5 experts make wedding plans for Pitt and Jolie

Locales, vibes, guests and more: Our event planners have done the work for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

Locales, vibes, guests and more: Our event planners have done the work for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

By Jason Merritt, Getty Images

Whether they walk down the aisle in 2012 or 2013, there’s no doubt that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie will star in the wedding of the year. USA TODAY asked a quintet of A-list wedding planners to unveil ideas to help the most boldface bride and groom of them all tie the knot.

  • Marcy Blum thinks the wedding will be "very low-key," with the children playing a prominent role.Julie Skarratt Photography

    Marcy Blum thinks the wedding will be “very low-key,” with the children playing a prominent role.


Julie Skarratt Photography

Marcy Blum thinks the wedding will be “very low-key,” with the children playing a prominent role.

PLANNER: Marcy Blum, whose celebrity wedding clients include Billy Joel, Colin Hanks, Salman Rushdie, Tom Clancy

The locale: “Some sort of magnificent structure.” Pitt is “such a visual person. He’s designed so many homes, and now the ring,” that Blum could see collaborating with him on a modern building that takes the typical tent cake “because that’s where his tastes run. … They can’t do anything outside, unfortunately, unless they can fool everyone to where it is.” One place Blum believes the couple has crossed off their short list because it’s at the top of everyone else’s: Their South of France chateau.

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  • INTERACTIVE: Angelina Jolie’s altar styles

The guest list: Under 100 family and close friends.

The vibe: “Very low-key, and it should be … soft and understated” and family-oriented, with the kids playing a prominent role. “The kids will definitely, it seems to me, be very much a part of the ceremony.” The idea is “not to just cut to the chase and get to the party as everybody does, but have a more meaningful” service that taps into the couple’s spirituality — and the children’s reported wish for a fairy-tale affair. “They want it to be out of Shrek.”

The entertainment: A similarly boldface band. “A lot of friends and acquaintances are going to pitch in and perform,” doing double duty as guests and singers or players. “It’s part of the gift, almost.”

By Jamie McCarthy, Getty Images

Colin Cowie would include two venues: on location in South Africa and at home in Los Angeles.

PLANNER:Colin Cowie of, whose celebrity clients include Alyssa Milano, Eddie Murphy, Holly Robinson Peete

The locale: Two venues: The first would spirit Pitt and Jolie and just their immediate family members to a luxurious South African safari camp. The second, two weeks later, would be a cocktail-style reception for friends at their house in L.A.

The vibe: For the African ceremony, warm and intimate: “I could imagine them getting married with a stunning African sunset under a large old tree hanging with dozens and dozens of lanterns.” For the L.A. party, the complete opposite: “Instead of buffets, I would have stations of food paired with great wines and cocktails,” culminating in a wedding-cake cutting to create a “fun, glamorous night.” To bridge the two events, at the end of the night, each party guest would receive a small booklet filled with “stunning images” of the family wedding abroad.

The guest list: In Africa, closest family only. In L.A., 200 friends.

The entertainment: In Africa, they would be serenaded by the local village choir. At the California reception, a musical mashup: A couple of rock violinists and a percussionist would accompany someone like DJ Cassidy, who spun at Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s bash. For the cake-cutting portion, a song by the pair’s favorite artist.

By Christian Oth, Christian Oth Studios

Jung Lee thinks the couple’s Chateau Miraval in France will be the site of the Jolie-Pitt wedding.

PLANNER: Jung Lee of Fete, whose celebrity clients include the Bulgari family, Stephen King’s son Owen,Jann Wenner’s son Alexander

The locale: Lee believes the rumors: Chateau Miraval. “It’s a revealing of the property for their closest friends and family that haven’t had a chance to visit yet.” Besides, “you can’t rent something like that.” Regardless, this will be an event that requires passports. “For sentimental reasons, I would love for them to actually have the wedding and give the proper glamour to the States, but I think it’s probably not feasible. They’re not going to have the privacy they need.”

