Weddings For Real



Real Wedding Vendors. Real Wedding Stories. Hosted by Megan Gillikin with A Southern Soiree.


  • 20: How to Give a Great Wedding Speech, with Comedian Freddy Valoy

    18/07/2018 Duración: 33min

    Comedian Freddy Valoy came on the show to talk about how to give a great and memorable wedding speech. Together, he and Megan came up with the following tips: 1. Don't Drink (Too Much).  2. Remember, Everyone is Rooting for You.  3. Don't Bring Up Your Phone 4. Keep it Short. Under 4 minutes. 5. Tease, but Don't Embarrass 6. Own The Moment, even if you mess up. 7. Be Honest, and Come from the Heart.  8. You're giving a speech about the couple, not just one person. 9. Practice! 10. If you're not sure about the material, ask someone. 11. No slideshows. 12. Don't bring up exes.   With these tips, especially bringing it from the heart, you'll be sure to give a great wedding speech!   Freddy is a fellow podcaster.  Go listen to the FredTalk Podcast at: Fred gets very personal in some of these, especially the Break Up Episode, which should have a Part 2 coming out soo

  • 19: Celebrity Weddings, Reality TV, and an Amazing Marriage Streak: Filmmakers Chris and Toni Wheaton from Heart Stone Films

    11/07/2018 Duración: 41min

    Filmmakers Chris and Toni Wheaton from Heart Stone Films and Portico Pictures are on the show today! They talked about how they became business owners (and married) at 22 and 23 years old, their incredible marriage "streak", learning to fight, filming Dale Earnhardt Jr and Emily Maynard's weddings, being starstruck by Danica Patrick (they're available for whatever date you choose Danica!), seeing Backstreet Boy AJ McLean sing at a recent wedding, some of the craziest wedding stories you'll ever hear, trends they wish would go away, their reality TV show "Weddings with the Wheatons" on, mistakes that they've made, and why you need a wedding video.  (Image above by Nancy Ray)         Heart Stone Films on Social Media: Instagram: @heartstonefilms Facebook: @heartstonefilms twitter: @heartstonefilms   Portico Pictures on Social Media: Facebook: @weareportico twitter: @porticopictures Instagram: @porticopictures   Weddings for Real on Social Media: Instagram: @weddingsforreal Facebook: @wedding

  • 18: Craziest Wedding Stories - Best of the Podcast So Far

    04/07/2018 Duración: 40min

    Happy 4th of July! In today's episode, we replay some of the best and craziest stories from the first three months of the podcast so far!   You'll hear stories from: Photographer Ginny Corbett (Episode 7, Instagram Stories and Wedding Photography Style) Videographer Phil McInnis (Episode 5, Why You Need a Wedding Video) Photographer Katherine Miles Jones (Episode 9, Moving Her Business from NYC and Putting Clients at Ease) Author and photographer James Walters (Episode 12, Writing the Book of Wedding Stories) DJ/Speaker/Podcaster Joe Bunn (Episode 2, How to Hustle and Grow Your Wedding Business) Planner Nicole Smith (Episode 16, Wedding Planners and Venues Working Together in Harmony) Ice Cream Entrepreneur Jared Plummer (Episode 8, Ice Cream at Weddings and the Explosion of Two Roosters) Venue Owners, Planners, and Sisters Courtney Hopper and Dana Kadwell (Episode 13, Sister Entrepreneurs Courtney and Dana on Building a Wedding Venue) We hope you enjoy! At the top of the show, Megan mentioned donating to the

