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The Wedding Biz - Behind the Scenes of the Wedding Business

Business & Economics Podcasts

Andy Kushner offers an inside look behind-the-scenes of the wedding and event world for both industry experts and bridal couples by featuring in-depth and transformative conversations with event industry icons. The Wedding Biz is also the only global platform of its kind to serve the business development needs of wedding and events professionals. As the host, Andy interviews the most prolific thought leaders and talent, taking you behind the curtain and revealing their personality, character, passions, and secrets to their success. Andy’s powerful, yet casual and comfortable interview style gives you access to the authentic story each of these incredible industry leaders has to share. The Wedding Biz podcast is your opportunity to really get to know the amazing personalities that endlessly elevate the world of weddings and special events.

Location:

United States

Description:

Andy Kushner offers an inside look behind-the-scenes of the wedding and event world for both industry experts and bridal couples by featuring in-depth and transformative conversations with event industry icons. The Wedding Biz is also the only global platform of its kind to serve the business development needs of wedding and events professionals. As the host, Andy interviews the most prolific thought leaders and talent, taking you behind the curtain and revealing their personality, character, passions, and secrets to their success. Andy’s powerful, yet casual and comfortable interview style gives you access to the authentic story each of these incredible industry leaders has to share. The Wedding Biz podcast is your opportunity to really get to know the amazing personalities that endlessly elevate the world of weddings and special events.

Language:

English

Contact:

3016465151


Episodes

492 RAY THOMPSON & JACKSON FLAGG: Lighting Design & Telling A Story Throughout An Event

2/19/2024
Andy hopes that you will join him for this captivating conversation with two prominent lighting designers, Ray Thompson and Jackson Flagg of Images by Lighting in Los Angeles. Images by Lighting boasts an extensive portfolio, having worked on high-profile events with major film studios, award shows, and renowned musical artists. Ray, who Andy has had on the show before, is the co-owner who founded the company in 1982, and he discusses the philosophy of the "choreography of emotion" in lighting design, emphasizing the transformative power of lighting to guide guests through an event's emotional journey. Jackson Flagg, another talented lighting designer at the company, delves into the storytelling aspect of lighting, especially in weddings, where direction and intensity can be used to draw attention and set the tone. The conversation also covers various aspects of lighting design for different segments of events, from ceremonies and cocktail receptions to dance floors and after-parties. Ray and Jackson provide insights into the importance of timing and ambience during live events, and they also touch on the role of intelligent lighting, the impact of LED technology, and the versatility of fixtures. They also offer us a glimpse into their upcoming project – the grand opening of the Fontainebleau Hotel in Las Vegas! Andy is so glad to have had Ray back on the podcast and to have met Jackson, and you’re sure to enjoy this conversation! If so, then please don’t keep it to yourself! Be sure to share the episode with a few good friends who might also enjoy it, and be sure to also leave a top review wherever you listen to the show, as that really helps the show out! Lastly, don’t forget to follow The Wedding Biz on Instagram and subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss a new episode when it drops! Have you heard about Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey on The Wedding Biz Network? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don't forget about Sean Low's podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network. SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ Become a patron and support Andy and the show! If you are so inspired, contribute! Time Stamps [0:37] - Today’s guests are Jackson Flagg and returning guest Ray Thompson of Images by Lighting! [2:23] - Ray regards each event as a choreographed dance, guiding guests through varying moods with lighting. [4:09] - Jackson points out that with events, lighting is not just smoke and mirrors; it weaves enchanting narratives. [6:56] - Jackson says that optimal timing is crucial for events; consider sunset positions for picturesque backdrops, avoiding silhouette scenarios. [8:14] - Ray adds that transitioning from sunset ceremonies to cocktails requires seamless lighting adjustments, maintaining a warm and inviting atmosphere. [10:12] - Having a technician and programmer on-site ensures quick adaptability for last-minute lighting changes during events. [13:30] - Jackson advocates for illuminating the dance floor with textured patterns adds depth, as it creates an inviting and dynamic atmosphere. [15:10] - For a subtle, intimate ambiance during crucial moments like the first dance, Jackson feels that static colors work best. [18:24] - Jackson adds that starting with the venue or floor layout is crucial; lighting needs elements like tables and stages. [19:09] - Ray walks us through their usual process with clients. [21:32] - Jackson points out that Gobos provide versatile patterned projections for weddings or Halloween and that intelligent lighting is cost-efficient with lower power consumption. [23:36] - Ray adds that smaller venues benefit from battery-powered LED lights with excellent color reproduction and 20-hour...

Duration:00:29:45

491 CECI JOHNSON: The Art of Constant Evolution and Elevating Brands

2/12/2024
Andy is so thrilled to welcome Ceci Johnson back to the podcast! The founder of Ceci New York, a globally renowned luxury invitation design agency, Ceci is recognized by Tory Burch and also Anna Wintour of Vogue magazine, as well as numerous others, and is here to share insights into the constant evolution of her business over the past three years. As a creative force, Ceci discusses the importance of staying ahead of the curve and exploring new possibilities, especially post-pandemic. The conversation delves into Ceci's expansion into more attainable luxury with semi-custom collection invitations, making luxury accessible to a broader audience. Beyond invitations, she has ventured into corporate and branding work, launching brand makeovers during the pandemic. Ceci emphasizes the significance of ensuring that a brand works for the business, not against it. Ceci also explores strategic partnerships and collaborations, highlighting the magic that happens when creatives join forces. She shares insights into Instagram's collaborator post feature, enhancing visibility and engagement. Her foray into lifestyle products, including collaborations with Ladurée and Bandolier, showcases her commitment to innovation, and she even provides tips on successful partnerships, emphasizing the importance of aligning with the right fit and being strategic in choices. The conversation touches upon personalized design trends, the challenges of staying unique in a saturated market, and the evolving landscape of the wedding and events industry. Ceci opens up about balancing creativity with running a successful business, prioritizing self-care, and maintaining a work-life balance. Ceci also shares her dreams, including the desire to find contentment and relaxation amid the constant pursuit of success. Andy is grateful for Ceci’s time and for coming back on the show, and he hopes that you enjoy this conversation with her! If you do, then please don’t keep it to yourself! Be sure to share the episode with a few good friends who might also enjoy it, and be sure to also leave a top review wherever you listen to the show, as that really helps the show out! Lastly, don’t forget to follow The Wedding Biz on Instagram and subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss a new episode when it drops! Have you heard about Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey on The Wedding Biz Network? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don't forget about Sean Low's podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network. SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ Become a patron and support Andy and the show! If you are so inspired, contribute! Time Stamps [0:27] - Andy announces that today’s guest is returning guest Ceci Johnson of Ceci New York! [1:53] - Constantly evolving, Ceci embraces change and collaborates for accessible luxury and brand makeovers. [4:15] - Ceci argues that the whole brand makeover is pivotal and emphasizes creating a cohesive brand, from logo to symbols and guidelines. [6:01] - What is Ceci’s view on partnerships and collaborations? [8:29] - Ceci is excited about expanding into lifestyle products, including scarves, phone cases, and more. [10:36] - Ceci emphasizes a strategic approach to partnerships, prioritizing alignment with her luxury brand and audience. [12:24] - Acknowledging evolving challenges, Ceci reflects on the enduring demand for personalized couture design over her 20-year journey. [15:17] - Ceci acknowledges the challenges of balancing work and family, emphasizing the importance of prioritization and boundaries. [18:48] - The key is managing priorities, saying no to non-essential tasks, and eliminating toxic influences for balance. [20:10] - Ceci feels that...

