Episode 386 EMILY REIFEL: Talking Weddings with the “Empress Em of Events” at The Plaza, NYC

Joining Andy in this episode of The Wedding Biz is Emily Reifel, Social Events Director at CPS Events at The Plaza in New York City! In this wide ranging interview, Emily tackles a lot of different topics such as where her passion for events comes from, how she broke into the industry, what her relationship is like with her clients and with planners, what she looks for in creative partners, her view on how important entertainment is for weddings, how she stays relevant, and so much more!

Emily also discusses her nickname, Empress Em of Events at The Plaza, and how it came to be. She enthuses over her love and passion for dance and how that actually led her to New York City and also talks about the COVID-19 pandemic and how it impacted her and her business. She and Andy also agree that the element of surprise (especially when it comes to entertainment) is a crucial part of hosting a wedding!

It was a pleasure for Andy to touch base with Emily and get to know her! Be sure to visit Emily’s website and Instagram page, and until the next episode of The Wedding Biz, please be sure to share this interview with at least three good friends who might also benefit from it, and leave a review of the podcast wherever you listen!

Have you heard about the brand new show on The Wedding Biz Network, Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey? 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] – Andy reveals the guest of this episode to be Emily Reifel of CPS Events at The Plaza.

[2:00] – Emily discusses her reputation as the Empress Em of Events at The Plaza.

[3:18] – Emily reflects on her college education and when she first started to think about doing events.

[4:35] – We discover how Emily’s love for dance led her to New York City.

[7:30] – Emily talks about a vision that she had in which she knew that she wanted to run social events at The Plaza.

[8:33] – Emily describes what her role is.

[10:02] – Emily shares what it’s like when there is a planner present vs. when there is not.

[12:45] – Andy reflects on his experiences at The Plaza.

[13:34] – Emily comments on what her experience was like during the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

[16:17] – We learn about how Emily manages her stress and feeling overwhelmed.

[18:31] – Emily asserts that her industry is very competitive.

[21:23] – Emily details what qualities she looks for in a creative partner.

[23:07] – Emily argues that entertainment at a wedding is very important.

[26:00] – We learn about Emily’s belief that an elegant setting like The Plaza should still be fun.

[27:40] – Emily discloses what her biggest challenge within the industry is.

[30:04] – We hear Emily discuss how she stays relevant in an ever changing industry.

[32:40] – Andy reveals where to find Emily online.


Find Emily:

CPS Events at The Plaza – Website

CPS Events at The Plaza – Instagram Page

 

On Clubhouse, follow Andy @andykushner and join his club “The Wedding Biz” to get additional content and to get direct access to Andy.

 

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.

 

Episode 385 CHIOMA ADURE NWOGU-JOHNSON: Humility and Accountability in a Multicultural World

Andy is so happy to bring Chioma Adure Nwogu-Johnson to this episode of The Wedding Biz! Chioma is the creative director of Dure Events, a full service wedding and event planning company based in Houston, Texas. Chioma has planned events across the United States, Saint Lucia, Puerto Rico, Mexico, South Africa, Dubai, Paris, and more! She has also been featured on platforms such as CNN, Ebony Magazine, Essence Magazines, Bridal Bliss, and many more!

Chioma walks us through her story, such as where her love for planning events comes from and how it began to manifest right in childhood even though she initially thought that she wanted to sing and dance on Broadway. She also shares her design signature and how she personalizes the experience for each and every one of her couples, her love for cooking, how she balances the business side of what she does with the creative side of it, her pricing philosophy, her social media and marketing strategies, how she stays relevant in an ever changing industry, and more!

Andy thanks Chioma for the wonderful conversation and hopes that you will enjoy listening to it! Be sure to visit Chioma’s website and social media handles, and until the next episode of The Wedding Biz, please be sure to share this interview with at least three good friends who might also benefit from it, and leave a great review of the podcast wherever you listen!

Have you heard about the brand new show on The Wedding Biz Network, Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey? 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 reveals that this episode’s guest is Chioma Adure Nwogo-Johnson of Dure Events.

[1:58] – Chioma discusses her childhood.

[4:48] – Chioma reveals how she first got into events planning.

