GUTFREUND’S PLANNING: There’s an apocryphal story about Susan Gutfreund — interior decorator, wife of former Salmon Bros. chief executive officer John Gutfreund and consummate New York hostess — buying seat on a Paris-bound Concorde for a cake, back when such travel was still possible. Though Gutfreund maintains that the cake made the transatlantic trip on her lap and the seat was for her son, she’s never seemed too terribly bothered by the confusion. When it comes to party planning, Gutfreund is proud of her meticulousness. She is currently proving her focus in the wedding plans for aforementioned son John Peter, now 27, who will marry longtime girlfriend Lauren Hoch, also 27, in the Bahamas later this month. “I wanted to use a lot of frangipani,” she said. “It’s supposedly the local flower of Nassau. But they don’t have a lot of frangipani in Nassau. Nothing lives down there except palm trees… I guess frangipani was from another era and they never dropped it from their Web site. I spent hours trying to find it. I thought that would be wonderful.”
The 160-guest, three-day affair to be held at The Ocean Club at Paradise Island has obviously added some pragmatism to Gutfreund’s planning philosophy. “It’s not about doing the ultimate decor because it’s an island and everything has to be brought in,” she said with a laugh.
This story first appeared in the April 15, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
And as for the cake? “I have a very special relationship with Sylvia Weinstock but the combo of the travel plus the humidity made it difficult,” Gutfreund explained. “So we’re going to have Sylvia for the civil wedding in the city.”