Episode 30: David Beahm Design

Welcome to our first podcast of 2019.  I cannot imagine a more delightful way to start the year than with the incomparable David Beahm. 

David’s wealth of  wedding wisdom, botany, nature and so much more…is remarkably vast. What’s more, he’s wonderful behind the microphone with his distinctively warm speaking voice, his terrific personality, curious-minded nature,  and a unique way of story-telling that’s both engaging and greatly educational.

In our podcast, David deftly resolves the difference between the often-confused terms,  “designer” and “planner,” names which are often, and  incorrectly, thought of as synonymous when speaking about events.

He tells fabulous stories about his training in musical theatre and opera, and how that time of his life helped shape his vision of weddings as a truly “operatic” experience.  One of my favorite moments is when David treats the audience — and me — to two bars of “Soliloquy” from the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, “Carousel.”  I truly hope you enjoy this lively conversation with David Beahm as much as I did.

-Doug

 

 

 

 

 

 

Episode 29: Carolyn Bender Events

Welcome to Episode 29 with the lovely and delightfully effervescent event planner Carolyn Bender, which we recorded in her beautiful home in Mt. Vernon, NY.  The timing of our meeting was especially fortuitous because on the day we met, Carolyn was on the cusp of “dropping” the first installment of her brand new “lifestyle” blog, “cmebealieveme,” while simultaneously attending to the day-to-day details and challenges of running her well-established, highly-regarded company, Carolyn Bender Events.

I caught up with Carolyn, or perhaps it is more accurate to say…she was kind enough to squeeze in an hour for a meeting with me to explore what it’s like to balance her fully-evolved wedding/event business with her latest passion, the “lifestyle” blog.

 

As our conversation unfolds, she is virtually bubbling over with ideas to share about her four passions: food, fashion, decor & lifestyle.  Born in Memphis, TN, her mission is to create one-of-a- kind special events that seamlessly merge Southern Hospitality & New York Style.  Enjoy our fast-paced conversation, and feel free to get to know better the dozens of specialty stores — as well as wedding vendors — of whom Carolyn speaks so highly.

Thanks so much, Carolyn. Enjoy!

Doug

 

Ep. 28: Alex Knight

Yesterday’s podcast guest was Alex Knight, one of Manhattan’s finest young wedding photographers.  We had first met on an impossibly warm June night at a trendy venue in Brooklyn last spring for a beautiful bride and groom’s wedding (one of my all-time favorite couples) when we each worked that event and it wasn’t until just now that our schedules allowed us the opportunity — in November’s sudden frost — to get to know each other better. But, it was well worth the wait; recording his episode was a terrific experience.  What made it even more special was that our conversation gave us the opportunity to explore together…his originality,  refreshing new ideas, and breakthrough new vision.  His “Love Stories” are beautiful lifestyle moments captured in time — and just one part of his expansive signature style.

Most of all, it’s especially thrilling to share his bold, new perspective and spirit and this emerging new talent with my podcast audience.  Listen and enjoy this unique episode and get to know this extraordinarily gifted artist as his momentum keeps building and Alex Knight becomes a major force in the industry.

 

 

Ep. 27: Preston Bailey

I couldn’t be more thrilled to have best-selling author and internationally renowned event designer, Preston Bailey, as my guest on this week’s Wedding Wisdom Podcast. The endlessly charming and creative artist has truly transcended the wedding/corporate event industry, taking his vision to the wider world.

And, for the engines that helped propel him there, Preston is sincerely and endearingly  grateful — especially for the awe-inspiring triumvirate of women who mentored him to “the next level,” notably…Joan Rivers, Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart.

From memories of the rainforest in Panama where he grew up to the sheer bliss of discovering the lush beauty of Washington, D.C. in peak cherry-blossom time, Preston shares so much of himself in our warm and breezy conversation…what a delight! And, our conversation was full of delightful, unexpected turns.

As a matter of fact, halfway through, Preston “took over” our the podcast, and started interviewing me, which was a sweet surprise. Listen to him speak; his is the most endearingly open-hearted laugh I’ve ever heard.

Preston, thank you for stealing away to sit down with me and share an hour of true wedding wisdom.

 

Episode 26: Bill Spinner; The Pierre Hotel

Today’s guest on the Podcast is Bill Spinner, Director of Catering at The Pierre Hotel.  Iconic and timeless — as both a place to stay and/or dine or host or attend an event —  The Pierre is one of the most gracious, luxurious, stylish and truly beautiful places in the city; it’s a New York landmark.  Quite fittingly, and with extraordinary commitment and passion,
Bill brings his own unique brand of elegance and talent as he oversees every aspect of the hotel’s expansive food and beverage operations. And as a bandleader who has had the pleasure of playing parties in almost every exciting and exquisite event space in the city, The Pierre has always been —  hands down — my absolute favorite.