The guest list: 200-300 people, “for sure.”

The vibe: “I would be completely shocked if it would be an all-white sort of wedding.” So Lee envisions noir nuptials: black mirrors, 2-foot candlesticks, dark, rich flowers and, juxtaposed against the 14th-century surroundings, sleek, contemporary furniture for lounging. But it wouldn’t be all adult lair. Lee sees lots of children “running around the sprawling lawn. It can’t be more magnificent than that — sort of heaven on earth.” And for a late-night snack? Considering the clan’s photographed penchant for junk food, mini bags of McDonald’s cheeseburgers, french fries, hot apple pies and shakes flown in. It would satisfy the kids — and show the newlyweds’ sense of humor. “You’re drinking and you smell that oily McDonald’s? People live for it. People clap for it sometimes when we bring it out.”

The entertainment: “Amazing acts like U2 and Elton John— just great bands that are also among their friends.” Guests are going to “get down and dance.”

By Darice

David Tutera wouldn’t be surprise if the couple chose a private island, or a rain forest.

PLANNER: David Tutera, whose celebrity clients include Los Angeles Clipper Chris Paul and Shannen Doherty

The locale: A “very exotic” venue that is most definitely not in the USA. “They’re so international. Think about the time they spend together as a family and as a couple. It’s not in the States. … Doing it in America sort of to me goes against who they are.” So think private island, “up on a mountain or in a rain forest” — a “challenging destination” for paparazzi to reach.

The guest list: 100-150 friends and family. “Nobody in the business.”

The vibe: “Very Bali”: copious quantities of candles; local organic food that’s indigenous to the setting; dark wood tables adorned with “lots of incredibly interesting almost artifacts,” such as foliage-filled bowls; earth-hued flowers in greens, oranges, khakis, coppers and champagnes. The look is “very tropical, but not kitschy tropical … pretty but not prissy, not girly-girl.”

The entertainment: “Someone you would sit and enjoy,” like Adele. “I don’t really see this as a dancing party.” Likewise, forget those cliched “I do”-uttering traditions. “The first dance, the throwing of the bouquet — I see them not doing that at all.”

By Walling McGarity

Diann Valentine thinks the couple should make a long weekend of it, with breakfasts, but no cake.

PLANNER: Diann Valentine, whose celebrity clients include Usher and Tameka Raymond, Jennifer and Eric Williams of Basketball Wives, Martin Lawrence, Toni Braxton, Evelyn Lozada of Basketball Wives and NFLplayer Chad Ochocinco

The locale: Their own private island, such as the $75,000-per-night Calivigny, off the coast of Grenada. The French colonial- and Balinese-style main house boasts 10 suites outfitted in designs by Oscar de la Renta and Richard Frinier. The price tag notwithstanding, it’s a relatively casual setting fitting the Jolie-Pitts, Valentine says. “They tend not to live a very flamboyant, ostentatious lifestyle.”

The vibe: A weekend of individual activities and group breakfasts and parties, including the most important bash of them all: the wedding, but the guests — and kids — wouldn’t know when they were saying “I do” until the moment it happens. The ceremony itself? A stripped-down affair “definitely” devoid of bridesmaids, groomsmen attendants, ring bearers and wedding cake — “none of that foolishness.” The cuisine, whipped up by private chefs from different regions of the world, would pay homage to the children’s homelands, from Africa to Southeast Asia. The décor would be “very sleek, very clean”: teak furnishings, neutral fabrics, seagrass mats — no “ugly white vinyl” tents. The goal? For guests to “walk away with a greater appreciation for something bigger than the USA.”

The guest list: “Very small and intimate”: 50-75 family members and friends.

The entertainment: “A very eclectic mix of music that is not about celebrity but more so about their personal taste,” representing the same cultures their family hails from. So think African dance troupe or choir plus opera singer plus, perhaps, Coldplay.