He got his start at the age of 16, helping out at a floral shop owned by a family friend. He ended up a television star.
Brown is one of the planners featured on Whose Wedding is it, Anyway?, Style network's top-rated show--season nine begins in April. He also just put the finishing touches on a 280-page hardback, Donnie Brown Weddings: From the Couture to the Cake, due to hit book stands in September.
The Lubbock native and Tech grad moved to Dallas in 1994 to open Five Star Floral Designs & Events. Since then he's planned over 2,000 weddings and started Donnie Brown Weddings & Events.
Nothing about a wedding day fazes him--except, perhaps, for knife-wielding grandmothers...
1. You've been involved in more than 2,000 weddings. Are you insane?
[Laughs] It takes a certain type of person to deal with brides, but I love it. It's their big day and to be able to bring their dream into fruition--it's like no other job in the world.
2. What was the worst moment from those 2,000?
There've been a few. I had a bride arrested on her wedding day, in her gown. But it was her own fault. She was involved in--let's just say extracurricular activities. But it was pretty incredible. You can't control people, all you can do is advise them and hope for the best.
3. So how do you get a wedding right?
Weddings are all about details. You have to be a detail monster. Each of our weddings has a book and it's organized the same way, documenting every email, every phone call, every meeting with the bride. And it's following up on details and re-following up on details. Then when Murphy's law catches up to you, figure out how to fix it and keep it away from the bride on her big day.
4. When it's all over, how do you feel?
Exhausted. Absolutely exhausted. But exhilarated at the same time. One thing we always do is take the bride and groom into the reception area when it's empty, just before the guests arrive so we get so see their reaction.
5. Did you think your job would translate to television?
No, I never did. I always wanted to be a good planner, but who knew this would happen?
6. What's your favorite wedding movie?
I love The Wedding Planner. It put a face on our industry. And who can forget Father of the Bride?
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7. Do you actually like wedding cake?
I looove wedding cake. I shouldn't eat it--and lately when we have meetings to select the cake I don't. But I have a huge sugar tooth. A lot of people come to weddings just for the cake. As soon as you serve it, half the people are out the door. One time we were taking a break, relaxing outside, and my partner came running out and said "the grandmother is cutting the cake." We hadn't taken pictures of it, the bride and groom hadn't cut it. But she wanted cake.
8. You have to please the bride, of course. But how do you keep all the guests happy?
You always focus on the bride and the family. You're never going to please all the guests.
9. If someone hums the Hokey Pokey, do you have flashbacks?
The Hokey Pokey is pretty bad. But the worst is the chicken dance. I can't stand it.
10. Growing up, did you ever imagine this?
I always wanted to be a banker. I got a degree in finance so I could be a banker. But once you get a passion for this...