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.

Are you a creative who wants to turn your craft into a business or take it further? Head to the Wedding Biz Network and listen to The Business of Being Creative podcast with Sean Low. Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more.

 

SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ

Become a patron and support Andy and the show: For as little as $6 per month, or $0.75 per episode, are you willing to support the industry insights Andy brings on his podcast? If you are so inspired: contribute

Become a Patron!
 

Show Highlights:

[01:44] Welcome to the show, Zainab!

[02:15] Zainab shares about the many places she lived as a child.

[05:29] Zainab speaks about her passions and interests as she grew up.

[06:41] She discusses going to business school because her father wanted her to be a banker.

[09:03] Zainab shares that her husband’s idea was that she transition into events because she didn’t enjoy her job at the bank.

[10:42] She speaks about starting out with corporate events and describes the launch party she did for her husband’s company.

[12:39] Listen as Zainab discusses how she transitioned from corporate events into weddings.

[15:05] Zainab speaks about being exposed to many cultures and languages as she grew up, which played well with planning her weddings.

[16:22] Young couples today are leaning toward less traditional weddings and more toward western weddings.

[17:33] What is your process from the first sit down with the client through the wedding itself?

[20:04] Zainab shares where she meets with couples and their families.

[22:07] Zainab describes her signature design, quality over quantity, less is more.

[24:46] “It’s not about how a wedding looks; it’s about how a wedding feels.”

[25:45] Zainab describes a wedding that she planned and designed for a major Nigerian celebrity’s sister.

[28:15] She speaks about the wedding she planned at the Dubai Opera.

[30:15] Zainab gives her definition of luxury when clients ask for a luxurious experience.

[32:20] Zainab discusses a wedding she planned from a client’s picture of their grandparents’ wedding.

[34:07] She shares her experience of being a woman entrepreneur in Dubai.

[35:43] Zainab speaks about why she also spends time in both Italy and Dallas.

[38:23] How has the pandemic affected your business and personal life?

[41:03] Zainab shares starting a new division of Carousel that focuses on interior styling and decorating.

[42:38] She now has time to work on the book she has been writing.

[43:17] Thank you so much for being on the show!

 

RESOURCES

 

Find Zainab

Zainab Alsalih

Carousel Casa

Engage!20 Dubai

@carousel_wedding_events

Instagram | Facebook | Vimeo

Engage!20 Dubai

Carousel Showreel

Five-O

Opus of Love

 

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Support The Wedding Biz by clicking here

 

Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Kushner Entertainment 

www.KushnerEntertainment.com

 

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.

 

Don’t forget to listen to Andy’s new podcast, The Music Makers. It’s a podcast about behind-the-scenes stories from some of the most influential music industry pros around including artists, recording engineers, record producers, songwriters, managers, record industry executives, and more. You can find The Music Makers podcast by searching for it in your cell phone’s podcast app or by going to www.themusicmakers.com

 

SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ

Become a patron and support Andy and the show: For as little as $6 per month, or $0.75 per episode, are you willing to support the industry insights Andy brings on his podcast? If you are so inspired: contribute

 

Show Highlights:

  • [01:11] Welcome back to the show, Robert!
  • [03:10] They speak about JoAnn taking classes in everything her creative partners do so she can advocate for her clients.
  • [04:43] Robert and Andy discuss JoAnn’s insight on knowing every generation so you can market to them.
  • [05:47] Robert talks about how now the millennials are paying for their weddings.
  • [08:22] Andy speaks about JoAnn and the Sewing Angels sewing masks and shipping them to people in need.
  • [09:50] To help JoAnn and all her helpers to keep making masks, please go www.sewingangels.org and click the go fund me link for frontline sewing angels.
  • [11:34] Robert, thank you for being on the show!

 

Find JoAnn 

Elegant Occasions with JoAnn Gregoli

@joanngregoli

Instagram

@joann_gregoli

Twitter

@elegantoccasionsinc

Facebook

 

This Week’s Guest Co-Host, Robert Sherman, owner of Washington Talent 

Robert Sherman Episode 206 on The Wedding Biz

Washington Talent

Onyx|Washington Talent Agency

Kushner Entertainment

@washingtontalent

YouTube | Facebook 

@wta_talent

Twitter

 

Follow The Wedding Biz on Social: 

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The Wedding Biz on Instagram: @theweddingbiz

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Mentioned

Colin Cowie Episode 128 on The Wedding Biz

Colin Cowie Episode 135 on The Wedding Biz

Colin Cowie Episode 267 on The Wedding Biz

 

Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Kushner Entertainment 

www.KushnerEntertainment.com

 

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.

Are you a creative who wants to turn your craft into a business or take it further? Head to the Wedding Biz Network and listen to The Business of Being Creative podcast with Sean Low. Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more.

 

SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ

Become a patron and support Andy and the show: For as little as $6 per month, or $0.75 per episode, are you willing to support the industry insights Andy brings on his podcast? If you are so inspired: contribute

Become a Patron!
 

Show Highlights:

[02:38] Welcome to the show, JoAnn!

[03:13] JoAnn shares how her childhood determined the path she would follow.

[05:05] JoAnn speaks about being obsessed with weddings in her twenties.

[08:11] She discusses the wedding she did for Rupert Murdoch’s daughter.

[10:12] She is known as the Godmother of destination weddings.

[11:13] Listen, as JoAnn shares how she put a team together for her first destination weddings.

[13:05] JoAnn speaks about her process when she plans weddings.

[15:46] What other events do you do besides weddings?

[17:38] JoAnn discusses how she view’s the business aspect of her company.

[19:56] JoAnn discusses her pricing philosophy.

[22:36] What is your strategy for using social media?

