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

Episode 20: Andy Marcus

Today, it’s my great pleasure to be on the Upper West Side with celebrated photographer Andy Marcus.
We’re meeting at the headquarters of Fred Marcus Studio, in the very same building where his father launched this legendary empire seventy-five years ago.

Soft-spoken,  fascinating and warm, it is easy to understand how Andy’s artistic skills and entrepreneurial spirit took the business in incredible new directions (think: the weddings of everyone from Eddie Murphy to Mary Tyler Moore.)  Beginning where his father left off, Andy grew the studio to extraordinary prominence throughout the world over the course of four decades.                                                                    Today, Andy is still going strong and the legacy continues with his gifted photographer son, Brian Marcus, embodying a new generation carrying the family tradition forward.   Our conversation is a sparkling, sprawling family album that chronicles their exceptional craft and creativity and remarkable accomplishment. 

Sit back and enjoy.

Doug

Episode 19: “Imperfectly Perfect”

When I’m not doing this podcast or practicing tap dance (think Savion Glover) and running Doug Winters Music, one of the things I devote myself to are the couples whose weddings at which my band and I play. In the months (or more) leading up to their big day, I do everything I can to forge a genuine and very strong personal bond with each of my brides and grooms. Invariably, it’s one of the two members of the bridal couple who cares much more about the music and  that person always translates the couple’s most important desires. Most often, it’s the brides with whom I work but occasionally I will run into a music-passionate groom.

So.

A couple of weeks ago I was having one of my daily chats/text repartee with bride-to-be, Denina DePool. And during that conversation, we decided to do something special for this podcast. We decided that we would record an unrehearsed, unstructured “recap” of her wedding day, post-reception. And here it is.

Her beautiful wedding to Miguel Quezada took place on Sunday, March 18th at Sixty5 On Main in charming Nyack, NY. After almost two months of planning our perfect “itinerary” for the evening’s events, our plans went completely out the window when Denina, as she will explain, decided to leave the restaurant and spend a half an hour taking pictures with Miguel, in a park overlooking the Hudson River.

We do  a very “deep-dive” into everything that made the wedding extraordinary. Not the least of which was our mutual desire to toss the aforementioned Itinerary and simply “play it by ear.”  Sometimes, that works really well.

 

I had a wonderful time getting to know Denina during the weeks before her wedding and took great pride in seeing all of her friends and family having a fabulous dance party following their beautiful ceremony. What came out of our post-wedding discussion, or as she cleverly named it, “The Afterglow,” was really fun, and will hopefully give you an insight of how a bandleader and a remarkably cool bride can work seamlessly in producing the “Imperfectly Perfect” wedding.

Enjoy,

-Doug

 

 

 

Episode 18: Gary Foote

The other day, I got a chance to sit down with the extraordinary bassist, Gary Foote. As one of my all-time favorite and most successful Doug Winters Music Alumni, Gary had been part an integral part of Best Kept Secret, full-time, during the late 1990s and early 2000s.

In this conversation, we trace his personal musical history from the very beginning, when Gary was a fourteen-year-old bassist playing local clubs in his native Milwaukee. It was there that he was, unsurprisingly, discovered by jazz legend Billy Cobham. Later, we talk about his long stints traveling with the legendary 70s band, Blood Sweat & Tears, and most recently with the timeless icon, Smokey Robinson.

It’s not a coincidence that Gary spent over 20 years with Blood, Sweat & Tears and is now, spending more than a dozen (and counting) remarkable years on the road with Smokey. It’s the same reason I had always wanted to keep him with Best Kept Secret as long as possible. His astonishing musical virtuosity and unrelentingly positive work ethic, along with his trademark magnetic smile and sheer charisma, make him a highly sought-after and cherished addition to any pop, jazz, funk or rock group.

We also speak, at length, about his wife, Jenny, also a cherished Doug Winters Music Alumni, and her equally successful life as a revered backup vocalist for everyone from Mick Jagger to Chaka Khan. She’s spent the past dozen years touring the world’s most iconic arenas with the artist, Pink.

On a personal note: Gary’s deep-rooted and infectious passion for basketball even rubbed off on my seven year-old son, Ben, who (at 23) is still a lifelong Brooklyn Nets fan; their sweet, shared experience has bonded them for life.

I hope you enjoy this fun, lively conversation with one of my most favorite people, Gary Foote.

Enjoy,

Doug

 

 

 

 

 

 

Episode 17: Eileen Smith Events

In this podcast, Episode 17, we travel up a bit to Bridgewater, CT and the home of the lovely and expert event planner Eileen Smith. Our insightful conversation focused on everything having to do with her true specialty….outdoor and tent weddings as opposed to using a more traditional venue.  She talks about some of the best experiences one can have at an outdoor event.  The best part? As we agreed, when you’re celebrating outside, quite literally, the sky’s the limit.  Eileen even tells how she was able to design an elaborate “sub-floored” tent on a “literal ski-slope” to accommodate one of her clients.

