The Catalyst Wedding Review Podcast Ep 3 – I Dream of NeNe

Jen: Hi everyone and welcome to the Catalyst
Wedding Review podcast. As always, I’m your host Jen Siomacco and
I’m the leader behind Catalyst Wedding Co. Each week on this podcast, we’re looking at
the role that pop culture plays and how we as a society think about weddings. This week, I am overjoyed to be joined by
Allison Davis to talk about the Bravo reality series, I Dream of NeNe. This was a spin-off series that Bravo ran
in 2013 that followed the engagement and wedding of NeNe Leakes to Gregg Leakes. Nene kind of rose to stardom after being featured
on the Real Housewives of Atlanta, which started in 2008. And I love her. Jen: During her time on Real Housewives, Nene
and her husband Gregg separated and divorced after 14 years of marriage. They went through a bit of a messy legal divorce
before finally reconciling and deciding to remarry. And so, the whole plot of I Dream of NeNe
is that it is an eight episode series the kind of chronicles their journey back to the
altar. Before we get too far down the rabbit hole
in talking about this show, I have to introduce my super special guest, Allison Davis. Allison Davis: Hi. Jen: Hello. Allison Davis: I’m excited, I can’t wait to
go on and on about Nene Leakes with you. Jen: Well, just so everybody knows, Allison
is the founder of Davis Row, which is a creative wedding and event planning company in New
York. I have to ask you, you picked I Dream of NeNe
for us to review. What made you decide to pick this show? Allison Davis: I love reality TV, I feel no
shame around that. I watch everything, kind of run the gamut
from Big Brother, which is the show that no one watches, everyone hates, people don’t
understand why it’s still on air all the way to Great British Bake-off and those kind of
relaxing widely accepted reality shows. In thinking back of all of the reality show
weddings that I’ve either seen on television or photos of or read about on gossip blogs,
I think Nene and Gregg’s second wedding was my favorite mostly because there were so many
things that happen during the wedding that they showed on television that I had never
seen on the reality wedding before. Jen: For a celebrity wedding where no expense
was spared, I still feel this is one of the most realistic and honest depictions of a
wedding and a marriage that I have seen especially around a celebrity couple. And I can’t even think of a movie or any other
kind of fictional representation that I think does as good of a job at showing honestly
what this is like. Yeah, I am a hundred 100% here for it, I am
excited. Over the course of these eight episodes, Nene
puts it all out there. She lets herself be vulnerable and honest
and practical. And that’s just not something that we usually
get to see especially from celebrities. Allison Davis: And also, especially from NeNe
Leakes, I watched a lot of Real Housewives of Atlanta especially and she spends a lot
of time coming across as this enormous presence that only has sassy comebacks and attitude
and one-liners. And I feel it was really interesting to watch
this show because it was a rare glimpse of what she’s actually like as a person. There were so many moments where I felt she
was being realer than she usually is, and I think that made the show even better. Jen: Yeah. And where we start off in this series, you
have to really pause and think about where they are coming from because I think that
they separated and started their divorce process, I think just in 2011 and this is 2013. It’s only been two years since they separated
and went through this divorce and they have a son together so he had to adjust to having
parents in two separate houses. Obviously, there has been a lot that they
have had to overcome as a couple and as a family and to basically make that decision
to come back together and remarry is not a small one. And so, just that alone is really, really
kind of powerful that A, they’ve been through all this together and there is so much talk
about the importance of rebuilding trust and to try to start fresh and clean. Jen: And this new marriage, it’s not just
about having a new wedding, but it’s about having a new marriage. And I love that that is the angle that this
is taking. Allison Davis: Yeah. I think a lot of the focus when they were
talking about what they want to be different when they tried the second time was on their
communication because for the longest time before they got divorced, Gregg had this issue
of just straight up lying to Nene’s face. And, of course, that doesn’t work for anybody,
but she was very vocal about it not working for her and that it was not going to be okay
for him to do that the second time around. They went back and forth about that a lot,
and I think that she had a lot of trepidation and she really hesitated because she wasn’t
sure if she could trust this man. To see her kind of work through that was really
unique. You hardly ever see that level of honesty. Jen: And they’re in also a really unique situation
because she is the breadwinner in this relation. Allison Davis: That too. Jen: Even though Gregg is throughout the entire
thing very hesitant to dredge up the past and he wants to just focus on the future,
she is putting her foot down and saying, “No, we are not reentering into marriage without
addressing these issues. And so, we’re not going to repeat these things
that we did in our old relationship, it’s just not going to happen.” I love that the whole series kind of starts
