Genevieve Gorder on Her Moroccan Wedding, Secret Bravo Series and Teaching a Design Masterclass
The Trading Spaces designer is back from her honeymoon and getting to work on two major new projects
An uninvited four-legged guest was the highlight of Genevieve Gorder’s recent wedding in Morocco.
The Trading Spaces designer and her husband, furniture designer and model Christian Dunbar, celebrated their marriage with family and famous friends in a dramatic desert ceremony in September. The natural setting was stunning, the design was unsurprisingly perfection, but one unexpected moment stole the show from the bride and groom.
“It was lightning in the Sahara as we said our vows. The sky opened up and it started to rain and everyone just put the Moroccan wedding blankets over their heads,” Gorder tells PEOPLE of the surreal scene during a press event for her new TJ Maxx Masterclass, part of the Maxx You Project. “It hasn’t rained in three years in the desert. So, I was like, ‘Do you guys want to go in?’ And they said, ‘No this is epic!’ Keep going!'”
But it wasn’t just the natural phenomenon that created a memorable moment — but an almost supernatural seeming wedding crasher.
“A white wolf ran behind us while the vows were going! It was the craziest thing,” Gorder says. “I didn’t even see it, but everyone’s going ‘whiiiite woooolf,’ she recalls, mimicking her guests in dramatic slow-mo. What’s even spookier, she notes, is that earlier that day, “I pulled the white wolf card” out of a deck of “little animal spirits.”
The card, said “you are the king of your tribe. You’re in charge of keeping everyone together and full of love.”
The designer didn’t consider either interruption as her plan for the big day going awry. “Any mishap is supposed to be for some reason,” she says. “Some people could think rain is a disaster. We thought it was the best party we’d ever been to. Who gets rain in the Sahara? We did!”
Among the guests to witness the surreal scene were fellow Trading Spaces designer John Gidding and What Not to Wear makeup artist Carmindy, who took part in a multi-day celebration centered around a riad in Marrakech. “It was pretty darn romantic,” she says.
Now back from her trip, which doubled as the couple’s honeymoon, Gorder is getting back to work — namely introducing a instructive video series, created in collaboration with TJ Maxx, which she jokes she has a long personal history with.
For the series, which features all women experts in their field, the design guru is sharing her advice for creating a home that should “embrace and celebrate your sense of individuality,” says Gorder. “I go into the deep dive of how to dissect you. Whether it’s where you’re from, your history, your roots. Also leading with your heart and not your head. So often, we want to attack [designing our home] and have our plans and spreadsheet it death. No. You have to feel it.”
The course, which will continue to expand in the future, she says, “can be applied to anything: a shelf, a bedroom, your entire house.”
But teaching isn’t the only new gig for the TV star. She also has a new series coming to Bravo — but she can’t divulge too much just yet.
“I wish I could say, I can’t. It’s really exciting. I was very excited to take the job,” she tells PEOPLE, adding that it’s “something new. The show incorporates a lot of my different powers that I haven’t been able to use before. So I’m pretty excited.” The series is set to debut next year.