Beverly Clark Interview
Beverly Clark is "The
Wedding Authority." She has inspired millions of brides with her books, software
and instructional video. She also designs and manufactures an award-winning
line of elegant bridal accessories known as The Beverly Clark Collection.
Beverly was recently named Editor-in-Chief of The Wedding Channel (an Idealab!
company), the country's largest online wedding resource.
Beverly Clark is also a charter member of Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings and Honeymoons
Council of Advisors. She has appeared in numerous network and cable television
shows including Today, Leeza, CNN's Showbiz Today, the Turner Entertainment Network,
Discovery Channel's "Interior Motives", HGTV's top-rated Carol Duvall Show, and
the new "Party At Home" lifestyle series. She's been featured in major magazines
including Bridal Guide, Complete Woman, Income Opportunities, and Romantic Homes.
Clark and her staff field numerous calls from Hollywood studios requesting permission
to use her top-selling wedding planner and bridal accessories as props in film
and TV productions. Well known celebrities and music personalities such as Delta
Burke, Elizabeth Taylor, Heather Locklear, and Joely Fisher have also used her
accessories for their own weddings.
Beverly's book Planning a Wedding To Remember, published in 1985 by Wilshire
Publications, has sold more than 2 million copies. It is currently America's
Number One Best-Selling wedding planner.
Beverly Clark was the recipient of Bridal Guide Magazine's coveted Hall of Fame
Lifetime Achievement Award for 1998. Most recently, Beverly served as national
spokesperson for Korbel Champagne Cellars' Wedding Toast Hot Line.
We're very proud to present an interview with The Wedding Authority—Beverly
Q - Beverly, how does one get to be an authority on weddings?
Is there a program of study you can take at college, or does the knowledge
come by way of experience?
A - Well, first of all, through years of experience. Our book Planning A Wedding
to Remember, has been out now for about 13 years. So, it's been the Number
One Wedding Planner sold, in its category, over the years. We just received
this last year from Amazon.com, an award for being the Number One seller in
its category as well. Any time you're an author and you have a successful book,
people dub you as an authority, and I think it's just through years of experience
that you gain that knowledge and information. I am a member of the Association
of Bridal Consultants. For new people starting out they can contact the Association
of Bridal Consultants and they have a course that you can take through them
and get accredited. They have speakers and a convention every year.
Q - That probably did not exist when you started out.
A- No. I think what really happens and what's the most important is just experience,
and research, and just your love for it. You have to have a certain love
and passion for entertaining. What I like to do is always search for new
ideas to pass onto brides. We put all this information and ideas in the books
to help lots of brides. I don't at this time have time to consult with individual
Q - It's a lot of work to plan a wedding, isn't it?
A - Yes. (Laughs).
Q - How much time should a person plan for a wedding?
A - I like to recommend that people give themselves nine months to a year.
And the reason is, the more time you allow yourself, the less compromise
I find a bride has to make. That will also vary depending on where you are
in the country. The more populated cities where there's more limited locations;
some of the more popular locations get booked up. We were seeing some of
the places in Los Angeles being booked two to three years in advance. So
they had to implement a rule saying they would not take a deposit until a
year before the date of the wedding.
Q - That situation probably wouldn't happen in a smaller city.
A- Right. But, let's say there's one popular country club; when you think about
it, if you have the more popular wedding month, and there's only so many
Saturdays, there's approximately two and a half million weddings in the United
States, and you're using your home area, you don't have to worry so much.
So, it really depends on your area. We're actually hearing about brides being
married on Wednesdays and Thursdays in the year 2000, because the weekends
were booked up, in their particular location. So, all I can say is, you can
plan a wedding in a few months, but, the florist you want may be booked up,
or the caterer may be booked, or the location you want may be booked. So,
the more time you allow yourself, the less compromises in those areas you
might have to make. Of course you want to allow yourself several months for
your gown. So, not to say that somebody couldn't pull it off sooner, but
I find if a bride wants to make it an incredibly special day and have everything
she wants, nine to twelve months is an adequate time.
Q - I know that celebrities have used your wedding accessories,
but have you ever advised celebrities on their wedding plans?
A - No, because most of them know I don't usually do individual weddings. I
guess, for some people I might. But, I'm not living in Los Angeles where a
lot of the celebrities are, so, they tend to use local planners. A lot of them
will actually have their assistants coordinate the wedding. In our case, many
of them use our books. Part of it is, it's hard to know how many celebrities
are using your items. I do know of several that have. I think there's several
more I don't even know about. They buy it in stores. But, some of them I know.
We have provided a lot of products to the celebrities.
Q - Did Elizabeth Taylor wear one of your accessories?
A - We provided her with a guest book and a pen. I can't remember if we gave
her a garter or a ring pillow. I did not work with Elizabeth Taylor directly.
We got a thank you note from her, but, that was done through her publicist.
That was quite a few years ago. That's when she got married at Michael Jackson's
(to Larry Fortensky). I made a ring pillow for Joely Fisher, and garters.
Marisa Tomei has used several of our products, at her wedding. That was a
San Francisco wedding. We know the florist, and she ordered the products
through the florist. Lorrie Morgan, the country singer. She was actually
featured in People Magazine with our toasting glasses. But, unfortunately
it didn't say our name. (Laughs). The store called us and told us she had
purchased it. See, that s the thing. The stores don't always tell us. Some
people order it directly from us. Nancy and David Elliott, David Elliott
is the star of 'Jag'. Then Kathy Nijimy, the actress who was on 'Veronica's
Closet' with Kirstie Alley. Then, we've been on several TV shows, our products,
and movies. The Young And The Restless, Betsy's wedding. I know Rob Reiner
just bought some of our things for a film. I don't know the title of it.
We've also had some of our products in unusual, unique situations. One of
them on the first ever wedding on a Rose Parade Float. They used all of our
things. Our toasting glasses were used for the first wedding on the Berlin
Wall, right when the wall came down. It was a wedding between an East and
West Berlin couple. We're also providing the products for the first wedding
of the new millennium, which will obviously be at 12:01 a.m. It's going to
be on a moored boat out by Fiji, on the dateline. That we're doing in conjunction
with Modern Bride Magazine. It will have world coverage.
Q - What do you find yourself doing each day? What exactly
is your job title?
A - I have a few titles, I guess. That's one question I never officially think
of. I'm co-owner with my husband and the designer of the Beverly Clark Collection.
I'm also the author of the books. So, those are my main titles. I'm also a
contributing editor to the Wedding
Channel. That's an internet site. I'm involved with their E-commerce bridal
registry. On a daily basis, usually I'm either working on publicity, advertising
and marketing, or working on new designs or new ventures.
Q - Do you have your own factory that allows you to design
and manufacture your bridal accessories?
A - Yes.
Q - Where is that located?
A - In California.
Q - How did you know when you got started, what to design,
what people would like?
A - When I started, I started out of my home with six products. I started with
the basic products, a guest book, a pen, a pillow, a garter, a flower basket,
and a purse, with one design. And, back then, I started with a more lacy Victorian
look when lace was very popular. What I tend to do is watch the trends throughout
the years. I try to follow the trends, in color, and in style. We've seen over
the last few years brides going to a simpler, cleaner, more sophisticated look,
and I think that's because the average age of a bride is increasing as well,
and just general taste. I also try to provide a little broad spectrum within
in that even though generally we're going a little more contemporary and a
little more sophisticated, I still try to provide a product to the girl who
likes pearls and lace, to the girl who wants something very simple with just
a simple brocade without pearl or a piece of lace on it. So, I do that, and
I just design what I like.
Note: To learn more about Beverly Clark, you can find her at BeverlyClark.com
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