off in episode one and they’re just going through the process of Greg moving back into
the house. They’re adapting to him being back, their
son is adapting to him being back. And they also, I don’t know. I feel so often reality shows they manipulate
people and unfairly expose people. But here, I feel they’re honestly doing us
a service to let them into their lives as they go through this process. Jen: Yeah. God, I love everything about this. In episode one, we also see them going back
and talking about their first wedding, which is really great. They were married for 14 years, I think 1996
is when they got married the first time. Allison Davis: It looked like 1996. Jen: Yeah, mid-90s. They showed a video. And they also were going through and looking
at Nene’s old wedding dress and a little bit of nostalgia. And Nene talks about, “Well, I need to know
what we did in the first wedding so that I don’t repeat it in the second one.” And that’s a little bit about the style and
the presentation of the wedding, but obviously it’s about not repeating the issues from their
marriage. I don’t know if you noticed this, but they
reference in the program from their first wedding that they had this poem, the art of
marriage. They kind of read one or two lines of it. I went and I looked it up and it’s so good. Allison Davis: Really? Oh, my gosh. That’s amazing. Jen: Is it going to be super cheesy if I read
it to you right now? Allison Davis: No, do it, do it. Jen: Okay. This is poem is from the 1960s by Wilfred
A. Peterson and it’s called The Art of Marriage. And they had this in their program for their
first wedding. And it’s just really appropriate. This is the poem. Happiness in marriage is not something that
just happens, a good marriage must be created. In the art of marriage, the little things
are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands and
is remembering to say I love you at least once a day. It is never going to sleep angry, it is at
no time taking the other for granted. The courtship should not end with the honeymoon,
it should continue through all the years. It is having a mutual sense of values and
common objectives. It is standing together facing the world. It is forming a circle of love that gathers
in the whole family. It is doing things for each other not in the
attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy. Jen: It is speaking words of appreciation
and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is not looking for perfection in each other,
it is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget,
it is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow. It is finding room for the things of the spirit,
it is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is establishing a relationship in which
the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal. It is not only marrying the right partner,
it is being the right partner. It is discovering what marriage can be. Allison Davis: That is so special. Jen: Right. Allison Davis: I love that so much. And also, I love that you looked it up. I really appreciate that you looked it up
and read it just now. I love it, I feel really emotional about that. And also, even though it’s a reality show
and we don’t actually know these people and it’s ridiculous and it’s corny and it’s over
the top sometimes, stuff like this is what makes it interesting I think for people like
us because there’s this idea that reality TV is for vapid idiots and watching it makes
you dumber. But at the same time, when shows- Jen: There are all just people. Allison Davis: Yeah, they’re all just people
and shows how these moments when people reveal these kinds of things about themselves, you
really get to see part of the human experience, honestly. It’s just heartwarming to be able to experience
somebody’s story in this way. And I think that’s part of the reason why
I just love Nene’s wedding special so much because I really felt real emotions watching
it. It didn’t just feel like I was watching people
choose linens and argue about the actual party and then walk down the aisle to some random
guy singing. It really felt like I had an emotional investment
in this. Jen: Well, and also in her time on the Real
Housewives, they did play up her big personality [crosstalk 00:11:57] to the point that it
got a little serial typical of okay, here’s this over-the-top powerful loud black woman. Allison Davis: She’s 5, 10, 11 probably, she
just a large presence because the other women are smaller and slighter than her, they’re
quieter than she is. And sometimes especially early on, they liked
to make it seem like she was the ultimate big sassy black woman, which was difficult
to watch as a black woman myself, I think sometimes. And sometimes the entire series, the entire
franchise [inaudible 00:12:35] on me for that reason. But I think it was nice to see this more human
side of her, this emotional side of her, the softer side I guess of Nene Leakes because
that’s not really something you see on TV either. Jen: No. And she is being vulnerable, but she is strong. And I don’t think that there are a lot of
depictions especially of women of color where they are allowed to be both vulnerable and
strong. It’s either you’ve got to be over-the-top
strong all the time, be that sassy black woman stereotype or sometimes it’s like pop culture
doesn’t know where you should fit in. In this, it’s emotional, she’s vulnerable
but at no point is she weak. And that is amazing. God, there’s so much stuff [inaudible 00:13:29]. Allison Davis: No so like just let it all