  • 17: Top 5 Wedding Movies, and How They Relate to Real Weddings

    27/06/2018 Duración: 40min

    This week, Megan brings on her husband Jason Gillikin, and they discuss the Top 5 Wedding Movies of All Time, and how they relate to real weddings that Megan has worked.   Top movie candidates include: Wedding Crashers My Big Fat Greek Wedding (fun fact, produced by Tom Hanks!) Meet the Parents 27 Dresses Bridesmaids (with the dreamy Jon Hamm) The Princess Bride Father of the Bride The Wedding Planner (with its 15% Rotten Tomatoes score!) My Best Friend's Wedding The Wedding Singer Tune in to find out which is our #1 wedding movie of all time.   When he's not watching movies or becoming super famous because of his podcast appearance, Jason Gillikin works in online marketing and podcast production.   Weddings for Real on Social Media: Instagram: @weddingsforreal Facebook: @weddingsforreal twitter: @weddingsforreal   Music for this episode by The host of the show is Megan Gillikin, owner and lead consultant at A Southern Soiree Wedding and Event Planning.  She's also availab

  • 16: Wedding Planners and Venues Working Together in Harmony, with Nicole Smith of Vision Events

    20/06/2018 Duración: 53min

    Nicole Smith, owner of wedding planning company Vision Events and former venue coordinator at The Sanderling Resort in the Outer Banks and the Marriott in Chapel Hill, comes on Weddings for Real to talk about how wedding planners and venues can work together in harmony.  Megan worked as a venue coordinator as well, so the two of them talked about several issues that come up that sometimes make the process much more difficult. What makes a good wedding planner for a venue? What makes a venue coordinator's job more difficult?  What do planners look for in a venue? What happens when a venue is over capacity? These are some of the topics that Nicole and Megan discussed. And then Nicole talks about a crazy wedding story she experienced as a planner and how she really feels about sparkler exits.   Nicole Smith, Vision Events (Image by Pinehurst Photography)   Vision Events on the Web Facebook: @visioneventsnc Instagram: @visioneventsnc   Weddings for Real on Social Media: Instagram:

  • 15: Wedding Expectations vs Reality, with Floral Designer Heather Miller of Eclectic Sage

    13/06/2018 Duración: 42min

    Eclectic Sage's Heather Miller comes on Weddings for Real today to talk about style, her wedding last year, The Royal Wedding, and the time a couple sued her over a color of a rose. Our guest Heather Miller, owner of Eclectic Sage (photo by Tulle and Grace)   Heather's description of "Coral", as given to the judge. The couple argued that the flowers should not have been orange.    Heather and Steven at their wedding (Photo by Amanda Dumouchelle Photography)   Eclectic Sage: Instagram: @eclecticsage   Weddings for Real on Social Media: Instagram: @weddingsforreal Facebook: @weddingsforreal twitter: @weddingsforreal   Music for this episode by 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 Weddings for Real is edited and produced by Jason Gillikin for Earfluence.

  • 14: How to Work Best with a Wedding Planner, with Elana Walker

    06/06/2018 Duración: 43min

    Elana Walker has built up her empire in the Raleigh NC market. It started with her wedding planning company Elana Walker Events back in 2009, and has expanded to her inspiration blog Southern Noir Weddings, her Masterclass for wedding industry vendors, her month-of coordination company Carolina Fete, and she even co-authored a book...she really does it all. It seems like she never stops and always has ideas on how to improve and expand that empire. Elana came on the show today to talk about how to work best with a wedding planner, and she provides some budget tips as well so you can get the most for your money. Below is the book that Elana co-wrote, and here's a link to buy.   And below are some images of Elana in action as well as a picture of her two kids :) (image by Donnell Perry Photography) (image by Ariel Perry Photography)   (image by Chronicles Photo)   (image by Chronicles Photo)     (image by Donnell Perry Photography) Elana Walker Events: Facebook: @elanawalkerevents

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

    30/05/2018 Duración: 34min

    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 a

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

    23/05/2018 Duración: 36min

    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: Music for this episode by 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 Weddings for Real is edited and produced by Jason Gillikin for Earfluence.

