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Podcast for Best Day Ever Weddings

Podcast Summary

Stephanie Wooding, the owner and entrepreneur of Best Day Ever Wedding and Events, joins Shawn Grindle on the latest episode of Eventful Endeavors. Based in San Diego, Stephanie primarily operates in the area, but also travels to Orange County, LA, and even Julian.

Stephanie’s journey to becoming a wedding planner has been an exciting one. With a passion for production and storytelling, she developed an interest in film production while in college. She even had a weekly newspaper column at the age of 12, making her comfortable with deadlines and storytelling. Stephanie got a taste of the industry when she volunteered for PA work on the back lot of Universal Studios.

To expedite her path to graduation, Stephanie pursued a stage management and lighting design degree at UCSD, which was connected to the Lovoya Playhouse. This gave her exposure to live production and events on campus. After college, Stephanie secured a job with an AV company at a hotel near her university. Working on weddings and events during her time there confirmed her passion for the industry.

However, Stephanie sought more stability in life when she became pregnant with her first son. She transitioned to a local theme park that specialized in special effects and theatrical work. The consistent schedule provided the stability she desired. Eventually, Stephanie found her way back to hotels, this time on the catering sales side, gaining experience in venue management.

Stephanie’s diverse background in film production, live events, and hotel sales uniquely positions her as a wedding planner. Her love for storytelling, combined with her knack for logistics, make her wedding planning services truly exceptional. Stephanie’s goal is to help couples create the best day ever for their special occasion.

To listen to the full interview and learn more about Stephanie Wooding and Best Day Ever Weddings, visit Felix and Fingers Dueling Pianos.

[This interview was provided by Felix and Fingers Dueling Pianos](

Podcast Transcript

Shawn Grindle (00:25)
All right. Welcome back to another episode of eventful endeavors. Uh, we are here today with Stephanie Wooding, who is the owner and entrepreneur of best day ever, uh, wedding and events. And, um, first of all, thanks for being here. Appreciate you. You’re, uh, you’re located in San Diego, right? Is that where you do your formula, but you’re in San Diego. So do you do all your weddings in San Diego? Do you travel a lot or?

Stephanie Wooding (00:40)
Absolutely. I am, but I’m originally from LA.

I travel some, I’m gonna say maybe 80% of the time I’m in San Diego, but I go from here, Orange County, LA, out to Julian, which is technically still San Diego, but it feels really different.

Shawn Grindle (01:02)
Yeah, well, also depending on the time of day going to Orange County is like three hours. So you know, that’s a long travel. Uh, anyway, so, so the one thing I like to start out with everybody is just kind of telling me your story, how you got into becoming a wedding planner, where you started, how it got you to this spot. So just, yeah, tell me, tell me how you got here. Yeah, sure.

Stephanie Wooding (01:06)

Oh man, that story’s kind of fun. So let’s see. Back when I was born, no really. I was always really interested in production and storytelling. I, you know, really fun fact about me is I had a weekly newspaper column when I was 12. In the local paper. So I’m used to deadlines. And I just, I love telling stories. So when I was looking at colleges and thinking about, you know, what’s next after high school?

Shawn Grindle (01:29)


Stephanie Wooding (01:50)
I was writing my college essay and I realized I really love film production. I love the fast pacedness of it. I love working with creatives, but also all the logistics behind that. And I had an opportunity at that time to work in production, just as a volunteer doing PA work. It was not glamorous, but it was on the back lot of Universal Studios. So that was super fun. And it just got, you know, got the bug for film production.

And then I tried to have to figure out how can I get out of college as quickly as possible? And the way that I was able to do that, because I went to UCSD, which is attached to the Lovoya Playhouse, which is gigantic regional theater. So I got my stage management and lighting design degree there. So learning about live production, what that looks like and how fun that is. And then through a…

classmate of mine found my way into doing all of the events on campus. So lighting, sound, we did concerts, we did all the things. And then from there, like, oh no, I’m going to graduate college. And what do I do now? At that time, they were opening a hotel right across the street. So I was like, oh, that could be cool. So I got a job working for the AV company that was in house there. And I got to see all the events.

