Episode 298 MARIA BOUSTANY discusses YARA ESTEPHAN Planning and Designing in 3D Out Of Beirut

Andy’s guest co-host today is Maria Boustany, from Chateau Rweiss in Lebanon. Listen as they discuss the beauty of the Chateau, the weddings and events she has done with Yara Estephan, an extremely gifted planner and designer out of Beirut, and much more on this episode of The Next Level.

Maria and Andy discuss the 3D renderings that Yara uses when designing weddings and how the finished product looks like she envisions. Maria describes the fun wedding Yara planned for the owners of a major ice cream brand at the Chateau and how the design reflected the couple to perfection.

Listen as Maria speaks about how, because of the pandemic, the Chateau has had only about 10% of the weddings they usually have in 2020 and how the weddings they had were significantly smaller than what they usually are. Maria shares that although the weddings were smaller, Yara’s were exquisite because she could focus better on the details.

Yara and Maria have used the pause to focus on advancing their learning, and bringing Lebanon and the Chateau to the forefront as the place to have your destination wedding. Are you planning a destination wedding? The Chateau might be the hidden gem you’ve been looking for.

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

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Show Highlights:

  • [01:06] Welcome to the show, Maria!
  • [01:36] Maria describes the Chateau and where it is located.
  • [02:44] Maria speaks about when she met Yara. 
  • [04:07] Listen as Maria discusses the 3D renderings that Yara uses when designing weddings.
  • [06:21] Maria describes the ice cream wedding Yara designed at the Chateau.   
  • [07:46] There are eighteen different religions in Lebanon, and Yara and Maria have to be familiar with all the traditions for their events.
  • [11:08] Maria shares that the Chateau has had 10% of their yearly weddings in 2020.
  • [12:18] Designing smaller weddings and the ability to concentrate on the details is where Yara excels.
  • [14:19] Andy and Maria speak about Yara giving employees days off after events, which is rare in the industry.
  • [15:54] Listen as Maria shares how she is advancing her learning during the pandemic and increasing Lebanon’s visibility with destination weddings.   
  • [16:56] Thank you so much for being on the show!                                      

 

 

This Week’s Guest Co-Host, Maria Boustany, Chateau Rweiss in Lebanon.

Chateau Rweiss

@chateaurweiss

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

 

Find Yara

Yara Estephan

@yaraestephan

Instagram 

@yaraestephanweddings

 

Follow The Wedding Biz on Social: 

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Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Kushner Entertainment 

www.KushnerEntertainment.com

 

Episode 296 CEO of VOW To End Child Marriage

Every year, millions of couples celebrate their love by getting married and millions of their family and friends celebrate with them. In the U.S. alone, Americans spend $100 billion on weddings annually. Think invitations, wedding dresses, rings, venues, flowers, gift registries, honeymoons and more all on saying “I do.” But at a time when a child is married somewhere in the world every three seconds, who’s invested in making sure that girls can say, “I don’t” or “not yet”? Let’s work together to create a world in which every girl can decide if, when and whom to marry.

Clay Dunn is the Chief Executive Officer of VOW To End Child Marriage, a nonprofit that mobilizes the multi-billion dollar wedding industry in support of ending child marriage and empowering girls around the world to choose their own futures. Prior to VOW, Clay held roles with No Kid Hungry, National Geographic and the City of New York. Amongst other topics, Clay tells Andy about VOW Pro – a network of passionate wedding professionals helping to give girls a voice and a choice.

vowpro.org

Episode 293 THE NEXT LEVEL: SOFIA CROKOS discusses LEWIS MILLER The “Banksy of Floral Design”

Andy’s guest co-host today is Sofia Crokos. Sofia is a planner/designer based out of Hamptons, New York City. She has also partnered with The Heritage Collection behind four exclusive private properties in Europe. Listen as they discuss the flower flashes Lewis he does to give back and creatively challenge himself. He also discusses his process with his clients, and much more on this episode of The Next Level.