  • 11: Top 5 Destination Wedding Tips with Photographer Mikkel Paige

    16/05/2018 Duración: 34min

    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: 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. 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? 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? 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! 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 th

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

    09/05/2018 Duración: 39min

    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, 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 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 ho

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

    02/05/2018 Duración: 01h01min

    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 weddi

  • 8: Two Roosters Ice Cream Owner Jared Plummer on Weddings and his Explosion onto the Triangle Food Scene

    25/04/2018 Duración: 56min

    “It was a hobby that turned into an obsession that turned into a business.”  That’s how Jared Plummer, the owner of Two Roosters Ice Cream, describes his start in the ice cream business.  He was experimenting and developing crazy concoctions of ice cream flavors in his apartment and bringing them to dinner parties, and then one day he decided to follow his passion. Over the past four years, Jared has exploded onto the Triangle food scene, initially with a food truck, then a stand at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, and now a store for almost a year. At the store, Jared has 10 Regular Flavors: Coffee Bourbon Double Fold Vanilla Classic Chocolate Girl Scout Mint Roasted Strawberry and Honey Sola Cinnamon Donut Non-Dairy Chocolate Blackberry Hibiscus Cookies and Cream Butterscotch Haystack  And each month, Jared comes up with new Guest Flavors, like this month Two Roosters has Tea-Inspired Ice Creams, and in the past he’s done Beer Inspired, Cereal Inspired, Coffee Inspired…he even did a Pizza Flavor! On this e

  • 7: Instagram Stories and Wedding Photography Style with Ginny Corbett

    18/04/2018 Duración: 34min

    “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This quote, attributed to Maya Angelou, is how Ginny Corbett of Ginny Corbett Photography remembers what’s important on the wedding day. She wants to make sure that her clients are at ease and can take in the memorable moments, so when they look at a picture hanging on the wall from their wedding day, they remember exactly how they felt. Ginny sat down with Megan to talk about her style, why you need an engagement session, what’s missing from weddings today, and how Ramona has helped her unlock the power of Instagram stories. Her wedding photography brand is about being authentic, and that’s exactly what you’ll get from Ginny in this podcast. She also tells two of the craziest wedding stories you’ll ever hear, one of which ends with an 8-year-old yelling at Ginny that she’s a homewrecker!   Here are some images of Ginny’s remarkable work.  For more, check out her Portfol

  • 6: Top 10 Wedding Planning Mistakes with Amanda Scott of A Swanky Affair

    11/04/2018 Duración: 39min

    Amanda Scott with A Swanky Affair sat down with Megan to go over the Top Ten wedding planning mistakes couples make.  Both Megan and Amanda are wedding planners in the Triangle area and have seen just about every mistake possible.  In going over them, they get to share some of their stories usually reserved for parties, from both the planning process and the wedding day. The top ten wedding planning mistakes are: Planning outside your budget Booking the venue before hiring a planner Assuming a home wedding will be less expensive than a wedding in a venue Not having a rain plan Sending out save-the-dates too soon Using friends and family as vendors Planning for others Not hiring a videographer Not hiring a wedding planner Hiring vendors without due diligence Then Megan grills Amanda with some personal questions in the lightning round, the hard hitting questions like what her guilty TV and fast food pleasures are and what celebrity quote book she reads from every day.  Episode 6 is brought to you by JustMens

  • 5: Why You Need a Wedding Video with Phil McInnis from Twenty-One Films

    04/04/2018 Duración: 29min

    Phil McInnis from 21 Films Videography in Raleigh came on the show to talk about how he has built up his business from just Phil and his wife Jess to a team of 6 filmmakers and editors, what differentiates the 21 Films style of videography from other wedding videographers, what motivates Phil, how to work with other vendors, and of course we get into some crazy stories about people drinking a little too much and being on camera. 21 Films Team Blair + Danny, The Merrimon-Wynne House from Twenty-One Films on Vimeo.     Jess + Mike, The Umstead from Twenty-One Films on Vimeo.   Episodes 1-5 are brought to you by, the leader in affordable fashion and wedding rings.  The rings on the website look amazing and are ridiculously inexpensive already - typically less than $50 for a ring you'd pay $500-$1000 for in a store.  And if you use the promo code “real” at checkout, you’ll get an additional 15% off your purchase. So there’s no need to spend $1000 on a wedding band, just go to