Shawn Grindle (02:54)

Stephanie Wooding (03:11)
what it looked like to work in a hotel and be in that environment and worked all of the weddings that first season, second season, and was like, oh, this makes sense. Like, it’s kind of

Shawn Grindle (03:23)

Stephanie Wooding (03:23)
trending in my direction. And then, you know, then I found out hotels are 24-7 and I kinda wanted a little more stability in life and was pregnant with my first son, who’s now 16.

And I was like, oh man, I need some stability. So I ended up going to a local theme park, which I’m not gonna name, but it’s a big one that’s mostly only located near water. And worked in special effects and more theatrical stuff again. But the best part of it, aside from the two cases of free beer a month at that time, was just the stability, like the schedule was solid.

Shawn Grindle (03:53)

Stephanie Wooding (04:11)
Um, and then some management changed and I was like, ah, dang, need to change again. Um, but found my way back into hotels on the catering sales side. So I got to learn venue management. I got to learn sales. I got to be back in the hotel environment. Um, and dude, learned so much from there, made so many good contacts and, um, that are still really good friends to this day. And they really encouraged me to, to launch my business in 2015. Um,

which at that time I was like, I need to try to figure something different out for a lot of reasons, just life I think. And I was starting to go for my master’s in hospitality tourism management at the time too, so it was just kind of like a good pivot point for me. And then here comes along Jackson. So between my two, my boys and then my husband’s boys, we now have five boys together.

Shawn Grindle (04:47)

Stephanie Wooding (05:06)
and they range from all four of them are in high school together this one glorious year. And then we have an eight-year-old who’s like our mini teenager. So all of that being said, I really wanted to create an environment for my clients where they could be present at their events because I was just seeing a lot of people just so caught up in the details about setting up candles and decor and making sure vendors are there.

Shawn Grindle (05:15)

Stephanie Wooding (05:35)
And I was like, I can do this. I know how to do it. I live it every day. And also more importantly, I wanted to be present for my family because there was so many times where I’m like, I can’t go to your kindergarten graduation because I have to be at the hotel because I have clients there that need me. And it just wrestled with my heart of like, how can I do a great job for my clients but also still be a parent and present? And so.

Shawn Grindle (05:52)

Stephanie Wooding (06:03)
That was the genesis of Best Day Ever weddings and events. It was me being able to be flexible with my schedule, but also still providing a service to people, leveraging my vast and crazy production experience over the last 25-ish years. So that’s kind of the long and short story of how we got here, but it’s been pretty crazy, pretty wild, lots of pivots, but trying to keep being

Shawn Grindle (06:18)

Stephanie Wooding (06:33)
Being a good human kind of at like

the core of it.

Shawn Grindle (06:35)
For sure. Yeah. I love that. And one thing I got kind of caught up on that you said is you had a love of storytelling, right? Which is interesting because I actually I majored in playwriting. Like I moved to LA because I wanted to be a writer. And that was something that was big for me. So with wedding planning, because I’ve never really talked to anybody about this, but it is kind of interesting. Do you view that kind of like telling a story like in that same kind of way? Like, is that something you think you

Stephanie Wooding (06:37)
So yeah.

Shawn Grindle (07:04)
you really use when you’re planning somebody’s entire day.

Stephanie Wooding (07:08)
Yes, and in a very kind of existential way, I’m like, it’s, we’re planning part of somebody’s life story. You know, it’s a moment in time that we’re coming together and sharing, and it’s never going to happen again. So I take that very seriously, because this is something that they’re going to look back on, hopefully, you know, when they’re still married, when they’re old and gray. And remember, oh, that day was amazing. And so I, I really think of the whole day.

as you know from the very moment they open their eyes until the moment they close their eyes, I want that whole experience to for them to look back fondly and say that really was the best day ever. And I honestly struggled with that name for so long and then once I thought about that, that that’s the feeling I want people to walk away from, like it just made sense. So yeah, I absolutely see it in my head as this movie that plays out for their you know their day.

