We're on a mission to elevate, educate and empower our industry and each and every local wedding business to work with more of the couples right for them. As a result, we're expanding our roster of industry educators this year with a new group of wedding pros called The Knot Pro 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 weddings industry through education and local wedding community development. They’ll share their insights and expertise with us throughout the year through webinars, speaking engagements, blog posts and more. Meet our fabulous new educators for 2019 below!
Bands & DJs
Brian Buonassissi, DJ Brian Official
Personal Motto: Memories are only as good as you dance to them.
Top 3 Obsessions: Music (duh), MQMs, Massages
2019 Resolution: Create deeper relationships with wedding pros.
Jason Jani, SCE Event Group
Personal Motto: If you want something in life, anything is possible - you just have to do the work, never settle and #makeithappen.
Top 3 Obsessions: In no particular order...
1. A growing super swag sneaker collection.
2. My podcast loaded with real talk and dope mix content.
3. Everything associated with creating mind bending events.
2019 Resolution: To inspire event professionals to push the creative bar forward while being the best human possible.
Dan Quinn, DQB Entertainment
Personal Motto: Create Experiences. Not Transactions.
Top 3 Obsessions: Massive Drops, Packed Dance Floors, Hugs
2019 Resolution: Growing my (small) team's capabilities so that I can open up more time for creativity while remaining focused on my clients, music, and experiences.
Kristin Wilson, Our DJ Rocks
Personal Motto: Life is about moments. Don’t wait for them, create them!
Top 3 Obsessions: Music, Big Sexy Hair Spray, Going Mudding!
2019 Resolution: Recruit fierce DJs and cultivate strong leaders within our team!
Megan Garmers, MG Hair & Makeup
Personal Motto: Do all the good you can.
Top 3 Obsessions: Education, Art, Plants
2019 Resolution: Help more people reach their goals.
Brittany Lo, Beautini
Personal Motto: You have only one life to live. Dream big, love hard, and smile lots!
Top 3 Obsessions: Pizza, Law & Order SVU, SoulCycle
2019 Resolution: To dream more and to think big enough that it’s uncomfortable every day.
Beth Chapman, The White Dress by The Shore
Personal Motto: If you are not overdressed, you are undressed.
Top 3 Obsessions: Bows, Stripes, My labradoodle, Mr. Pickles
2019 Resolution: Last year's word of the year was clarity. This year's is execution!
Nayri Kalayjian, Lovella Bridal
Personal Motto: "Do what you love, love what you do, and deliver more than you promise." -Harvey Mckay
2019 Resolution: Accountability! Holding myself accountable to take action on ALL my 2019 goals!
Krysta York, Charlotte's Weddings
Personal Motto: Live your life with intent.
Top 3 Obsessions: My two kids Liam & Declan, A ridiculously good hamburger, Traveling
2019 Resolution: To find new ways to get involved in our community more.
Cakes, Desserts & Favors
Elaine Ardizzone, Sweet Cheeks Baking, Co.
Personal Motto: Never hesitate to show kindness.
Top 3 Obsessions: Italy, My neighbor's dog Omar, Steamed clams
2019 Resolution: Give more power to my team to let them shine; they do just fine when I'm away!
Jasmine Clouser, The Couture Cakery
Personal Motto: Be the best you can be!
Top 3 Obsessions: Cake, Cupcakes, Coffee
2019 Resolution: Work hard and be creative
Yasmeen Tadia, Make Your Life Sweeter
Personal Motto: Make your life sweeter :)
Top 3 Obsessions:
1) Being a single mom, of course my first obsession is my son, Zain!
2) I love creating experiences that people have never seen before.
3) I am obsessed with pairing my love for travel with my passion for making the world a better place through my non-profit: Random Acts of Sweetness!
2019 Resolution: Every year I give myself a list of 10 dream clients.
Consultants & Publishers
Personal Motto: Commence! Correct! Connect!
Top 3 Obsessions: Wedding Design, Financial Fitness, My Next Meal :)
2019 Resolution: Only do what only you can do.
Brittny Drye, Love, Inc.
Personal Motto: Equality-Minded™ Weddings
Top 3 Obsessions: Love, Coffee, Seasonal Themes
2019 Resolution: To educate more wedding pros on making their business more equality-minded.
Sam Jacobson, Ideaction Consulting
Personal Motto: All you can do in life is put yourself in the best spot for luck to happen to you.
Top 3 Obsessions: Outdoor adventures, Travel, My wife and kids
2019 Resolution: Put more focus on fewer things.
Julian Leaver, The Dapper Diplomat
Personal Motto: Be ready when it matters most!
Top 3 Obsessions: Travel, Bow ties, Good manners
2019 Resolution: To master the art of the pause.
Kirsten Ott Palladino, Equally Wed
Personal Motto: Love is never wasted.
