What should you consider when picking the venue for your wedding? Before you book a photographer, what should you ask? How important is it to have a trial session for your wedding makeup? How can a certified gemologist help you before you buy your wedding rings? Need advice on creating a signature cocktail? Wedding music – DJ or live musicians? Having a same-sex wedding and want to be sure your vendors are allies of the LGBTQ+ community? You have questions. I know people who have the answers.
Meet some of Connecticut's best wedding vendors on “Weddings with Zita,” one of three shows I host and produce. You can find all three (Weddings with Zita / Page 1 / Full Bloom) on Youtube.com/ZitaTVNetwork (As of 2019, Full Bloom is hibernating.)
The tagline for Weddings with Zita is: Be inspired by the experts. My goal is to provide viewers with information and inspiration. Most of the guests are wedding vendors. They have included fellow officiants — for traditional and same-sex ceremonies, a jeweler, photographers, DJs, musicians, a wedding planner, florists, a caterer, cake designers, bartenders, a stationer, a makeup artist, a couple's counselor, and more. And lots more to come!
When it comes to wedding experts, who better to talk about the experience than newlyweds? Their 20-20 hindsight gives a valuable perspective on the wedding planning process.
All three shows are taped at the Cox Communications public access studio in Manchester, CT. I'm fortunate to have access to a professional studio with four cameras, lights, microphones, a dedicated Cox advisor, and a volunteer crew that has been with me for over a decade. Thank you, Don Modean (director and graphics), Art Querido (audio), Kristine Wild (camera), and Greg Thresher (my Cox Communications advisor).
Regulations prohibit discussions that would be considered “commercial,” though I can talk about ranges of costs and industry averages. So if you watch an interview and would like specific information about the cost of that vendor's services, I encourage you to contact the vendor directly. Please tell the vendor you saw the interview on Weddings with Zita!
Show 001 / Mary Coburn / Officiant and Life-Cycle Celebrant
Show 002 / Jackie Friedrich / Jeweler and Gemologist / Friedrich Jewelers
Show 003 / Bill Potuchek / Travel Advisor / Dream Vacation Travels
Show 004 / Matthew Segura / Chef and Cake Designer / Vida Doce Pastry Shop
Show 005 / Kevin and Holly Bishop / Golden Scroll Soloists
Show 006 / Louise Albin / Caterer / Cafe Louise
Show 007 / Nancy Goldstein / Wedding Planner / Amazing Celebrations
Show 008 / Terri Krisavage / Florist / Terri Krisavage Wedding and Events Florals
Show 009 / Elisa Chase / Officiant and Life-Cycle Celebrant / Same-Sex Wedding / Tapestry Ceremonies
Show 010 / Ashleigh Pritchard / Stationer / Charmed Cat
Show 011 / Dwayne Harris / Venue CEO / Cheney Hall ~ Little Theater of Manchester
Show 012 / Bob Adamowicz / DJ / Entertainment Unlimited of New England
Show 013 / Shawn Santanello / Musician and DJ / Virenent
Show 014 / Zak and Elissa Slavin / Newlyweds
Show 015 / Amber Jones / Photographer
Show 016 / Bob Copell and Nina Rivera / Bartending Services / Two Pour Guys
Show 017 / Judith O'Connor / Officiant and Couples' Counselor
Show 018 / Zita Christian / Wedding Rituals by Zita Christian / Moon River Rituals (Yep, I was both host and guest!)
Show 019 / Jacki Friedrich / Jeweler and Gemologist / Friedrich Jewelers
Show 020 / Lisa DeBenedetto / Wedding Planner / Nightingale Events
Show 021 / Elisa Chase / Celebrant Foundation & Institute Academic Director
Show 022 / Mike Tierney / DJ / Audio Media Solutions
Show 023 / Pamela Contreras / Makeup Artist / Kiss and Makeup
Show 024 / Victoria Warren / Wedding Planning / Everlasting Affairs
Show 025 / Devi and Carlo Giuletti / Newlyweds
Show 026 / Debbie Farnham / Florist / Colonial Flower Shoppe
Show 027 / Carrie (Draghi) Patterson / Photographer / Carrie Draghi Photography
Show 028 / Mollie Frish / Seamstress / Mollie Frish Bridal Seamstress
Show 029 / Victoria Burdick / Minister / Authentic Ceremony
Show 030 / Zita Christian / Elements of Ceremony / Moon River Rituals
Show 031 / Zita Christian / Unity Rituals / Moon River Rituals
Show 032 / Zita Christian / Valentine Rituals for One / Moon River Rituals
Show 033 / Judith Thompson / Officiant, Life-Cycle Celebrant / Sacred Dove Celebrant
Curious about my other two shows? Full Bloom launched in 2001 as an hour-long show on a wide variety of topics ranging from high tech skincare to training animals for live theater to planning a funeral to hiking the Appalachian Trail to forensic science with internationally known Dr. Henry Lee, to a 4-part series about caregiving for dementia patients, to the Connecticut Innocence Project and a stirring interview with James Calvin Tillman who spent 17.5 years in prison until exonerated by DNA evidence. I'm proud to say that several Full Bloom episodes received a Pegasus Award, national recognition for amateur video production.
Eventually, I reframed Full Bloom to a 30-minute show. I'm working now to edit several of the original shows into the shorter format as the “Best of Full Bloom.” In the meantime, Full Bloom is in hibernation.
Page 1 launched in 2004. Most of the guests have been writers, some self-published, some New York Times bestselling authors. Books have included popular fiction, romance, fantasy, historical romance, suspense, women's fiction, memoir, poetry, young adult, middle-grade fiction, graphic novels, nonfiction, self-help, and more. I've also interviewed editors, several filmmakers, and a screenwriting instructor. Page 1 also began as an hour-long show and has since been trimmed to 30 minutes. It, too, has won several national Pegasus Awards.
If you catch the opening of a 30-minute Page 1 show, you'll see a brief clip of a guest talking about how something “moves along, just like fiction.” The speaker is the late Liz Aleshire, a dear friend and fellow author. Liz helped me get both Full Bloom and Page 1 off the ground. The clip lets me hear her voice.