Anyone thinking about a “tent” wedding, should savor every delicious nugget of advice Eileen offers after a decade of experience planning all kinds of “al fresco” parties in the great outdoors.  And as Spring becomes official today, the timing couldn’t be any better.  Join us for ideas, inspiration and lots of details.

 

Episode 16: “I Swiped Right.” Beth & Lauren Part 1

Jersey City was the setting for today’s podcast with psychotherapist Beth Renov, in which we kick off a monthly “diary” leading up to her November wedding and run the conversational gamut from Tinder to the sweet surprise of finding true love.  I was crazy about Beth from the beginning; we bonded over having the same taste in music.  Personally, this was one of the loveliest conversations I’ve ever had about love, romance and marriage. Beth’s incredible honesty, sensitivity, and sense of humor are among the most delightful aspects of our very warm talk in which she shares the joy she feels about finding and marrying her best friend. When it’s right, you know it. Here’s to love…and here’s to you, Beth and Lauren.

 

Episode 15: Sharon Snyder

Episode 15 takes us to the charming village of Scarsdale and the offices of Sharon Snyder, the charismatic owner of Standing Room Only and SRO Fine Foods. During our lively conversation, we focus on the SRO Fine Foods division, known as one of the finest “off-premise” caterers in the wedding/event business. Sharon is a delight to talk with. She’s energetic and fun and extremely insightful about every aspect of catering a wedding, especially those held in a non-traditional setting such as a tent, a museum, or an art gallery.

I’m thrilled for you to listen to Sharon talk about off-premise catering, a subject we’ve yet to explore on the podcast.

Please subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, GooglePlay, PlayerFM, or wherever you listen to podcasts. And, as always, feel free to leave comments, and let me know whom you’d like to hear on Wedding Wisdom Podcast w/ Doug Winters.

 

Episode 14: Priscilla Schaefer

Episode 14 takes us up to South Salem, N.Y., and the beautiful home and private gardens of the lovely Priscilla Schaefer, florist & event designer. Priscilla spoke passionately about her love for the intrinsic romance and beauty of flowers.  And our conversation reminded me that there’s one common element that I’ve discovered among all the true experts in the “event business:” a genuine love for what they do…whether it’s music, floral design, party planning or photography.  

Priscilla is a virtual well-spring of  creativity, vision and inspiring, important  knowledge of all things that bloom. Her extraordinary expertise about “bridal botany” will dramatically enhance your understanding of how flowers and other living things can transform an event space into a uniquely personal expression.

I left our chat with a far greater appreciation for all things that blossom and the importance of the New York Flower Market on W. 28th St.

I hope you enjoy this delightful episode of the podcast.

-Doug

 

Episode 12: Vanda High Part 2

This latest episode features a return to the the podcast by the wonderful and talented Vanda High; this is Part 2 of a terrific conversation.  If you heard it, you know that the first time Vanda was on, we spoke about all the “little things” couples do to make their weddings unique. This time we go on a deep-dive into the real “nuts & bolts” of the wedding process, from the engagement to kissing your guests goodbye after a fabulous party.

I actually learned a great deal myself. As a bandleader, I spend all my time concentrating solely on getting — and keeping — the dance floor packed. Vanda sheds a giant klieg light on virtually every part of the wedding process, from establishing a budget to details about table sizes and transportation. She speaks with great authority — and a great deal of vitality — about virtually every element involved in planning the perfect wedding.  Like me, Vanda clearly loves what she does.

Thank you, Vanda; I thoroughly enjoyed this episode and learned more than I ever thought possible about this wedding business. While I have loved uncovering fascinating stories and so much fantastic data from all kinds of expert guests, and I hope you will listen to all of those podcasts, this episode exemplifies all the reasons I wanted to do Wedding Wisdom in the first place — to provide couples with a place to go to find  “all things wedding.”  And for anybody who thinks wedding pros get jaded, think again. And just scroll to the last two minutes of  “the pod” and tell me you wouldn’t want Vanda High to “produce” your wedding.

Enjoy,
-Doug

 

Episode 11: Weisser Millien

One of my most favorite people in the wedding industry, Weisser Millien is the extraordinary General Manager of the magnificent Cedar Hill Golf & Country Club in Livingston, New Jersey. Charming, warm, an inspired leader whose attention to detail is legendary, Weisser Millien is a true wedding professional. It’s been my great pleasure to work with him on dozens of spectacular weddings over the past two decades.

We recently sat down in his office for a delightful conversation about weddings, the result of which is this simply terrific episode. Sit back and enjoy my talk with my good friend and colleague,  Weisser Millien.