  • 4: Stories from a 3rd Generation Florist: Cydney English with The English Garden

    04/04/2018 Duración: 38min

    Cydney English, owner of The English Garden, has been in the flower business for literally her entire life and runs a florist shop in Raleigh where about 60% of her business is weddings.  She does over 120 weddings per year, and she employs 10-20 people at a time depending on the season. Actually, Cydney and her husband Warren are both third-generation florists. On this episode, Cydney talks about her life growing up with her dad and grandma as florists, what it was like in the early days of starting her business, trends in the wedding industry, making your wedding personal to you, and what she thinks about competition. Episodes 1-5 are brought to you by, the leader in affordable fashion and wedding rings.  The rings on the website look amazing and are ridiculously inexpensive already - typically less than $50 for a ring you'd pay $500-$1000 for in a store.  And if you use the promo code “real” at checkout, you’ll get an additional 15% off your purchase. So there’s no need to spend $1000 on

  • 3: Wedding Marketing in 2018 with Jenna Parks from Southern Bride and Groom Magazine

    04/04/2018 Duración: 37min

    Jenna Parks is the co-owner of Southern Bride and Groom Magazine of the Triangle. Jenna’s mom Donna started the magazine back in 1986, and Jenna came on board in 2010 to advance it into the  digital age. To have any sort of impact in the wedding magazine space – which features some huge names like Martha Stewart, Brides Magazine, Grace Ormonde, Premier Bride, Wedding Style, The Knot, Bridal Guide, and Inside Weddings – a smaller magazine needs to know their local market extremely well. That’s exactly what Southern Bride and Groom has done over the past 30+ years. They don’t just write articles about what’s trending or what the color of the year is or what celebrity wore what dress to a wedding. They get to know their local vendors so they can recommend to Raleigh area couples what the best venues are, who the legitimate wedding planners are, what linen companies are reputable, etc.  They develop that trust with couples and vendors alike, and they become entrenched in the market so couples know when flipping

  • 2: How to Hustle and Grow Your Wedding Business with Joe Bunn from Bunn DJ Company

    04/04/2018 Duración: 35min

    This episode is with the one and only Joe Bunn from Bunn DJ Company of Raleigh. Joe has been DJing for over 30 years and has built his business up so he now has 15 DJs working with him in Raleigh, plus three other divisions, in Charlotte, Charleston, and Richmond, with multiple DJs at each of those locations  The company has over 1,100 5-star reviews on Wedding Wire. And Joe just keeps grinding and advancing his career. He now runs a PhDJ workshop where he coaches DJs from all over the country, he’s always traveling for a speaking gig, and he’s hosted a weekly podcast now for over a year. So on the show, Megan talks to Joe about his hiring process, guys that have worked out for him and some that haven’t, what it takes to run a multi-DJ business, some of the crazy stories he has from over the years, who he got star-struck by at a recent wedding, and why you need to work with professional vendors.   Joe Bunn with Taylor and Marcus Paige (UNC basketball legend) Dallas Cowboys return man Ryan Switzer and Joe B

  • 1: Wedding Planning Behind the Scenes with Grace Beason from Grace Leisure Events

    04/04/2018 Duración: 36min

    In the first episode (!) of Weddings for Real, Megan sits down with fellow planner Grace Beason to talk about her career start at The Knot, planning her first weddings with her mentor Marcy Blum, how weddings have evolved over the years, how anyone can say they're a planner with an Instagram account, being a mom while running a business, same sex weddings, advice for breaking into the wedding industry, personalities she wants to work with (assistants, couples, and vendors), and how weddings might not be quite as glamorous as everyone thinks. Grace has some incredible stories throughout, and you'll see why she was voted "Most Likely to Host a Talk Show" in high school. OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT FROM MEGAN.  We have launched The Planner’s Vault, a membership site for wedding planners who are hungry to grow, ready to hustle, and actively seeking community and education. In the vault, there will be guest experts on many topics relevant to growing and cultivating a successful event planning business with new content

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