Getting to Know Bronson van Wyck

The event planner extraordinaire shares a few of his favorite things

Photography by Hannah Thomson

Growing up on a family farm in Tuckerman, Arkansas, where the nearest neighbors—his grandparents—lived miles away, Bronson van Wyck learned the art of entertaining as a way to endure the ennui of life “in the middle of nowhere.” That early coping mechanism now sends the Yale grad all over the world—often between New York and Palm Beach—to design and produce high-end events. His recent book, Born to Party, Forced to Work: Twenty-First Century Hospitality, highlights his greatest hits and demonstrates how his personal narrative led to his current profession. When he’s not planning private parties through Van Wyck & Van Wyck or experiential corporate events via his sister company, Workshop, van Wyck busies himself by supporting Alice Waters’ Edible Schoolyard and serving on the board of The East Harlem School. His niece, nephew, dog named Cat, and “an army of godchildren” keep him young.

Top event-planning tips: Keep the pours heavy and the conversation light.

Advice for attendees: Come armed with anecdotes.

Style icons: Baron de Redé, the Duke of Beaufort, and Gianni Agnelli

Wardrobe essentials: I’ve never met a cape I didn’t like.

Favorite local culinary experience: The Sunday brunch Bloody Mary bar at The Breakers

Indulgence worth every calorie: The jumbo lump crab with Dijon sauce at the Bath & Tennis Club

Signature drink: A spicy margarita in the summer and a Dark and Stormy in the winter

Ideal last meal: Fried chicken

Favorite place to shop locally: Kemble Interiors

Most memorable Palm Beach party moment: Choreographing the fireworks show for The Coconuts.

Karaokes in the car to: “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston

Book he wishes he’d written: Edie: American Girl by Jean Stein

Collects: Comic books—my bookshelves are overflowing. Also salt cellars and old decanters.

Board game he dominates: Axis & Allies

Signature accessory: An endless rotation of sunglasses, which I lose as fast as I buy them.

Go-to icebreaker at a party: A shot of tequila

His idea of R&R: Turning off my phone, rosé at sunset, and no dinner plans.

His happy place: My cottage in the Hamptons on Big Fresh Pond
Next travel destinations:
Chicago, Rome, Mykonos, Cap d’Antibes, and Marfa, Texas

Best advice he’s received Never complain, never explain.

Bing watches: Game of Thrones

Last great reads: Appeasement: Chamberlain, Hitler, Churchill, and The Road to War by Tim Bouverie, and Less by Andrew Sean Greer

Favorite vista: Sunset on the family farm in Tuckerman, Arkansas

Guilty pleasure junk rood: Ben & Jerry’s peanut butter cup ice cream

Historical figure he identifies with: Voltaire


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