Shawn Grindle (08:06)
I love that. I love that. And I mean, it was the best day of my life. I had a blast at my wedding. But, you know, I talked to a lot of planners on here and I notoriously get a lot of flak for it because I did not get a planner early. I did a lot of things myself and this was before I got into the industry. So I made a few mistakes that I probably wouldn’t make now, which leads me into my next question for you is benefits of getting a plan a planner early on in your process, as opposed to like later, like why, why is it like, hey,

you should probably look into getting a planner as the first thing you do, if not like maybe the second thing you do after your venue, but like getting into that early. Like, why do you recommend that?

Stephanie Wooding (08:43)
Yeah. You know, it like way back in the day, you know, like our grandparents time, um, the wedding planner was always the first, first hire because there are the people that know all the venues, know all the, all the vendors, catering photographers. And especially in San Diego, there’s like a thousand in each category. So how are you as a person just doing Google searches or Instagram searches or Yelp searches going to know is this person really like

legit, is this really what they are, you know? So me as a planner, I will have already done all that legwork for you because I’ve done over 150 weddings at this point. So I know the vendors that are professional, they have the insurance that all the venues need, you know, they have the personality that will be a good fit for you. So having somebody that’s an expert in their field,

be the first person that you hire will help guide all of the other decisions that you make and may save you money or You know may also allow you to get really what you want without being you know sold Sold a used car, you know, like you don’t want to you’ll want to know like the car facts history So it’s really it’s like if you’re buying a house You’re not gonna just go and well, maybe you might just go to on Redfin or whatever and look for a house but most people will find a real estate agent and

Shawn Grindle (09:52)

Try it.

Stephanie Wooding (10:08)
use their experience, knowledge of the area to get the best house that they’re going to live in for a while. Why not have that same mentality when you’re planning a wedding that’s a once-in-a-lifetime, hopefully, experience, right? My two cents.

Shawn Grindle (10:23)
I was just talking to somebody else the other day, who for the first time I’d ever heard that real estate analogy. And that makes a lot of sense to me, because also like with that same thing, like you’re gonna save money. Like the realtor might take a fee, but you’re gonna save money, or they’re gonna get you the best deal for everything you can get, right? So let me ask you this then, because I mean, a lot of people do this, and I’m guilty of it again, I was new at the time. You know, a lot of people…

uh, like to plan the wedding theirself and then just bring somebody in, you know, whether the day of the month prior, just to kind of execute it, you know, your day of month of coordinators, like what’s your, you don’t do that, right? You’re totally full service, right?

Stephanie Wooding (11:03)
So I do that, but the phrase, the term that I like to use is wedding day manager versus a day of or month of or partial. Because yeah, you want somebody that’s a professional that has done this for a long time that is going to manage your wedding day. So it’s kind of a misnomer to say day of because you really can’t have somebody to show up on the day of and expect them to do all the things that you’ve been planning meticulously for a year, two years, your whole.

Shawn Grindle (11:08)
Yeah. Wedding day management.



Stephanie Wooding (11:34)
There’s going to be a lot of conversations that you have to kind of download all of this information that’s in your head into somebody else. And sometimes that’s kind of hard. So then people say, okay, well, it’s not day of, it’s month of. Great. But what about all those questions I have about invitations and save the dates? Well, month of is not going to help you with any of that. You’re flying solo there. So, I mean, my wedding day management does include all of those elements, but I come

Shawn Grindle (11:43)

Stephanie Wooding (12:03)
people as soon as we contract. And then we do touch points along the way. So you still are basically doing it yourself, but at least you have someone in your corner that’s an expert that you can ask questions of and make kind of better informed decisions.