Top 3 Obsessions: Coffee, Meditation, Reading
2019 Resolution: Exceed my own expectations.
Maha Abuagel, Divine Designs & Events
Personal Motto: Be Authentic. Everyone has a struggle-Be kind. Forgive & Connect.
Top 3 Obsessions:
1. Traveling is an obsession for me! It's where I learn, experience and explore. I love touching new ground!
2. Fashion. As a Creative; being fashionable is my outlet and a way of expression to my personal style and my connection to my passion for design!
3. I love sharing- Hope/motivation/energy. I love expressing my thoughts and I love encouraging others and giving support, sharing my journey in life and my career. I think change and success is always possible in anything!
2019 Resolution: I have several goals throughout the year! I'm always looking to improve our business. I'm working on building a reputation in the Education and Speaking field, and I'm ready to start sharing my experiences and success stories. I also want to build a better system to maintain long-term relationships with my past clients and industry pros. I would like to be more selective with the events I chose to take on without hesitation and guilt. And giving high fives!!
Marcia Villiers, Beautiful Kreations
Personal Motto: Never get turned off by a NO; it simply means Next Opportunity.
Top 3 Obsessions: Natural garden party-esque designs with a twist of modern accents thrown in, Everything Tory Burch, Organization
2019 Resolution: To continue to grow at a rate that allows for more exposure utilizing all forms of social media; attracting more affluent clients; adding to our fleet of vehicles to allow for better distribution; expanding our supplier pool to find unique products for our clients; adding to our office personnel.
Invitations & Paper
Kaleigh Wiese, Meldeen
Personal Motto: The first step is the hardest: Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.
Top 3 Obsessions: New places, New people, New experiences
2019 Resolution: To encourage other event pros to be their true self and tell their unique stories loudly!
Personal Motto: You never know what's coming next - tomorrow, or next lifetime. The present moment is all we ever have. THIS is it. Don't miss it.
Top 3 Obsessions: LOVE, Yoga & meditation, Entrepreneurship
2019 Resolution: To do all that I can to support and serve professional wedding officiants as the President of the IAPWO.
Gurminder Banga, Banga Studios
Personal Motto: Who do you want to be when you show up?
Top 3 Obsessions:
1. Being apart of the 5 a.m. club
2. Learning from the legends, titans and change makers of our era
3. Keeping track my daily habits that once compounded shape who I have set out TO BE.
2019 Resolution: Becoming laser focused on our vision of evolving the world through human connection.
Brian Bossany, Brian Bossany Photography
Personal Motto: Always create memorable experiences.
Top 3 Obsessions: My wife, My kids, Cooking
2019 Resolution: Work smarter, not harder.
Manolo Doreste, Manolo Doreste Photography
Personal Motto: Promoting Love
Top 3 Obsessions: Pizza, French Bulldogs, Hamilton
2019 Resolution: Grow my speaking & education opportunities.
Brittani & Jon Hon, The Hons Photo + Video
Personal Motto: Choose your future over fear!
Top 3 Obsessions: Gucci, Massages, Flying first class
2019 Resolution: To launch our online Hustle and Flow platform to the public!
Brian Leahy, Brian Leahy Photography
Personal Motto: It's no fun if it's too easy!
Top 3 Obsessions: Chips & Salsa (that counts as 1 right?), Travel, Business
2019 Resolution: "Get Uncomfortable." I plan on going super heavy into video content for 2019 and put myself out there a ton more than I have in the past.
Christopher Ramos, Christopher Ramos Photography
Personal Motto: Let's make it happen!
Top 3 Obsessions: Tacos, Music, Traveling
2019 Resolution: To continue to provide my couples with the absolute best experience possible.
Planners & Designers
Emily Campbell, Bella Design and Planning
Personal Motto: "Dwell in possibilities." - Emily Dickinson
Top 3 Obsessions: Travel, My Family, My Work
2019 Resolution: To be the best leader I can to my team.
Desiree M. Dent, Dejanae Events, LLC
Personal Motto: Live everyday like it's your birthday! Your life is worth celebrating. And eat the cake...always eat the cake!
Top 3 Obsessions:
1. Raising my daughter to be a respectable young woman
2. My paper planner and Washi tape
3. Taking photos and capturing video memories of life's greatest moments with family and friends
2019 Resolution: I don't make resolutions, but I promise myself to continue sharing industry knowledge with new and aspiring planners through the development of useful and affordable resources.
Andrea Eppolito, Andrea Eppolito Events
Personal Motto: You cannot beat someone who just won't quit.
Top 3 Obsessions: Outside of weddings?!?!? My family, Food, Chanel
2019 Resolution: Time blocking! I have several projects in the works, and I want to dedicate uninterrupted time to each of them.
