At WeddingPro, we’re always on a mission to empower local wedding pros and elevate the industry through actionable, thought-provoking education. To help us continue doing that in 2020, we’re expanding our roster of industry experts called WeddingPro Educators. These wedding industry pros (who live all across the country and represent a mix of styles, budgets, backgrounds and experiences) share our mission to elevate the industry through education and local wedding community development. They’ll share their insights and expertise with us throughout the year during webinars, speaking engagements, blog posts and more. It’s time to meet our epic lineup of 2020 educators below!
Bands & DJs
Troy Adams, Carolina DJ Professionals
2020 Business Goal: To spend 1/3 of my time speaking, consulting and helping other pros.
Biggest Obsession: Being better.
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: To spend just as much time on personal development and people development, as I did skill development.
Brian Buonassissi, DJ Brian B Official
2020 Business Goal: So many! If I had to narrow it down to one, it would be to produce 3-5 high quality video marketing promo pieces this year.
Biggest Obsession: Time management. I’ve always been decent with this but I’m laser-focused on maximizing my time and protecting my calendar from getting out of control.
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: Relationships are the currency for longevity in this industry. Find your tribe and invest in them.
Rob Ferre, Life of the Party Entertainment
2020 Business Goal: To expand my speaking business and have more paid speeches in 2020.
Biggest Obsession: Broadway musicals, puppies and kittens, traveling around the world and snow skiing.
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: All the opportunities that come from conferences and networking.
Jason Jani, SCE Event Group
2020 Business Goal: To continue inspiring couples to dream bigger for their wedding celebrations and to never settle for anything basic.
Biggest Obsession: My kids, the gym, sushi and beaches.
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: How rapidly culture and trends can shift – never get too comfortable.
Dan Quinn, DQB Entertainment
2020 Business Goal: Improve the overall efficiency of my company without losing the personal touch that my clients love.
Biggest Obsession: Massive drops on packed dance floors!
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, you realize how little you know. Never stop learning.
Kristin Wilson, Our DJ Rocks
2020 Business Goal: To launch our Love Lead Excel movement, recruit for our 2020 DJ University squad of DJs, and celebrate our company’s 10 year anniversary!
Biggest Obsession: Professionally – moments that I create that give me goosebumps. Personally – being outdoors, either in my bougie RV with my husband or in our ATV in the mud!
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: In order to lead a team, you have to lead by example. Define the values, mission and vision. Only YOU can set the standard.
Wedding Hair & Makeup
Megan Garmers, MG Hair & Makeup
2020 Business Goal: Help more wedpreneurs grow and scale their businesses.
Biggest Obsession: I love my plants. And red wine.
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: How big social media would become. I started my business at the dawn of the internet, so social media was a bit further down the line but still, learning to be an early adopter to new technology and understanding that the industry (and world) can change very quickly.
Brittany Lo, Beautini
2020 Business Goal: Growth doesn’t come from being comfortable so I hope to feel uncomfortable and see how much I can achieve!
Biggest Obsession: Pizza. I’m all about the ‘Za!
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: Starting your own business or entering this industry but quickly you learn how amazing the people are in this world and how happy they are to support you.
Beth Chapman, The White Dress by The Shore
2020 Business Goal: To be open and embrace change.
Biggest Obsession: Anything with a bow!
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: That everyone, regardless of what level they are, experiences fear in their career. It is part of entrepreneurship.
Nayri Kalayjian, Lovella Bridal
2020 Business Goal: Thinking BIGGER and working as if there are no boundaries for what can be achieved.
Biggest Obsession: Traveling with family and people I love!
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: Nothing, I love this journey! There is never a dull moment! I enjoy discovering from my own experiences. Grateful for what the process and industry has taught me and continues to teach me. The unknown of what is in store keeps me hungry and excited for the future.