Duration:00:31:07

490 REVISIT LISA VORCE: The Intangible Soul of an Event

2/5/2024
“My proudest moments aren’t only about design. They are about how my clients feel when they see and experience the design.” Listen as Andy and his guest Lisa Vorce discuss Lisa’s love of celebrations, what inspired her to leave corporate America to launch her own business and much more on this episode of The Wedding Biz. Lisa is a world-renowned celebrity event planner, receiving accolades from Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Brides, BizBash, and Martha Stewart, to name a few. She planned several events for Kobe Bryant and produced some of the most iconic celebrations, including the weddings of John Legend and Chrissy Teigen and Kate Upton and Justin Verlander. Lisa is a speaker and headliner at conferences worldwide, including WPPI, Engage, and DWP. Lisa shares that the first event she worked at was a birthday party for George Clooney’s mom, how the referrals from the first wedding she planned led her down the destination wedding path, and the process she follows for each client. Lisa also shares the roles each of her treasured team members play in the events they produce. Listen as Lisa describes an event she did recently, how she helps her clients choose a venue for their wedding and why each client is set up with a website and email address so they can communicate not only with Lisa’s team but so that the team can communicate with the guests that are attending the wedding. If you enjoy listening to this revisit with Lisa, then Andy asks you to please not keep it to yourself! Share the episode with some good friends who might also get something out of it, and be sure to also leave a top review wherever you listen to the show, as that really helps the show out! Lastly, don’t forget to follow The Wedding Biz on Instagram and subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss a new episode when it drops! Have you heard about Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey on The Wedding Biz Network? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don't forget about Sean Low's podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network. SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ Become a patron and support Andy and the show! If you are so inspired, contribute! Time Stamps [00:18] - Today’s episode is a revisit of Andy’s original conversation with Lisa Vorce! [01:45] - Lisa shares what she means by wanting to design something that resonates with someone’s soul. [04:03] - Lisa speaks about her family and the mixed heritage she grew up around. [05:35] - Was there any place outside Lisa's family experience where she was exposed to celebrations like she does today? [07:30] - Lisa speaks about meeting her husband during a blizzard in Colorado. [08:52] - Lisa shares that one of the first events she worked was for Nina Clooney, George Clooney’s mom. [09:54] - When Lisa transitioned from the corporate world to open her own company, was it something she thought about or was it impulsive? [12:00] - Lisa discusses the first wedding she planned and how that was the catalyst for specializing in destination weddings. [15:28] - Lisa speaks about her process from initial contact with a potential client through the event. [17:31] - Lisa explains what she focuses on for each event and what role each member of her team plays. [19:27] - What are some of the most significant stressors Lisa finds that her clients face? [21:49] - Lisa discusses how she helps her clients decide what venue will work best for them for the destination they choose. [24:30] - Lisa gives us an example of a wedding she did recently and how they picked the venue, resorts, excursions, and flights. [28:37] - Why is lighting the first thing that Lisa look at before designing an event? [31:29] - Lisa speaks about being involved in a...

Duration:00:44:23

489 ALEJANDRA POUPEL: Innovation, Audacity, and the Art of Event Planning

1/22/2024
Join Andy this week for The Wedding Biz as he interviews returning guest Alejandra Poupel, internationally renowned event planner! Renowned for planning upscale events that cater to a diverse clientele from different cultures and backgrounds, Alejandra of Alejandra Poupel Events shares her unique approach to event planning and the crucial role of cultural knowledge in her work. In addition, Alejandra discusses the lessons learned from the pandemic and the ways it altered her business approach emphasizing more on personal connections and service quality. The conversation further delves into her audacious approach to planning, where taking risks is seen as a necessary component. Alejandra also underlines the significance of assembling the right team and the mutual respect and synergy in driving success. Listen in to gain an appreciation for her desire to continuously learn from varied cultural practices to enhance her events. Being at the top of her game, Alejandra insists on enjoying the process, making every event uniquely audacious, and carrying lessons forward to future events. Andy had such a great time chatting with her again for the podcast. If you enjoy listening, then Andy asks that you not keep this to yourself! Share the episode with some good friends who might also get something out of it, and be sure to also leave a top review wherever you listen to the show, as that really helps the show out! Lastly, don’t forget to follow The Wedding Biz on Instagram and subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss a new episode when it drops! Have you heard about Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey on The Wedding Biz Network? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don't forget about Sean Low's podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network. SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ Become a patron and support Andy and the show! If you are so inspired, contribute! Time Stamps [0:29] - Today’s guest is returning guest Alejandra Poupel of Alejandra Poupel Events! [2:29] - In-person connections are vital for business success, and despite the pandemic challenges, Alejandra's team adapted and prioritized well-being. [5:17] - Alejandra clarifies that the office now hosts meditation sessions, enhancing well-being and fostering a sense of balance. [7:15] - 2023 surpassed Alejandra's expectations, as she witnessed a surge in destination events and intimate multi-day celebrations. [9:14] - Alejandra describes the Engage event, which brought stress but allowed creative freedom. [11:44] - Despite theories of a slowdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Alejandra notes increased wedding sizes, with clients wanting grand celebrations. [13:36] - Alejandra explains how innovation and audacity have been the keys to her success. [15:07] - Alejandra clarifies that audacity to her means taking risks, like creating unique elements for clients' events. [18:05] - Constantly pushing boundaries, Alejandra emphasizes the importance of the right team and impeccable service. [21:35] - What does Alejandra really want to do that she hasn't done yet? [24:17] - Alejandra reveals that she doesn't experience burnout, embracing diverse, challenging events. [26:58] - Andy reveals where Alejandra can be found online. LINKS AND RESOURCES Alejandra’s Previous Guest Spot on The Wedding Biz Find Alejandra: Alejandra's Website Alejandra’s Facebook Page Alejandra’s Instagram Page Follow The Wedding Biz on Social: The Wedding Biz The Wedding Biz on Instagram: @theweddingbiz The Wedding Biz on Facebook: @theweddingbiz The Wedding Biz Network The Music Makers Support The Wedding Biz by clicking here. Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Kushner Entertainment.

Duration:00:27:50

488 SOPHIE FELTS AND ERICA GAMBLE: Floral Design Journey to a Blossoming Business

1/8/2024
In this exciting episode of The Wedding Biz, Andy engages with the power-duo behind Sophie Felts Floral Design, Sophie Felts, Founder, and Erica Gamble, Partner and President. This dynamic duo, based out of the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, thrives in the high-end design realm, curating stunning floral designs for wedding and event clientele that leaves their clients breathless! The in-person chat uncovers a fascinating journey of Sophie and Erica, including how they got into the floral design business, formed a partnership, and continually fuel their creative process. You’ll hear about how this mom-turned entrepreneur and her insurance professional-turned-floral designer partner joined forces to make waves in the industry. Sophie and Erica also open up about their approach, pricing philosophy, challenges, and the workshop they offer, and they even share a distinct aspect of their business— collaborating with planners, focusing mainly on floral design. This eye-opening episode will also take you through Sophie and Erica’s adventures – like a last-minute scrap of a dead pine tree for decoration, and their transparent approach towards budget comfort zones. Above all, the episode underlines an important aspect of their business – the importance of forming a great team. With a team of more than 60 people working on weekends, they emphasize how creating a business structure is a creative process that plays an integral part in their success. Andy really hopes that you enjoy this engaging conversation with Sophie and Erica! If so, then Andy asks that you not keep it to yourself! Share the episode with some good friends who might also get something out of it, and be sure to also leave a top review wherever you listen to the show, as that really helps the show out! Lastly, don’t forget to follow The Wedding Biz on Instagram and subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss a new episode when it drops! Have you heard about Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey on The Wedding Biz Network? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don't forget about Sean Low's podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network. SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ Become a patron and support Andy and the show! If you are so inspired, contribute! Time Stamps [1:17] - Andy announces that today’s guests are Sophie and Erica of Sophie Felts Floral Design! [2:34] - After becoming a stay-at-home mom, Sophie was inspired by a hair salon to start a flower arrangement business. [3:53] - In 2016, while jobless, Erica admired Sophie's unique flower arrangements on Instagram, prompting her to join the business. [4:46] - Erica reflects on how her first experience of an exciting styled shoot with Sophie solidified her involvement in the business. [6:05] - Sophie describes the company's overall approach to floral design. [8:45] - The team begins client consultations with discussions on event date, budget, and preferences, often using mood boards and images for inspiration. [11:51] - Sophie's team collaboratively uses Pinterest for concept development. [14:27] - Sophie gives an example of how they incorporate last-minute items into their installations, significantly enhancing the final result. [17:49] - Sophie explains that the business grew by embracing Erica's complementary skills, improving customer service, and smart budgeting. [19:46] - Erica highlights their team's goal to provide a sustainable, creative career for women. [21:43] - Sophie acknowledges their business is structured for larger-scale projects and may not competitively cater to clients with smaller budgets. [23:26] - What is the hardest part of what Sophie and Erica do? [24:08] - Erica touches upon an annual spring...