Lewis Miller is a floral designer and founder of Lewis Miller Design out of New York City. His client list includes leading industry professionals in fashion, design, photography, art direction, and architecture such as Bulgari, Carolina Herrera, Mayor Blumberg, Chanel, Tiffany, Versace, Bergdorf Goodman, the Whitney Museum, and more.

Listen, as Sofia speaks about following Lewis on Instagram to see where his flower flashes pop up, how his client process is similar to hers and how important it is to talk to clients to discover how they want their wedding designed. Sofia also shares a story about purchasing one of Lewis’s flower boxes and how she paid it forward by sharing the beauty with a friend.

They discuss slowing down, getting off the hamster wheel, and reconnecting with friends, family, and nature during the pandemic. Andy and Sofia have a wonderful conversation, so tune in and enjoy!

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:

  • [01:00] Welcome back to the show, Sofia!
  • [02:34] Sofia shares that she has missed the flower flashes live, but she follows him on Instagram.
  • [04:37] Sofia speaks about Lewis’s process with his clients and how her process is similar.
  • [06:52] Sofia discusses how they discover the design and backdrop of a client’s wedding over many conversations.
  • [10:20] Sofia tells a story about ordering one of Lewis’s flower boxes he made during the pandemic.
  • [12:30] She shares that she wanted to spread the beauty, so she took some of the flowers and gave them to a friend.
  • [14:04] Andy speaks about some new idea he’s come up with during the pandemic because of the downtime.
  • [14:58] Sofia discusses slowing down, taking a step back, and connecting with nature to get off the hamster wheel.
  • [17:28] Thank you for listening to the show!

                                                                   

 

This Week’s Guest Co-Host, Sofia Crokos, Planner/designer based out of New York City

Sofia Crokos

Sofia Crokos Episode 243 on The Wedding Biz

@sofiacrokosevents

Instagram | Facebook

@sofiacrokos

Twitter | LinkedIn

@sofiac

Pinterest

 

Find Lewis 

Lewis Miller Design

The Lewis Miller Design Flower Class

@lewismillerdesign

Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook

@flowerflashnyc

Instagram

 

Follow The Wedding Biz on Social: 

The Wedding Biz

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Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by PartySlate – the first website designed specifically for event professionals and venues!

Episode 291 A Conversation With: CINDY NOVOTNY

“When life gets tough, it takes guts to keep going.” Andy is excited to have Cindy Novotny back on the show. Cindy is the founder of Master Connections Associates, an internationally renowned leader in sales, leadership, and customer service. The Association of Talent Development has recognized her as one of the nine most powerful and innovative speakers. Cindy is also the author of the book Living with No Balance and Loving it

Listen as Cindy speaks about where she was when the pandemic hit, and how she immediately jumped on webinars with her clients at no charge to help them navigate the crisis. Cindy discusses some common issues she has been helping clients with and why she believes that non-stop communication with your clients and team is important.

“You have to be in charge of your own destiny.” Not everyone is in the same boat; some industries are busier than they have ever been. Cindy shares what she tells people in the event industry about looking at an empty calendar and how you have to be flexible with your business model.

“Never ever reduce your prices.” Listen, as Cindy says, that reducing your prices will take you five years to recover. Instead of lowering your rates, she says to take on more clients. Cindy also touches on the vaccine controversy and shares that she has gotten every available vaccine and will get the COVID-19 one when it is available.

Cindy believes that you need to be humble if you have no clients and are in trouble financially, use what you know, and get a job. She believes that you need to do what’s necessary and remember this will pass. What a powerful and inspiring interview! 

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

Become a Patron!
 