Krysta York, Charlotte’s Weddings
2020 Business Goal: To continue to reshape my business. Growth not only in numbers but also in changing how we do things. Getting outside of our comfort zone to make big changes to create the growth to reach our goals. As a business coach, I can’t wait to help other bridal store owners reach their potential.
Biggest Obsession: My two boys Liam (7) and Declan (3.5) and maybe a good ribeye steak and a glass of red wine!
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: I wish I would have known the kind of impact a woman-driven business could have on other women. Whether it’s empowering your staff or empowering your brides….as a female business owner, I have the opportunity to really shape how my staff and brides see themselves. It’s a pretty amazing feeling!
Cakes, Desserts & Favors
Elaine Ardizzone, Sweet Cheeks Baking Co.
2020 Business Goal: To keep my lean, mean fighting machine Team Cheeks so that we can all start sharing more in a profitable environment – working faster and more efficiently to create even more artistic and delicious cakes and desserts for our clients.
Biggest Obsession: To end the phrase “I’m totally obsessed with…” (and maybe I’m a LITTLE obsessed with teaching more decorating classes for groups).
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: Had we realized that making wedding cakes could really be our ideal match, we might have just focused on this and avoided losing money in the wholesale market.
Jasmine Clouser, The Couture Cakery
2020 Business Goal: I have recently moved from Central PA after being in business for 10 years to Orange County, CA. My goals for this year are to meet as many new people in the wedding industry as possible and to develop new business relationships. Starting over may seem like a huge challenge, but I see it as an incredible opportunity and can’t wait!
Biggest Obsession: Fitness and nutrition. I love lifting heavy weights, especially deadlifting and eating clean and healthy to fuel my body. This has carried over to being better in everything I do, including my business.
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: Knowing that we would all become a huge family that supports each other to succeed. My wedding community has become my support system that gives me confidence and encouragement and challenges me to do my very best.
Yasmeen Tadia, Fluffpops/Make Your Life Sweeter
2020 Business Goal: Double revenue from 2019 and attain 5 new clients from my dream list!
Biggest Obsession: My son, Zain & making life a little sweeter for others.
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: I wish I knew how incredibly small the wedding industry is so I would have focused more time on building relationships.
Consultants & Publishers
2020 Business Goal: Help wedding pros be successful in booking the right couples for their business.
Biggest Obsession: My Dyson vacuum!
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: How big barn weddings would be.
Alan Berg, CSP, Global Speaking Fellow, Wedding Business Solutions LLC
2020 Business Goal: Ask for referrals more often.
Biggest Obsession: Pushing myself to try things that are hard to do.
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: The more I focus on helping others achieve their goals, the more successful I’ll become.
Nadia Anderson, CPA
2020 Business Goal: Hire my next staff person and purchase a building.
Biggest Obsession: Tiny houses!
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: How much it would cost to start a new business.
Brittny Drye, Love Inc.
2020 Business Goal: To continue bringing inclusivity awareness and education to the wedding industry and creating content and experiences that celebrate it.
Biggest Obsession: Besides my family, my current obsession is the current home renovation project that is taking up all of my free time. And Halloween … I really, really love Halloween.
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: How much everyone struggles. I spent a lot of time in the early days comparing myself to others. But we live in a social media world where we only see the highlights of someone’s life and career, and I’ve learned that there’s a lot of hard work and, at times, even failures that are behind each and every success.
Kathryn Hamm, Made By Kathryn
2020 Business Goal: To produce and publish an MBKinsights survey for 2020.
Biggest Obsession: Dolly Parton’s America, The Crown & When They See Us.
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: There isn’t any one thing I wish I knew. Any tips might have spoiled the ride!
Sam Jacobson, Ideaction Consulting
2020 Business Goal: Spread awareness about our two new services: website copywriting and immersive sales workshops for wedding pros.
Biggest Obsession: Helping wedding pros make it easier for potential clients to buy their services.
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: No one has their act together. Even the brightest stars in the event space need help reaching their goals.