Duration:00:34:56

487 REVISIT DIANE KHOURY: Australia’s Premier Event Planner & Designer

1/1/2024
Andy invites you to join this week for a revisit of his 2020 interview with Diane Khoury!! Have you ever heard of a bride planning her own wedding with 500 guests and with no experience in planning an event of any size? Listen as Andy and his guest Diane Khoury discuss how she was able to pull it off and why it was the reason she started her own wedding and event business plus much more on this episode of The Wedding Biz! Diane is a Sydney-based event planner, quickly approaching 400,000 Instagram followers. Diane Khoury Weddings and Events has been credited for revolutionizing the planning, styling, and concept design of luxury weddings and events both in and out of Australia. Diane’s weddings stand out as stunning works of art with a passion for glamorous detail and an appreciation for unique displays. After being sought after by celebrities and socialites, Diane continues to catapult the definition of celebrating love and luxury in Australia. Listen in as the episode delves into Diane's journey, from her upbringing shaped by Lebanese heritage to her unexpected entry into the event planning industry after planning her own wedding. She takes us through pivotal moments of her career, such as her leap from the corporate world, her approach to client engagement, and the challenges she faced, including a high-stakes event with a stuck ceiling installation. Diane also shares insights into her pricing philosophy, the significance of social media in her success, and the delicate balance she maintains between her thriving career and fulfilling family life. She shares a poignant story of a christening event in Lebanon, illustrating her ability to bridge cultures and create magical, personalized celebrations. If you enjoy this revisit with Diane, then Andy asks you to please not keep it to yourself! Share the episode with some good friends who might also get something out of it, and be sure to also leave a top review wherever you listen to the show, as that really helps the show out! Lastly, don’t forget to follow The Wedding Biz on Instagram and subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss a new episode when it drops! Have you heard about Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey on The Wedding Biz Network? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don't forget about Sean Low's podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network. SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ Become a patron and support Andy and the show! If you are so inspired, contribute! Time Stamps [00:25] - This episode is a revisit of Andy's 2020 interview with Diane Khoury! [01:29] - Diane discusses her childhood in Sydney. [02:37] - Diane shares that she landed a retail job at age 13 and where she went after college. [05:21] - Diane planned her own wedding, which propelled her into the wedding and event industry. [06:16] - How did Diane know how to plan her wedding with 500 people and with no experience? [08:18] - Diane transitioned from a disconnected corporate accountant to a thriving event planner driven by passion and genuine connections. [10:27] - Diane was initially doing this on the side. [12:23] - Diane reflects on how she faced fear and saw it as an opportunity to escape an unfulfilling corporate role, supported by her husband's encouragement. [13:59] - Amidst the COVID pause, Diane reflects on six years of balancing family, business, and self-realization. [15:21] - Diane shares her process from the first contact with the client through the end of the event. [17:11] - Diane describes an event she did for a client in Lebanon and how she came up with the idea for her magical design. [18:40] - Diane crafted a luxurious outdoor event in Australia, inspired by Lebanon's beauty, emphasizing...

Duration:00:39:39

486 JAMESA ALEXANDER: Elevating Weddings with Storytelling, the Collaborative Process, Work-Life Balance, and More!

12/18/2023
Andy welcomes you back to The Wedding Biz as he interviews Jamésa Alexander, the Founder of Jayne Heir Weddings & Events, a premier boutique planning agency. Listen in as Jamésa shares insights into her journey, discussing her background in kinesiology and how it shaped her perspective. The conversation delves into her approach to event planning, emphasizing the importance of storytelling and creating a personalized experience for each couple. Jamésa also reveals her strategies for handling challenges during events, drawing on her experience in aerospace and defense. Jamésa and Andy also explore the collaborative process with creative partners and the meticulous selection of vendors based on the couple's vision, and Jamésa discusses the balance between the creative and business aspects of running a successful wedding planning agency. The conversation also includes candid discussion about the challenges of maintaining a work-life balance, especially as a successful entrepreneur and mother. Jamésa is also co-author of the book Planners Unplugged, an anthology book that shares planners' stories, challenges, and inspirations, and she provides us with some background insight into that as well, including how you can get a copy! You’re very likely to gain valuable insights into the world of event planning, the importance of collaboration, and the personal challenges faced by professionals in the industry, so Andy invites you to give this episode a listen! If you enjoy this conversation with Jamésa, then Andy urges you not to keep it to yourself. Share the episode with some good friends who might also get something out of it, and be sure to also leave a top review wherever you listen to the show, as that really helps the show out! Lastly, don’t forget to follow The Wedding Biz on Instagram and subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss a new episode when it drops! Have you heard about Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey on The Wedding Biz Network? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don't forget about Sean Low's podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network. SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ Become a patron and support Andy and the show! If you are so inspired, contribute! Time Stamps [0:53] - Andy reveals today’s guest as Jamésa Alexander of Jayne Heir Weddings & Events! [2:15] - Learn how Jamésa was an entrepreneur even as a child hosting pizza parties. [3:53] - Envisioning a mechanical career, Jamésa studied kinesiology but pivoted to business, launching Jayne Heir despite hospitality inexperience. [5:18] - How did Jamésa get her business started? [6:58] - Jamésa identifies her signature as her ability to tell stories. [9:40] - Hear Jamésa share a recent story that highlights her signature. [11:53] - Drawing on aerospace experience, Jamésa stresses preparation, teamwork, and strategic resolution when navigating a crisis. [14:39] - Remaining calm under pressure, Jamésa applies a data-driven approach honed in engineering and project management. [16:05] - Hear how on event days, Jamésa is in a "what else" mode, ensuring resolutions and options for clients. [18:49] - Jamésa argues that success hinges on a curated vendor team aligned with the couple's vision and values. [21:34] - Jamésa feels that collaboration with vendors is key; she guides the vision but allows for their creative expression. [23:18] - Leveraging her aerospace skills, Jamésa applies meticulous planning and asks crucial questions for successful events. [25:46] - ​​Jamésa reveals how she ensures seamless events by planning timelines and fostering open vendor communication through check-ins. [27:03] - How does Jamésa balance business and creativity? [28:28] - Jamésa...

