Andy recently attended the Bridelux Conference in New York City. He was asked to select a panel of professionals to discuss the importance of personal connection in the wedding and events industry. His panel consisted of Sylvia Weinstock, Ceci Johnson, and Christian Oth; three amazing innovators in their fields of culinary arts, invitation design, and photography. Listen in as they chat about client relationships, establishing trust, and how to break the ice in the first interview.


Sylvia, at 90 years young, is one of the great industry entrepreneurs and is best known for creating edible art. Ceci is the Founder and Creative Director of Ceci New York and has been called an invitation design icon. Christian is the Founder and Creative Director of Christian Oth Studio. He is a world-renowned editorial photographer and has pioneered a distinctly evocative and authentically emotional editorial style. All three of these amazing professionals have been interviewed on The Wedding Biz. Andy highly respects each of them and was excited to include them on his panel.


Listen closely as they discuss “audacious transparency,” knowing when a prospective client isn’t the right fit for your business, and how hard an event planner’s job is. They talk about being open and honest with new clients, conflicts at weddings that don’t necessarily involve the bride and groom, and having a quality wedding on a budget.


With Andy Kushner at the helm, you have a group of individuals who have done it all and made it look easy. When you are lucky enough to be in a room with this kind of talent, you need to pay attention because what they have to say will resonate with anyone in any industry. You don’t want to miss this once in a lifetime episode! 




Show Highlights:


[03:21] Listen as Andy describes The Wedding Biz podcast to the audience. 


[05:12] Andy introduces the panel members, Sylvia Weinstock, Ceci Johnson, and Christian Oth.


[08:10] He explains how he came up with the topic for their discussion.


[09:14] Andy describes what Christina Matteucci meant when she coined the phrase “audacious transparency.”


[10:35] Sylvia gives her thoughts on being open and honest with clients.


[12:27] Ceci agrees and discusses how you open up with someone when you don’t know them.


[14:36] Christian says that the client is also the subject, so it’s essential that he has a personal connection with them.


[16:38] They each speak about what they do to break the ice on the first interview.


[21:44] If you share with the client, treat them like a friend and make them comfortable, they respond better.


[24:26] Have you ever met with a prospective client that you knew wasn’t the right fit for you? No matter what you do they are not happy?


[27:25] Sylvia states that when you are in the service industry, you have to know that you can’t make everyone happy.


[29:00] They all chat about how planners have to be a particular type of person because it’s a tough job.


[32:01] Happy 90th birthday Sylvia!!


[33:36] Christian describes a time when there was a conflict with family members of the bride and groom and how it affected the wedding.


[34:48] Sylvia asks Christian about someone having limited funds and if they can still  have a great photographer.


[35:34] Ceci chats about her ready-to-order line that has a lower price point so that you can still get excellent quality.


[36:20] Sylvia, what are you planning to do now that you’ve retired?


[38:31] Thank you, everyone, for coming, and thank you, Sylvia, Christian, and Ceci.






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Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Bridelux


Panel Members:


Sylvia Weinstock


Sylvia Weinstock on The Wedding Biz


Ceci Johnson


Ceci Johnson on The Wedding Biz


Christian Oth


Christian Oth on The Wedding Biz






Christina Matteucci on The Wedding Biz

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