fly and just go on and on and on about all the stuff that I loved. Let us have some sort of direction and flow,
but I’m really having more time, I just want to talk about the drape thing. Jen: Okay. We will get to the drape thing. Let’s talk a little bit about family approval
because there’s a big chunk of this series that is talking about Gregg’s children from
a previous marriage who are all now grown and kind of reconnecting them and making sure
that things are not just good between Nene and Gregg before they reenter into a marriage,
but that things on both sides of the family are good and that the air has been cleared. And I am really thankful that they showed
this process. Gregg has these five grown children and we
definitely get that there is a bit of a strained relationship. Well, between Gregg and his children, but
also between Nene and his children. And there is this perception from Nene that
she fears that they think that she had something to do with Gregg breaking up with their mother
even though she did not come on to the scene until well after that happened. Jen: Once again, Gregg doesn’t want to dredge
up the past and really doesn’t have any interest. He has no interest in having these conversations. Nene is like, “No, we have to talk about this. Communication is the problem and we have to
fix it.” Nene gets Gregg to go to counseling even though
according to her, he doesn’t believe that black people should go to counseling, they
should go to church. Allison Davis: Which is a very real thing,
it’s a very real thing. Jen: Yes. I’d love to talk a little bit about that,
the stereotypes of mental health issues in the black community and the fact that despite
those stereotypes in that stigma, she pushes through it and makes them go to counseling,
makes them have a mediator. Allison Davis: First time, somebody said the
mediator was so key because these conversations were so tense between the children especially
one son in particular, he was angry, he was livid. And he clearly has a serious problem with
Nene, he had a problem with Nene in that moment and he didn’t even want to be in the same
room with her. And they turn into a whole thing where he’s
storming out and Gregg following and they’re turning cameras on and this and the other. The mediator I think was brilliant to have,
but I was also kind of surprised that Nene was even able to convince everyone else to
let the mediator be in the room because it does go back to this whole thought in the
black community that we don’t get counseling, we don’t seek mental health treatment because
it’s just not who we are. Allison Davis: We go to church, we pray about
it, we talk to each other. But the idea of seeking professional help
is something that we just don’t think is for us. And even though it could have easily been
something that the Bravo producers told her to do and that she didn’t really want to do
or that- Jen: But if the Real Housewives is any indication
Bravo, had nothing to do with that. In all of the years of Real Housewives reality
TV, have they ever brought in a mediator? No. They live for that shit, they love that drama. Allison Davis: They do, they do. I think, of course, whenever something happens
on a reality show that’s what people perceive as outside of the norm like black people having
group therapy, people always want to go straight to the idea that oh, the producers came up
with that or oh, they were forcing them to do that. They never actually happened in real life. But even if that was the case, the fact that
they still went inside and did it, I feel was monumental because when I watched that,
I couldn’t think of a time before that where I had seen black people in therapy on reality
television. Jen: And also, you get to see how well the
mediation works and the fact that they get to a point of resolve especially with Gregg’s
daughter, Katrina and her ability to have a platform to finally say, “Dad, I wish you
were there for me more.” And the fact that they all kind of come to
this place of communication is our key problem. It’s not Nene, it’s not just Gregg, it’s communication
across the board. And to see them all come to that realization,
I think is really powerful. And to show you that getting that professional
help is valuable and more people should do it. Allison Davis: It is. And also, I think it was really powerful because
there’s also this idea that black women are so strong that we don’t need anyone’s help
and that we are the pillars of the black community, which is true. But the fact that a black woman sought help
for her and her family and was the main reason why they got to this point where they were
able to really air it out with one another, I think was especially powerful. Whereas normally, the idea would be, “Okay. Well, mum is just going to fix it, grandma
is just going to fix it,” or we just won’t talk about it ever again. For the person who’s supposed to be the be-all
end-all problem solver to say, “Okay. We definitely need to take this to a different
place, in a different level and bring in outside help,” I think that that was such a strong
statement to be made on television. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that on reality
TV before. Allison Davis: And even after, that’s not
really a thing that comes. I think Kandi and Todd went to therapy, but
I don’t think so. But now, it’s not such a strange idea because
I’m insecure, Molly goes to therapy. And it’s a major plot point because again