[7:33] – We learn about Chioma’s mentor.

[8:55] – Chioma describes her signature.

[11:05] – Chioma expounds upon individualizing and personalizing wedding experiences.

[13:33] – Chioma enthuses over her job being a form of therapy but how it can be emotionally draining.

[15:09] – We discover that Chioma cooks to unwind and destress.

[18:22] – Andy and Chioma discuss the business side of what she does.

[20:34] – Chioma reveals approximately how many weddings she does per year.

[22:37] – Chioma talks about her pricing philosophy.

[24:54] – We learn about Chioma’s social media presence.

[27:40] – Chioma does, she explains, have a quirky side to her personality.

[29:44] – We learn more about Chioma’s focus on multicultural weddings.

[32:44] – Andy offers insight about offering a counter solution when you have to say no.

[33:47] – Chioma asserts how she keeps up with change and stays relevant.

[36:59] – Chioma stresses the importance of humility and accountability.

[38:52] – We learn where we can find Chioma online.

 

Find Chioma:

Dure Events – Website

Dure Events – Facebook Page

Dure Events – Instagram Page

 

On Clubhouse, follow Andy @andykushner and join his club “The Wedding Biz” to get additional content and to get direct access to Andy.

 

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.

Episode 384 EMILY CAMPBELL: Planning and Designing Events with an Anthropological Perspective

Emily Campbell, founder and executive director of Go Bella Events based in Colorado, joins Andy in this episode of The Wedding Biz to discuss her career! Over the course of over twenty years, Emily has created celebrations in over forty countries and on five continents from Africa, Asia, Europe, Central Europe, and the Caribbean! Emily is also the co-founder and executive director of Engage Foundation and is also a member of The Knot’s Best of Weddings Hall of Fame. Her work has been featured by Martha Stewart, The Knot, Style Me Pretty, Rocky Mountain Bride, and more!

She dives into so many interesting topics such as her major in Anthropology and how that relates to what she does now in the events industry and how the complications of a benign tumor steered her away from a more traditional job in Anthropology and led her to where she is now. She and Andy also talk about how to find the right balance between being focused on a project while not seeming standoffish as well as how things have changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Emily also touches upon her work with Engage Foundation and how it fulfills her.

Andy really appreciates Emily taking the time to come onto the podcast to share her story. Be sure to visit Emily’s website and social media handles, and until the next episode of The Wedding Biz, please be sure to share this interview with at least three good friends who might also benefit from it, and leave a review of the podcast wherever you listen!

Have you heard about the brand new show on The Wedding Biz Network, Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey? 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

[0:48] – Andy reveals that this episode’s guest is Emily Campbell of Go Bella.

[2:15] – Emily discusses her love of studying people and how it relates to what she does.

[4:01] – We learn why Emily switched from Anthropology to events.

[6:23] – Emily reflects on what she would probably be doing now if her life had gone differently.

[7:43] – We discover what Emily considers her signature to be.

[10:00] – Emily describes how she gets to know her clients.

[12:38] – Emily talks about what it’s like to work around the natural beauty in Colorado.

[15:19] – We learn how Emily finds teams with the right skill sets.

[17:26] – The most stressful aspect of her job, Emily asserts, is the unknown.

[20:00] – Emily describes what her psyche is like during production setup.

[23:05] – Emily credits herself for being relaxed around her clients.

[24:03] – Emily reveals how she goes about making her team feel respected.

[26:45] – Andy and Emily have a conversation about expectations being reset because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

[28:56] – Emily observes a recent lack of editing in graphic design.

[30:08] – Emily makes a statement about her involvement with the Engage Foundation.

[33:12] – Emily addresses sustainability and its importance to her.

[34:41] – Emily enthuses over events that she has planned for 2022.

[35:48] – Andy gives us information about where Emily can be found online.


RESOURCES

The Wedding Biz – Episode 296 CEO of VOW To End Child Marriage


Find Emily:

Go Bella – Website
Go Bella Design & Planning – Facebook Page
Go Bella – Instagram Page

On Clubhouse, follow Andy @andykushner and join his club “The Wedding Biz” to get additional content and to get direct access to Andy.