[24:18] Listen as JoAnn speaks about reinventing yourself constantly to stay relevant.

[26:10] JoAnn shares how to market to different generations from baby boomers to GenZ.

[29:04] JoAnn discusses how she decided to “re-prioritize,” rather than “reinvent,” and got started sewing face masks and the women’s groups she got to help.

[32:16] To help JoAnn and all her helpers to keep making masks, please go www.sewingangels.org and click the go fund me link for frontline sewing angels.

[35:25] JoAnn believes that this pandemic makes people stop, slow down, appreciate what you have, and help the people who can’t help themselves.

[37:36] JoAnn shares what she wants to do once the pandemic is over.

[39:06] Thank you so much for being on the show!

 

RESOURCES

 

JoAnn Gregoli:

Elegant Occasions with JoAnn Gregoli

@joanngregoli

Instagram

@joann_gregoli

Twitter

@elegantoccasionsinc

Facebook

Partyslate

Video – Hightail

Arielle & Ian’s Wedding Trailer

 

Follow The Wedding Biz on Social: 

The Wedding Biz

The Wedding Biz on Instagram: @theweddingbiz

The Wedding Biz on Facebook: @theweddingbiz

 

Support The Wedding Biz by clicking here

 

Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Kushner Entertainment 

www.KushnerEntertainment.com

 

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.

Don’t forget to listen to Andy’s new podcast, The Music Makers. It’s a podcast about behind-the-scenes stories from some of the most influential music industry pros around including artists, recording engineers, record producers, songwriters, managers, record industry executives, and more. You can find The Music Makers podcast by searching for it in your cell phone’s podcast app or by going to www.themusicmakers.com

Become a Patron!

 

SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ

Become a patron and support Andy and the show: For as little as $6 per month, or $0.75 per episode, are you willing to support the industry insights Andy brings on his podcast? If you are so inspired: contribute

 

Show Highlights:

  • [01:09] Welcome back to the show, Carrie!
  • [02:08] Carrie discusses how COVID-19 has affected her personally and professionally.
  • [05:00] Carrie speaks about how she feels like the pandemic is robbing her of time with her family and grandparents.
  • [06:07] Listen as Carrie shares what couples and brides have been sharing with her about how this has affected their weddings.
  • [08:25] Andy speaks about a wedding he has coming up in September and the COVID-19 rider his company has put in place.
  • [09:29] Carrie discusses the challenges the planners are having trying to manage expectations and social distancing.
  • [11:17] Carrie speaks about how the pandemic has affected styling for events.
  • [14:17] Carrie believes we will see permanent changes to how brides make decisions around dresses and planning their weddings.
  • [16:20] Listen, as Carrie describes how she believes we will define luxury for the future.
  • [17:54] Carrie shares advice for planners, stylists, and shopping while navigating weddings during this pandemic.
  • [19:43] She tells us where she will travel during the rest of the year.
  • [20:28] Thank you so much for being on the show!

 

Find Carrie

Carrie Goldberg

Carrie Goldberg Episode 186 on The Wedding Biz

Email 

@carrielauren

Instagram | Twitter

@harperbazaarus

Instagram

Harper’s Bazaar

 

Follow The Wedding Biz on Social: 

The Wedding Biz

The Wedding Biz on Instagram: @theweddingbiz

The Wedding Biz on Facebook: @theweddingbiz

 

Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Kushner Entertainment 

www.KushnerEntertainment.com

 

Mentioned:

Rachel Birthistle Episode 202 on The Wedding Biz

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.

Are you a creative who wants to turn your craft into a business or take it further? Head to the Wedding Biz Network and listen to The Business of Being Creative podcast with Sean Low. Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more.

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.

 

SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ

Become a patron and support Andy and the show: For as little as $6 per month, or $0.75 per episode, are you willing to support the industry insights Andy brings on his podcast? If you are so inspired: contribute

Become a Patron!
Show Highlights:

[02:13] Welcome to the show, David!

[02:52] David speaks about the last events he did before the pandemic shutdown.

[03:48] David shares that he is enjoying being home with his children.

[04:44] He discusses taking this time to come up with new ideas.

[06:21] David believes that everyone should always reevaluate and reinvent themselves.

[07:19] He discusses launching an immersive mentorship program that allows people to learn in a group or one-on-one.

[09:30] David discusses what a typical day was like before the pandemic and how that’s since changed.

[11:56] Listen, as David talks about where he sees his company going in 2021.

[14:38] David says he’s realized that, after three or four months, he is so tired of talking about COVID. 

[17:41] He believes that now is not the time to drop prices, stand strong with the prices you had before the pandemic.

[18:05] Let clients know why you charge what you do and the value they get for the price.

[19:00] David says to think of your client as a first date and over-sell yourself to impress potential clients.

[20:59] Listen as David shares how his routine has changed and if he will be able to maintain the changes or just jump right back into the fray once the pandemic is over.

[22:48] David speaks about some TV shows he’s done and hopefully new projects to come.

[24:38] Thank you so much for being on the show again!

David Tutera Event at Unfinished Church

David Tutera Keynote Speaker and Presenter

David Tutera Beautiful Weddings

David Tutera – Behind the scenes of weddings around the world

RESOURCES

Find David:

David Tutera

David Tutera Episode 53 on The Wedding Biz

Mentorship Program

@thedavidtutera

Facebook | Pinterest 

@davidtutera

Instagram | Twitter

Follow The Wedding Biz on Social: 

The Wedding Biz

The Wedding Biz on Instagram: @theweddingbiz

The Wedding Biz on Facebook: @theweddingbiz

 

Support The Wedding Biz by clicking here

 

Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Kushner Entertainment 

www.KushnerEntertainment.com