Shawn Grindle (12:21)
Because I think there’s also a myth that, you know, if I just got married and say I have a very clear vision of what I want my wedding to kind of look like, I know what I want, you know, so why not plan it myself? I think a lot of brides and grooms sometimes feel like if they bring on a planner early, then their vision is kind of compromised. Like it’s now going to be whatever the planner’s vision is. Like what’s your take on that? Like I assume, you know, I mean, I don’t assume anything, but what’s your take on that? Because I feel like a lot of people really do think that.

Stephanie Wooding (12:50)
Yeah, and I, I completely disagree, at least for me, and I can only speak for myself. But I’m a type of planner that it’s your day, it’s your vision. I’m just here to help you execute it. So I can, you can tell me, hey, I want a white and green wedding with white hydrangeas, big floral installations, and I want a videographer to follow me all day long. Great. So I will then know of my, you know.

list of my whole Rolodex of vendors, who to pair you with, who to partner you with, and give you some direction. And I can throw out some ideas like, hey, you’re really into Legos. What about this Lego seating chart idea? And give you some ideas. I’m not going to say, oh, you don’t want to do that. Like I never try to tell people no. And it’s like, it’s not my vision. It’s not my day. What I think might look good, probably looks good. But

Shawn Grindle (13:34)

Stephanie Wooding (13:48)
If it’s not your jam, it’s not your jam. And I don’t want to make, like, you literally cannot have your best day ever with Stephanie’s best day ever. You know what I mean? So let’s just, I don’t believe that should be true. I know the luxury market, they do a lot more of that where it’s the planner’s vision, but it’s literally cause the clients don’t care or they don’t have time to care, you know?

Shawn Grindle (13:57)
Right, yeah. But yeah.

Right. Yeah. So I like that a lot. I mean, obviously, you know, the big thing is like budget, you know, too, like, you know, I imagine, you know, you get a lot of clients coming to you. If they come to you early and they say like, Hey, this is our budget. Then it’s like, well, you want this, and this. So this can’t be, you know what I mean? Like I’ve made that mistake before when I got married, I was like, we’re going to get married for $10,000. Yeah, that didn’t happen. You know, so talk to me a little bit about how, when people come to you with a budget,

you’re like, okay, this is what we can do with that budget. You know, do you kind of talk to people about expanding it or like, do you more go like, what’s important to you? Like, let’s focus on where we’re gonna spend our money, that kind of thing.

Stephanie Wooding (14:52)
Yeah, when we talk about budget, I tell people, you know, look, it comes down to your priorities. So then we have a conversation about priorities, like what are your top three most important things that you want to walk away from your wedding? And then they sit there and they stare at me because they’ve never thought about that question ever. And then they talk. And then we go from there, really. But also…

Um, I can talk to people initially about averages. Um, right now I’m seeing kind of average for a hundred people about 40, 45,000 total. It absolutely can be less than that. But again, it comes back down to your priorities. And I also tell people, I never recommend vendors that are so outrageously outside of your budget that it’s like not possible. So I try to be, I’m a really practical person.

Shawn Grindle (15:29)

Stephanie Wooding (15:48)
And so I’m a really practical computer too.

Shawn Grindle (15:48)
Sure. Well, and you, I imagine you have, you’ve done so many weddings, you know, a lot of vendors that you’re like, Oh, this is your, like, you can, you know, where the bride and groom will spend hours Googling or sharing the internet, you’re like, Oh, I know who we should call right now. I’ll just make a phone call. It’ll be easy. You know, don’t worry about it.

Stephanie Wooding (16:02)

Yep, absolutely. And I, or it’s even, hey, hold on one second. Let me just text them real quick. So, yeah.

Shawn Grindle (16:12)
Yeah, like even mid meeting, I can get there. They’re free if you want to do this, you know, it’s like, it can be that quick and easy. Right. Yeah. I.

