Month: May 2018

13: Sister Entrepreneurs Courtney and Dana on Building a Wedding Venue

Courtney Hopper and Dana Kadwell are sisters and serial entrepreneurs in the Raleigh wedding industry.  In this show, you’ll get a sense of what that means to really be an entrepreneur.  Courtney and Dana were willing to sell everything and go for it, knowing that their visions for their businesses would work. 

Courtney and Dana own both C and D Events Wedding Planning and The Bradford Wedding Venue in New Hill NC, just outside of Raleigh.

Their partnership, loyalty, and love for each other is something special too – building a business isn’t easy, and working weddings isn’t always glamorous – and there’s tension – and they fight – but in the end, they’re always there for each other, and that really comes through.

You’ll hear them talk about their families a lot on this show. Courtney is married to Mikhail, and they have 3 kids, Mason, Nora, and Liam.  Dana is married to Sam, and they have two kids, Henry and Ada.  And it sounds like their families are together all the time. It’s just a special relationship as you’ll probably tell.

On the show, Courtney and Dana talk about how they got into wedding planning, saving up enough money to start the venue, the difficult times when money was tight and tensions were high, how they work together, one of the craziest stories you’ll hear, and advice they would give for someone starting out.

Courtney and Mikhail with Liam, Mason, and Nora (Photo Credit Sarah Joann Photography)

 

Dana and Sam with Ada and Henry (Sarah Joann Photography)

 

Cousins!

 

Dana and Courtney at The Bradford Grand Opening (Photo Credit Live View Studios)

 

Courtney and Dana at their FIRST wedding they planned, which started C and D Events

 

The Bradford (Photo Credit Caroline Lima Photography)

 

Today’s episode is brought to you by Forest Hall at Chatham Mills, which is having an Open House Sunday June 3rd from 3:30PM-6PM.  Forest Hall is located in Pittsboro and is about 20 minutes outside of Chapel Hill Nc.  The open house is FREE and open to everyone – engaged couples, fellow vendors and community. At the open house, you can see the space set up and decorated for a wedding as well as meet some of our favorite vendors who will be giving away samples, prizes and special discounts. Forest Hall is a stunning industrial venue with indoor and outdoor ceremony options, hardwood floors, tall windows and exposed brick walls. Click on the invitation at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/forest-hall-open-house-tickets-44849767863 for more information.

Music for this episode by https://www.bensound.com.

The host of the show is Megan Gillikin, owner and lead consultant at A Southern Soiree Wedding and Event Planning.  She’s also available for wedding and hospitality business consulting and can be reached at megan@weddingsforreal.com.

Weddings for Real is edited and produced by Jason Gillikin for Happy Hippo Digital.

12: Writing the Book of Wedding Stories with Wedding Photographer James Walters

James Walters of Walters and Walters Photography has been in the wedding industry for 16 years, and he has some crazy stories to tell.  So he did!  

In 2013 he came out with the book, Accessory to Marriage: A Chronicle of Outrageousness from My Life as a Wedding Photographer.

In today’s episode, James talks about some of his favorite stories from the book and his code language when it comes to weddings, like who “Fluffy” and “Triple D” are.

 

 

Above images from Eden Holt Photography.  

Walters and Walters can be found at:

http://waltersandwalters.com/

https://www.instagram.com/real_jameswalters/

https://www.facebook.com/waltersandwalters/

Music for this episode by https://www.bensound.com.

The host of the show is Megan Gillikin, owner and lead consultant at A Southern Soiree Wedding and Event Planning.  She’s also available for wedding and hospitality business consulting and can be reached at megan@weddingsforreal.com.

Weddings for Real is edited and produced by Jason Gillikin for Happy Hippo Digital.

11: Top 5 Destination Wedding Tips with Photographer Mikkel Paige

Mikkel Paige is a wedding photographer and travel blogger, and she came on the show to give her Top 5 Destination Wedding Tips!

