HE CAN pinpoint the moment he knew what he wanted to do. It was a decade and a half ago, back when Bartus Taylor was waiting tables at chi-chi galas in Manhattan. At one particularly lavish event, he went up to the woman who was the head of the design firm in charge and said, How do I get to do this?
“I still remember what she said,” Bartus tells me over the phone from his Fayetteville office. “She said, You’ve got to give people what they don’t know they want. That stuck with me.”
A dozenish years and a move to Arkansas later, Bartus is at the helm of his own design firm, Buzz Events, a full-service event-planning biz that prides itself on not doing the same thing twice. On thinking outside the box. On envisioning a custom disco-ball chandelier dripping with 2,864 hand-strung crystals where others might just see a banquet-hall ceiling. Sticking to the advice he was given those years ago, he and his team go out of their way to create something that’s uniquely “you.” Want Bulgarian dancers at the reception to reflect your mother-in-law’s heritage? Great, he’ll bring some in from Memphis. Want to feel outside even though you’re very much inside? He’ll wire up some hanging greenery, and it’ll be as verdant as a rain forest.
“It’s all in my mind, and then it becomes real,” he says. “If I can think of it, I can find a way to do it.”
This more-is-more, live-it-up mentality trickles down into his daily life—or at least into his playful sense of style. (Let’s put it this way: You’ll never find him in boring shoes.) But once he’s home with his husband, interior designer Chris Goddard, after a long day of meetings and pushing his creativity to extremes, “it’s low-key, laid-back, very relaxed,” he says. “Just give us some fried food and bad TV, and we’re good!”
Need a dose of glitz and glam? Scroll through the Buzz Events portfolio at buzzevents.biz.
A few things this event planner can’t do without
1. Fresh flowers
“I’m always surrounded by fresh flowers. Some of my favorites are hyacinths, orchids and tulips.”
2. Tiffany T-Square bracelet
“I received it as a gift for my 35th birthday. I wear it every day, all day.”
3. Dita sunglasses
“I’m a true lover of sunglasses. My favorite everyday pair are Dita’s ‘Talon’ aviators.”
4. Clare V. tote
“I carry the Clare V. Glossy Black Stripe Simple Tote daily, and fill it with sunglasses, antibacterial gel, lip balm and my planner.”
“I go every year during Christmas and New Year’s.
“I constantly keep Elle Decor, Martha Stewart Weddings, GQ, Vogue and Architectural Digest stocked and ready to be perused for inspiration.”
7. Christian Louboutin John Johns (aka Bartus’ “happy shoe”)
“The reasoning behind why I collect shoes is that I was once told by a very wise woman, People will leave you, but your shoes never will.”
8. Jo Malone cologne
“I have been wearing Jo Malone for 15 years, and after wearing so many fragrances, it’s the only one that I have absolutely loved and can wear throughout every season.”
9. Regenerist by Olay
“Talk about life-changing!”