Stephanie Wooding (16:20)
Yeah. Yep. That’s my wedding next weekend is they booked me in November and they’re like, yeah, we want to get married in February. And I was like, 2024, like, like three. Yeah. So it’s been it’s been a lot. But because of my relationships and experience, it’s not it’s not impossible.

Shawn Grindle (16:29)
Ooh, quick!

You can make it happen relatively quickly. Yeah. Yeah, I, like I said, I messed up. I did not get a planner. I did get like a, what you would say, like an executor, I guess, to execute our vision. But like my caterer, I didn’t know any better. And they like bailed three weeks before the wedding. And it was like, they were like, well, we don’t actually know who that is. Nobody knows who that is. So, you know, I kind of got, yeah. But it all worked out. So you heard it here. Get a planner.

Stephanie Wooding (16:42)

That’s scary.

Thank you.

Shawn Grindle (17:10)
It’s something everybody should do. So let me ask you this, because I have a couple fun questions I like to ask people. You’ve been working at venues and planning for a while. From when you started till now, have you seen any major changes, like things that have trended in different directions? Or like, hey, a lot of weddings used to do this and I’m not seeing it anymore. Or nobody used to do this and now everybody’s doing it. Is there any major trends you’re seeing that have changed?

Stephanie Wooding (17:39)
I’ve seen a few things. Instagram was a huge game changer and Pinterest also a huge game changer when those things started to come out. I think when I first started was, so started in the wedding industry in 2012, I’m seeing a lot more smaller weddings. So where the averages used to be, you know, like 100, 150, now they’re more like under 100.

And people are using that money for like, just in the last maybe two years, like these big giant floral installations or, you know, multiple colors. And it’s not just like white and green anymore. It’s more of let’s do this explosion of color. Like we moved away from kind of minimalist design to more of a maximalist design, which is cool. It’s just very different. Um, and then also just.

Over the years, I’ve seen more and more couples where it’s the couple that are the only contributors to their budget. It’s no longer really parent involvement too much. But when those parents are involved, it’s a very different mindset completely. Because the way events were planned and weddings were planned when, well, I guess it would be what, my aunts, I guess, that generation, it’s very…

Shawn Grindle (19:00)

Stephanie Wooding (19:02)
very traditional and now it’s very not. It’s like, what was the tradition? Okay, we’re not doing any of that. So no more garter removals, really. I haven’t done one of those in a long time. So those, I mean, the Champagne Tower thing has gotten kind of out of control, but it’s fun. Very messy, but it’s fun. Yeah, kind of just this like idea of moving away from

Shawn Grindle (19:09)

I’ve seen a lot of those, yeah.

Stephanie Wooding (19:32)
stuffy tradition and coming into what just feels fun for me as a person and like more freedom. So I guess yeah, moving from a tradition to more of a creative freedom.

Shawn Grindle (19:43)

I feel like every wedding I do or attend or play at or whatever it might be, there’s something there that’s just really unique, something I’ve never seen. Almost every wedding, there’s something different. Which actually is a perfect segue, because I was gonna ask you, what’s the most unique thing you’ve ever seen in a wedding? Like just something that you’re like, that is the most memorable thing I’ve ever seen. I don’t think anybody else has ever done it. It could be a decor thing, it could be something they did, it could be a first dance thing, I don’t know, anything.

Stephanie Wooding (20:15)
I’ve seen so many different things. We were just talking the other day about, I’ve had a few people that have swords of different types, and not like because they’re Marines necessarily, but just because they’re weird geek people like me, and they had a sword, and that’s what they used for their cake cutting. So just this, you know, little cutting cake, giant sword cutting the cake. So that was super fun.

Shawn Grindle (20:18)


Ha ha!

