The Podcast for Wedding and Events Industry Professionals
Andy’s Latest Episodes:
231 THE NEXT LEVEL: ROBERT SHERMAN discusses EVOKE DESIGN and CREATIVE/Jeannette Tavares & Jodi Moraru: Thriving In A Partnership
When does it make sense to change the dynamics of a company? Listen, as Andy and Robert Sherman discuss how changing the leadership of Evoke Design led Jeannette Tavares and Jodi Moraru to greater personal and business success. Robert is the President of Washington Talent and Andy’s business partner with Kushner Entertainment. Andy interviewed him on The Wedding Biz in November of last year as they announced their partnership.
Evoke Design is based in Washington, D.C, and serving clients worldwide. Jeannette is the Chief Creative Director, and Jodi is a producer; however, it wasn’t always like that. Jodi founded the company, hired Jeannette, who eventually became a producer, and later Jeannette bought out the company. Although their roles have reversed, they are now individually more successful as well as the company as a whole.
Listen as Robert and Andy discuss the similarities between their partnership with Kushner Entertainment and the connection Jeannette and Jodi have with Evoke Design. Jodi and Andy both tired of working the operations sides of their businesses and needed to get their creative juices flowing again, and Jeannette and Robert both excel at the business side. They also speak about the way the Evoke Design team treats their creative partners, the fact that they have both worked with them, and can say from experience they know how to nurture people.
A partnership can be great when it is done the right way, with the right people. Listen in to hear how Jeannette and Jodi did it right and are now thriving in a way that makes them both happy and allows them to both live their best lives.
Have you ever looked at an event from a thirty thousand foot view, so you could see the big picture? Listen as Andy and his guests Jodi Moraru and Jeannette Tavares discuss this and how event planning has evolved in the last thirty years. Both of these amazing women are individuals who work with Evoke Design & Creative, an Event Planning and Design company that was initially founded by Jodi but was bought by Jeannette years later. Listen as they discuss what that was all about in this episode of The Wedding Biz.
Jeannette is the President, and Jodi is the Founder and Senior Event Planner based out of Washington, D.C. Although their roles have reversed, they are now individually more successful as well as the company as a whole. Jodi and Jeannette share where they each got their passion for planning events as children, how they met, and why Jodi chose to teach Jeannette the business. Starting as Jodi’s assistant, Jeannette worked her way up to an event planner in a short time, which proved to Jodi that she had the right person for the next step in her exit plan.
Listen as they speak about the process of changing ownership, the anxiety they had about the changes but the strong unity that came out of it. Jodi didn’t sell and leave the company. She stayed to do what she loves which is producing events, while Jeannette has excelled at the operations side of the business while planning as well.
These two women show us what happens when you trust your instincts and know when to make changes. They took a successful business and made it even more prominent by making changes that needed to be made but still keeping the integrity it has always had.
229 THE NEXT LEVEL: RACHEL BIRTHISTLE discusses JOSE VILLA/Part 1 – Redefining Success With Fine Art Photography
Do you prefer to take photographs digitally or with film? Listen as Andy and Rachel discuss Jose Villa and why he uses film almost exclusively. Rachel is the Owner and CEO of The Lake Como Wedding Planner based in Como, Italy. She works with clients directly but also has the pleasure of morphing into the local team for many foreign agencies such as planners in the states like Lisa Vorce on Chrissy Tegan and John Legend’s wedding, Colin Cowie, and many more.
Jose Villa is a celebrity photographer known for crafting vibrant, fine art images that are as unique as the people in the photographs. Jose has been published in many magazines around the world and was listed in the Top 10 Wedding Photographers in the World by the American Photo Magazine. This interview from two years ago is being re-released to get you ready for Part 2 coming out in a few weeks.
Rachel has worked with Jose many times and shares how focused he is on-site, his underlying intuition and empathy when shooting weddings. They chat about how important it is to connect with the client, whether you are the photographer, the planner, the entertainment, or any other creative partner in the industry. The more you feel connected and know the client, the more you want to do a better job because you have a personal bond with them.
Listen, as Andy and Rachel discuss how guests taking pictures with their phones can get in the way during the ceremony and why they should just sit back and let the professional photographers do their jobs. Plug into this episode and keep a lookout for Part 2 in the next few weeks.
