This is a revisit of Andy’s popular interview of David Tutera from May of 2018 with a new introduction.
Event Planners and Designers
“Our industry will come back in a really good way.” Andy welcomes Tara Guerard back to the show. Listen as they discuss the events she’s designed since the pandemic and how they kept everyone safe. Tara also speaks about what she had done to keep busy and how guests will have to show proof of vaccination before they are allowed at her 2021 events, plus much more on this episode of The Wedding Biz.
Tara is the owner of the event planning company called Tara Guerard Soiree, a full-service event planning and design company headquartered in Charleston, SC, with a second office in New York City. Tara has been in several prestigious wedding publications and published two best-selling books, Southern Weddings and Weddings. She has partnered with the luxury eco-friendly Letterpress Studio as well.
Listen as Tara speaks about how her business is structured for sustainability with very little overhead and property investing instead of leasing. Tara talks about how she has her pricing set up and says that she has raised her prices for 2021 because her time is still important and her designs are worth it.
Tara believes that the industry will come back in full force and stresses that it’s important to stay creative and keep those creative juices flowing. She says that staying motivated and inspired is critical to creatives, and using those talents for good by helping others is a great place to start.
Today, Andy’s guest is Nikki Khan, the Founder of Exquisite Events, specializing in South Asian weddings out of Los Angeles and working worldwide. Listen as Nikki shares how meditation helps her stay grounded, how the pandemic has changed her perspective on time spent with family and the way they enjoy each other’s company, and to never take things for granted, plus much more on this episode of The Wedding Biz.
Nikki shares how she spends her days now versus how they were spent before the pandemic, the walks she takes, and how she spends time noticing the beauty of nature. Nikki also talks about the fun she had planning micro weddings for her two youngest sons, the joy she felt watching her grandkids on the dance floor, and how she took time to appreciate each moment with family.
Nikki believes that smaller, more intimate weddings will be the focus in 2021, but she hopes that by 2022 the larger events will be back in full force. The weddings may be smaller, but Nikki shared she will not slash her prices. The time and effort she puts into each detail won’t change; smaller is sometimes better.
“Design is about making things either work properly or better and to bring purpose and direction to chaos.” Listen as Andy and his guest Matthew Myhrum discuss his company, what they do, and how he got interested in creative visualization. Matthew also speaks about his background in set and video design for theater and working with Preston Bailey, plus much more on this episode of The Wedding Biz.
Matthew is the Founder of Matthew Myhrum Event Visualization, where they provide concept renderings, design drawings, and production design services for event professionals. Matthew shares that they essentially communicate design not only for his clients who are event planners and designers but also to be able to sell their concepts to their clients more effectively and help them with their design process in telling a story.
Listen, as Matthew, his process from the first meeting with the designer to the actual event, and the benefit designers get from hiring him to do renderings of the events. Matthew believes that everyone should have the ability to take risks creatively, but it’s important to have a way to test that risk properly.
Matthew shares how the technology behind video games allows him to show the same detail, pick and choose backgrounds, add people, and change the lighting on his presentations to understand better what the event will look like. Technology is changing, and Matthew believes that he has to use all the tools available to stay competitive and keep his business growing.
317 THE NEXT LEVEL: CARRIE GOLDBERG discusses ALEX FITZGIBBONS, Orchestrating The Life And Soul Of A Wedding
Andy welcomes Carrie Goldberg back to The Next Level. Carrie is the Digital Travel & Weddings Editor at Harpers Bazaar, where she oversees all things bridal, weddings, and travel for HarpersBazaar.com. Listen as they discuss how who has the most input in weddings has changed, why Alex doesn’t advertise and how he maintains his client’s privacy by taking people’s phones at high-profile events, plus much more.
Alex is the Managing Director of Fait Accompli out of London, which organizes, plans and designs spectacular events worldwide from A-list to Royal weddings. He is also responsible for the wedding celebration of Ellie Goulding and weddings for the Royal family, including Prince William and Katherine the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry and Megan the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Listen as Carrie speaks about the weddings Alex designs, the glamping wedding he planned on the grounds of a medieval castle, and how his discretion has earned him the high-profile weddings others seek. They discuss the challenge of keeping guests engaged, with or without their phones, and how 2020 has shown where people place their worth in business and life.
“Our interests are totally aligned with our clients, to make sure their wedding is the best it can possibly be.” Listen as Andy and his guest Alex Fitzgibbon discuss how he got involved in the event industry, his journey to Fait Accompli, why he feels his work there is about finding and expressing the life and soul of weddings he orchestrates, plus much more on this episode of The Wedding Biz.
Alex is the Managing Director of Fait Accompli out of London, which organizes plans and designs spectacular events worldwide for A-list clients and Royal weddings. He orchestrated one of Vogue’s top listed weddings of 2019, and was also responsible for the wedding celebration of Ellie Goulding and weddings for the Royal family, including Prince William and Katherine the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry and Megan the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Alex discusses his understanding of what a client wants and how he finds his inspiration when planning the event. Alex shares a story of one of his favorite weddings last year, his design philosophy, and the challenges of orchestrating a very large event. He also speaks about how he keeps high-profile weddings private by taking away the guests’ phones, which also allows them to engage with others more freely.
