In the Spotlight : Todd Fiscus

Guru. Author. Party Maven. Designer Extraordinaire. Visionary. One of my favorites is that he was dubbed the “Sultan of the Soirée”, and if you’ve ever met him, you’d know immediately why. A larger-than-life Texan with more personality than most have in their big toe, Todd Fiscus is somehow the revolutionary behind eight different slick companies and yet incredibly real and unpompous. One of the simplest things I love about him is that he, like any dyed-in-the-wool Southerner, can tell a mean story . . . the kind that has you doubled over and gasping for breath. But doesn’t that suit? When your life is rich and full and fabulous, you can bring a boatload to the table. Enjoy what he shares below  . . . then get inspired even more over at Todd’s online home base. (Or go separately to these spots: Todd Events, Todd Too, Suite 206, The Apartment, Switchlight, Avant Garden, Tillman’s Roadhouse, Rest and Revolution PR.)

A few quick sentences about you, your business, your inherent you-ness:
TF: My you-ness??  Well, I am from a small Texas town, and attended a wedding in Dallas, of a young woman from my hometown, in Dallas, from then on it was love. I wanted to be an event designer. I love creating things that make people happy.  I ja-dore watching people eat and dance and be silly…
I love to be happy, I try hard not to bitch! My business is parties… lots of them and all the time!  This year we have over 400 on the books already…

Best store (online or not) for great entertaining finds?

TF: Bon Appétit mag for food recipes,  Etsy of course for the coolest handmade things, Saro wholesale for good napkins, that you can embroider on the cheeep!

Secret weapon in your team’s emergency kit/arsenal for your brides?

TF: Toupée tape, an emergency kit for making a quickie corsage or bout.  (once had to make a corsage for the First Lady, when someone spilled red wine on her lapel.  I whipped one together from a gardenia out of a centerpiece, pinned it to her, and her daughter commented “ wow, you’re a real McGuyver with that thing” my response.. uh I am in the wedding biz, that would be MacGAYver… that’s all I heard for the rest of the night!

What one wedding or event design element needs to be banished to its grave?

TF: Mashed Potatoes served in Martini Glasses, Chair Bows in cheap shiny organza and Bridesmaids in alternating color stories… yechhh!

Your go-to signature drink for entertaining?
Cucumber Mash with Belvedere… yummy and low cal!

What do you really think about the styling trend in our industry . . . the mock shoots, the faux weddings, the propped-out gigs on blogs?

TF:False Advertising. And most of all undeliverable expectations on costs… its totally achievable if you spend 500.00 a person budget to décor!  We do it all the time, but for most brides, its to titillating… they get all jacked on the Martha-izing of it, then cannot afford it, pull it off themselves or pay someone else to do it for them.. As far as the style goes, I tend to like a lot more wow factors, and less napkin ring…. At the end of the night, the boys want booze and meat, the girls want romance and elegance, and all want a killer dance band… after that, no-one is complimenting your napkin ring….

What’s one of your favorite blogs, or what interesting blog is in your RSS feed?

TF: Well…I do not read blogs!  (sorry) but if I do, I like yours for one, because you speak your heart… Who else would call to the carpet Brides who love Birds so harshly???   I am the same, you are paying me for my opinion, like it or not… I am NOT a yes man…And I do read Biz Bash….
Your ideal late night reception bite for guests?

TF: Your choice grease and salt… my favorite, mini mc-muffin rips,  fried quail egg, tiny English muffin, black pepper bacon or pork belly and Vermont cheddar… yum.
What one coffee table book would you buy right now for inspiration?

TF: Jan Showers – Glamorous Rooms … great use of color, balance, and good design plus inspiration for making pattern work.


You’re heading into an 18 hour wedding day- what’s your vice/fix?

TF: Being quiet at the beginning of the day, and preparing mentally.  Packing a good cooler of food, snacks and water, so I don’t eat poorly, and picking out something comfortable to wear for the day, extra underwear and socks, A washcloth, and some sundries, and a bottle of Hermès Fragrance.  If I have to take a whore bath somewhere, at least it’s Hermès!

What’s one trend you see for 2011 that you love . . .

TF: I love adding back in the theatrical.  Fun things, fireworks, cool crazy entertainment, bands who wear crazy costumes, seated dinners that are short and sweet, followed by surprises later… revealing food bars, tents open that serve hot dogs, whatever… As long as the event has life, and reflects the host… have fun people, you don’t have to impress anyone… if you want to serve hamburgers go for it… just do it on really great china!

No wedding is complete without . . .

TF: A really fun planner to guide it for you like me or my girlfriend Calder…

{All photography by Stephen Karlisch}