Stephanie Wooding (20:45)
I’ve also seen, I have a lot of, because of my theater background, I kind of attract like theater people. So I had a few people that do like a live serenading instead of their first dance. That was different. I don’t think anyone’s ever done that. More fun, a more fun story that I like to tell people is I once had a groom who, I don’t know what his deal was exactly. I think he might’ve been like a club promoter.

Shawn Grindle (20:51)


Stephanie Wooding (21:14)
DJ type guy, but he literally emceed his own grand entrance from like behind the ballroom door. He had a wireless mic in his back pocket and was introducing his bridal party from outside the ballroom and then introduced himself into his own wedding. And I was like, you know, sure, that works for me. But it was pretty syrup. Yeah.

Shawn Grindle (21:38)
Do it yourself. Yeah. I love that. I’m backtracking a little bit because I do have another question. It’s along the same lines of those. But so your theater background, what did you do? Like, what did you major in theater? What was your specialty? What did you do?

Stephanie Wooding (21:52)
Yeah, so I was a, like on the paper, it says my specialization was stage management and lighting design. So stage management, you’re making sure everybody’s where they’re supposed to be. You’re following the script, you’re cueing up and executing cues, lighting sound, all of the things. So, as we move to look at, oh, now you’re a professional wedding planner, oh, that makes sense. Like you’re cueing a DJ and you’re giving thumbs up for a trend and trends. And then…

Shawn Grindle (21:58)


Right. It’s just stage managing for a wedding. Yeah.

Stephanie Wooding (22:23)
Yeah, basically. And I mean, lighting is something that’s really has always been very appealing to me. Mostly because they made me choose like a practicum in college and it just seemed like the most fun one because I got to climb things and like hang over people. Which was, that was fun and terrifying all at the same time. So, but you know, when I go back to like the idea of storytelling, right,

Shawn Grindle (22:36)


Stephanie Wooding (22:52)
lighting really changes the story. The saying used to be, you know, sound without lighting is just radio. But when you look at a ballroom, or you look anywhere, if you’re outside an outdoor wedding, like you need lighting, otherwise you’re literally in the dark. But it’s also, do I want market lighting? Do I want up lighting? What is the difference? So I enjoy it. It was a very fun time in my life for sure.

Shawn Grindle (23:09)

Yeah, I also enjoyed it. I mean, I think theater people have a special, like, just lot in life. We’ve all, you know, we’ve been through a lot of fun stuff. So I think we can, we all have a little, like, kind of unspoken community. But getting back on track, we were talking about unique things. This is my favorite question I ask everybody, and I’ve heard some all over the place stories. What’s the, what’s the, like, cringiest thing you’ve ever seen? Or something where you’re like, okay.

Stephanie Wooding (23:27)

Shawn Grindle (23:52)
Nobody should ever under any circumstances do this at their wedding because it never works. It’s uncomfortable. Like anything you’ve seen that’s come into mind that’s like horror stories almost.

Stephanie Wooding (24:01)
Oh my gosh, I love horror stories.

Shawn Grindle (24:04)
Yeah, like what’s the horror story?

Stephanie Wooding (24:06)
So one of the best moments of my career was this one wedding in particular, and both of these things happened at the same wedding. So it was just like, oh God. So the first one is a good piece of advice too, is do not do an open mic. Just don’t do it. You wanna be prepared to know who’s speaking. And I mean, you don’t need to totally micromanage what they’re gonna say, right? But give them A, give them a time limit.

Shawn Grindle (24:16)
Oh no.

Thank you.

Stephanie Wooding (24:34)
Two minutes is usually a good amount of time because they’ll probably go to five. But give them a time limit and pick your people carefully. You know your people best. But one time they let, I don’t remember who he was. I think he was the groom’s brother, but he was part of the bridal party maybe. But he started telling the story about when he met the couple and it-

Shawn Grindle (24:44)

Stephanie Wooding (25:00)
The story included things like going to the river and camping and doing shrooms and peeing in the river. And I’m like, I’m watching her grandma just like get more and more uncomfortable. And it was, and it went on for like 10 minutes of this horrendous, like telling this whole story about their drug induced camping trip. And it was the worst. So make sure you know who’s speaking and try to.

