Eisenhower had it easy – he only had to plan D-Day. But an upscale wedding with elaborate food and flowers, and the gown, plus the music and the officiate and there’s always somebody who wants doves and ...
And that’s when you call a wedding planner. In fact, if you’re a 1 percenter or even a measly 10 percenter, you may find yourself calling Babylon-based Michael Russo Events. Or you would if you had the phone number, since the firm doesn’t advertise and only has an email link on its website. Even once you get through, Mikie Russo may or may not accept you for one of the six major events he says he limits himself to each year.
But now with FYI’s new show, “Mikie Saves the Date,” Tuesdays at 10 p.m., regular Joes-and-Janes have a chance of obtaining his services. A slim chance, but a chance nonetheless. The show’s producer, High Noon Entertainment (TLC’s “Cake Boss”), screened “thousands of submission videos,” Russo said, for the pilot that aired last August and the current eight-episode season. Russo made the final choices.
“I know right off the bat who I would love to work with and who I know is doing it for another reason, like just to be on TV,” said the effervescent event planner, 35.
Not that it comes cheap: The husband-and-wife-to-be still have to kick in. “Most of their budgets were $20,000 to $40,000,” Russo said. “For me to walk through the door is $100,000. So they’re getting a discount. A major discount!”
Seeing him in action, it does look as if they get their money’s worth. Russo handles nervous brides and difficult parents with aplomb, using everything from reflective questions to mock outrage with surgical skill, giving viewers a small course not just in wedding planning but also in management psychology.
He’d been approached often to do a reality series, he said, “but it was never the right fit, because most of the programming everyone was after was manufactured drama. Then when I met with High Noon, they understood what I was after in terms of having a positive nature. Then I met FYI and I fell in love.”
And isn’t that how all good marriages start?