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.



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.



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. 

Episode 10: Dan & Danielle Gombos

Meet Dan & Danielle Gombos. The delightful married couple invited me up to their spacious Bridgeport offices the other day.
Dan owns “Shindig Lighting” and Danielle owns “Gather+Lounge,” a furniture/decor rental company.

We sat down to discuss how a subtle lighting scheme and carefully chosen rented furniture can be used to astonishing results in designing
the perfect environment for your wedding.

I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation, and left far more knowledgeable about a growing trend in the event business. I’m sure you’ll feel the same.





Episode 9: Hey Mister DJ

When I was thinking about doing this pod with Los Angeles-based DJ Lee Dyson, I assumed that we’d be talking about the obvious differences between DJs and live bands. Very basic stuff.  But from the very first moment, it became much more interesting and clear that our discussion was more about the similarities every entertainment company faces in trying to “pack a dance floor.”

Lee talks eloquently about an entire range of topics, from a bridal couple’s choice of the proper venue to the importance of using an “event coordinator” to the ever-present challenge of making every wedding the best party it can be from beginning to end.

His book, “How To Hire A Killer Wedding DJ”, which is available on Amazon,  goes into great detail about everything we discussed and far more.  I hope you enjoy our chat.


Episode 8: Kate Edmonds

I recently sat down with the delightful, legendary party planner, Kate Edmonds. Although we had never met before, we immediately fell into a comfortable conversational rhythm. When the podcast ended, Kate gave me the best compliment possible. “It sounded like two professionals chatting about the industry we both love.”  Enjoy! -Doug

Episode 7: Ronnie Davis

I recently had the privilege of sitting down with a true pioneer in the event business, Ronnie Davis. From a conference room in the offices of “Great Performances Catering”, Ronnie takes us from his beginnings as a “third-generation-kosher-caterer” in Philadelphia to producing the legendary party celebrating the publication of Madonna and Steven Meisel’s book, “Sex”, and through twenty years of star-studded “after-parties” for The Grammys, and hundreds of spectacular events around the globe.
His is truly the story of a life well-lived.