491 episodes

Andy Kushner offers an inside look behind-the-scenes of the wedding and event world for both industry experts and bridal couples by featuring in-depth and transformative conversations with event industry icons. The Wedding Biz is also the only global platform of its kind to serve the business development needs of wedding and events professionals. As the host, Andy interviews the most prolific thought leaders and talent, taking you behind the curtain and revealing their personality, character, passions, and secrets to their success. Andy’s powerful, yet casual and comfortable interview style gives you access to the authentic story each of these incredible industry leaders has to share. The Wedding Biz podcast is your opportunity to really get to know the amazing personalities that endlessly elevate the world of weddings and special events.

The Wedding Biz - Behind the Scenes of the Wedding Business Andy Kushner

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 117 Ratings

Andy Kushner offers an inside look behind-the-scenes of the wedding and event world for both industry experts and bridal couples by featuring in-depth and transformative conversations with event industry icons. The Wedding Biz is also the only global platform of its kind to serve the business development needs of wedding and events professionals. As the host, Andy interviews the most prolific thought leaders and talent, taking you behind the curtain and revealing their personality, character, passions, and secrets to their success. Andy’s powerful, yet casual and comfortable interview style gives you access to the authentic story each of these incredible industry leaders has to share. The Wedding Biz podcast is your opportunity to really get to know the amazing personalities that endlessly elevate the world of weddings and special events.

    493 CHRISTINA MATTEUCCI: Upping Your Speaking Game and Crafting Compelling Narratives

    493 CHRISTINA MATTEUCCI: Upping Your Speaking Game and Crafting Compelling Narratives

    Andy really hopes that you will embark on a journey through the vibrant world of public speaking with returning guest Christina Matteucci, also known as Teucci Mama. In this lively conversation, Christina, the executive director of David Beam Experiences, draws on her two decades of global event execution experience. With a theatrical background from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, Christina explores the power and artistry of public speaking.
    Christina delves into the essence of being a successful speaker, likening it to a competitive sport that demands dedication and consistent effort. From choosing a relevant and impactful topic to delivering a compelling performance, Christina shares her insights on crafting a talk that resonates with the audience. She emphasizes the importance of authenticity and vulnerability, drawing from her own experiences, including a TED talk on the "mystique of freak."
    The conversation spans the preparation process, from writing and rehearsing talks to dealing with unexpected challenges and the nuances and overwhelm of memorization. Christina shares her unique techniques, such as the "Swiss cheese" method for handling audience expressions, providing valuable tips for speakers at every level of expertise.
    As a sought-after keynote talent and business coach, Christina encourages professionals in the weddings and events industry to engage in speaking. She highlights the transformative power of public speakers advocating for themselves, and her journey from humble beginnings in small venues to becoming a recognized speaker serves as inspiration for those seeking to make an impact through public speaking!
    Listen in to this dynamic conversation with Andy and Christina to unlock the secrets of effective public speaking and elevate your game in the world of events and conferences! Andy is hopeful that you enjoy this conversation with Christina, and if so, then he encourages you to not keep it to yourself! Be sure to share the episode with a few good friends who might also enjoy it, and be sure to also leave a top review wherever you listen to the show, as that really helps the show out! Lastly, don’t forget to follow The Wedding Biz on Instagram and subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss a new episode when it drops!
     
    Have you heard about Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey on The Wedding Biz Network? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don't forget about Sean Low's podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network.
     
    SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ
    Become a patron and support Andy and the show! If you are so inspired, contribute!
     
    Time Stamps
    [0:03] - Andy is enjoying a month in Maui, embracing beach life, music, and exciting adventures.
    [4:06] - Andy reveals that today's guest is returning guest Christina Matteucci!
    [5:52] - In the special events industry, advocacy and knowledge-sharing fosters teamwork and improvement.
    ​​[8:40] - Christina argues that public speaking success, akin to a competitive sport, demands consistent skill development.
    [11:32] - In a recent TED talk, Christina emphasizes embracing uniqueness, illustrating how authenticity elevates speaker effectiveness and captivates audiences.
    [14:09] - Christina believes in prioritizing substance over visuals and articulating a compelling idea that sparks change.
    [17:02] - Crafting impactful talks involves challenging audience misconceptions.
    [19:51] - Christina points out that speakers are at their finest when they're well prepared and rehearsed.
    [21:04] - How does Christina prepare to give a public speech?
    [24:30] - Christina memorizes every word of her speeches in advance, which empowers stage freedom.
    [27:41] - Speakers advocating f