Duration:00:34:44

485 LAURA RITCHIE: Grit, Grace, & Grand Celebrations

12/11/2023
Andy is so thrilled to welcome someone he has known for a while but is a first-time guest on The Wedding Biz - Laura Ritchie, a seasoned luxury wedding planner and founder of Grit & Grace based in Washington, D.C.! With fifteen years of industry experience, Laura shares her journey from a fashion major to venturing into hotel and catering roles before making the bold transition to entrepreneurship. The conversation delves into the essence of true luxury in wedding planning, emphasizing the importance of genuine connections, respect, and shared goals among all involved parties. Laura also provides insights into her creative process, highlighting the significance of avoiding replication and drawing inspiration from a couple's unique story, traditions, and preferences. The discussion extends to the evolving landscape of the wedding industry, touching on destination weddings, unconventional venues, and the need to think differently about spaces. Laura also opens up about the challenges of time management and finding a balance between a fulfilling career and personal life. You can also expect to hear a bit about Laura's robust social media presence (which she manages all by herself!), with over 40,000 Instagram followers, and her authentic approach to connecting with clients through real stories. Additionally, Laura discusses the mentoring and educational initiatives at Grit and Grace, offering courses for both new wedding planners and couples planning their weddings! Andy had such a wonderful time interviewing Laura and hopes that you enjoy the conversation! If so, then please don’t keep it to yourself. Share the episode with some good friends who might also get something out of it, and be sure to also leave a top review wherever you listen because that really helps him and the show out! Lastly, don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss a new episode when it drops! Have you heard about Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey on The Wedding Biz Network? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don't forget about Sean Low's podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network. SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ Become a patron and support Andy and the show! If you are so inspired, contribute! Time Stamps [2:17] - Today’s guest is Laura Ritchie of Grit & Grace! [3:23] - How, if at all, did Laurie’s childhood influence her career choice? [5:33] - Did Laura start her own business right away or initially work for someone else? [7:35] - Laura offers some advice on transitioning into entrepreneurship. [9:41] - Laura underscores the importance of relentless dedication and strategic networking for success in the industry. [11:15] - Challenging the overuse of the term "luxury" in the wedding industry, Laura emphasizes the value of excellence beyond labels. [14:55] - Andy reflects on his experience, highlighting the relationship between genuine connections with clients and delivering exceptional experiences. [15:45] - Laura values genuine connections and joy over monetary value, redefining true luxury in weddings. [17:35] - Laura stresses honesty and early expectation-setting for wedding success. [19:25] - Laura explains how/why she has evolved her approach to initial client meetings. [22:49] - Mutual agreement in the contract process is so important to Laura, and she advocates for stepping back if the fit isn't right. [23:29] - Laura discusses the demands and workload even beyond the main ceremony. [25:54] - Where does Laura get her inspiration? [27:05] - Laura prioritizes unique, personalized weddings, working to avoid replication. [29:48] - Hear Laura recount her vibrant neon-themed 40th birthday celebration, showcasing the power of...

Duration:00:47:42

484 REVISIT JOHN EMMANUEL - Australia’s Premier Floral Designer

12/4/2023
In today’s episode of The Wedding Biz, Andy is excited to welcome John Emmanuel. John is the premier floral designer out of Sydney, Australia. He is best known for creating exquisite grand scale floral installations, and whatever he creates has a stunning element of luxury. A known leader in his market, John has worked alongside many high profile Australian wedding planners in continuous collaboration with some of Sydney’s most luxurious events. He also hosts “The John Emmanuel Luxury Wedding Masterclass.” John takes us on a journey of his childhood, the tragedy of losing his mother at age three, and working at his grandma and aunt’s floral shop at thirteen. He speaks about going to trade school on an apprenticeship at the age of fifteen to learn the floral business and why he has such a strong passion for weddings. He has a strong drive to succeed and he believes he got that from wanting more for himself and his children. Listen in as John discusses how he felt when he sold the retail part of his business to concentrate on the wedding event side. They chat about his personal signature and how he defines it, the procedure he goes through from start to finish with a client, and why the reception flowers are the most critical part of the wedding for him. Have you heard about John’s line of luxury silk flowers? He says that they have been very well received and allow people, who wouldn’t be able to afford fresh flowers, to have the wedding of their dreams. John also describes his masterclass and what he will be teaching to the attendees. The passion that John has for what he does is contagious. You feel this intense desire to go straight to his website and see his amazing floral design images. Look him up and then listen to this episode, you will be glad you did! If you enjoy this episode, then Andy urges you to not keep it to yourself. Please share the episode with some good friends who might also get something out of it! Be sure to also leave a top review wherever you listen because that really helps him and the show out, and don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss a new episode. Have you heard about Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey on The Wedding Biz Network? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don't forget about Sean Low's podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network. SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ Become a patron and support Andy and the show! If you are so inspired, contribute! Time Stamps [01:48] - John Emmanuel, welcome to the show! [02:16] - John was born in Australia, but his parents are from Maltese. [02:43] - John tells us about where he grew up and a little of his family background and where he started in the florist industry. [04:02] – Andy and John discuss tragedy and the influence it has on your life. [05:14] - John talks about working in the family flower shop. [06:46] - John tells us where his passion for weddings came from and what about them moves him so much. [07:58] - John went to a trade school on an apprenticeship to learn the florist industry at age 15. [09:45] - Where did John get the courage to chase a dream at such a young age? [10:37] - John started his own retail business and got married at a young age. [11:53] - John discusses the change in the wedding industry and how that affected his retail stores. [13:16] - Did John sell the retail side of the businesses because he felt he had enough clients on the wedding business side to compensate for the loss? [14:25] - John discusses the risk he took when he decided to go all-in on the wedding event side. [15:41] - How would John describe his personal signature to someone who doesn’t know the business? [16:20] - Reception flowers...

Duration:00:43:16

483 BROOKE KEEGAN: The Long Game, Creative Partners, Pricing Strategy, and More!

11/20/2023
In this captivating episode of The Wedding Biz, join Andy as he dives into an enlightening conversation with Brooke Keegan, the esteemed owner and creative director of Brooke Keegan Special Events. Known for her exceptional expertise in crafting one-of-a-kind, multi-day destination weddings, Brooke has been acknowledged as a top event planner by Harper's Bazaar and Brides magazine. Listen in as Brooke provides an inside look at the challenges and successes associated with her specialized event planning business. As a planner in high demand, she reveals the importance of patience and the significance of creating a balanced and fulfilling lifestyle in the industry. As the conversation continues, Brooke shares valuable insights into her creative process, the challenges of planning events in the midst of a global pandemic, and her unique approach to prioritizing feedback and taking care of her clients. This episode is a must-listen if you want to gain a glimpse into the backbone of the event industry or learn more about the interesting trajectory of Brooke Keegan’s career, and Andy had such a great time chatting with Brooke! He hopes that you enjoy the engaging exchange filled with enriching anecdotes and valuable tips for success. If so, then please don’t keep it to yourself. Andy would really appreciate it if you would share the episode with some good friends who might also get something out of it! Be sure to also leave a top review wherever you listen because that really helps him and the show out, and don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss a new episode. Have you heard about Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey on The Wedding Biz Network? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don't forget about Sean Low's podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network. SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ Become a patron and support Andy and the show! If you are so inspired, contribute! Time Stamps [1:33] - Today’s guest is Brooke Keegan of Brooke Keegan Special Events! [3:04] - Recent studies report a 65% decrease in engagements. [5:12] - Brooke points out that In the current global situation, budgets are down as people adopt a more cautious approach. [7:04] - Brooke was a volleyball player at San Diego State University for three seasons. [7:49] - Brooke shares how she transitioned from coaching volleyball to the events industry. [11:34] - After six years of experience in event planning, Brooke started her business during a recession. [14:15] - Brooke actively seeks feedback post-events and ensures partner comfort. [17:56] - Brooke's team emphasizes detailed event planning and prioritizes visual appeal. [20:23] - Inspiration tends to strike Brooke at unexpected times. [23:45] - Hear about how a sudden tropical storm in Hawaii forced Brooke's team to adapt. [26:31] - Brooke emphasizes the importance of working with creative partners you trust. [27:32] - Brooke utilizes both conferences and social media to build global partnerships. [29:47] - Brooke strongly advocates charging clients a percentage and explains why. [30:56] - Switching to a percentage fee increased Brooke's revenue by 403% in five years. [32:15] - In 2015, Brooke transitioned from treating her work as a passion to a business. [33:23] - Brooke emphasizes open financial communication and client contentment. [35:06] - How does Brooke define success? [38:28] - Brooke argues that mental well-being is essential for both client service and family life. LINKS AND RESOURCES Le Rêve Films Storybox Cinema Find Brooke: Brooke’s Website The Brooke Keegan Blueprint Brooke’s Instagram Page Brooke’s Facebook Page Brooke’s Pinterest Page Aster & Park -...