Take away a microphone if you have to. The second one from that same wedding was maybe why we don’t do garter removals anymore. So just paint the picture. Imagine all of your closest friends and family. Grandma is dead center in front of the dance floor. We have the bride in a chair. And so what the groom does is he kind of goes, like she’s wearing a garter, which is like a little piece of laundry kind of.

Shawn Grindle (25:48)
already uncomfortable.

Stephanie Wooding (25:58)
thing, like a hair tie around her thigh. And the groom goes under her dress, removes it, and then launches that into the single men that are, should be getting married next. So whoever catches it is supposed to get married next, just for those that don’t know what this tradition is. So bride is sitting on the dance floor in her chair, groom starts coming out to genuine’s pony, and full on striptease, like clothes are coming off, like

Shawn Grindle (26:22)

Stephanie Wooding (26:27)
tie’s gone, jacket’s gone, shirt’s off, pants are starting to be unzipped, grandma has now got pulled dollars out of her pocket. Like it was horrendous. And the bride is just mortified. And the whole time, I felt so bad because I wasn’t even, I don’t think I was even the lead on that one, but I was like, oh no. And she’s just like doing the, oh my God, please stop. And the DJ is just like, sure, whatever, you know? So we had to get rid of, we do the whole thing. It was…

Shawn Grindle (26:53)
Oh no.

Stephanie Wooding (26:56)
the absolute worst. They did, unfortunately.

Shawn Grindle (26:58)
Did the pants stay on? Oh. And thank God. This is why.

Stephanie Wooding (27:04)
At least he wasn’t a proactive dude, so I mean, it wasn’t horrible.

Shawn Grindle (27:07)
Sure, sure. I mean, but this is why you don’t get too drunk at your wedding, right? Remember to eat. Oh, he was just.

Stephanie Wooding (27:15)
I think he was dumb and sober. It was just, he just wanted to do it. Yeah, yep.

Shawn Grindle (27:18)
Just feel it himself.

I love the grandma without dollar bills. That’s when it’s a party. Yeah.

Stephanie Wooding (27:27)
Yeah, that’s what it goes like, film this, do I not film this?

Shawn Grindle (27:32)
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And the speeches thing you hit the nail on the head as somebody who often has to MC all the speeches. It’s like my when that when a bride tells me in our like consultation call, like, I think we’re just going to do like open speeches. Like if anybody wants to say something, I’m like, you don’t want to do that. I’ve seen that go bad so quickly. You know, think about all the weird relatives you have. You don’t want to do this.

Stephanie Wooding (27:57)
And you can always just tell the bride, hey, you know, we really want to try to stay in a schedule because we only have your photographer for six hours. We don’t want to just totally derail. That’s kind of what I do. But really it’s you, you want to control your crazy cousin from speaking.

Shawn Grindle (28:15)
and before we kind of wrap everything up. So let me ask this. I mean, if you had to give one piece of advice to a couple who just got engaged, what would it be? Top of the thing, piece of advice.

Stephanie Wooding (28:27)
Yeah, I would say make sure the two of you are talking. That you are having conversations about your wedding, about what you want that day to look like, but also just how, like all the pieces, how, who’s contributing to money. What do you, what are important, what are priorities for you and for your, you know, your bride, your groom, your groom, your both grooms, both brides, all the people. And keep talking.

Don’t ever stop. And that’s also just marriage advice in general. The moment you guys stop talking is when it starts to get a little complicated.

Shawn Grindle (29:01)

Yep, that’s perfect. I love that. Also, get a plan. Yeah, exactly. All right. So before we wrap everything up, talk to me a little bit about like your personal endeavors. I know you had mentioned like, your husband does some charity work and you guys are involved in like the community. So talk to me a little bit about what you guys do in regards to that.

