Episode 288 ZAINAB ALSALIH/Carousel Events: One of Dubai’s Leading Women Entrepreneurs

“I try always to make sure I design a wedding with the couple in mind and personalize it as much as possible.” Listen as Andy and his guest, Zainab Alsalih, discuss how she designs a wedding, why she transitioned from corporate events into weddings, her process when doing events, and much more on this episode of The Wedding Biz.

Zainab is the Founder and Creative Director of Carousel Events out of Dubai, one of the region’s best-known companies for event design. Zainab is also considered one of the 

most respected authorities on weddings in the middle east. She has been covered and quoted in countless regional and international programs and publications in various languages on radio, televisions, print, and online, including Harpers Bazaar, Martha Stewart, and Vogue.

Listen as Zainab shares how she got started in event planning and the transition to weddings. She speaks about how young couples today are leaning toward less traditional weddings and more towards western influences. Zainab also discusses her process from the first time she meets the client until the actual wedding.

“It’s not about how a wedding looks; it’s about how a wedding feels.” Zainab shares why this is the way she views weddings, why less is more is her main mantra, and what the definition of luxury means to her. She shares many details of major weddings she has designed and tells it with color and passion so you can visualize it as if you were there. You don’t want to miss this conversation.

We are all experiencing quite a bit of stress and other issues during this pandemic. Andy has put together a list of the top ten tips for dealing with stress, which he has compiled from interviews with icons of the wedding and event industry. If you would like a copy, go to www.theweddingbiz.com/toptips.

Continue reading

Episode 287 ROBERT SHERMAN discusses JOANN GREGOLI, The Godmother of Destination Weddings

Does giving back make you feel better? Listen as Andy and Robert Sherman, the President of Washington Talent, and Andy’s partner at Kushner Entertainment discuss JoAnn being the godmother of destination weddings, wanting to be an advocate for her clients and the Sewing Angles plus much more on this episode of The Next Level.

JoAnn is the owner of Elegant Occasions by JoAnn Gregoli. She has been included in Modern Bride Magazine as one of their Top Trendsetters of the year, and she was recently recognized as one of the top twenty-five most influential wedding planners in the World. 

Listen as Robert and Andy share how JoAnn was a wedding crasher in her twenties because she loved love, how JoAnn took classes in every aspect of an event so she could talk to her creative partners in their language and her insights into getting to know every generation so she could market to them all in a way they would respond to.

They also discuss how JoAnn is giving back during the pandemic by sewing masks because her daughter was on the frontline with limited PPE. She got some women’s groups involved and paid for the materials out of her pocket because she says giving back makes you feel better. 

If you want to be inspired to help JoAnn with shipping the masks, please go to her go fund me page at www.sewingangels.org and click on the Frontline Sewing Angles link.

Continue reading

Episode 286 JOANN GREGOLI – The Godmother of Destination Weddings

Andy and his guest, JoAnn Gregoli, discuss how she educated herself to speak the language of her vendor team, how she approaches destination weddings, how she approaches marketing for her services, and much more on this episode of The Wedding Biz.

JoAnn is the owner of Elegant Occasions by JoAnn Gregoli. She has been included in Modern Bride Magazine as one of their Top Trendsetters of the year and was recently recognized as one of the top twenty-five most influential wedding planners in the World. Elegant Occasions creates events that tell the story about the couple.

Listen, as JoAnn shares how she was obsessed with weddings in her twenties, the wedding she did for Rupert Murdoch’s daughter, and why she has been called the Godmother of destination weddings. JoAnn speaks about how she creates a team for destination weddings and her process for local and destination events.

JoAnn discusses her company’s business side, how she determins how to price the events she plans, and her strategy for using social media. JoAnn says to stay relevant she goes to conferences, to continue her own learning, and isn’t afraid to reinvent herself and her business.

JoAnn speaks of her grassroots effort to make sure anyone who needs a face mask has one. She started sewing masks, then reached out to some women’s groups to help her, got some of her brides got involved, and now they have shipped out over 50,000 masks at no cost. Her main focus has been providing them to homeless shelters and to battered women. They have been sewing for over seventeen weeks with no plans to stop until the pandemic is over.

JoAnn is an amazing woman. She doesn’t sit back when something needs to be done; she jumps in with both feet. She did it for brides that lost their venue during 9/11, and she is doing it now with the pandemic. This is an episode you don’t want to miss.

Continue reading

Episode 285 A Conversation With: CARRIE GOLDBERG

Andy is happy to have Carrie Goldberg back on the show to discuss how COVID-19 has affected her personally and professionally, what she is hearing from both brides and planners, and the challenges planners have with managing their clients’ expectations, but also keeping them safe and socially distanced.

Carrie is the Digital Travel & Weddings Editor at Harper’s Bazaar, where she oversees all things weddings and travel for HarpersBazaar.com. She is in charge of content, strategy, and visuals for Bazaar’s digital travel and wedding verticals and editor of their membership subscription program called Bazaar Bride.

Listen, as Carrie discusses the different ways some brides are viewing their weddings and how planners are coping with wedding guests while trying to keep them safe. Carrie believes that this pandemic has made couples ask themselves what’s really important and whether now is the right time to take a chance on a large wedding or wait until it’s safe.

She also believes that some changes, she sees now, will continue in the future because people are realizing what is important and much of it is about getting back to basics. Carrie shares advice for planners and stylists around shopping and talks about where she will be for the next few months. Carrie has great insight into what is going on in the wedding and event business during this pandemic. You don’t want to miss what she has to say.

Continue reading

Episode 284 A Conversation With: DAVID TUTERA

“You must reinvent yourself by expanding your vision and allowing yourself to do new things.” Listen as Andy and his guest David Tutera discuss his last two jobs before the pandemic put a stop to everything, what he’s doing both personally and business-wise during the shutdown, what he’s doing to adjust his business and reinvent himself, and much more on this episode of The Wedding Biz.

David’s uniquely creative talent and outstanding reputation have made him a tremendous success in the lifestyle arena, including multiple hit TV shows. His client list includes Elton John, Prince Charles, Jennifer Lopez, The Rolling Stones, Kenneth Cole, the Kennedy Center, the official post-Grammy parties, and so much more.

Listen, as David talks about the last event he did before the pandemic, how he is enjoying being home with his husband and kids and taking this downtime to reevaluate, reinvent and take the time to come up with new ideas. David shares what a typical day was like before COVID versus a typical day now and if he will keep some new routines once he can get back to work.

“Lead with personality and emotion” when speaking with potential clients, oversell yourself to impress potential clients. David believes that even though it is tempting, don’t devalue your services by reducing your prices. Stay strong and keep them where they were before the pandemic, your value hasn’t changed so why should your prices.

Continue reading