Meghan Ely, OFD Consulting
2020 Business Goal: To help the wedding industry redefine what successful wedding publicity looks like in these changing times.
Biggest Obsession: British Royalty!
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: Despite my best efforts, there’s no way to avoid math, even if you choose exactly what you want to do.
Kirsten Ott Palladino, Equally Wed
2020 Business Goal: I’m focusing on broadening my reach to teach more wedding pros how to be authentically LGBTQ+ inclusive and elevate the wedding industry.
Biggest Obsession: I’m writing another book, so I’m pretty obsessed with that!
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: 2020 marks 10 years in the wedding industry for me. I had no idea just how many incredible people are in the wedding space. Some of my closest friendships have grown out of this industry, and I’m so grateful.
Maha Abuagel-Ahmed, Divine Designs & Events
2020 Business Goal: Delegate. I think once I master delegation it’ll take lots of pressure off of me and my team as well. It’ll help me create balance and allow me to have more time to plan and achieve my goals.
Biggest Obsession: Traveling and tea time.
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: Knowing your industry’s community, making industry friends and networking is so important! Other pros can help guide you through what they have experienced, support your growth and even refer you to industry related conferences and educational programs.
Bron Hansboro, The Flower Guy Bron
2020 Business Goal: Launching podcast, expanding thought leadership through social media community (The Village), facilitating an inspirational and mindfulness experience for creatives.
Biggest Obsession: Discovering new and better ways to speak to and feed my creative person.
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: The importance of being totally ok with yourself just the way you are.
Sarah Khan, Sarah Khan Event Styling
2020 Business Goal: Maintain our client experience as we grow and acquire new business ventures affiliated with the brand.
Biggest Obsession: Cake!
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: There is no road map in this line of work, you learn by doing. The sooner you make a decision to go for it, the sooner you see if it works or doesn’t and you can modify your output to get the desired results. It’s painful at first, but very simple and would have saved me much anguish over the unknown.
CeCe Todd, CeCe Designs and Events
2020 Business Goal: Book at least 10 luxury weddings, grow my paid online membership group by doubling it in size, hire a full-time operations manager.
Biggest Obsession: I am obsessed with pink, glitter and all things shiny. I love Kate Spade and Chanel, music, and dogs.
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: Don’t pigeonhole yourself into one level of clientele and be willing to stay in your own lane. Widen the lane when necessary!
Marcia Villiers, Beautiful Kreations
2020 Business Goal: Continue to build Beautiful Kreations into a recognizable brand on all fronts. Network with quality event professionals who exhibit the same ethos we thrive on as a company. Travel more to gain different perspectives on the global market.
Biggest Obsession: Quality time. Even if it’s 15 minutes a day, take time to just unwind.
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: The power of networking.
Kaleigh Wiese, Méldeen
2020 Business Goal: Focusing on ways to share more of my brand knowledge with our awesome industry.
Biggest Obsession: New experiences, new places and new faces.
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: I wish I would have known the value of my time, and when to say no to something. Our time is not only valuable, but precious.
Bethel Nathan, Business Coach & Speaker, Elevate by Bethel and Ceremonies by Bethel
2020 Business Goal: Elevate by Bethel: Launch and grow my online learning platform for wedding pros that offers action-oriented classes of incredible value. Ceremonies by Bethel: Officiate the same number of weddings as in 2019, while spending less time and money on marketing due to a focus on my ideal couple cycle.
Biggest Obsession: Planning my next travel adventure!
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: Every single year is different – the couples, trends, technology, marketing methods – so, the ways that I approach so many things in my business are constantly needing review and change.
Laura Cannon, Ceremony Officiants
2020 Business Goal: My goal is to spend more time working ON my business and less time working IN my business. While I have improved on this each year, this year I’m taking a more proactive approach.
Biggest Obsession: Meditation. I’m currently in a two-year teacher certification program for Mindfulness Meditation, so I’m pretty obsessed with being as present as possible in every moment.
