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The Haute Couture Weddings & Event-maker: Toni Breiss

Toni Breiss
Have you seen his picturesque weddings on social media? Have you saved or pinned images of his work on a mood board? Toni Breiss is the Lebanese mastermind behind luxury weddings and events in the Middle East and beyond. With offices in Paris and Beirut, Toni has established a glorious name for himself and has become the man to trust for dreamy events worldwide.

From his office in Paris, Toni Breiss talks about the success story behind his business, the vision behind his uber-luxurious events, and some behind the scene stories of how he and his team work to execute flawless weddings and events.

AM: Toni, do tell us how you start preparing for a wedding? And what is the Toni Breiss action plan like?
In preparation for our weddings and events the team becomes hyper focused as we gear up for the big day. We are all hands-on deck as we collectively double check all production notes and gear up to become fully immersed in the project we are executing. I like being part of the process and find great joy in seeing my ideas come to life. My job is to manage time, tension and stress. This also includes surprises which our production team is briefed about, and is prepared to handle anything from the puzzle that may cause issues leading up to the event. The coordination and cohesiveness of the team are important. Every project is curated for our individual clients so it is very exciting and always feels like a new journey. We build each event up and then break it down afterwards since each one is unique, and irreplicable. I like to think that we represent the personality of our clients with each event, and that I have formed a team that has been with me from the very beginning, a team that works from the heart.

AM: And how much are you able to delegate the work to this team?
It's both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is that the management style is very affectionate. My colleagues like me as a person, so we work well together as a company. However, my style can also be a curse, because they know I expect perfection and we cannot allow for mistakes. The team is aware that I don't have a margin for error. I am fortunate because I have a motivated team. I rely on diplomacy and patience to ensure my team understands what I need from them so that no one gets offended if something needs attention. I need to make sure we deliver what the client expects.

Toni Breiss Weddings

AM: How do you find a middle ground when your client doesn’t share the same vision as you?
When our visions are different, we work to find a common ground and what makes the client happy. We are in the business of creating experiences and we always want the client to be happy. I have confidence in my work in a sense that we can work together to create a vision that will ultimately exceed their expectations. Instagram does help clients who may have similar taste find us, and those clients’ styles usually are aligned with the Toni Breiss brand. We also direct our attention to the style of the market that we cater to, because each culture has its own style and traditions. I like elegance, and it comes down to the details. When I first started working in Saudi Arabia, I was considered too European. We learned to mix things up and satisfy the client in terms of local preferences so that keep up our brand attractive.

AM: And how do you deal with challenging brides?
No bride is challenging! At the end of the day, it is her wedding, her dream day, and my job is to create unforgettable memories for our clients. We are selective with our clients to ensure that we are fully available because we must deliver our absolute best. For example, in the past we would have ten to fifteen weddings a year in different countries. Now, we have reduced the number and we only take on around eight weddings/events as they have become bigger productions with higher expectations. Our business is like haute couture. We maintain the highest level of service, which means we can't be everywhere all the time.

Toni Breiss Weddings

AM: Can you reveal something about the previous talk of the town, Tiffany Trump’s infamous wedding?
I did not give details about it to any press, because like in any other delicate event, we signed an NDA. I was contacted by every magazine you can name. Instead, we let our work talk for itself, and consequently the press covered the wedding organically. I was featured in the New York Times and I was very grateful. It was an unforgettable experience, with amazing people.  

AM: Would you say the Trump wedding is the highlight of your glorious career?
The wedding is one I will always remember, but I would not say it was the only highlight in my career. One of the achievements I am most proud of too is MBC’s Joy Awards in KSA, and the honor I was given to work on a big part of such a luxurious event. Another highlight was one of the most exciting weddings I've produced; a weekend destination wedding that went viral at the Villa de Rothschild in the South of France. There were 240 attendees. It was not the biggest I have worked on, but it was exciting and it really generated a lot of buzz and gave my company a lot of attention. For me, every event feels like an achievement, because I put my heart into my work. It’s a process that establishes a relationship of 6-months to a year where you talk to the couple almost every day. Some of my clients become some of my best friends. I choose my clients as much as they are choosing me. We need to click on both a personal and professional level. 

Toni Breiss Weddings

AM: Your events often go viral on Instagram, what are your thoughts about social media?
You can take the Cannes Film Festivals as an example; it’s becoming more and more catered to influencers rather than actors. Funnily enough, I used to fight social media, but today I'm at more than 730,000 followers on Instagram and I am honored that so many people are interested in my work and what we do. We have adapted to the era, and our clients in the Middle East refer to social media rather than websites, so we work hard to maintain an exciting and entertaining presence on social media.