They are:

  1. Destination Weddings can be Stressful! If you’re getting married and you need to be in control, a destination wedding may not be for you, because there is so much you CANNOT control.
  2. Look Closely at your Contracts. A photographer might be included, but is that photographer right for you? And what if it’s not? Can you get a discount off of your package?
  3. Review the Laws of your Destination. Are you allowed to get married there?  Are there different rules based on the country’s laws on religion or gay marriage?
  4. Don’t Forget Sunscreen! If you’re golfing or lounging or drinking or whatever before the wedding, use sunscreen. You don’t want the sunglasses or bikini straps showing in your pictures!
  5. Consider the Weather. If you’re getting married on the east coast, a sunset ceremony is probably not going to happen for you.  And if it’s windy that day, you can’t force pictures by the beach.

 

Mikkel can be found pretty much everywhere online, including:

https://www.mikkelpaige.com/

https://www.facebook.com/mikkelpaige

https://www.instagram.com/mikkelpaige/

http://departmentofwandering.com/ (Blog Mikkel contributes to)

http://sometimeshome.com/ (Mikkel’s personal travel blog, which is fantastic!)

Check out the timeline of the blog and her wedding career:

 

 

 

Today’s episode is brought to you by Honeyfund.  CEO Sara Margulis was on Episode 10 of Weddings for Real, and our listeners can get the Elite Package at Honeyfun for $19.99 by following this link –

 

Music for this episode by https://www.bensound.com.

The host of the show is Megan Gillikin, owner and lead consultant at A Southern Soiree Wedding and Event Planning.  She’s also available for wedding and hospitality business consulting and can be reached at megan@weddingsforreal.com.

Weddings for Real is edited and produced by Jason Gillikin for Happy Hippo Digital.

10: Honeyfund CEO Sara Margulis on Her Wedding, Shark Tank, Target, Millennials, and Budget Hacks

Shark Tank Winner Sara Margulis comes on the show to talk about her wedding to her Honeyfund partner Josh Margulis, how they came up with the business idea for Honeyfund, the company’s big break of being on Martha Stewart Weddings, the Something Wonderful Platform, the new partnership with Target, millennials, and some amazing vacations and excursions that they’ve taken.

Below are Sara and Josh with Mr. Wonderful Kevin O’Leary, Sara’s headshot, Sara and Josh, and then two pictures from their 2004 wedding.

On the show, Sara mentions their new partnership with airline disruptor Skyhour.

She also talks about using HomeExchange.com, which sounds like an incredible budget hack.

For another wedding podcast you might like, check out the Wedding Photo Hangover Podcast by Steven Van Elk and Dustin McKibben.  

Music for this episode by https://www.bensound.com.

The host of the show is Megan Gillikin, owner and lead consultant at A Southern Soiree Wedding and Event Planning.  She’s also available for wedding and hospitality business consulting and can be reached at megan@weddingsforreal.com.

Honeyfund on Social Media:

Weddings for Real on Social Media:

 Weddings for Real is edited and produced by Jason Gillikin for Happy Hippo Digital.

9: Wedding Photographer Katherine Miles Jones on Moving her Business from NYC and Putting Clients at Ease

Katherine Miles Jones joins Megan to talk about her career start in New York City, how she started in the wedding photography business, an amazing and breathtaking engagement shoot at the Rockefeller Center (see image below), the biggest regret of her wedding, the community of vendors and developing friendships with her competition, how she makes clients feel comfortable, her love of photography, how she recharges her batteries, and some crazy wedding stories, including photo shoots with Abraham Lincoln the alpaca (see image below) and Nacho the Donkey.   

Plus Katherine tells Megan what her favorite food is and the one movie that she has seen in theaters over the past three years.  

Portrait of Katherine by Sarah Der Photography

Alpaca and Rockefeller engagement images by Katherine Miles Jones. For more of Katherine’s amazing images, check out her portfolio on her website. 

This episode was not sponsored by Wandering Bear Coffee.

No alpacas were in Katherine’s car during the recording.

For another wedding podcast you might like, check out the Wedding Photo Hangover Podcast by Steven Van Elk and Dustin McKibben.  

Music for this episode by https://www.bensound.com.

The host of the show is Megan Gillikin, owner and lead consultant at A Southern Soiree Wedding and Event Planning.  She’s also available for wedding and hospitality business consulting and can be reached at megan@weddingsforreal.com.

Weddings for Real is edited and produced by Jason Gillikin for Happy Hippo Digital.