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: Don’t EVER compare yourself or your business to anyone else – you only see what things look like on the outside, you have no idea whether someone’s business is actually a total mess internally or if it’s even profitable.
Gurminder Banga, Banga Studios
2020 Business Goal: Launching our newest brand BangaBooth an Experiential Portrait Lounge.
Biggest Obsession: Rock Climbing, Meditation & Reading Ancient Scriptures.
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: Reflecting back I wish I knew that your growth as a leader was less about how hard you work and more about who you are being while you lead.
Brian Bossany, Brian Bossany Photography
2020 Business Goal: Work smarter, not harder.
Biggest Obsession: Fishing!
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: It takes time and consistency to build momentum.
McKenzie Deakins, McKenzie Deakins
2020 Business Goal: Empowering women with the tools and education to build a thriving business.
Biggest Obsession: Adventuring with my family.
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: To reach out to others for help. My pride got in the way early on. I would have been successful faster if I had a mentor.
Manolo Doreste, Manolo Doreste Photography
2020 Business Goal: Capture more destination weddings so the calories don’t count!
Biggest Obsession: Stalking reviews on Yelp to find the best pizza (ask me about my odd pizza topping choices).
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: There is a world of amazing people who will become family.
Brittani & Jon Hon, The Hons Photo
2020 Business Goal: Biggest goal in 2020 is to launch our podcast and reach our projected income.
Biggest Obsession: Professionally? Helping others succeed and grow. Personally? Flying first class!
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: We wish we knew that we all have our own unique journey and that’s okay. There’s no need to compare ourselves to others. Don’t dim your light because you don’t think it’s good enough. YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH and follow your gut.
Brian Leahy, Brian Leahy Photography
2020 Business Goal: Upgrading EVERY part of my business, from email signatures to contracts and album processes. Putting together my first massive online photography course and launching by mid-year. Expanding my secondary events brand, Nine10 Creative. It’s going to be a busy year!
Biggest Obsession: Aside from travel? Sparkling water! Random I know, but I’m a connoisseur! Fav: Topo Chico, especially mixed with a good tequila 😉
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: I wish I knew early on that it would actually be harder as my career blossomed, not easier, but still just as rewarding if not more. Having that foresight definitely would have reduced some stress over the years.
Vanessa Joy, Vanessa Joy Photography
2020 Business Goal: To find new ways to boost client experience and convenience beyond expectations, and then share it with my fellow wedding pros!
Biggest Obsession: The super hard and crunchy Utz pretzels. I can’t get enough of them!
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: I wish I knew just how much it was like getting married myself – to the client! And taking them on meant saying I do for better or for worse.
Planners & Designers
Eurykah Fon Ndumu, Asheris Events Planning & Design Services
2020 Business Goal: To employ and or collaborate with 100 female entrepreneurs
Biggest Obsession: All things home design, African inspired Art, complete organization, leading women to fulfill their dreams, promoting authenticity.
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: I wish I knew the importance of keeping your brand authentic unapologetically.
Emily Campbell, Go Bella
2020 Business Goal: Implement stronger sustainable practices in my events.
Biggest Obsession: I am obsessed with nothing but interested in many things.
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: I’m not sure there is one thing I wish I knew because cutting my teeth, walking the steps, and making the mistakes made me who I am today. It’s not a job for wimps and only the strongest and smartest will make it.
Desiree Dent, Dejanae Events
2020 Business Goal: To launch a new platform showcasing mini-weddings and elopements. To focus more on my physical and mental health while producing gorgeous weddings and events. To continue building a solid educational platform in WEDology toolKIT.
Biggest Obsession: My mini-adult a.k.a. my daughter
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: I wish I understood the importance of time-management. Don’t allow this business to consume you to the point of burnout. Self-care is crucial!
Andrea Eppolito, Andrea Eppolito Events
2020 Business Goal: To sell 1,000 books and to continue to elevate the industry by building out custom environments. I want to create extraordinary events for (and with) extraordinary people.