REVISIT: Jose Villa is a fine art wedding photographer known for crafting vibrant, fine art images that are as unique as the people in the photographs. Jose has been published in many magazines around the world, including Grace Ormonde Wedding Style, Elegant Bride, Instyle Weddings, Inside Weddings, Brides Magazine, Modern Bride, Weddings, Brides, Pacific Weddings, Southern Weddings and many more.
227 THE NEXT LEVEL: BRUCE RUSSELL discusses TARA FAY – Ireland First Wedding and Event Planner/Designer
Listen to Andy and Bruce Russell as they discuss Tara Fay and her interview with Andy last Monday. Bruce is the owner and managing director of By Bruce Russell, based in London. He plans, designs, and coordinates wedding parties and other events around the globe. Bruce is also the co-star of RTE Ireland’s production of My Big Day: Home or Away along with Tara Fay.
Tara is the owner of Tara Fay Events, based in Dublin, Ireland. She has produced some of the most high profile events and weddings in Ireland and throughout Europe, the United States and the Caribbean. Tara has won several event industry awards, and is the co-star of RTE Ireland’s TV production of My Big Day: Home or Away with Bruce.
Listen as Andy and Bruce speak about the TV show My Big Day: Home or Away. Also, hear about Tara’s ability to be observant and know what her guests want and need and how planners are not paid for what goes right; they are paid for how they handle what goes wrong. They talk about how Tara likes to tie referral clients back to an event and her ability to keep clients for repeat events, which she calls “legacy clients.”
Do you give young planners the chance to learn from you? Having a mentor helped Tara become the planner/designer that she is today, and Bruce agrees that providing interns an opportunity to learn the business can only benefit the next generation. This is a fascinating conversation about Ireland’s premier event planner, and you won’t want to miss a moment of this episode.
“You have to be open to listening because you are never going to pick something up; otherwise.” Tara Fay has become an icon in the wedding and event industry by listening. When she got the opportunity to intern with a seasoned event planner, she soaked up everything about the business and now teaches interns herself.
Tara is the owner of Tara Fay Events, based in Dublin, Ireland. She has produced some of the most high profile events and weddings in Ireland and throughout Europe, the United States and the Caribbean. Tara has won several event industry awards, was previously voted Ireland’s Premier Wedding Planner by Social and Personal Magazine, and is a sought after speaker at wedding events and lectures students on wedding and event planning. Tara is the co-star of RTE Ireland’s TV production of My Big Day: Home or Away along with Bruce Russell.
Listen in as Tara speaks about being lucky and how she believes everything is chance. Tara shares a story about the first event she planned when she started her business, why she went back to Ireland instead of staying in Los Angeles, and her love of challenges. Tara shares why she believes the decor and design are so important, her goal of designing to a guest’s five senses and her process from start to finish with new clients.
“You are earning your money when something goes wrong, not when everything goes right.” Tara has confidence that as long as she gets a little notice, she can pretty much fix anything. Listen in as she describes starting a business while raising her three children, planning funerals, and how she views success. Trust me when I say you don’t want to miss this episode.
225 THE NEXT LEVEL: TARA FAY discusses BRUCE RUSSELL – The Winding Road to Becoming an Elite Planner/Designer
Tara Fay and Andy discuss Bruce Russell in this episode of The Next Level. Tara is a brilliant planner and designer based in Dublin, Ireland, who is also the co-star of RTE Ireland’s production of My Big Day: Home or Away along with Bruce Russell. Tara will also be on The Wedding Biz next week, so tune in then to hear more about her and her events.
Bruce is the owner and managing director of By Bruce Russell, based in London. He is a planner, designer, and coordinates wedding parties and other events around the globe. He was named Best Wedding Planner by Belle International Bridal Awards and has been featured in International Publications such as Brides, Mayfair Magazine, and Hello Fashion, to name a few.
Listen in as Tara shares how she handles clients that aren’t a good fit and why she feels it is her job to help couples make more informed decisions around their weddings. Tara also speaks about teaching hoteliers how to show venues for wedding couples. Tara and Andy discuss timelines for events, they talk about digital agencies, and how she is so fascinated by what they do.
Tara’s perspective on Bruce is top-notch. You can tell that they are great friends. Listening to her allows you more insight into the event planning and design industry, and her input on the fascinating interview with Bruce shows the intricacies they face with each event.
“An event is theatrical, and it’s more than just a wedding or an event; it brings people together.” This is what fuels the passion that Bruce Russell has for planning weddings and events. His goal with each event is to produce the most memorable experience possible. Listen as he shares how he started in the industry and his journey to success.