    • 45 min
    492 RAY THOMPSON & JACKSON FLAGG: Lighting Design & Telling A Story Throughout An Event

    492 RAY THOMPSON & JACKSON FLAGG: Lighting Design & Telling A Story Throughout An Event

    Andy hopes that you will join him for this captivating conversation with two prominent lighting designers, Ray Thompson and Jackson Flagg of Images by Lighting in Los Angeles. Images by Lighting boasts an extensive portfolio, having worked on high-profile events with major film studios, award shows, and renowned musical artists.
    Ray, who Andy has had on the show before, is the co-owner who founded the company in 1982, and he discusses the philosophy of the "choreography of emotion" in lighting design, emphasizing the transformative power of lighting to guide guests through an event's emotional journey. Jackson Flagg, another talented lighting designer at the company, delves into the storytelling aspect of lighting, especially in weddings, where direction and intensity can be used to draw attention and set the tone.
    The conversation also covers various aspects of lighting design for different segments of events, from ceremonies and cocktail receptions to dance floors and after-parties. Ray and Jackson provide insights into the importance of timing and ambience during live events, and they also touch on the role of intelligent lighting, the impact of LED technology, and the versatility of fixtures. They also offer us a glimpse into their upcoming project – the grand opening of the Fontainebleau Hotel in Las Vegas!
    Andy is so glad to have had Ray back on the podcast and to have met Jackson, and you’re sure to enjoy this conversation! If so, then please don’t keep it to yourself! Be sure to share the episode with a few good friends who might also enjoy it, and be sure to also leave a top review wherever you listen to the show, as that really helps the show out! Lastly, don’t forget to follow The Wedding Biz on Instagram and subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss a new episode when it drops!
     
    Have you heard about Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey on The Wedding Biz Network? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don't forget about Sean Low's podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network.
     
    SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ
    Become a patron and support Andy and the show! If you are so inspired, contribute!
     
    Time Stamps
    [0:37] - Today’s guests are Jackson Flagg and returning guest Ray Thompson of Images by Lighting!
    [2:23] - Ray regards each event as a choreographed dance, guiding guests through varying moods with lighting.
    [4:09] - Jackson points out that with events, lighting is not just smoke and mirrors; it weaves enchanting narratives.
    [6:56] - Jackson says that optimal timing is crucial for events; consider sunset positions for picturesque backdrops, avoiding silhouette scenarios.
    [8:14] - Ray adds that transitioning from sunset ceremonies to cocktails requires seamless lighting adjustments, maintaining a warm and inviting atmosphere.
    [10:12] - Having a technician and programmer on-site ensures quick adaptability for last-minute lighting changes during events.
    [13:30] - Jackson advocates for illuminating the dance floor with textured patterns adds depth, as it creates an inviting and dynamic atmosphere.
    [15:10] - For a subtle, intimate ambiance during crucial moments like the first dance, Jackson feels that static colors work best.
    [18:24] - Jackson adds that starting with the venue or floor layout is crucial; lighting needs elements like tables and stages.
    [19:09] - Ray walks us through their usual process with clients.
    [21:32] - Jackson points out that Gobos provide versatile patterned projections for weddings or Halloween and that intelligent lighting is cost-efficient with lower power consumption.
    [23:36] - Ray adds that smaller venues benefit from battery-powered LED lights with excellent color reproductio

    • 29 min
    491 CECI JOHNSON: The Art of Constant Evolution and Elevating Brands