Biggest Obsession: Education! I love to read books, I love watching the Masterclass series, and believe that education is the answer to everything.
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: I wish I knew just how much was possible! I never realized how much growth and how many opportunities to grow and expand would come along with this business.
Michelle Garibay, Michelle Garibay Events
2020 Business Goal: Expand destination wedding locations served.
Biggest Obsession: New travel experiences.
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: How to price myself properly!
Lauren Grech, LLG Events
2020 Business Goal: Maintaining brand recognition and brand consistency across all the different media platforms, initiatives and verticals in my business.
Biggest Obsession: Traveling and exploring the world with my hubby and business partner Paul.
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: I wish I knew how to price my services competitively for the market I was entering.
JoAnn Gregoli, Elegant Occasions by JoAnn Gregoli
2020 Business Goal: To expand to YouTube and podcasts for educating others. Expansion: in the process of setting up an office in Morocco to support my Rome presence. Education: educating working parents on how to handle that work life balance.
Biggest Obsession: Travel. I am a gypsy at heart and gaining knowledge and inspiration from my travels is my obsession.
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: One thing I wished I knew when I started was to establish boundaries for my clients.
Jacqueline Hill, Jacqueline Events & Design
2020 Business Goal: Increase my training reach. I have been blessed by amazing mentors and individuals that believed in me and taught me what I needed to know to succeed. My goal is to do more teaching and give others the tools they need to succeed. I love giving back and paying it forward!
Biggest Obsession: My kids! They are the joy in my life and I love having amazing adventures with them. Also love some Kate Spade!
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: You can’t make everyone happy! No matter how hard I work for a client, sometimes they just have a grumpy personality and won’t ever show you their gratitude!
Amy Shey Jacobs, Chandelier Events
2020 Business Goal: Go big or go home! Chandelier Events will turn 14 in 2020, and we are scaling while staying true to our secret sauce. More weddings, more celebrations and more brand activations in more places! As we grow our company, I want to be fearless in growing the brand extensions. Product, podcast, TV and beyond! I hope (nope, I WILL) finally pitch that book.
Biggest Obsession: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel—completely obsessed! Mega charcuterie boards. And ceiling suspensions. They’re not going anywhere soon.
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: This is a tough one! Because even if there were things I wish I knew then, I am glad I didn’t because I had to learn through trial by fire. Ultimately, I might have saved myself some sleepless nights if I knew before I started that sometimes saying no to a client’s idea is not a bad thing. Many in our industry start out as yes people because we are first class service oriented. But they need you to say no when they present a bad idea that will come back to bite them. I learned this somewhere along the way—and my trick: when you are saving a client from a bad idea, don’t tell them it’s bad—just give them solutions you think might point to yes that you know will work. They are coming to you for your ideas. Be confident when you know it’s in their best interest!
Lindsay Landman, Lindsay Landman Events
2020 Business Goal: Giving my amazing team more opportunities to flourish and grow in their roles.
Biggest Obsession: Gin cocktail specialty bars!
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: When I started my business in 2001, I didn’t realize I was really getting in on the ground floor of this amazing industry that was about to boom. I wish I had a bit more of a global perspective of the industry and my business earlier on.
Julian Leaver, The Dapper Diplomat
2020 Business Goal: Say no now so I can say yes later.
Biggest Obsession: Following Elizabeth Holmes at @eholmes on Instagram! Royal news and fun fashion critique.
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: I wish that I knew that I was going to need more about how to run a business so I could have taken more courses in college to prepare me.
Lindsay Longacre, LVL Weddings & Events, LVL Academy
2020 Business Goal: To charge more and start charging percentage only for my planning.
Biggest Obsession: Learning!
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: Community is key.
Jove Meyer, Jove Meyer Events
2020 Business Goal: Create beauty and spread love!
Biggest Obsession: My pups Sadie and Sausage!
