Christo­pher Con­fero

trans­forms spa­ces and cre­ates ex­pe­ri­ences.

GA Voice - - Front Page - By DYANA BAGBY

Plan­ning a wed­ding is re­ally about creat­ing a nar­ra­tive of a cou­ple in love that will be re­mem­bered for a life­time, says Christo­pher Con­fero, an At­lanta wed­ding planner.

“There are few peak days in your life and your wed­ding is one of them,” he says. “Your wed­ding day is about emo­tions and mak­ing mem­o­ries. When I plan a wed­ding I am telling their story as a cou­ple.”

To tell the story means get­ting be­yond a cou­ple’s fa­vorite col­ors and fa­vorite flow­ers. It means get­ting to know them as peo­ple, he says.

With wed­ding plan­ning, Con­fero says he tends to at­tract what he projects.

“My clients – we would be friends out­side work,” he says. “I get to know them very well.”

A first meet­ing be­tween Con­fero and a prospec­tive cou­ple takes place over af­ter­noon tea or an evening cock­tail, in a place and time where peo­ple are com­fort­able, loose and will­ing to share, he says.

“A lot of it is ask­ing the right ques­tions. I push be­yond those lit­tle cir­cles of what they know and love,” he says. “But it’s just as im­por­tant to know what they don’t like.”

Many clients will have a few ideas of what they want for their own wed­ding af­ter look­ing through mag­a­zines or web­sites. Con­fero says it is his job to find out ex­actly what they like by drilling down to specifics.

“I want to know where do [my clients] go on date nights, where do they shop for clothes, what their house looks like,” he says. “I want to get to know the clients in a re­laxed set­ting. It is an in­ter­view – they are in­ter­view­ing me and I’m in­ter­view­ing them as well.”

As a “the­ater kid” who grew up per­form­ing in show choirs, Con­fero says he’s al­ways had a per­for­mance side to him­self, which he brings to ev­ery wed­ding he plans.

When hired by a so-called bor­ing cou­ple, Con­fero says he in­ter­prets their story for their wed­ding into a re­ally well-ex­e­cuted day, down to fi­nite de­tails.

“’Bor­ing’ trans­lates into clas­sic. I had a cou- ple who were both ac­coun­tants. Their wed­ding was clas­sic and well done. We had the chairs edged per­fectly to the ta­ble,” he says.

When he brings in the cou­ple to see the re­cep­tion area for the first time, “it’s rare I don’t get tears and screams,” he says. “My fa­vorite part is when they see their vision over the past nine months come to life.”

Know­ing your au­di­ence is also about telling a great and mem­o­rable story, Con­fero says.

For the wed­ding of Dale and Brooks fea­tured on page 24, Con­fero knew gay men would be im­pressed with the tini­est de­tails, in­clud­ing mono­grammed hand tow­els in the re­stroom.

“The guests loved it; they were tak­ing them home,” he says.

A pet peeve for Con­fero is grooms that wear the same suit.

“Grooms should not match,” he says. In­stead, wear­ing com­ple­men­tary suits is best for telling their story. Dale and Brooks, for ex­am­ple, had cus­tom suits made.

“From the in­vi­ta­tions to the cake to the flow­ers, I am telling one co­he­sive story and I have to make sure ev­ery de­tail ties in and works to­gether,” he says.

“The script of a wed­ding … is al­most like a pat­tern, but with each cou­ple I’m color­ing with dif­fer­ent crayons,” he says. “And that they re­ally trust me with such an im­por­tant day in their lives is hum­bling. It blows my mind but I de­liver ev­ery time. I’m not mod­est but I am gra­cious.”

“From the in­vi­ta­tions to the cake to the flow­ers, I am telling one co­he­sive story and I have to make sure ev­ery de­tail ties in and works to­gether.”

—Christo­pher Con­fero

Top and above: Var­i­ous photos from Con­fero’s wed­ding de­sign port­fo­lio.

Right: Con­fero de­signed wed­ding in­vi­ta­tions for fea­tured cou­ple Dale and Brooks. (Courtesy photos)

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