Interview With My Celebrity Dream Wedding Co-Star Tori Williams
Reporter: Tammy Reese
World-Renowned Celebrity Event Planner, and Designer, Tori Williams Co-Stars on VH1’s All-New Reality TV series, “My Celebrity Dream Wedding”
“My Celebrity Dream Wedding” joins the popular Monday night line-up at 9 pm/8c. Stemming from the popular celebrity dream wedding special that aired earlier this year, the competition returns to welcome back three elite wedding planners, Courtney Ajinca, Lance Devereux, and Tori Williams, as they pitch their extravagant bridal visions and throw celebrity-inspired weddings for engaged couples on a budget. This 20-episode series also provides DIY tips and hacks to plan a fairytale million-dollar wedding for a fraction of the price.
Originally from Memphis, TN, Tori began her career as a licensed hair and makeup artist serving all industries. While working with brides, she discovered her true calling. Soon after, the entrepreneur in Williams sparked and Tori Williams Events was launched- a full-service luxury event planning and design company, focused on social and corporate affairs.
Her signature opulent, trendsetting themes and elaborate decor have been seen on major television networks such as Lifetime, Bravo, The Food Network, TV One’s Sister Circle, and NBC’s Atlanta and Company, just to name a few. Tori was also named one of Atlanta’s 25 Most Powerful and Influential Women by Modern Luxury’s Atlantan Magazine.
Williams has produced events for several celebrity clients such as City of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Olympic Gold Medalist and Activist Tommie Smith, T.I., K. Michelle, Trina, Mimi Faust, Michael Blackson, Will Packer, Celebrity Photographer Robert Ector, several NFL & NBA Athletes, Notable Doctors, and High-Powered Attorneys & Judges.
The TW brand is built on the principles of integrity, gratitude, and compassion for others. Her spirit allows her to connect with clients on a genuine, personal level to understand their vision and curate customized events that are truly authentic and unforgettable.
Williams is the epitome of elegance, class, innovation, and creativity. She has grown her brand by taking her core principles and her passion for creating fabulous events and turning them into lasting memories for her clients. Already one of the most sought-after event planners and designers in the industry, Tori’s goal is to continue building her legacy while creating opportunities for others. Tori Williams and Tori Williams Events are names the world will remember, adding signature style one event at a time.
Reporter: Tammy Reese
How has the experience been so far as a Co-Star of VH1’S My Celebrity Dream Wedding?
Tori: The experience on the show has been great. I love working with Lance and Courtney, I love them both. They often challenge me, and I learn a lot from them. It’s been a good experience to come to work and live out my passion, design events, be creative and pull it all off for some deserving brides.
On the flip side, I have to keep it all the way 100. With anything comes some challenges. Some of those challenges for me have been the long hours because I am still a venue owner and I have events outside of the show. Juggling both sometimes can get a little challenging. It’s alot of sleepless nights or having no days off. I have been able to push through because I look at the goal in the end.
What did you learn about yourself from being on the show?
Tori: What I’ve learned since working on My Celebrity Dream Wedding is patience. I am not a patient person at all. I like people to move at the pace that I move. The other thing that I’ve learned is how to work with other people. I don’t mind working with others, but I am working with two other people that are their own bosses just as I am.
Also, with production telling me what time I needed to be somewhere, in the beginning, was a challenge. I am however a professional. I took on this job and no one forced me to do it. Coming together and being able to put ego aside for the betterment of someone else is good. I’ve learned that I am capable of doing just that and I love being a part of this experience.
On “My Celebrity Dream Wedding” you had a vulnerable moment with one of the brides that you could relate to. Was it hard for you to express yourself about that particular shared experience?
Tori: No, it’s not hard for me to talk about it at all. It’s one of those situations where I wanted that particular bride to know that she was not alone. There are many other women that are faced with the same challenge. That doesn’t mean you can’t be a mother or that you don’t have other options.
For me, I have been in my stepdaughter’s life since she was 12 years old. Even though I don’t know if I can physically have kids, my husband still blessed me with the opportunity to be a mother. I’m very much a mother to my stepdaughter and we have a very close relationship.
What are some of the best qualities you have that keep your clients coming back?
Tori: I feel like I am very authentic. I don’t sugarcoat anything. What you see is what you get. I don’t lie to my clients or just tell them something to just gain a dollar from them. I am true to who I am as a person and I have a genuine love for my clients. I build relationships with my clients and we have become friends and family. I have married hundreds of people in the last couple of years and I still have a relationship in some way, shape, or form with all of them.
Also, the work that I do from the planning side makes them trust me. I am not cocky, or arrogant, but confident to say that I do some really amazing events. The creativity that God has blessed me with has come to the point where the clients won’t even give me much direction on what to do with their wedding. We will only discuss the budget and the colors along with a few minor details. Other than that, they truly put it in my hands and know that I can pull it off. It’s my job to make sure that I over exceed their expectations when they walk through the doors on their wedding day or for the event that I do for them.
What has been a favorite moment for you on the show so far?
Tori: I can tell you what is a repeated favorite moment for me on the show. When the clients walk into the reception after they are married and I see the marriage bliss, the tears, and the fact that the 3 of us are able to put our egos aside and work really hard to be able to give someone the wedding of their dreams. It’s about the memories. The day comes and goes. The memory lasts a lifetime for the couple and for their guests.
People still come up to me and talk about me and my husband’s wedding. They talk about the food, the decor, the love, and the experience. What we are doing on the show is bringing joy to other people’s lives on a weekly basis. That’s priceless and I am fortunate to be a part of this experience.
How did you get the name Lady of Luxury?
Tori: I am the one that does the most luxurious events. I am the one that does the huge, over the top and higher-budget events. Recently someone told me how I am always dressed to the 9s and asked me what is my inspiration behind the clothes. I was also asked does a bride ever feel that I am trying to upstage them.
This is the thing about me, I have always dressed like that. I remember when I first stepped into this industry and people were saying that I needed to wear all black. I would say, why? Why do I need to wear all black? I don’t want to wear all black. I don’t want to wear the ballerina slippers. That’s not me. I always wore heels. I have to stay true to myself.
When someone hires you for a luxury event and then you look like you just rolled out of bed, you didn’t comb your hair, you didn’t put any makeup on, or take the initiative, it’s not believable. You have to look like what you want to sell in my mind. In my case it’s luxury and It’s worked so far. A rule of thumb to me is on the day of the event there should never be a second guess as to who the planner is. People can look at me and know I was the planner.
When it comes to my brides they are very proud to have me as their planner and they are as confident in themselves as I am. They know that on their day they are the most beautiful woman in the room and they also know I will never upstage them.
What are some words of encouragement for someone who aspires to become a celebrity wedding and event planner?
Tori: Focus on the craft. The clientele and celebrity part will come. Work really hard, find out what sets you apart from everybody else. Don’t try to be like anyone else and don’t worry about the completion. Just focus on your job and what you are doing. That is what will keep you grounded. Don’t give up even on days that you feel like giving up. Talk a moment, take a breather, walk away for a second. Once you pull it together, go back and keep going. The money will come, the celebrities would come. If you’re looking for fame that will come later. You definitely will have to sacrifice. Nothing is worth having that doesn’t come with hard work and sacrifice. I didn’t do this overnight. I too, made a lot of sacrifices and still make them to this day. That’s a part of this business and it’s a reward of it as well.
Watch My Celebrity Dream Wedding
Photo credit: @majorephotography