 

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 & PartySlate.

 

Episode 383 REVISIT: Mindy Weiss – Setting the Standard

Mindy Weiss is a force in the high-end wedding and event planning business. Since her early beginnings, she has delighted celebrity and non-celebrity clients alike with her ability to build meaningful relationships every step of the way.

On this episode, Mindy shares her wealth of knowledge about what it’s like to maintain an A-List clientele. But while there certainly are additional factors to consider when planning luxury events for celebrities, Mindy’s insights from years of experience working with families and couples are applicable to anyone in the event planning industry.

From getting to truly know your clients– both financially and personally– to how you might be able to successfully evade the paparazzi, Mindy Weiss dives in with honesty and humor to share her wisdom on this episode.

Continue reading

Episode 382 EVA CLARK: Anticipating Needs and Evoking Senses

Eva Clark is the award-winning owner and creative director of Eva Clark Events. She joins Andy in this episode of The Wedding Biz to discuss various aspects of her business and her life. She touches upon her business and how she found her love for weddings and especially travel, her newfound status as a destination planner, and so much more!

Eva Clark Events plans and designs, specializing in luxury destination weddings. Named one of Atlanta’s women of power and influence in 2016 and one of the best planners in America in 2019, Eva is based out of Atlanta. Her weddings have been published in many different wedding publications! She, in fact, even had a wedding that served as the backdrop of a music video of a chart-topping single! (Tune in to find out which one!)

Andy and Eva talk about what sets Eva’s business apart and how Eva does not want what she does to ever be cookie cutter and cliché but rather to be appropriate for the collective personality of each couple. Eva also readily admits to not being a good fit for every couple and describes what an ideal match between a couple and herself looks like. She even digs pretty deep and opens herself up to discuss a devastating personal tragedy from her past that helped her form a new perspective and helped her realize just how important that family is at the end of the day.

Andy is so appreciative of Eva coming onto the show and spending some time with him to chat, and he especially appreciates her willingness to be vulnerable and share so much about herself! Until the next episode of The Wedding Biz, please be sure to share this interview with at least three good friends who might also enjoy it, and leave a review of the podcast wherever you listen!

Have you heard about the brand new show on The Wedding Biz Network, Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey? 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

[0:39] – Andy announces this episode’s guest as Eva Clark of Eva Clark Events.

[2:22] – Eva discusses her upbringing and where she discovered her love for travel.

[4:42] – Eva reflects on her high school and college years.

[5:45] – We discover how Eva got to a point at which she had her own business.

[8:46] – Eva reveals how she personalizes each and every event for each couple.

[11:08] – Eva says that she is an empathic learner when it comes to her clients.

[12:22] – Eva provides examples of how she anticipates her clients’ needs.

[14:06] – We learn about Eva having had a wedding featured in a major music video.

[17:15] – Eva details what type of client wouldn’t be a good fit for her or her for them.

[19:30] – Andy and Eva agree that declining clients that you don’t vibe with leaves those spaces open for better matches.

[22:44] – Andy and Eva discuss Eva’s desire to broaden her horizons and not work the same venue too many times.

[25:30] – Eva reveals what happens when she encounters a language barrier in another country.

[28:33] – Eva stresses how important it is to have someone with you who can speak the language of the region you’re in.

[29:10] – We hear about an event disaster that took place during the COVID-19 pandemic and how Eva overcame it.

[31:40] – Eva gives us another example of an event that didn’t go as planned.

[34:50] – Eva reveals what happened after finding a large snake at an event.

[37:32] – Eva shares a personal tragedy from her past and explains how it affected her life and her business.

[42:30] – Eva touches upon her additional role as a design consultant.

[43:50] – Andy shares Eva’s contact information with us.

 

RESOURCES

Zac Brown Band – “Sweet Annie”


Find Eva:

Eva Clark Events – Website
Ask Eva – Blog
Eva Clark Events – Instagram Page
Eva Clark Events – Twitter Page
Email: hello@evaclarkevents.com

On Clubhouse, follow Andy @andykushner and join his club “The Wedding Biz” to get additional content and to get direct access to Andy.

 

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.