Duration:00:41:13

482 MICAELA ERLANGER: Celebrity Fashion Stylist and Elevating Moments Behind the Seams

11/13/2023
In this episode of the show, Andy welcomes back celebrity fashion stylist and bestselling author Micaela Erlanger! Micaela, who has styled renowned personalities like Lupita Nyong'o, and Jennifer Hudson, shares her insights into the world of high-profile styling and how it intersects with the wedding industry. Micaela discusses the importance of storytelling through image, emphasizing the role of stylists as key players in the wedding planning process. She provides valuable advice to wedding planners, urging them to involve stylists from the beginning to ensure a seamless and visually stunning event. She also delves into the challenges of running a styling business, highlighting the significant role of logistics in her work. Sharing her experiences collaborating with brands like Forevermark Diamonds and launching product lines, she showcases her creativity beyond celebrity styling. She also touches upon recent projects, including collaborations with Olivia Culpo and Christian McCaffrey, hinting at the exciting red carpet moments awaiting viewers after the anticipated end of industry strikes! Andy is so grateful to have had Micaela back on and hopes that you enjoy this engaging conversation with her! If so, then please be sure to share it with a few friends or colleagues who might also enjoy it. Be sure to also leave a top review wherever you listen because that really helps him and the show out, and don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss a new episode! Have you heard about Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey on The Wedding Biz Network? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don't forget about Sean Low's podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network. SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ Become a patron and support Andy and the show! If you are so inspired, contribute! Time Stamps [1:31] - Learn that today’s guest is returning guest Micaela Erlanger of Micaela Erlanger Studios! [3:41] - Micaela discusses post-pandemic challenges and what she has been up to. [6:59] - Micaela emphasizes her dual focus of projecting services and personal brand in events. [9:29] - Hear about how Micaela adapts styles for Kelly Clarkson's diverse roles. [12:40] - How has Micaela evolved personally and professionally? [14:03] - Micaela emphasizes thoughtful curation and building lasting client relationships. [16:08] - ​​Micaela emphasizes the vital role of stylists as key vendors. [19:06] - Micaela identifies logistics as the most difficult part of the business. [20:17] - Micaela stresses meticulous planning, discussing details like venue dimensions. [22:48] - Hear about Micaela's collaborations with Forevermark Diamonds and Bella Rosa. [24:35] - What films or red carpets have Micaela styled for in the last couple years? [26:25] - Andy reveals where to reach out to Micaela. LINKS AND RESOURCES Micaela’s Previous Guest Spots on The Wedding Biz Find Micaela: Micaela’s Website Micaela’s Instagram Page Micaela’s Pinterest Page Micaela’s Facebook Page Follow The Wedding Biz on Social: The Wedding Biz The Wedding Biz on Instagram: @theweddingbiz The Wedding Biz on Facebook: @theweddingbiz The Wedding Biz Network The Music Makers Support The Wedding Biz by clicking here. Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Kushner Entertainment.

Duration:00:27:03

481 REVISIT ROB VAN HELDEN - Perfect Simplicity and Floral Design for Royalty

11/6/2023
Today’s guest believes “that flowers speak for themselves.” Rob Van Helden discusses what he means by "perfect simplicity”; starting a business out of the back of a car with his sister Patrice; how, through word of mouth, they were able to grow; and much more on this episode of The Wedding Biz! Rob is the owner of Rob Van Helden Floral Design Limited out of London. His previous clientele includes Nelson Mandela, Joe Malone, Elton John, the Beckham’s World Cup party, Alfred Dunhill and James Bond film premieres, and Royal weddings and events including Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, and Princess Margaret’s 70th birthday. Rob shares how instrumental props are in the design and setting the theme, and he shares his process when he works with clients. He also speaks about taking his clients to the flower market with him so they can see firsthand what he has in mind for the design and experience their responses. Listen as Rob describes the flower arrangements he designed for his own wedding and some of the biggest challenges he has faced at an event. He shares how he is handling the pandemic personally and professionally and how success to him is simply having happy clients. Andy is so happy to bring you this revisit of this wonderful and engaging conversation with Rob, and he would really appreciate it if you were to share the podcast with a few friends or colleagues who might enjoy it. Be sure to also leave a top review wherever you listen because that really helps him and the show out, and don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss a new episode! Have you heard about Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey on The Wedding Biz Network? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don't forget about Sean Low's podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network. SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ Become a patron and support Andy and the show! If you are so inspired, contribute! Time Stamps [01:01] - Today’s episode is a revisit of Andy’s interview with Rob Van Helden! [02:46] - Rob shares growing up in a small village in Holland and his journey to where he is now. [06:09] - Rob speaks about finding out that he had a knack for floral design. [06:50] - Rob discusses starting a business with his sister Patrice in the back of a car. [08:49] - What does Rob mean by “perfect simplicity”? [09:24] - Learn why Rob likes to work with a lot of one type of flower. [10:29] - Rob discusses why he believes props are instrumental in the design and setting of the theme. [13:29] - Rob has natural conversations with his clients, sends them a proposal, and takes them on a trip to the flower market to show them what he has in mind. [16:51] - What are some of the biggest challenges Rob has had during weddings? [17:50] - Rob describes what he designed for his own wedding in 2007. [20:27] - Rob shares some Royal weddings and events for which he has designed flowers. [22:56] - What events has Rob done for Sir Elton John over the years? [23:48] - Rob discusses how he creates the right display for hotels and their venues. [24:39] - What does success mean to Rob? [25:59 - Andy gives us Rob’s contact information. LINKS AND RESOURCES Find Rob: Rob Van Helden Floral Design Limited @rvhfloraldesign Instagram | Facebook | X / Twitter RVH Prop Hire @rvhprophire Instagram | Facebook @rvhhome Instagram | HayKo.TV Follow The Wedding Biz on Social: The Wedding Biz The Wedding Biz on Instagram: @theweddingbiz The Wedding Biz on Facebook: @theweddingbiz The Wedding Biz Network The Music Makers Support The Wedding Biz by clicking here. Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Kushner Entertainment.