Stephanie Wooding (29:10)
Yeah, absolutely.

Yeah, so thank you for that opportunity. So my husband, John, works for a nonprofit Christian organization called Young Life, which is global. It’s been around since 1941, so I don’t know, forever. Math is not my strong suit. But the mission statement is to introduce adolescents, so middle school, high school, college, single, teen moms, college, middle school, yeah, all the things.

Shawn Grindle (29:43)

Thanks for watching!

Stephanie Wooding (29:56)
adolescents to Jesus and help them walk with him in their lives. So it’s kind of this idea of like, like mentorship, but also modeling what a life with Jesus looks like. And it’s for kids, all students. So we do a lot of that work. We’re on campus, and gosh, we’re on campus a lot. And then just kind of do some extracurricular activities with them. And these are kids that, you know, don’t have

any sort of trusted adults in their lives. So it’s really fun and rewarding to be that phone call that you get at two in the morning of, hey, things went down and I just need a place to be that’s safe that I can talk. And we have been able to be that for the students in the area, so that’s been really rewarding. And then I also do a lot of work with the local Chamber of Commerce. I just joined the Board of Directors for the next three years of my life, so wish me well on that. So it’s just…

Shawn Grindle (30:44)


Stephanie Wooding (30:55)
like, how can I help this community? We’re both entrenched in our, well, if you’re familiar with Santee and Lakeside in San Diego, we’re in East County, so anything east of the 15, south of the 52, kind of. And it’s just been really fun to know the local businesses, the local government, it’s been really cool.

Shawn Grindle (31:17)
Yeah, that’s great. That’s good to have stuff like that in your life. And then you can like have that kind of like fulfillment, you know?

Okay, well, before we wrap everything up, is there anything else you wanna mention, anything else you wanna say? Obviously we’ll link to all of your socials and everything in our episode and all that, so people know where to find you. But is there anything else you wanna mention, kind of last minute things?

Stephanie Wooding (31:25)

two things if you’ll indulge me. One is that I will be giving anybody who hears this podcast and then wants to book any of my planning packages, I do will give them a $200 credit off of any planning package. And then also I manage a venue out in Hummels if you’re looking for a rustic venue, I have that for sure. Just hit me up and we’ll talk about that.

Shawn Grindle (31:43)
Sure, please.

You see you also manage a venue.

Stephanie Wooding (32:09)
Mm-hmm, part-time. So I helped sell that.

Shawn Grindle (32:11)
Well, maybe we’ll have to maybe do another episode later all about the venue. You know, maybe we’ll have you back on.

Stephanie Wooding (32:15)
Yeah! Absolutely. That would be great. And then finally, dueling pianos is friggin’ amazing and one of the most fun things that you can include in your event, and I’ve been desperately trying to get you at any of my events. But, uh, for sure, I love that, so.

Shawn Grindle (32:23)

Well, thanks for the plug for us. Have you been to, have you been to Shout House down in San Diego, right? Have you been down there? Yeah, yeah. I know a lot of the people that play there. It’s a really fun spot. I am, I’m, you know, I’m up in LA, but I was just in, I did an event in Oceanside last night. So I make it down there all as much as I can, but I do a lot of stuff up here. So, well, I’m sure we’ll, I know I should, I should. I’m sure I’ll make it down there at some point in the near future. So anyway, Stephanie, thank you so much. This has been great.

Stephanie Wooding (32:37)
Yeah. Holy I.

Oh man, come down to try out how to perform.

Shawn Grindle (33:03)
We’ll link to all your stuff so everybody will know where to find you and thank you so much for doing this. You have a great rest of your day.

Stephanie Wooding (33:09)
Thank you.

Listen to the Podcast About Best Day Ever Weddings

This interview was made possible by Felix & Fingers Dueling Pianos

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