Inaugural Episode - Happily Altered After with Maya Holihan
Welcome to "Happily Altered After". Unique perspectives on the road to wedded bliss and heartwarming, hysterical, maddening and jaw dropping stories filled with wedding planning tips, tricks, do’s, and don'ts. And now here's your host, Maya Holihan.
Good afternoon and welcome to the inaugural episode of Happily Altered Actor. Many people have asked me what is Happily Altered After? And it's a couple of things. But before I get into that, I'm going to share a little bit about who I am as your host and what my background is that has led me to here, speaking with all of you. So, my name is Maya Holihan. I am the author of Happily Altered After, the book which will publish in the late spring, early summer of this year. And I am your podcast host that shares the same name as the book. So, I love weddings. I have been enamored with weddings since I was a little girl. I grew up on Cape Cod and there are so many weddings that take place there during the summer months.
So I was just always surrounded by beauty and gorgeous brides and grooms walking by and their wedding attire. And I think by the grace of God and the journey that I chose after I graduated college had the opportunity to get into the industry. In late 2000, I moved to New York City and worked for Vera Wang. So that was my entry into the professional side of the wedding industry. And the very first day on the job, I knew that it was going to be the industry I would spend the rest of my life. And I just loved the stories, every unique engagement story, meeting the brides and their guests and learning about the love that they've created with the person they're now going to marry and what each wedding was going to look like. So I just have a love affair for weddings.
And I'm very lucky that I've had the career that I've had in the industry. So, after leaving Vera Wang, I moved to the Norfolk Virginia Beach area of Virginia and took a job with a bridal shop in late 2003. And a year later I had the opportunity to buy that shop. So between 2004 and 2017, I grew a bridal enterprise that included six stores, wedding Magazine, Bridal Shows, a planning company and I really felt like I was on my way to establishing one of the most prominent recognized wedding companies in the country. Unfortunately, my growth was very fast and furious and I was unable to manage that.
I did not make some smart business decisions and ultimately I had to close my doors abruptly in late 2017, which left my customers and my employees and my community devastated and me really traumatized because it was, for me, my worst nightmare come true. The one way I never wanted to exit the industry was the way I exactly exited the industry. And it was very public and I lost everything and had to restart, I had to start all over again. And part of the therapeutic process for me was writing. And so I started writing this book for Brides To Be on how to create the best shopping experience that you can have when you're searching for your dream gown. And, you know, 40,000 words later I looked at it and said, wow, this could actually be something, this could be a book.
So I had to step away from it for quite some time because it was really being written from a very emotional place, a place of, you know, wounds and a little bit of sorrow and grief because I was really grieving the loss of my company. That was my very first baby. And so it was hard to redesign my life and figure out what it is exactly that I wanted to do. So about a year and a half later, I went back and finished the book. And it is actually in the editing process right now. I just got my first round of edits back from my editor and Happily Altered After is a bold narrative on wedding gown shopping for brides-to-be. It comes from mainly my perspective, but I share real brides stories.
There is a chapter that's written primarily by wedding planners about things crisis that happened on the wedding day that they had to fix in the snap. And it's really heartfelt, it's very genuine. I believe it gives a bride-to- be every ounce of information she needs to navigate the process and have the experience that she desires. And it also includes reassurance that if there is a crisis, if there is something that happens that was not in your plans, that was not ideal, like perhaps your bridal shop closing abruptly, it's still going to be okay, you are still going to have an extraordinary wedding, everything on that day will still be perfect.
But more importantly, hopefully, the life that you want to create, that marriage that you have envisioned with this person, will be just as beautiful, will bring you so much joy and will exceed all of your dreams and your expectations. So as I'm pulling the pieces of the book together, the podcast really supports the book. It's an extension of the message of the conversation, of the narrative that is taking place in the book. And there's many voices that are part of the podcast. I will be interviewing people that have a part, every piece, every element that goes into planning a wedding. I will be interviewing those professionals, the team that makes your dream come true. And I'll also be having guests that really are part of the much bigger picture, which is your married life.
So we'll be speaking to realtors and financial planners and marriage counselors and clergy members. So it really is more than just preparing for the day, it is really preparing for a lifetime of happiness and wedded bliss. And so hopefully you will enjoy every conversation, you will take something from every episode that you can apply, not to just your wedding planning, but to the life that you want to have for yourself and for your spouse and your family for a lifetime to come. I also want to end with that. Happily Altered After is a brand of EWedded. EWedded is another one of my companies. It is a resale marketplace for the wedding community. It will also launch in 2020, probably toward the end of the summer.
And it's a great place for people that are looking to sell their wedding wears and recoup some money from their wedding day, and also for consumers that want to be Eco-conscious or budget conscious or both and are really looking to have the wedding of their dreams, but without breaking the bank. And it is a community. It brings together every element, every segment of the wedding community. It's comprised of consumers, of wedding businesses and wedding professionals. And so what we're going to do together on that marketplace is we're going to create really gorgeous weddings, but we're also going to be kinder to the planet, and we're going to be kinder to our wallets.
So hope that you will continue to join me on the journey as I develop Happily Altered After and EWedded, and that you will join the conversation and share with me your thoughts, your feelings, questions that you may have, any comments that you think the audience would want to hear and take part in. Because this is not really about me. It is about all of you who are planning, and it is about all of my guests that are working their tails off passionately and tirelessly to deliver to you the wedding of your dreams. So I thank you. I welcome you to Happily Altered After and EWedded, and I'm looking so forward to bringing you exciting episodes every week. And the episodes will drop Sundays at 04:00 p.m., so look out for them. Subscribe and share.
And, yeah, introduce anyone you think would want to hear what's going on in the world of weddings and marriage. And share happily altered after with them. Thank you so much. Have a great afternoon.
You've been listening to Happily Altered After unique perspectives on the road to wedded bliss with your host, Maya Holihan.
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