The Podcast for Wedding and Events Industry Professionals
Andy’s Latest Episodes:
The year is 1980. The place is New York City. And the person is Preston Bailey, who at the time was just looking for a way to pay the bills and not get evicted from his apartment. What started as a small time floral business blossomed into what we know as Preston Bailey’s immaculate and stunning work.
For Preston, it’s been a long journey to get to the top tier of wedding and event designing. He’s had to overcome challenges and obstacles, both personally and professionally, including drug addiction and taking his business and clients more seriously. But at 68 years young, Preston’s career is far from the home stretch, as he’s still as passionate about pushing boundaries and discovering new designs as he’s ever been.
In this illuminating interview, Andy and Preston explore Preston’s meandering path to present. The two discuss his most life-changing moment back in 1990, how Preston truly wows guests with his decor and designs, and how he orchestrates his own work to be in perfect synchronicity with all the other moving parts of an event. Check out the full interview right here.
Rodney Bailey bought his first camera at 12 years old, saving up all his money from a summer of mowing lawns to pay for it. He got his first gig photographing a friend’s sister’s wedding at age 16, just a few weeks after getting his driver’s license. Rodney’s career started when he was young, blossoming out of a passion for the art of photography, and that passion is still burning bright today.
Rodney Bailey’s photography work, both in the wedding industry and in corporate and political venues, sets itself apart from others in the business because of his unique process he’s put in place for clients. He’s all about giving a full service experience that produces genuine moments in time beautifully.
Andy and Rodney dive into how he anticipates the most important moments to capture at a wedding as well as how the 21st century technology we all have plays a role in the photography business. You’ll hear about Rodney’s most hilarious wedding stories, his process for clients, and what’s on the horizon for his business. Listen to the full interview now.
Southern charm and Tara Guérard are synonymous with each other. Add weddings to the mix, and you’ve got one of the most highly respected wedding designers in the business. Tara’s business, Tara Guérard Soirée, began 20 years ago when she discovered her love for design, creativity, and of course, planning parties! Her design aesthetic and passion for her work has led her to being a top tier designer with offices in Charleston, South Carolina and New York City.
Tara is also the owner of The Lettered Olive, a company that focuses on designing immaculate one-of-a-kind wedding invitations, save the dates, and more, has also published two books with a third on the way, and is a mother of 3 young children. She wears a lot of hats, and to no surprise, wears them all very well!
Andy and Tara dive into how she got started in her career and how much has changed in the industry since she started her business. The two also chat about how she brings clients her southern flair, what it’s like raising three children under ten while also running a business, and Tara’s popular YouTube channel Tara Guérard’s Life’s a Party. The full interview is available now, only on The Wedding Biz!
Valerie Gernhauser is no stranger to unfortunate circumstances. The timing of her professional career landed amidst Hurricane Katrina, the financial banking crisis of 2009, and the economic downturn of the entire country. But instead of feeling self-pity for herself, she decided to do something about it and took her future into her own hands.
Valerie, a law school graduate, turned to the unlikely path of wedding planning after learning the ropes while planning her own wedding celebration. She struggled for a few years with finding the right price points to charge her clients, and began to feel the burnout factor that many in the wedding industry can feel. That’s when she changed up her game plane, created a pricing strategy (which she also offers as part of an overall pricing package for planners and designers), and became a force to be reckoned with within the international wedding planning and design community.
Valerie’s interview with Andy serves as an empowering call for anyone in the wedding industry who feels undervalued and underpaid for their creativity and hard work. She tells us her amazing story of how she created her pricing structure, how she inspires others to adopt her business plan and improve their self-worth, and why witnessing father-daughter dances still gets her choked up. Her full interview is available to listen to now.
Shawna Gohel is a pretty big deal in the Indian wedding community. Her site, Maharani Weddings, boasts 800,000 visitors every month. Shawna and her team has published over 10,000 articles on Indian weddings, and an astounding 40% of readers return to the website several times a day for inspiration. Her readers have truly become addicted to the content she shares.
It all started when she herself got engaged. This was in 2008, before the time of Pinterest and Instagram. She rounded up as many bridal magazines as she could get her hands on, and realized that there was a serious lack of information about Indian weddings. Shawna started her own blog as a means to organize her own wedding information, and the rest as they say, is history.