Duration:00:26:32

480 LAURIE ARONS: Navigating Challenges and Elevating Expectations

10/23/2023
Andy hopes that you will join him today as he chats with recurring guest Laurie Arons of Laurie Arons Special Events which she founded nearly three decades ago in 1994. Laurie has become a staple in the industry, working with high-profile clients like Sofia Coppola, Vanessa Getty, and Christy Turlington. In this candid conversation, Laurie shares insights into her experiences navigating the wedding industry, especially during the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Reflecting on the challenging years of 2020 and 2021, Laurie discusses her strategic approach to having managed events during the pandemic. Laurie's adaptability and foresight allowed her to successfully handle the uncertainties, emphasizing the importance of staying prepared in the face of unforeseen challenges. Andy and Laurie also take a dive into the evolving landscape of the wedding industry. They explore the rising expectations of clients, driven in part by social media and the desire for unique, personalized experiences. Laurie emphasizes the importance of being able to meet these elevated demands while acknowledging the challenges that come with finding and holding onto dedicated staff. Together, they discuss the intricate balance between delivering exceptional service and maintaining the well-being of the professionals involved in crafting these unforgettable events. In addition, Laurie shares her thoughts on staying relevant in an industry that has witnessed significant changes, particularly with the advancement of social media and artificial intelligence. She emphasizes the importance of authenticity and genuine expertise. Her dedication to fostering a sense of community among professionals is evident, as she discusses her successful masterclasses, providing attendees with not just valuable knowledge but also meaningful connections and friendships. Laurie also touches upon her future plans, revealing that despite her decades of experience, her passion for the industry remains undiminished, underscoring her love for the work she does and the joy she derives from creating magical moments for her clients. Andy, as always, had such a wonderful time catching up with Laurie and hopes that you enjoy this captivating conversation with her. If so, please be sure to share it with a few friends or colleagues who might also enjoy it. Andy would also appreciate it if you were to leave a top review wherever you listen because that really helps him and the show out! Be sure to also subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss a new episode, and we will catch you next week on The Wedding Biz! Have you heard about Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey on The Wedding Biz Network? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don't forget about Sean Low's podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network. SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ Become a patron and support Andy and the show! If you are so inspired, contribute! Time Stamps [0:56] - Today’s guest is returning guest Laurie Arons of Laurie Arons Special Events! [3:00] - Laurie moved 2020 clients to 2021 due to COVID, leading to a very busy 2021. [5:38] - After 2021, Laurie drastically scaled back weddings, prioritizing rest. [7:16] - Laurie reveals that after COVID, finding staff became very challenging. [9:29] - We learn that staff shortage persists due to long hours and weekend work. [11:30] - Client requests for extras strain planners, leading to overwhelming workload. [12:23] - Andy discusses what staying relevant in a saturated industry requires. [13:57] - Laurie argues that embracing diverse opportunities fuels professional growth. [16:59] - Laurie effectively shared special wedding moments with help from Follow the...

Duration:00:34:37

479 JEN GOULD: Designing Dreams, Embracing Technology, and More!

10/16/2023
Andy is so thrilled to welcome first-time guest Jen Gould of Jen Gould Events to the show this week! Jen's journey in the event industry began when her mother, Diana Gould, established the company nearly fifty years ago, making them pioneers in the evolving world of professional event design. Listen in as this episode delves into Jen's unique approach to event design, blending cutting-edge elements like acrylic fabrication, graphic design, large-scale set design, and digital technology. Jen's commitment to creating personalized and unique experiences for her clients is evident in her clean and modern aesthetic, drawing inspiration from various sources. Throughout Andy's conversation with Jen, Jen shares stories of challenges and triumphs, highlighting the meticulous planning and attention to detail that goes into each event. She discusses the significance of staying relevant in the industry by embracing technology, including artificial intelligence, while also emphasizing the human creativity behind these innovations. Jen also shares with us what success means to her, emphasizing that it is about more than just monetary gain for her, that it also involves the joy of bringing her clients' dreams to life. From transforming spaces into enchanted gardens to overcoming unexpected hurdles, Jen's passion for her work shines through, and Andy had such a wonderful time chatting with her! If you enjoy this conversation, then Andy would very much appreciate it if you were to share it with a few friends or colleagues who might also enjoy it. Be sure to also leave a top review wherever you listen because that really helps him and the show out, and don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss a new episode! Have you heard about Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey on The Wedding Biz Network? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don't forget about Sean Low's podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network. SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ Become a patron and support Andy and the show! If you are so inspired, contribute! Time Stamps [0:49] - Andy reveals that today’s guest is Jen Gould of Jen Gould Events! [2:12] - Jen’s mother was a pioneer in the industry 48 years ago. [2:49] - Jen reveals how she unexpectedly entered the family business. [4:54] - Hear Jen identify her personal style. [5:49] - Jen embraces technology in her business and even uses AI! [7:49] - Jen describes her usual process with a client. [9:21] - Building strong relationships and trust among professionals enhances success. [10:32] Collaborative brainstorming ensures a shared vision before intensive design work. [12:20] Jen shares some examples of how she made clients' dreams come true. [15:09] Hear an example of the importance of learning and maintaining composure. [17:40] Jen's calmness stems from meticulous planning and a skilled team. [20:07] Jen emphasizes the balance between creativity and sound business practices. [21:37] Jen highlights meticulous detail, in-house production, and cost control's significance. [23:02] Learn about Jen's pricing philosophy. [23:54] Jen acknowledges the unpredictable nature of the events industry. [25:07] Jen stays relevant by embracing technology. [27:12] How does Jen define success? [28:43] Andy reveals where to find Jen online. LINKS AND RESOURCES People - “Inside Robin Roberts and Amber Laign’s ‘Ethereal’ Connecticut Wedding Reception” The Sun - “Robin Roberts left speechless while revealing wedding flowers and decor just weeks before ceremony with fiancée Amber” ET - “Inside Robin Roberts’ ‘Ethereal’ Wedding to Amber Laign and All About Her ‘Powerful’ Dress” ABC News - “Sneak peek at the flowers for Robin...

Duration:00:29:24

478 BOB CONTI: From Visual Merchandising to Luxury Wedding Success

10/9/2023
Welcome back to The Wedding Biz! This week, Andy has Bob Conti on the show! Bob is a principal member and business partner of Ed Libby and Company Events. For over two decades now, Bob has made a name for himself in the event industry by designing and producing milestone luxury events. Bob shares his journey from a background in visual merchandising to becoming a renowned figure in the luxury market, and he also discusses the importance of balancing creativity with practicality, adapting to changing industry dynamics, the value of collaboration among event professionals, what he means when he refers to legacy clients, what he still struggles with in the market, and so much more! Join Andy and Bob as they delve into the world of high-end events, share insights about staying authentic, and discuss the evolving landscape of the event industry. You'll also discover how collaboration is becoming a pivotal trend in creating memorable experiences for clients and guests. Andy had such a great time catching up with Bob and having him on the show and is very grateful for his time. He hopes that you enjoy this conversation, and if you do, please be sure to share it with a few friends or colleagues who might also enjoy it. Andy would also appreciate it if you were to leave a top review wherever you listen because that really helps the show out! Be sure to also subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss a new episode, and we will catch you next week on The Wedding Biz! Have you heard about Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey on The Wedding Biz Network? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don't forget about Sean Low's podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network. SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ Become a patron and support Andy and the show! If you are so inspired, contribute! Time Stamps [1:23] - Andy reveals that this episode’s guest is Bob Conti of Ed Libby and Company Events! [2:14] - Bob used to be an executive in visual merchandising. [3:02] - How did Bob transition into the events industry? [4:51] - Bob values his enduring partnership with Ed Libby, which evolved organically. [7:56] - Bob prioritizes representing clients' tastes over personal style for successful events. [9:08] - Bob's creative process involves adapting to clients' ideas and understanding their style. [10:41] – Hear how Bob's career initially revolved around bar mitzvahs, leading to legacy clients. [13:14] – Andy and Bob discuss varying degrees of parental involvement in modern weddings. [15:05] – Nearly all of Bob's work involves collaborating with a planner or producer. [18:17] – Bob identifies one of his biggest challenges in the industry. [20:07] – Learn about the talks that Bob gives at conferences. [22:55] - Bob's mission is to ensure newcomers engage with industry veterans at conferences. [23:58] - Bob believes in simplicity and staying authentic in the saturated industry. [26:43] – Bob identifies collaboration as a current trend in the industry. [29:07] – Andy reveals where Bob can be found online. LINKS AND RESOURCES Find Bob: Ed Libby - Website Ed Libby - Instagram Page Bob’s Instagram Page Follow The Wedding Biz on Social: The Wedding Biz The Wedding Biz on Instagram: @theweddingbiz The Wedding Biz on Facebook: @theweddingbiz The Wedding Biz Network The Music Makers Support The Wedding Biz by clicking here. Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Kushner Entertainment.