    491 CECI JOHNSON: The Art of Constant Evolution and Elevating Brands

    Andy is so thrilled to welcome Ceci Johnson back to the podcast! The founder of Ceci New York, a globally renowned luxury invitation design agency, Ceci is recognized by Tory Burch and also Anna Wintour of Vogue magazine, as well as numerous others, and is here to share insights into the constant evolution of her business over the past three years. As a creative force, Ceci discusses the importance of staying ahead of the curve and exploring new possibilities, especially post-pandemic.
    The conversation delves into Ceci's expansion into more attainable luxury with semi-custom collection invitations, making luxury accessible to a broader audience. Beyond invitations, she has ventured into corporate and branding work, launching brand makeovers during the pandemic. Ceci emphasizes the significance of ensuring that a brand works for the business, not against it.
    Ceci also explores strategic partnerships and collaborations, highlighting the magic that happens when creatives join forces. She shares insights into Instagram's collaborator post feature, enhancing visibility and engagement. Her foray into lifestyle products, including collaborations with Ladurée and Bandolier, showcases her commitment to innovation, and she even provides tips on successful partnerships, emphasizing the importance of aligning with the right fit and being strategic in choices.
    The conversation touches upon personalized design trends, the challenges of staying unique in a saturated market, and the evolving landscape of the wedding and events industry. Ceci opens up about balancing creativity with running a successful business, prioritizing self-care, and maintaining a work-life balance. Ceci also shares her dreams, including the desire to find contentment and relaxation amid the constant pursuit of success.

    Andy is grateful for Ceci’s time and for coming back on the show, and he hopes that you enjoy this conversation with her! If you do, then please don’t keep it to yourself! Be sure to share the episode with a few good friends who might also enjoy it, and be sure to also leave a top review wherever you listen to the show, as that really helps the show out! Lastly, don’t forget to follow The Wedding Biz on Instagram and subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss a new episode when it drops!
     
    Have you heard about Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey on The Wedding Biz Network? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don't forget about Sean Low's podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network.
     
    SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ
    Become a patron and support Andy and the show! If you are so inspired, contribute!
     
    Time Stamps
    [0:27] - Andy announces that today’s guest is returning guest Ceci Johnson of Ceci New York!
    [1:53] - Constantly evolving, Ceci embraces change and collaborates for accessible luxury and brand makeovers.
    [4:15] - Ceci argues that the whole brand makeover is pivotal and emphasizes creating a cohesive brand, from logo to symbols and guidelines.
    [6:01] - What is Ceci’s view on partnerships and collaborations?
    [8:29] - Ceci is excited about expanding into lifestyle products, including scarves, phone cases, and more.
    [10:36] - Ceci emphasizes a strategic approach to partnerships, prioritizing alignment with her luxury brand and audience.
    [12:24] - Acknowledging evolving challenges, Ceci reflects on the enduring demand for personalized couture design over her 20-year journey.
    [15:17] - Ceci acknowledges the challenges of balancing work and family, emphasizing the importance of prioritization and boundaries.
    [18:48] - The key is managing priorities, saying no to non-essential tasks, and eliminating toxic influences for balance.
    [20:10] -

    • 31 min
    490 REVISIT LISA VORCE: The Intangible Soul of an Event

    490 REVISIT LISA VORCE: The Intangible Soul of an Event

    “My proudest moments aren’t only about design. They are about how my clients feel when they see and experience the design.” Listen as Andy and his guest Lisa Vorce discuss Lisa’s love of celebrations, what inspired her to leave corporate America to launch her own business and much more on this episode of The Wedding Biz.
    Lisa is a world-renowned celebrity event planner, receiving accolades from Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Brides, BizBash, and Martha Stewart, to name a few. She planned several events for Kobe Bryant and produced some of the most iconic celebrations, including the weddings of John Legend and Chrissy Teigen and Kate Upton and Justin Verlander. Lisa is a speaker and headliner at conferences worldwide, including WPPI, Engage, and DWP.
    Lisa shares that the first event she worked at was a birthday party for George Clooney’s mom, how the referrals from the first wedding she planned led her down the destination wedding path, and the process she follows for each client. Lisa also shares the roles each of her treasured team members play in the events they produce.
    Listen as Lisa describes an event she did recently, how she helps her clients choose a venue for their wedding and why each client is set up with a website and email address so they can communicate not only with Lisa’s team but so that the team can communicate with the guests that are attending the wedding.
     
    If you enjoy listening to this revisit with Lisa, then Andy asks you to please not keep it to yourself! Share the episode with some good friends who might also get something out of it, and be sure to also leave a top review wherever you listen to the show, as that really helps the show out! Lastly, don’t forget to follow The Wedding Biz on Instagram and subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss a new episode when it drops!
     
    Have you heard about Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey on The Wedding Biz Network? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don't forget about Sean Low's podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network.
     
    SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ
    Become a patron and support Andy and the show! If you are so inspired, contribute!
     