Quite simply, Bill is one of the most beloved people in the event business. He is a true gentleman, dedicated to serving the most elite clientele in Manhattan. And yet, he is also one of the most genuinely down-to-earth, smart, warm and funny people I’ve ever known.

Our conversation wanders over a myriad of subjects, ranging from his years spent working in his parents’ restaurant/hotel business to his experiences at two other venerable venues in Manhattan: Windows on the World and The Rainbow Room.

I really hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did.

Episode 25: Bell Events

 

Despite this week’s lingering heat, I’m hanging onto summer and the last moments of the “lush season” after months of so many beautiful weddings and terrific events…even though September always brings that great “back-to-school” feeling of great new beginnings.

In that spirit, I’m thrilled to bring you a wonderful podcast with the lovely event pros, Susan Bell & Heather Prochorchik of Bell Events.

Our conversation covers myriad fascinating issues that apply to the success of every wedding. Specifically, we looked at the amorphous, hard-to-describe work of a full-service event company like Bell Events, and uncovered how incredibly valuable and important it is to making a wedding an extraordinary event.

Enjoy my chat these two amazing women and then, find out more about them on Pinterest and Instagram (belleventsnyc) and by visiting their gorgeous website at bellevents.com.

I’d also like to acknowledge to generosity of Bill Spinner and The Pierre Hotel for allowing us to use one of their conference rooms for this recording.

 

 

 

Episode 24: Harriette Rose Katz

Every once in a great while, you rub shoulders with greatness.  In fact,  it happened again the other day. Spending an hour in the home of the spectacularly  elegant, quintessentially New York luxury event coordinator, Harriette Rose Katz.  Now I know how Marc Maron felt having President Barack Obama on his podcast, “WTF.”

Impossibly talented with impeccable taste,  the singularly talented HRK has established herself as a constant force in an ever-evolving industry, universally recognized — for decades —  as a true culinary and event innovator, producer and designer. Listen to her recollection of introducing

Peking Duck and Dim Sum as appetizers at the most upscale parties, and you get a hint of her non-stop imagination, energy and sheer business brilliance.  It was an honor and a delight to chat with HRK on a stormy, summer Sunday. Thank you, Harriette.

Enjoy.

Episode 23: Susan Holland

Episode 23 takes us to the busy Fort Greene offices of the extraordinarily charming and creative event designer Susan Holland.

Our conversation ranges from the  delicious tidbit about Susan being credited for introducing sushi and Peking duck as hors d’oeuvres at weddings to experiential marketing.

For over thirty years,  Susan’s aesthetic has shaped everything from the design of fashion shows, branding and concept development for a universe of clients to the way we first met, through her work on galas, non-profit and family events.

Her experience is uniquely diverse — from “ultra-orthodox” Jewish weddings to state dinners at the Obama White House.

I’ve always thought of Susan as the loveliest meteor — a trailblazer full of breakthrough ideas and energy and our conversation captures that feeling. Most of all I’m delighted to call her my friend.

Enjoy,

-Doug         

Episode 22: The Royal Wedding w/ Kate Edmonds

For episode 22, we’re still celebrating the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry to American actress Meghan Markle….especially because I’m sitting down with the equally spectacular Kate Edmonds. I just can’t imagine a better guest with whom to dish about the incredible May 19th event.

 

 

In addition to being one of the most sought-after party planners in Manhattan,  Kate is an expert on all things wedding, and of course, all things British.  Brilliant, funny and filled with insights, it was a delight talking with the lovely Kate.  Enjoy!

Thanks for listening, and take a moment, if you would, to subscribe to the podcast.  Please spread the word. I’m off to prepare for this weekend’s weddings.
All my best,

Doug

Episode 21: Alison Luciano, TPSB

Ep. 21 takes us back up to charming Westport, CT  and “The Plumed Serpent Boutique,” an elegant wedding salon owned and operated by Alison Luciano. From the first sentences we spoke, it was obvious that we got along terrifically well, allowing for the conversation to flow naturally and easily.  I hope you have as good a time listening as I did chatting with this fabulous woman.

I truly hope you enjoy our fast-paced, charming conversation about everything you’d ever want to know about choosing the perfect dress…and where to find it.

Thanks for listening,
Doug