Eurykah Fon Ndumu, Asheris Events Planning and Design Services
Personal Motto: Bringing LIFE and ORGANIZATION into every space I am blessed to fill.
Top 3 Obsessions: Absolute Organization, Family Time, African Art
2019 Resolution: My biggest goal this year is to provide employment to 100 women.
Michelle Garibay, Michelle Garibay Events
Personal Motto: Passion means little without purpose.
Top 3 Obsessions: Trader Joe's onion salt, Rose quartz facial roller, Lash Boost
2019 Resolution: Start a podcast with a creative partner.
JoAnn Gregoli, Elegant Occasions by JoAnn Gregoli
Personal Motto: Failure is not an option.
Top 3 Obsessions: Travel, Family, Fashion
2019 Resolution: Be passionate and make a difference in the lives you touch.
Amy Shey Jacobs, Chandelier Events
Personal Motto: Make it Elevated, Make it Emotional. Make it Matter. (Chandelier Motto); Personal Motto (I will have my cake and eat it, too)
Top 3 Obsessions: My family, Instagram inspiration, The perfect meal
2019 Resolution: Scale Up, Cultivate My Team + Continue to To Build the Chandelier Legacy (Make the "Talk Party to Me" Podcast, Book, Show a reality); Also, find time to launch a new website and do more TV appearances!
Lindsay Landman, Lindsay Landman Events
Personal Motto: If you want something you've never had, you have to do something you've never done.
Top 3 Obsessions: Properly used semi-colons, Well-styled bookshelves, The chocolate brioche from Levain Bakery
2019 Resolution: Design events and run my business with less inhibition. A.k.a. get out of my own damn way!
Jove Meyer, Jove Meyer Events
Personal Motto: You Do You Boo!
Top 3 Obsessions: My pups Sadie and Sausage, Yoga, Chocolate Chip Cookies
2019 Resolution: To be more present with myself, my friends and my couples!
Terrica Skaggs, Cocktails & Details
Aleah & Nick Valley, Valley & Co. Events
Personal Motto: Dream big and celebrate!
Top 3 Obsessions: Travel, Our kiddos, Inventive food!
2019 Resolution: To continue to elevate our client experience, create a warm community, and elevate everything we do!
Jennifer Gilman, Prime Time Party Rental
Personal Motto: Never let good enough be good enough.
Top 3 Obsessions:
1. Building a story-brand. Simplify and strengthen my brand's messaging through the power of storytelling.
- Video or live feeds. I currently stink at them but am forcing myself to not only start doing them , but to also do them well.
- Swimming...I try to swim laps 3-4x per week. Not only is it good exercise, but I do some of my best brainstorming doing laps. It's like when great ideas come to you in the shower!
2019 Resolution: Work smarter not harder by focusing on the 3 P's: People, Product & Process. I'm especially concentrating on process/procedures to create greater organizational and time efficiencies so that I can devote more time to what matters most...people! Whether they are customers, employees or vendor partners, people are the lifeblood of every brand.
Clara Hough, House of Hough
Personal Motto: It's never too late to be what you might have been.
Top 3 Obsessions: Entrepreneurship, Fashion, Yoga
2019 Resolution: To continue to grow the company while still providing a great work environment for our team.
Venues & Catering
Amanda Bradham-Little, 23 City Blocks Catering
Personal Motto: Go the extra mile, it's never crowded.
Top 3 Obsessions: Apples (computers and fruit), Dresses, Statement Earrings
2019 Resolution: 2019 is the year of off-loading! It's time to hire another me and find a little balance. My favorite current quote is, "Never get so busy making a living, you forget to make a life."
Brent Bogan, The Chicory
Personal Motto: We only get one life to live. Live it out loud.
Top 3 Obsessions: The Real Housewives, My dogs, Man broaches
2019 Resolution: To build new and better relationships with existing and upcoming vendors.
Lindsey Conklin, Le Rêve Films
Personal Motto: Make ‘em laugh
Top 3 Obsessions: My wife and kids, Skill-based tailgating games, Having more than 3 obsessions
2019 Resolution: I’m not really one for New Year’s Resolutions. I prefer to be resolved each day to make the most of the time and opportunities I’ve been given.
Matthew Gencarella, byDesign Films
Personal Motto: Short motto: Caffeinated Wife = Happy Life | Long motto: Success in business is found through setting the goal of where you want to be in the coming years, then following through on the daily grind. When you follow through on a daily basis you will find yourself where you want to be and look back on years of small successes that built upon each other and landed you where you wanted to be.
1. Provide unparalleled customer support and care for every client byDesign works with.
2. Build strong and long-lasting partnerships with amazing industry professionals across the nation. I firmly believe that great partnerships can provide a significantly better client experience.
Want more? Of course you do!
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