    Time Stamps
    [00:18] - Today’s episode is a revisit of Andy’s original conversation with Lisa Vorce!
    [01:45] - Lisa shares what she means by wanting to design something that resonates with someone’s soul.
    [04:03] - Lisa speaks about her family and the mixed heritage she grew up around.
    [05:35] - Was there any place outside Lisa's family experience where she was exposed to celebrations like she does today?
    [07:30] - Lisa speaks about meeting her husband during a blizzard in Colorado.
    [08:52] - Lisa shares that one of the first events she worked was for Nina Clooney, George Clooney’s mom.
    [09:54] - When Lisa transitioned from the corporate world to open her own company, was it something she thought about or was it impulsive?
    [12:00] - Lisa discusses the first wedding she planned and how that was the catalyst for specializing in destination weddings.
    [15:28] - Lisa speaks about her process from initial contact with a potential client through the event.
    [17:31] - Lisa explains what she focuses on for each event and what role each member of her team plays.
    [19:27] - What are some of the most significant stressors Lisa finds that her clients face?
    [21:49] - Lisa discusses how she helps her clients decide what venue will work best for them for the destination they choose.
    [24:30] - Lisa gives us an example of a wedding she did recently and how they picked the venue, resorts, excursions, and flights.
    [28:37] - Why is lighting the first thing that Lisa look at before designing an event?
    [31:29] - Lisa spe

    • 44 min
    489 ALEJANDRA POUPEL: Innovation, Audacity, and the Art of Event Planning

    489 ALEJANDRA POUPEL: Innovation, Audacity, and the Art of Event Planning

    Join Andy this week for The Wedding Biz as he interviews returning guest Alejandra Poupel, internationally renowned event planner! Renowned for planning upscale events that cater to a diverse clientele from different cultures and backgrounds, Alejandra of Alejandra Poupel Events shares her unique approach to event planning and the crucial role of cultural knowledge in her work. In addition, Alejandra discusses the lessons learned from the pandemic and the ways it altered her business approach emphasizing more on personal connections and service quality.
    The conversation further delves into her audacious approach to planning, where taking risks is seen as a necessary component. Alejandra also underlines the significance of assembling the right team and the mutual respect and synergy in driving success. Listen in to gain an appreciation for her desire to continuously learn from varied cultural practices to enhance her events.
    Being at the top of her game, Alejandra insists on enjoying the process, making every event uniquely audacious, and carrying lessons forward to future events. Andy had such a great time chatting with her again for the podcast. If you enjoy listening, then Andy asks that you not keep this to yourself! Share the episode with some good friends who might also get something out of it, and be sure to also leave a top review wherever you listen to the show, as that really helps the show out! Lastly, don’t forget to follow The Wedding Biz on Instagram and subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss a new episode when it drops!
     
    Have you heard about Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey on The Wedding Biz Network? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don't forget about Sean Low's podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network.
     
    SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ
    Become a patron and support Andy and the show! If you are so inspired, contribute!
     
    Time Stamps
    [0:29] - Today’s guest is returning guest Alejandra Poupel of Alejandra Poupel Events!
    [2:29] - In-person connections are vital for business success, and despite the pandemic challenges, Alejandra's team adapted and prioritized well-being.
    [5:17] - Alejandra clarifies that the office now hosts meditation sessions, enhancing well-being and fostering a sense of balance.
    [7:15] - 2023 surpassed Alejandra's expectations, as she witnessed a surge in destination events and intimate multi-day celebrations.
    [9:14] - Alejandra describes the Engage event, which brought stress but allowed creative freedom.
    [11:44] - Despite theories of a slowdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Alejandra notes increased wedding sizes, with clients wanting grand celebrations.
    [13:36] - Alejandra explains how innovation and audacity have been the keys to her success.
    [15:07] - Alejandra clarifies that audacity to her means taking risks, like creating unique elements for clients' events.
    [18:05] - Constantly pushing boundaries, Alejandra emphasizes the importance of the right team and impeccable service.
    [21:35] - What does Alejandra really want to do that she hasn't done yet?
    [24:17] - Alejandra reveals that she doesn't experience burnout, embracing diverse, challenging events.
    [26:58] - Andy reveals where Alejandra can be found online.
     
