Ep. 37: Victoria Dubin Events

Elegant. Innovative. Filled with imagination and creativity.  Those are just a few of the ways I would describe the one-and-only Vicki Dubin,  who runs her eponymous international event-planning and design firm, Victoria Dubin Events, with expert charm and lively sophistication.

And in this episode of the Wedding Wisdom Podcast, Vicki covers absolutely everything from the initial interview until the last goodbye of the party, discussing some of the finest points and details of the many kinds of events she creates — from weddings to milestone birthdays to fundraising galas to mitzvahs, flowers to decor and lighting,  photography to entertainment,   venues to video imagery and much, much more.

Our fast-paced conversation underscores Vicki’s own quick-moving energy and remarkable experience,  which come through every moment of our conversation, along with her incredible attention to detail. Most of all, Vicki is an extraordinary font of information and inspiration as well as a great storyteller, whose candid personal accounts of events she’s done reveal more than her deep knowledge and passion for her work; she expresses the feeling of exhilaration her work provides.  Listen in to our conversation and you’ll realize her love for what she does is truly a gift…as it was just to hear her speak about it.

Enjoy,

Doug

Ep. 36: Michelle Farber Part II

Thanks to the expertise and generosity of the gracious and altogether lovely mitzvah guru Michelle Farber, of M. studio events, this episode further demystifies the complex and beautiful world of bar and bat mitzvahs with a follow-up podcast that takes us on a “deep dive” guided tour behind the scenes of the extraordinary celebrations Michelle and her husband Scott produce.

During the course of our lively, in-depth  conversation, Michelle covers almost everything — from the challenges of precision timing and being flexible to the critical importance of understanding every family’s unique dynamics and expressing each child’s individuality and personality; from what entertains guests of all ages to the pleasures of “Dirt and Worms” to the power of branding and signage and so much more.

Most of all, we get to see just how much Michelle loves what she does…and that alone, like Michelle herself and everything she shares with us, is incredibly inspiring.  Jump in and join our terrific episode and enjoy.

–Doug

Ep. 35: DeJuan Stroud

From his childhood in Alabama and education in Mississippi to his ultimate journey to New York, DeJuan Stroud’s path is one of the most fascinating and circuitous I’ve yet to encounter, as he has established himself as one of the industry’s most celebrated event designers, after more than a decade of working in  finance, first in New Orleans, and finally on Wall Street.

 


With great entrepreneurial spirit, he followed his pure passion for flowers and entertaining at home and turned it into a thriving, blooming business. Staying true to his unique aesthetic, DeJuan is well-known for constantly evolving and redefining himself as he brought his wit, wisdom and singular vision to create some of New York’s most stylish events — from corporate to celebrity clients and Hollywood film premieres, all served up with his remarkable artistry and his generous philanthropy, which is a wonderful story in itself. Along the way, he wrote a spectacular book, “Designing Life’s Celebrations,” which translates his particular brand of magic for the most appreciative readers who wish to follow in his stunningly simple footsteps.

Enjoy our  fast-paced and enlightening conversation that features DeJuan Stroud’s elegant voice,  with hints of a slight Southern lilt, and for his wonderful insights and stories.

Best,
Doug

Ep. 34: Lawrence Scott

Welcome to the incredibly stylish world of Lawrence Scott Events, or as he is lovingly known to all, “Larry.”

Having worked on well over a hundred parties together, Larry and I share a rich history as friends and colleagues, although I will always think of him as a mentor; I learned so much about the business of life’s celebrations from him, and the elements of design.  On today’s podcast, we cover everything from the landscape of Long Island to the travel that inspires him; how he interprets each client’s style to the importance of giving back.  One of the most truly inventive event designers I’ve ever known, our conversation takes us from Studio 54 to Elaine’s, to how much he trusts himself,  his commitment to his own vision and his own personal mandate to always take risks.  Listen to our fast-moving, casual and profoundly honest conversation — and enjoy.

–Doug

Ep. 33 Michelle Farber; Part 1

Today’s podcast was a delight to record as I met with the dynamic and charming Michelle Farber, who  (along with her husband Scott, whom I’ve yet had the pleasure to meet) runs a hugely successful event planning company, M.Studio Events. They’ve actually trademarked the words “Party Concierge” to more precisely describe what they do.

This podcast expands our scope beyond our regular focus on weddings into the world of “bar and bat mitzvah” celebrations.

Lively, insightful and filled with energy, Michelle and I covered so much ground about bar/bat mitzvahs, that we decided to sit down again next week
to continue exploring the meaning of this rite of passage for the child, the parents, and the guests at these upscale and often lavish affairs.

Enjoy our spirited conversation which is as inspirational as it is informative…and took me back to my Long Island roots.

-Doug

 

Ep. 32: Kimara Ahnert

 

Welcome to Episode 32 and the incredible world of makeup, which was a subject that was almost entirely mysterious to me before I had the pleasure of sitting down with the charming and beautiful skin and cosmetics guru, Kimara Ahnert.
As I tell my wife after every wedding I play, every bride is truly beautiful. But Kimara takes beauty to an entirely different–and quite spectacular–level.   Our conversation covers everything from what inspires her to the importance of timing to the evolution of “a look”…as this gifted wedding innovator taps into her enormous set of skills and endless creativity, as well as her own eponymous line of skin care and make-up,  and everything she’s learned at the sparkling Madison Ave. salon she has owned for the past twenty years.  I’m so thrilled she shared the details and challenges that take place behind the scenes…and so much of her vast knowledge with me…and now, you.

Enjoy,

Doug

 

 

 

Ep. 31: Leslie Mastin

Sitting down with Leslie Mastin was a sheer delight. As one of Manhattan’s preeminent party planners, she comes to us via a somewhat different route from many of our other guests…by way of the hotel business and specifically, The Grand Hyatt, The New York Hilton, The Regent Wall Street, The Mark and The St. Regis.  Until she opened own her own exciting company, she planned countless elegant and glamorous parties for New York’s elite. And with her trademark wit, warmth and wisdom, in this podcast, she shares her stories and incredible insights and inspiration with all of us.

This episode was a genuine treat for me. And I know you’ll feel exactly the same way.

Enjoy,

Doug

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.