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: Don’t try to be anyone else, be the first you!
Jason Rhee, Rheefined Company
2020 Business Goal: 2020 is the year of seeing clearly and being “20/20” in all things business. Also, to not just be a 10, but be a 20. To create a Motherhood/Parenthood in our Industry Panel.
Biggest Obsession: Diet Coke & Espresso – Together makes a “Turbo Coke.”
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: That I was not alone and that this job is meant to be hard. It’s our job to make it look easy, but it does not mean that it is, and that is OK.
Terrica, Cocktails & Details
2020 Business Goal: World Domination!
Biggest Obsession: My biggest obsession is and forever will be Game of Thrones.
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: I wish that I knew that it was okay to say No. It’s a complete sentence. And a whole mood.
Teissia Treynet & Alia Wilson, Firefly Events, The Firefly Method
2020 Business Goal: 6 month work year. 6 months of work, 6 months off.
Biggest Obsession: Teissia – spicy margaritas, mountain biking, interiors, winter. Alia – her two boys, yoga, the beach, seltzer water 😉
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: How important it was to create systems and processes.
Aleah & Nick Valley, Valley & Co. Events
2020 Business Goal: Continue to elevate our own brand and to raise up our clients and their experiences.
Biggest Obsession: Great company, good food, and laughter! Also, our kiddos!
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: How many possibilities are actually out there – we’ve carved out our own path and set our sights on exciting partnerships and ideas that we didn’t even know were possible early on.
Leah Weinberg, Color Pop Events
2020 Business Goal: Publish my e-book on the psychology of weddings in early 2020!
Biggest Obsession: Colorful sneakers!
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: I wish I knew not to get caught up in the comparison game. Also, it’s key to remember that everyone in your particular field is different. We’re all just so different that it’s worth focusing on what you’re doing and not worrying about what anyone else is doing.
Clara Hough, House of Hough
2020 Business Goal: To grow House of Hough into a national brand while continuing to instill inspiration and creativity with every textile.
Biggest Obsession: Fashion, Travel & Entrepreneurship
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: That the only thing certain is change.
Brent Bogan, The Chicory
2020 Business Goal: To cultivate and nurture new and existing relationships with other wedding vendors & wedding professionals. To have a better work/life balance. Increase sales.
Biggest Obsession: My dog, travel and period piece dramas.
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: I wish I would have known that I would need a degree in Psychology! Just kidding. Knowing that it is okay that not every client is the right fit for me, nor I for the client. Stay true to yourself – you’ll find the clients that are right for you.
Kinsey Roberts, Vista View Events, She Creates Business Podcast
2020 Business Goal: To continue supporting women in the wedding industry through my podcasts and to serve my wedding venue couples beyond their expectations.
Biggest Obsession: I’m obsessed with my family (always) and the women I’ve met in the wedding industry. I love watching other women thrive and shine in an industry they’ve literally created! It’s one of my greatest joys and the reason I started my first podcast, She Creates Business.
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: I wish I would have known how welcoming and incredible the wedding vendor community was! I would have started my journey as a venue owner much sooner!
Lindsey Conklin, Le Rêve Films
2020 Business Goal: My 2020 Business goal is to work more ON my business and less IN my business.
Biggest Obsession: My biggest obsession is still cornhole.
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: In my first year of business, I wish I knew how important building relationships are for successful companies and I wish I knew the best way to do it.
Matthew Gencarella, byDesign Films
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: Building genuine relationships with both your clients and fellow vendors can quickly and dramatically increase your business. Your quality of work is just a small part of having a thriving wedding business.
Chris Jespersen, Storybox Cinema
2020 Business Goal: Hire a Director of Operations for The Madison and start throwing our own events at The Madison.
Biggest Obsession: Craft beer, chicken tenders and hospitality.
One thing you wish you knew when you started in the industry: Be yourself! People love working with others that are 100% confident in themselves.