    LINKS AND RESOURCES
    Alejandra’s Previous Guest Spot on The Wedding Biz

    Find Alejandra:
    Alejandra's Website
    Alejandra’s Facebook Page
    Alejandra’s Instagram Page



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    • 27 min
    488 SOPHIE FELTS AND ERICA GAMBLE: Floral Design Journey to a Blossoming Business

    488 SOPHIE FELTS AND ERICA GAMBLE: Floral Design Journey to a Blossoming Business

    In this exciting episode of The Wedding Biz, Andy engages with the power-duo behind Sophie Felts Floral Design, Sophie Felts, Founder, and Erica Gamble, Partner and President. This dynamic duo, based out of the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, thrives in the high-end design realm, curating stunning floral designs for wedding and event clientele that leaves their clients breathless!
    The in-person chat uncovers a fascinating journey of Sophie and Erica, including how they got into the floral design business, formed a partnership, and continually fuel their creative process. You’ll hear about how this mom-turned entrepreneur and her insurance professional-turned-floral designer partner joined forces to make waves in the industry. Sophie and Erica also open up about their approach, pricing philosophy, challenges, and the workshop they offer, and they even share a distinct aspect of their business— collaborating with planners, focusing mainly on floral design.
    This eye-opening episode will also take you through Sophie and Erica’s adventures – like a last-minute scrap of a dead pine tree for decoration, and their transparent approach towards budget comfort zones. Above all, the episode underlines an important aspect of their business – the importance of forming a great team. With a team of more than 60 people working on weekends, they emphasize how creating a business structure is a creative process that plays an integral part in their success.
    Andy really hopes that you enjoy this engaging conversation with Sophie and Erica! If so, then Andy asks that you not keep it to yourself! Share the episode with some good friends who might also get something out of it, and be sure to also leave a top review wherever you listen to the show, as that really helps the show out! Lastly, don’t forget to follow The Wedding Biz on Instagram and subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss a new episode when it drops!
     
    Have you heard about Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey on The Wedding Biz Network? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don't forget about Sean Low's podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network.
     
    SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ
    Become a patron and support Andy and the show! If you are so inspired, contribute!
     
    Time Stamps
    [1:17] - Andy announces that today’s guests are Sophie and Erica of Sophie Felts Floral Design!
    [2:34] - After becoming a stay-at-home mom, Sophie was inspired by a hair salon to start a flower arrangement business.
    [3:53] - In 2016, while jobless, Erica admired Sophie's unique flower arrangements on Instagram, prompting her to join the business.
    [4:46] - Erica reflects on how her first experience of an exciting styled shoot with Sophie solidified her involvement in the business.
    [6:05] - Sophie describes the company's overall approach to floral design.
    [8:45] - The team begins client consultations with discussions on event date, budget, and preferences, often using mood boards and images for inspiration.
    [11:51] - Sophie's team collaboratively uses Pinterest for concept development.
    [14:27] - Sophie gives an example of how they incorporate last-minute items into their installations, significantly enhancing the final result.
    [17:49] - Sophie explains that the business grew by embracing Erica's complementary skills, improving customer service, and smart budgeting.
    [19:46] - Erica highlights their team's goal to provide a sustainable, creative career for women.
    [21:43] - Sophie acknowledges their business is structured for larger-scale projects and may not competitively cater to clients with smaller budgets.
    [23:26] - What is the hardest part of what Sophie and Erica do?
    [24:08] - Erica touches u

    • 34 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
117 Ratings

117 Ratings

AutumnWashington ,

Incredibly Resourceful & Even More Inspiring

I first discovered this podcast in 2017, shortly after my move to Atlanta from Michigan. I had just taken a job at a popular event company and the commute was an hour from my home. Once I listened to one episode, I was hooked!! It became a part of my morning routine! Six years later, it still is. I love this podcast! By far, the most entertaining & informative wedding podcast available! Thank you Andy for creating SUCH a masterpiece! You’ve offered your listeners a glimpse into the background of industry royals, a crash course into how they achieved their success and a road map for listeners that aspire to do the same! ~ Autumn Washington 🥂

K Bella Events ,

The show for every wedding pro

I’m an avid listener of Andy’s show - it’s such a great resource for discovering the diverse background stories behind icons in our industry. Andy’s interviews offer listeners an inside perspective into industry veterans’ journeys, often revealing insights and advice for wedding pros to leverage in their own business. Highly recommend. Thank you for providing this resource Andy.

omgannoyed ,

A must listen!

Andy interviews his guests with wisdom and respect. He has great voice so it’s also pleasant to listen to. So many great nuggets in each episode! There are a wide range of incredible guests to learn from. It’s a “must listen”, especially if you are new to the wedding industry!

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