His event planning firm is called Colin Cowie Lifestyle, which is apt: Colin Cowie invites people to make entertaining and good taste part of a lifestyle, not just something reserved for special occasions. His inclusive, alluring books put better celebrations -- of all kinds -- within reach.
Most readers know Colin Cowie from television. His show, Everyday Elegance with Colin Cowie, airs on the Women's Entertainment network, where he offers tips on themes based around entertaining, home decorating, and style. He's also regularly in the media as a style icon, appearing on shows including Oprah Winfrey and Good Morning America, and in magazines such as InStyle.
Cowie is a party- and wedding planner with experience designing lavish gigs for rich and famous clients such as Hugh Hefner, Kelsey Grammer and Lisa Kudrow. But his popularity lies in the fact that he takes an egalitarian approach to lifestyle and events. He offers ideas and guidelines for creating the perfect event or look, but doesn't issue edicts. He keeps in mind that not everyone has a celebrity-level budget, and encourages people to do what's right for them, above all else.
His best known works revolve around weddings: Colin Cowie Weddings, For the Groom, and For the Bride cover all aspects of the planning, offering specific rundowns of occasions he has orchestrated. He's a full-service planner, too: For the Bride offers tips on the "marital arts," while his tome for grooms offers similar tips on keeping the romance alive and other elements of post-nuptial care.
Cowie's general books on entertaining, such as Effortless Elegance and Dinner After Dark, inspire readers to go beyond the routine even for traditionally casual meals. In addition to menus (surprisingly simple breakfast recipes for chicken and fennel sausage and almond pancakes, for example), Cowie offers ideas on timing, setting the mood, and decorating the table. He might offer a recipe for an endive salad, but not without a mini-primer on endive and a recommendation on kitchen equipment. It's true that not all of Cowie's ideas are "effortless," or "everyday" -- but for those who are willing to put in a little extra time, isn't that the point?
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One of Cowie's greatest moments, he says, was designing and producing Hugh Hefner's wedding. "I had only been living in the U.S. for 18 months and this was a deep-end lesson in American Celebrity. I had no idea how famous the world's most famous bachelor really was! To this day it was probably one of my best produced events. It also labeled me ‘Mr Wedding."'
Cowie is one of Oprah Winfrey's many beneficiaries: His appearance on her show to discuss weddings sparked sales for his book on the subject. Colin Cowie Weddings is now in its fifth printing.