Andy and Shawna chat in depth about her favorite parts of the job as founder of the website, and what’s next for Maharani Weddings. She also discusses what it means to be a mother and a driven entrepreneur, the challenges and successes of working with her husband as a business partner, and how she finds the right balance in life to satisfy all of her passions. Looking forward, Shawna and her team at Maharani Weddings are still growing and evolving the site, and there’s no stopping this force to be reckoned with. You can listen to Shawna’s full interview on The Wedding Biz Show now.
To say Rita Bloom is the pioneer of the wedding planning business would be an understatement. Rita’s story of discovering an entire industry need and growing her business is one of amazement and empowerment. From the 1960s when there was no such thing as wedding florists, designers, or planners, is where Rita grew from. As she puts it, the customer invented her business, as more and more people realized they wanted more options and creativity for parties and weddings.
Rita started her career almost by accident in the late 1960s, when she helped create some out-of-the-box decor for a neighbor’s sweet sixteen party. Her originality and tenacity as a decorator and event planner led her to picking up more clientele and work. If Rita ever came across an idea so out of the ordinary that no florist would help her, she would go out and pick those flowers in a field herself and arrange them to create her client’s vision. Her self-starter attitude led to a hugely successful career that is both fascinating and inspiring to women everywhere.
Andy and Rita dive into what life was like for women looking to get into business in the 1960s, how age plays a part in business and life, and some of Rita’s favorite moments of her long and triumphant career as a planner and decorator. You can check out the full interview now.
Would you ever expect an industry lauded calligrapher to have gotten an F in handwriting? For Ellen Weldon, that black mark ignited a lifelong passion for handwritten designs. Ellen’s portfolio is as impressive as her calligraphy skills, having worked for companies like Cartier, Saks, Estee Lauder, Clinique, Lancome, and many others. Her meticulous work is also sought after for weddings, corporate get-togethers, and non-profit events.
As Ellen tells Andy, her process is centered around interpreting what her client wants and working tirelessly to make their vision a reality. Ellen’s company Ellen Weldon Design is always pushing creative limits, whether that be in the styles they create, the materials they use, or the latest technologies they utilize. And even when the industry changes and throws something new at her, Ellen is always ready to embrace the latest trend and take it to unexpected places.
Andy and Ellen discuss the difficulties of mixing art and business, the latest trends and how they fit in with her designs, and compare the processes of creating calligraphy and music. Check out the entire interview now.
“You’re only as good as your last party.” This old adage is something that renowned event producer and designer David Stark holds in high regard. David has produced events for noteworthy celebrities like Glenn Close and Brad Pitt, organizations like Saturday Night live, the Whitney Museum, and the Metropolitan Opera, has 5 books published, and the list goes on in similar fashion.
David’s career in design started in college when he pursued studies in painting. After finishing graduate school in New York with an MFA in painting, he realized he in fact did not want to become a painter. While waiting tables in New York in his twenties, he and his boyfriend began diving into the floral scene, slowly growing from a small job operation to eventually a larger than life business 12 years later. Though David didn’t end up becoming a professional painter, he attributes his success in large part to what he learned in art school; not to paint, but to solve problems creatively, how to put together teams, and invent things. That process is what carries through to today for David, noting that putting together a team is the most creative act you can pull off.
Andy and David also chat about his favorite events he has ever produced, and he explains the mindset he uses when approaching a new event. For David, it’s all about creating relationships with people, pushing boundaries in the designs he creates, and always staying a little nervous, because that means you’re trying something completely original. Listen to the full interview to hear what inspires David, how he pulled off creating event decor out of toilet paper, and how he balances the creative and business aspects of his company.
Christie Narvaez is an entertainer who’s worn many hats—actress, producer, comedian, and more. Today, Andy talks with her about her latest roles: Wife and mother.
In a first for The Wedding Biz, we get the bride’s side of the story! Andy conversation with Christie includes straight talk about what it’s like to be the bride at a luxurious wedding.
Yes, getting married at The Pierre New York is an absolute dream. But it still shares aspects that all brides will be very familiar with—the pressure to be perfect, the anxiety that weddings can bring out with family and between the bride and groom, struggles with weight and appearance, and striving to remain in the moment and present through one of the most important events of your life. Christie also shares funny stories, including her experience of being on Say Yes To The Dress.
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!! ✨