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.

 

 

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