Bruce is the owner and managing director of By Bruce Russell, based in London. He is a planner, designer and coordinates wedding parties and other events around the globe. He was awarded Best Wedding Planner by Belle International Bridal Awards and has been featured in International Publications such as Brides, Mayfair Magazine, and Hello Fashion, to name a few. He is the co-star of RTE Ireland’s production of My Big Day: Home or Away, with Tara Fay, and has appeared on many other TV shows.
Bruce shares his journey of growing up in a small fishing village in Nova Scotia to
New York after 9/11 to end up in London. He speaks about leaving his corporate job, starting his event business, and the creative way he got his first clients plus the recognition that he needed. Bruce also talks about his process with prospective new clients and making sure that they understand how he works.
Listen in as they discuss Bruce and Tara Fay’s TV show My Big Day: Home or Away, what it’s like to have a camera follow you around, and how the two co-stars get along on and off the show. They also talk about Bruce and Tara’s YouTube channel, and how they are helping people with questions they don’t know to ask. Bruce is one of those guys who doesn’t take anything for granted and is a joy to listen to so you don’t want to miss this episode.
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!
450+ episodes and counting!
Reviews for The Wedding Biz Podcast
I’m absolutely addicted to this podcast! I find it fascinating to learn about the backstory of each industry influencer as an entrepreneur in the event space myself.
*A Sincere Thank You*
I am sincerely thankful for this podcast. Listening to the interviews gave me a huge portion of courage to launch my own bridal design business this year.
*A Must-Listen for Wedding Professionals*
This podcast is a must-listen for wedding professionals. It is engaging and informative, giving you insight into the behind the scenes of the wedding industry in real time
*Great Inside Perspective*
Andy’s interviews offer listeners an inside perspective into industry veterans’ journeys and revealing insights and advice for wedding pros to leverage in their own businesses.
K Bella Events
It’s amazing to have the opportunity to listen to some of the industry’s finest talk about their work, life, and craft… this podcast is an incredible resource!
I have been listening to the Wedding Biz podcast for over a year now and absolutely love it! I find every interview to be very inspiring with a ton of interesting information for anyone working in wedding industry. There is so much to learn from each guest and I find that the Wedding Biz host Andy Kushner does an amazing job with interviews. If you want to learn from the best in the industry and take your business and creativity to the next level – make sure to check out this podcast.
An Amazing Resource
I am so glad to have come across The Wedding Biz podcasts. The interviews are incredible. It is so hepful and encouraging to hear the stories of the wedding industries’ best. I have picked up so many pearls of wisdom. I would highly recommend this to anyone in the wedding industry. Thank you so much Andy for such a fabulous resource.
Fen Bolodeoku, MonAnnie Cakes
Honest and Fresh Storytelling
Andy and his guests engage the listener into their discussions – and we love this! A deep dive into the real life of wedding pros, with invaluable tips for us all!
n Good Company PR
Podcast of the Year!
I listen to tons of podcasts in lots of genres, and although there are many ‘interview-style’ podcasts out there, few are jam-packed with as many takeaways as The Wedding Biz. I only discovered it towards the end of 2019 and I’ve been quickly working my way through the back catalogue. Andy has such a great interview style and provides so much value to everyone working in the wedding industry. As a photographer/film-maker, I’ve taken away so much. Definitely my podcast of the year.
Yes, the wedding biz is definitely different from all other business. Thank you for sharing all these experiences!
Great Interviewer and Interviewees!
The commentary between Andy and his guests is always flawless and so smooth – you can tell he works in audio 😉 I always appreciate his conversational lead to keep his guest’s words flowing and keep his listeners on our feet for more! Likewise, unlike some other podcast hosts that try to take the limelight at any moment, Andy keeps his ego in check at all times and gives his guests the proper treatment and time to share their thoughts. I look forward to his podcasts every week, and makes driving/treadmilling so much more enjoyable and productive haha
One of the Best Wedding Podcasts
Thank you for your incredible interviews, Andy!
Just started listening to this podcast a few days ago, and as someone just starting out in the wedding planning industry, this is exactly what I needed! Andy is so down-to-earth, really knows how to converse with his guests, he’s super personable. Clearly, he has put a lot of time and effort into his work, and has spoken to so many icons in the business! Amazing work Andy, thank you!! ✨