it’s this whole thing like, “I need to go to therapy, why would I do that? Therapy is for white people,” which is so
not true. But then she goes and she has this weird push
back moment where she doesn’t want to do it, but she also realizes how important it is. And there’s a whole different thing which
he is not really truthful to her [inaudible 00:19:53] story. It’s just the idea that black people can go
to therapy and seek counseling and take care of our mental health on television in the
spotlight, and it’s starting to hopefully lose a little bit of that stigma. No to say that it’s because Nene Leakes started
it, but I definitely feel one of the earliest appearances of a black family in therapy and
having real heated conversations with a mediator was probably on the show. Allison Davis: Usually, the point of bringing
therapy into television is to create drama and to embarrass people so that it becomes
something that people talk about and in turn promotes the show, they get more viewers,
etc, etc. For this to just be purely about solving a
problem was difficult to watch, but it was also kind of exciting to see it. Jen: And to see the impact that it had not
just in that one conversation. Later on in the series, they have a family
dinner for the first time. Nene’s son from a previous relationship and
Nene and Gregg’s son together all get together and have dinner with all of Gregg’s children. And it’s the first time that the whole family
is all together and the siblings are really able to connect. And Katrina says something along the lines
of, “This is what I have always dreamed of.” To see that be the outcome when they were
just yelling at each other. Yeah, okay, it’s not maybe the most entertaining
moment for them to all be together in a restaurant having a nice dinner, but it’s important to
show that they’ve really been able to move forward and to come together as a family. And the impact that that has not only in the
relationship between their children, but the relationships that Gregg and Nene have is
really palpable. Allison Davis: Yeah. New layers. Jen: There are so many layers. I’m going to shift topics a little bit to
a one that’s going to make me cry a little bit less I hope. Let’s talk about prenups, the prenup. Knowing that she’s been in a relationship
with Gregg before and knowing that it did not work out and knowing that they went through
a very messy legal divorce process where there was fighting about who was going to get what,
it is super important to Nene especially because she is the breadwinner that they go into this
marriage with a signed prenup. And for her, it’s clear that it’s just as
much about trust as it is about protecting herself and her assets. She discusses it with her lawyer and he totally
agrees. And then she goes to New York to talk to her
friend and friend is in quotes here because her is Donald Trump. Yeah, you hear me. Jen: Nene was on Celebrity Apprentice, she
goes to Trump Tower to consult with him on is getting a prenup the right thing, how to
go about it, how to have the conversation with Gregg because he’s been divorced a lot. And so, I really hate having to see his face. Allison Davis: Me too. Jen: In watching the show, but I do appreciate
how pragmatic she is being about this. And that is being serious about it and it’s
not just talking to her friends, many of whom are like, “No, don’t do that,” or, “why would
you do that?” Allison Davis: She’s going to hurt her feelings,
blah, blah, blah. Jen: It’s not about feelings, she’s talking
with other people even if they might be dumpster fire people about a prenup. This is why it was also very important to
point out that this show was filmed in 2013 before everyone knew so publicly what a garbage,
we already knew he was a garbage human. Allison Davis: We knew but we didn’t really
know. Jen: Yeah. Now, we really know. Allison Davis: Now, we really know. Jen: Once again, I feel prenups, it’s a difficult
thing for anybody to talk about. And so, often if we hear about prenups, it’s
in the context of rich men who are trying to protect themselves from gold diggers, protecting
men’s money from women. Once again, I love it. I love that we’re in this situation where
here is a woman, she has the majority of the assets. And if we break up, I’m willing to share with
you, I just want it to be an easy process. And it’s about you agreeing to these terms
now because if we break up, I do not want to go through this messy divorce again. That’s so responsible and it’s so mature to
take that approach. And while obviously, Gregg doesn’t want to
do it because he’s Gregg and the issue was kind of looming over the whole series because
he doesn’t want to sign it, I don’t think he’s ever really hostile about it. Jen: It’s clear he just doesn’t understand
why she thinks they need it because he’s convinced they’re going to be together forever, they
made it through their hurdle, they’re in love forever now. Allison Davis: Also, Gregg is generally difficult. At times, he’s really annoying. And Nene is very clear, this is my soulmate. But at the same time, you could just see her
as he’s talking just rolling her eyes into oblivion because she’s like, “Who is this
clown?” When the whole issue of the prenup comes up
and Gregg is like, “Why do I have to sign that?” blah, blah, blah. It’s like on one hand you’re like, “Well,
he’s probably just strutting [inaudible 00:26:03] to make it a plot point. But on the other hand, it kind of does feel
like stuff that Gregg would say, the reaction that Gregg would have whether somebody told