Show Highlights:

  • [01:17] Welcome back to the show, Cindy!
  • [01:40] Cindy always says what got you here today won’t take you into the future.
  • [02:40] Listen as Cindy speaks about where she was when the pandemic hit.
  • [04:10] Cindy shares that she immediately jumped on webinars with her clients at no charge to help them.
  • [06:32] Cindy discusses some of the most common things she has been helping clients with.
  • [09:18] Non-stop communication with clients and your team is something Cindy believes in.
  • [11:10] Cindy says you have to be in charge of your own destiny.
  • [12:33] Not everyone is in the same boat. Some businesses are going over the top crazy during the pandemic.
  • [14:31] What do you tell people in the event industry looking at an empty calendar for the rest of the year?
  • [17:28] Cindy talks about being flexible with your business model.
  • [19:02] Listen as Cindy shares what she would say to someone who is struggling financially.
  • [21:15] Cindy speaks about the controversy surrounding vaccines.
  • [23:53] Cindy says to never, ever reduce your prices.
  • [24:52] Lowering your price will take you five years to recover.
  • [27:59] Thank you so much for taking the time to be on the show!

                                                                       

 

Find Cindy

Cindy Novotny

Master Connection

Master Connection Associates

Book: Living with No Balance and Loving It

Cindy Novotny Episode 82 on The Wedding Biz

Cindy Novotny part 2 Episode 126 on The Wedding Biz

@cindy_novotny

Instagram | LinkedIn

@cindynovotny

Twitter

 

Follow The Wedding Biz on Social: 

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Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Kushner Entertainment 

www.KushnerEntertainment.com

 

Mentioned:

Bryan Rafanelli Episode 5 on The Wedding Biz

Bryan Rafanelli Episode 84 on The Wedding Biz

Bryan Rafanelli Episode 247 on The Wedding Biz

Episode 289 ABI MATESUN discusses ZAINAB ALSALIH/Carousel Events: One of Dubai’s Leading Women Entrepreneurs

“It’s not about how a wedding looks; it’s about how it feels.” Andy’s guest co-host today is Abi Matesun, Founder and CEO of Malekfoto Films and Malekfoto Weddings. Abi is a two time Emmy winning cinematographer, filmmaker, photographer, public speaker, and two time Telly Award winner. Listen as they discuss how Zainab honed her skill set as a child, the advantages of traveling to many countries and cultures, and much more on this episode of The Next Level.

Zainab Alsalih 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.

Abi discusses how traveling as a child opened Zainab to many cultures and languages, which gives her an edge in her designs. And she honed her skill by redecorating her bedroom frequently as a child.

Listen, as Abi and Andy share how Zainab sets up her office so that when she meets with clients for the first time, they get a feel for who she is and what to expect from her. Zainab believes that less is more because people don’t miss what they can’t see and luxury is a personal experience.

Abi speaks about what Zainab created for Engage!20 Dubai and shares some details about what made it breathtaking. Zainab is an amazing designer and any conversation about her is riveting, but when you add Abi Matesun to the conversation, you end up with the need to go further and find out more about both incredible creatives. Enjoy!

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 visiting 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

Become a Patron!
 

Show Highlights:

  • [01:07] Welcome back to the show, Abi!
  • [02:17] Abi discusses Zainab being a creative and honing that skill even as a child.
  • [03:35] Abi believes that travel opens your eyes to different cultures and experiences, and all the traveling Zainab did as a child gave her an edge.
  • [05:37] They discuss how Zainab gets to know her clients before they ever talk about their wedding.
  • [07:07] Zainab believes that less is more because people don’t miss what they don’t see.
  • [08:11] Abi explains why luxury is an experience.
  • [09:05] Abi discusses Zainab’s style and how she designs weddings around the couple’s personal details.
  • [11:32] Listen as Abi speaks about the experience that Zainab created for Engage20! Dubai.
  • [14:15] Andy talks about Abi using storyboarding, which for events is unusual.
  • [16:36] Thank you so much for being on the show!

 

Find Zainab:

Zainab Alsalih

Carousel Casa

Engage!20 Dubai

@carousel_wedding_events

Instagram | Facebook | Vimeo

 

This Week’s Guest Co-Host, Abi Matesun, Emmy-Winning Cinematographer, Filmmaker, Photographer & Speaker

Malekfoto Weddings

Malekfoto Films

Abi Matesun Episode 282 on The Wedding Biz

@malekfotoweddings

Instagram | Facebook

 

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