Listen as Alex talks about balancing the business side of his company and the artistic side, how he puts together a team for each event, and how he has kept his business successful over the years. Alex shares that one of his favorite things about the event industry is the degree to which you get to know your clients and how exciting that is for him.
315 THE NEXT LEVEL: JENNIFER STEIN discusses MAJEDA & SEWAR BISHARAT/MY Event Design: Turning Vision Into Reality
Andy welcomes Jennifer Stein back to The Next Level. Jennifer is the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Destination I Do Magazine, which can be found at newsstands in all fifty states and twelve countries. She also publishes a daily blog, consults, custom publishes, and has a podcast called CONFETTI.
Majeda Bisharat and Sewar of MY Event Design, based in Jordan, cover events across the Middle East and Europe. MY Event Design is a full-fledged luxury event design, planning, and management company that has designed and planned events for influential figures in various industries and members of the Royal family.
Jennifer discusses the natural gifts that she believes people in the event industry are blessed with, how Majeda gets her inspiration from everywhere, and how great it is that Majeda and Sewar have a multigenerational approach to events that have served them well. Jennifer also talks about what Majeda said about Sewar’s engagement party.
Listen as Jennifer shares how vulnerable and upfront Majeda was when she said she is in a state of confusion when it comes to dealing with the pandemic and how she took that confusion and turned it into a new company called MY Tablescape so that everyone can rent the luxurious accessories they need to make any occasion special.
“Majeda’s vision has no boundaries, so why should we as a company?” Listen as Andy and his guests Majeda & Sewar Bisharat with MY Event Design, based in Amman Jordan and working all over the world, discuss Majeda’s passion for fashion and the transition to event design and how Sewar wanted to get experience in the corporate world before she joined her mother’s company plus much more on this episode of The Wedding Biz.
MY Event Design is a full-fledged luxury event design, planning, and management company founded by Majeda Bisharat and her two daughters Maysam and Sewar, covering events across the Middle East and Europe. In addition to weddings, engagements, corporate events, and other special events, MY event design has designed and planned events for influential figures in various industries and members of the Royal family.
Listen as Majeda and Sewar discuss why they feel they are a strong team, their roles in the company, and their process from start to finish with their clients. Majeda shares a story about an event she is very proud of and some challenges she has faced at her events.
They also chat about interior design, their entertainment booking agency, and the need for multiple income streams during the pandemic. Majeda and Sewar share how the pandemic has affected them personally and professionally and what they believe the event industry will look like in the coming months. Listen as these amazing women share their insights from Jordan.
Andy’s guest co-host today is Jennifer Stein, the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Destination I Do Magazine, which can be found in newsstands in all 50 states and 12 countries. She also has a wonderful daily online blog, consults, and custom publishes. Listen as they discuss Morgan’s view on elopement weddings, smaller events, and whether that trend will continue going forward, plus much more on this episode of The Next Level.
Morgan first began by founding Moana Events and Belle Destination Events and then created another element by adding Modern Elopement, for which she is the CEO and Creative Director. Morgan has been called the elopement expert by Destination I Do Magazine and is a planner who started in the elopement brand back in 2015 when she saw a trend for smaller weddings happening, and with COVID, the concept has exploded.
Listen as Jennifer discusses working with Morgan and the spread they did for Destination I Do Magazine. Jennifer talks about Morgan shifting her business to serve those needing smaller weddings and how she wanted to create something where the expectation met the revenue.
Jennifer believes that smaller weddings are a trend that will continue even post-COVID. With people rethinking where they spend their money, the large, lavish wedding sometimes isn’t as important as having a little extra for something else like buying a house.
“It isn’t about creating a less than wedding; it’s just about a different format.” Listen as Andy and his guest Morgan Childs discuss her growing up in Kauai, how she got into the event industry, and how to make it through the pandemic and beyond, plus much more on this episode of The Wedding Biz.
Morgan first began by founding Moana Events and Bella Destination Events and then created another element by adding Modern Elopement, for which she is the CEO and Creative Director. Morgan has been called the elopement expert by Destination I Do Magazine and is a planner who started in the elopement brand back in 2015 when she saw a trend for smaller weddings happening, and with COVID, the concept has exploded.
Morgan shares when she started seeing the trend for smaller weddings even before the pandemic, why her clients find them more attractive, and the difference between all the different terms of smaller weddings like micro and tiny weddings. She also speaks about where the focus is on the elopement weddings her company does and what they entail.
Listen as Morgan addresses some planners’ concerns with taking time off their calendars for smaller weddings when they can fill those dates with higher-end, more expensive weddings. Post-COVID Morgan believes these smaller, more personal weddings will continue because mindsets around money have changed, and saving money or buying a house is sometimes more appealing than spending huge amounts of money on an extravagant wedding.