Duration:00:30:04

477 REVISIT GREG FINCK/Photographer: The Leap to Professional Fulfillment

10/2/2023
Andy is excited to be speaking with Greg Finck on this episode of The Wedding Biz. Greg is a brilliant photographer based in Paris. He studied business in France then came to the U.S to get his MBA. Greg was a marketing executive for ten years with Proctor and Gamble and at first, was doing wedding photography on the side as a hobby. Greg is now a major photographer even though he’s technically only been doing it full-time for five years. Besides shooting significant weddings, he is doing fantastic work in the fashion world and has mastered marketing digitally in social media. He also gives master classes on photography and speaks at Engage. “Elegance is the only beauty that never fades,” a quote on his website from Audrey Hepburn summarizes the approach that Greg has to photography. Black and white photos are what he started out doing, giving him the ability to really focus on what he wanted to shoot in order to hone his eye. Greg talks to us about many things; his life in marketing, the catalyst for moving into photography professionally, and how glad he was that he took that leap of faith. He speaks about the niche he found with destination wedding photography, mostly taking place in Paris and other parts of Europe, doing fashion photography during the slow wedding season, and why he uses medium format film. Listen in as Greg shares with us his secrets to rapid success, how to manage your client’s expectations and the tools to choose the right photographer. He discusses his tricks for calming the nerves of a bride and tells us what equipment he uses to get such fantastic shots. The knowledge Greg has acquired in his relatively short time as a full-time professional photographer is immense. His business acumen is on point, and his humility is second to none. If you want to learn how to build your business in any industry, this is a conversation you shouldn’t miss. Have you heard about Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey on The Wedding Biz Network? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don't forget about Sean Low's podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network. SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ Become a patron and support Andy and the show! If you are so inspired, contribute! Time Stamps [02:02] - Andy welcomes Greg Finck to the show! [02:34] - Greg says that timeless elegance is what he wants to bring to his photography. [03:49] - Greg’s childhood was spent in darkrooms developing film with his dad. [04:28] - Greg shot mostly black and white at first. [05:08] - Greg feels like he has always been a portrait photographer. [06:24] - When he was in college getting his MBA, photography was just a hobby for Greg. [06:56] - Greg went to work with Proctor and Gamble and is very grateful for what he learned. [07:58] - The most significant thing Greg learned from working for such a large company is how to be humble. [08:43] - Humility and hard work are fundamental values in this saturated market. [10:50] - Greg went to a workshop held by Feather and Stone out of California which changed his perspective on being a professional photographer. [15:26] - Was Greg financially prepared when he quit his job or did he take a leap of faith? [17:35] - Greg explains his initial marketing approach. [19:31] - Greg speaks about branding and shooting with film. [22:18] - Listen as Greg tells us what it means to have a European touch. [23:58] - Hear Greg define medium format. [26:32] - What percentage of Greg’s business is related to fashion and editorials? [27:44] - The total expectations from clients are much higher today than in times past. [29:19] - Greg gives us his process when working with a client. [30:37] - Being direct with your clients is...

Duration:00:42:17

476 CHRIS J. EVANS/Photographer: Capturing Love Stories

9/25/2023
Andy has known today's guest for a really long time so is very excited to have him on the show for the first time! Join him as he sits down with luxury wedding and destination photographer Chris J. Evans, who has photographed weddings all over the world such as in Italy, Santa Barbara, Laguna Beach, Hawaii, and Napa Valley! Chris discusses how lucky he feels to have been raised in a creative household where his mother was a couture wedding dress designer and his father was a sculptor, painter, and philosopher. He enthusiastically shares how these influences shaped his artistic sensibilities and love for photography. He and Andy also dive into Chris’ journey into photography and how he found his way to wedding photography, and the conversation delves into various aspects of Chris's photography style such as his approach to lighting, composition, and the importance of dressing appropriately for events. Chris also discusses the significance of building relationships with clients, staying present in the moment, creating a memorable experience for wedding guests, the importance of creating a supportive community of like-minded professionals, and so much more! It was truly a pleasure for Andy to sit down with Chris and have this intimate conversation with him, and he is very appreciative of Chris and his time. He hopes that you enjoy listening to it, and if so, then he would really love it if you were to share it with colleagues and leave a top review wherever you listen because that really helps the show out! Be sure to also subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss a new episode, and we will catch you next week on The Wedding Biz! Have you heard about Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey on The Wedding Biz Network? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don't forget about Sean Low's podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network. SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ Become a patron and support Andy and the show! If you are so inspired, contribute! Time Stamps [0:30] - We learn that today’s guest is destination wedding photographer Chris J. Evans! [1:38] - Chris expresses his gratitude for having grown up with creative parents. [3:47] - Hear how Chris discovered his passion for photography via modeling in the early 2000s. [4:49] - How did Chris transition to full-time? [6:41] - Chris believes in the power of relationships, using authentic storytelling. [8:01] - Chris initiated the "monologue" to combat smartphone distractions during weddings. [11:26] – Learn how Chris builds profound connections during engagement sessions. [12:52] - Chris emphasizes entering the room with calm energy, gradually elevating vibes. [14:56] – What are some of the biggest challenges of doing destination weddings? [16:13] – Chris and Andy agree that it's important for a photographer to dress for success. [17:23] – How does Chris feel about film vs. digital? [18:17] – We hear Chris share his perspective on lighting, composition, and style. [20:20] - Chris stresses creating a memorable presence at weddings via guest interactions. [21:31] – Chris also argues that we should not fear putting ourselves out there. [22:38] – How is Chris maximizing PR to help him get the next high profile wedding? [24:24] - Publishing enhances social proof; shooting for magazines involves logistical planning. [25:55] – Chris discloses what gear he is currently using on film. [26:44] – Success involves supporting family, traveling, capturing love stories, and community. [28:35] – Andy shares Chris' contact information with us. LINKS AND RESOURCES Books: Eckhart Tolle - The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment Eckhart Tolle - A New Earth: Awakening Your Life’s...

