Image: John Nassari
I first met high-end W-dayÂ planner, and ‘wedding whizz kid’ Bruce Russell last September at the launch of hisÂ latest project,Â The Bridal Room, Britain’s first ever online luxury bridal destination. I was bowled over by his ideas, creativity and charm, and we have since connected manyÂ times, at the Wedding Blog AwardsÂ andÂ Brides The Show;Â over breakfastÂ in Marylebone, and through his work at London’s iconicÂ Savoy where he is the hotel’s resident wedding expert.
Being quite the ‘wedding entrepreneur’, I wantedÂ to get the inside scoop on Bruce, and find out about the man behind the brand.Â I discovered that he treasures hisÂ end-of-day swims at The Four Seasons Hampshire, he greatly admiresÂ Anna Wintour, Hilary Clinton and The Duke of Cambridge, and that being over the top à la Kim and Kanye can sometimes beÂ just fabulous! Let’s get the full story…
Images left to right: Amara /Â John Nassari
So Bruce, what’s the ‘Bruce Russell’ story? How did you build up your business, and what made you become a wedding planner in the first place?
I have always wanted to build a business – and a brand – working in the events sector, but from a very personal perspective. Given my love of the bridal industry, this naturally led to weddings, the By Bruce Russell brand and, ultimately, the launch of The Bridal Room.
The Bridal Room is a partnership with my good friend – global luxury brand and marketing specialist – Jo James, who has a great deal of experience in the travel, hospitality, events and bridal industries. The two of us met during our time working at COMO Hotels and Resorts, and it was during a business trip to Cocoa Island in the Maldives that ‘By Bruce Russell’ and this exciting new venture were first discussed. Serenaded by the sounds of the Indian Ocean we scoped out the bare bones for the project on paper napkins – international entrepreneurialism at its best!
Having noticed a gap in the industry as to how top London venues managed their wedding clients, I approached The Savoy with a proposal to manage their wedding enquiries. This ultimately led to the ‘By Bruce Russell’ brand and the growth of a brilliant team at The Savoy that I still manage today.
The Savoy partnership has undoubtedly helped raise my profile in the industry and led me to work with some of the industry’s best suppliers, experts, artists and craftsmen — most of which form part of The Bridal Room. From my early days at The Savoy, the ‘By Bruce Russell’ brand has expanded internationally and I am delighted to have a wide-reaching global client base.