoys painting abstracts and a stage Director with a love for dramatic effects and she will make sure you are the star of your big day fit to receive an Oscar!
“My family, friends and clients have been the source of inspiration for who I am
today. Although I have been named the Queen of Events by my clients, I was initially hesitant to venture into wedding planning as I believe it is very personal and emotional. Now that I have been part of many weddings, it thrills me to be part of such an important day for both the couple and their families. Bringing to life a client’s dream wedding and witnessing their loved one’s joy is one of the best and most rewarding feelings.
For me organizing a wedding is not a job it’s my passion