Duration:00:29:24

475 RENNY PEDERSEN: Crafting Personalized Experiences for Clients While Maintaining a Balanced Lifestyle

9/18/2023
Welcome to another episode of The Wedding Biz, with Andy interviewing Renny Pedersen, the owner of Bliss Events based out of Chicago! Bliss Events is an award-winning company renowned for its creativity and unique approach to wedding planning, and Renny truly has a remarkable entrepreneurial journey dating back to her childhood when she started her first venture at only ten years old! Tune in to learn how, over the years, Renny has fine-tuned her approach to creative flair by focusing on personalization and unique experiences for her clients. She and Andy discuss how her creative process involves understanding each couple's personality, history, and preferences to create events that truly reflect their essence, and she gives such a wonderful example of how she did just that! She also addresses the challenges of setting a minimum budget for her services and her decision to limit the number of weddings she takes on, as well her biggest struggle being the common entrepreneurial plight – finding a balance between her professional life and her personal life. Renny’s dedication to constant evolution, learning, and staying open to change has enabled her to stay relevant and thrive in the dynamic wedding industry, and she also shares what she most looks forward to in the future at 50 years old. This is such an insightful episode in which Andy really appreciates Renny’s participation, and he hopes that you enjoy listening to it! If so, then he would love it if you were to share it with colleagues and leave a top review wherever you listen. Be sure to also subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss a new episode, and we will catch you next week on The Wedding Biz! Have you heard about Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey on The Wedding Biz Network? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don't forget about Sean Low's podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network. SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ Become a patron and support Andy and the show! If you are so inspired, contribute! Time Stamps [0:33] - Andy announces that Renny Pedersen of Bliss Events is today’s guest! [1:29] - Learn about how Renny embraced entrepreneurship from a very young age. [3:03] - Renny predicts that she likely got her entrepreneurial flair from her mother. [3:44] - Renny reflects on her time in culinary school which sparked a passion for hospitality. [5:07] - How did Renny make the transition over to the wedding industry? [8:24] - Renny describes her signature. [11:29] - Renny shares an example of a modern couple's unconventional celebration. [13:03] – Renny describes the event: its incorporation of Hamilton and chocolate chip cookies. [15:26] – Hear how various unexpected delights left attendees feeling awestruck. [17:11] – Renny gets a lot of ideas during walks. [19:35] - Years of experience led to personalized event planning for fewer clients. [21:39] - Renny expanded to balance business and creativity, allowing space for innovation. [23:11] - Driven by creativity, Renny's personality prioritizes aligning work with aspirations. [25:24] – Hear how setting a minimum budget clearly communicates Bliss's value. [27:25] – Learn why Bliss charges a percentage rather than a flat rate. [28:13] – Remy thinks about the balance between ultra-luxury and her happiness. [31:18] – Renny argues that it's fine to not always chase ultra luxury. [33:08] – Renny recognizes her ability to constantly evolve as a strength. [34:53] – What about the future excites Renny? [37:59] - Andy provides us with Renny’s contact information. LINKS AND RESOURCES Vimeo - Bliss Events Chicago Reel Find Renny: Bliss Events - Website Bliss Events - Instagram Page Bliss Events - Facebook...

Duration:00:38:26

474 JULIE NOVACK: Update on Digital Marketing, AI, and More!

9/11/2023
Andy is so excited to have Julie Novack of PartySlate back on the show yet again! While he would highly recommend that you go back and listen to the previous episodes she has been on, in case you aren’t familiar with Julie, she is the CEO and co-founder of PartySlate, a groundbreaking photo-rich website connecting event professionals, planners, and venues. Join Andy today as he and Julie delve into artificial intelligence and how it is revolutionizing the industry. Julie also shares insights into the evolving landscape of digital marketing and how AI is becoming increasingly crucial for building and enhancing brand presence as an event professional. No longer just a thing of the future, AI is here to stay, and it is going to continue to change the face of media as we know it. Perhaps what is most exciting is how AI is even seeping into familiar software platforms, making its benefits more accessible and integrated into our daily workflows, and Julie even predicts that Google will basically be unrecognizable five years from now! As she has discussed on the show before, Julie also emphasizes the importance of having a well-organized digital footprint, so if you’re looking to stay ahead in the digital realm, then this episode is definitely for you! Andy is, as always, so grateful for Julie’s time and really appreciates how much knowledge and wisdom she is able to pack into just a small amount of time. If you enjoy this interview with Julie, be sure to check out PartySlate, and Andy would love it if you were to share it with colleagues and leave a top review wherever you listen. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss a new episode, and we will catch you next week on The Wedding Biz! Have you heard about Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey on The Wedding Biz Network? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don't forget about Sean Low's podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network. SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ Become a patron and support Andy and the show! If you are so inspired, contribute! Time Stamps [0:38] - Andy announces today’s guest - returning guest Julie Novack of PartySlate! [2:29] - Where does Julie see digital marketing going in 2024? [4:23] - Julie highlights Party Slate's role in centralizing event content. [6:26] - Julie offers her opinion on Threads. [8:39] - Julie begins to underscore the impact of AI on the wedding and event industry. [12:54] - Andy acknowledges that AI might be a little overwhelming for some people at first. [14:22] - Utilizing AI as a productivity tool can lead to generating innovative ideas. [17:40] - Many software and websites are now integrating AI elements and have been for years. [19:02] - Julie predicts that Google will be essentially unrecognizable in five years. [19:57] - Julie highlights a shift toward hybrid and remote work in the events industry. [22:46] - Julie discusses challenges of dealing with shorter notice bookings since the pandemic. [24:18] - Julie doesn’t really like the word “vendor” and prefers “event professionals.” [25:27] - Listeners are advised to conduct quarterly reviews of their digital presence. [26:43] - Andy touches upon where we can find Julie online. LINKS AND RESOURCES Julie’s Previous Guest Spots on The Wedding Biz Find Julie: julie@partyslate.com PartySlate – Website Sign up for PartySlate PartySlate Review PartySlate - Instagram Page Julie’s Instagram Page PartySlate - TikTok Page PartySlate - Facebook Page Follow The Wedding Biz on Social: The Wedding Biz The Wedding Biz on Instagram: @theweddingbiz The Wedding Biz on Facebook: @theweddingbiz The Wedding Biz Network The Music Makers Support The Wedding Biz by...

Duration:00:27:22

473 TYLER SPEIER: How to Best Incorporate Social Media into Your Marketing Efforts

8/28/2023
Today’s guest on the show, Tyler Speier, is the genius behind Tyler Speier Events, a luxury event planning, designing, and floral company based in Santa Barbara, California, and Andy is truly excited to have him on for this episode! Tyler isn’t just an expert at crafting dream weddings either; he's also a social media maestro, and he and Andy dive into how wedding professionals can make the most of these platforms. From Instagram to TikTok to new platform Threads, Tyler breaks down the power of authenticity and connection, sharing how his journey on social media took unexpected twists and turns – and how it transformed his business. Listen to learn firsthand how to elevate your online presence, connect authentically with your audience, and transform followers into loyal clients. Andy and Tyler also delve into the captivating journey of how Tyler was a young florist who unexpectedly rose to the top and discovered how social media would be his game-changer. From sharing heartwarming stories to viral moments on TikTok, Tyler spills the secrets of building a strong online community and translating it into a flourishing business. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just getting started, this episode will likely be a treat for you, and Andy is so grateful for the time that Tyler took to be on the show. If you enjoy this engaging conversation with Tyler, then Andy would love it if you were to share it with colleagues and leave a top review. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss a new episode, and we will catch you next week on The Wedding Biz! Have you heard about Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey on The Wedding Biz Network? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don't forget about Sean Low's podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network. SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ Become a patron and support Andy and the show! If you are so inspired, contribute! Time Stamps [0:26] – Today’s guest is Tyler Speier of Tyler Speier Events! [2:10] – Hear how Tyler's company came to be. [4:48] – Tyler emphasizes what makes his services distinct. [6:04] – Tyler comments on how social media can be an incredible marketing tool. [7:25] – Learn how Tyler's social media journey began with overcoming fear. [9:53] - Tyler emphasizes the importance of authenticity and expertise. [11:52] - A common pitfall of social media is the balance of authenticity. [14:48] – Learn why, although initially skeptical of it, Tyler now loves TikTok. [16:15] – Discover how a viral TikTok video led to a substantial following. [19:14] – Tyler offers his feelings on Threads. [20:24] – Tyler encourages fellow wedding professionals to recognize their expertise and value. [22:50] – Andy shares with us where we can find Tyler online. LINKS AND RESOURCES Videos: Kushner Entertainment - SoundConnection Ruthie & Simon - Spin the Dial Films Victoria & Faben - AK Film Co Camille & Kevin - BStudios Find Tyler: Tyler’s Website Tyler’s Instagram Page Tyler’s TikTok Page Tyler’s Pinterest Page Tyler's Facebook Page Floral Design Mini Course Coffee with Tyler Master Class Follow The Wedding Biz on Social: The Wedding Biz The Wedding Biz on Instagram: @theweddingbiz The Wedding Biz on Facebook: @theweddingbiz The Wedding Biz Network The Music Makers Support The Wedding Biz by clicking here. Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Kushner Entertainment.

Duration:00:23:45