him to have that reaction or not. I tend to just suspend disbelief for a reality
TV obviously because if I didn’t, I would never enjoy half of it as much as I do. Allison Davis: I feel like a lot of Gregg
being a pain about this particular point was real, he just felt like by signing this agreement,
it would somehow cheapen their relationship and their marriage. Jen: Almost like by signing it he was accepting
that it wasn’t going to last. Gregg was the reason their marriage broke
up the first time. Allison Davis: Right. Gregg, this is your fault [crosstalk 00:26:46]. Jen: This is all your fault Gregg. I almost feel he should have some more understanding
of this situation knowing that he got them there. Allison Davis: Right. And that was the point of contention the entire
time after they broke up because Nene was frustrated with Gregg and how he behaves because
he was generally making her life really difficult by just not doing the right thing by her. For him to be a huge pain, just in terms of
being generally annoying on top of just being somebody who Nene couldn’t trust, it was Gregg
obviously, this is your fault. Jen: Yeah. And Nene makes it so clear that this is about
trust. She even goes so far as to tell the bridesmaids,
“If he would just sign it, I would tear it up. I just want to know that he’s willing to sign
it.” Allison Davis: Right. And also he made this whole show about how
he would do anything to get her back when he was still trying to get back into a relationship
with her and showing up when they would go on their trip and telling everybody they knew
how much he loved her and how he had to get his Nene back. He kept saying he would do anything, but then
when it was like, “Okay. Well, will you sign this agreement?” He was like, “I don’t really understand why
I have to do that.” Jen: I know that it’s a difficult, it must
be a very difficult conversation to have. And for him to be constantly pushing back,
there are definitely some people who would just be like fine and drop it. But I appreciate that she is very clear, “There
is no prenup, there is no wedding. This is a non-negotiable thing.” Well, yes, it does take Gregg a long time. I’m fact, the day before the wedding, he delivers
this signed prenup and he’s like, “Here’s my gift to you.” Allison Davis: Gregg, you should have signed
that a long time ago. Why are you like this? Made for a good scene. Jen: It did make for a good scene, I can definitely
see the producers being like, “We got to wait for the very last minute for this.” But I do think that the way that it was handled,
it was clear when he did present it to her like, “I’m doing this because I love you and
I trust you, and I trust us.” There was about communication and transparency
there. And so, even if it was the producers that
kept it till the last minute, I do feel it put a nice end cap on this conversation of
trust and communication. Allison Davis: And I also think it was an
interesting contrast to when Kandi and Todd had their wedding and they did a series of
wedding specials, pre-wedding specials because Kandi Burruss is extraordinarily wealthy,
she has a career that spans decades. She brought no scrubs, she has a lot of money. Jen: And she’s so unassuming with her money. Allison Davis: Oh, yeah. She’s super chill, she’s super chill about
how rich she is. But then you see her house and you’re like,
“Oh, okay. I see now, I understand.” But she asked Todd to sign a prenup because
she met Todd filming the show. Todd was a producer on Real Housewives and
they were secretly dating for a while. Todd had money but he hasn’t handled that
much money. And Kandi was like, “You need to sign this
prenup.” And Todd fought her about it, they had arguments
about it. And I just thought it was so interesting to
see that after seeing how it went between Nene and Gregg who had already been married
before and hit absolute rock bottom and come back from it. Allison Davis: It just goes to show even though
a prenup is just something that people think about as being the source of just a million
horrible conversations and fights and maybe breaking up, it doesn’t necessarily have to
be that way. And there are a lot of different ways it can
go, and it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with how much money either party in
the couple has made or will make in the future. Jen: Yeah, yeah. I can’t even imagine what that process looked
like for Gregg and Nene given the fact that they have a son together. Allison Davis: I’m sure Donald Trump will
tweet about that. Jen: Also, it was really funny Donald Trump
said something like, “Yeah, I don’t know. Everything just always comes with me.” Allison Davis: Really? I forgot that he was on the show until I revisited
it, and I alarmed. Jen: Well, yeah, as I was telling you, I bought
it on iTunes and the episode preview is his face. I was just like, “What is happening here? Why am I about to watch something about Donald
Trump?” Allison Davis: Oh, my God, no. It’s ridiculous. Also, the reason why she knows Donald Trump
was because she was on Celebrity Apprentice. She also knows Omarosa. Jen: Omarosa, who was at the wedding. Allison Davis: Omarosa was at the wedding
and she was sitting next to Candy’s mom, it was just the weirdest thing to see in 2018
after all the other stuff that we’ve had to see. It was just bizarre. Jen: The next thing I want to talk about is
the bridal party. There’s obviously a lot to talk about. Nene’s bridal party and all the drama with
her bridesmaids. It takes up a good chunk of this eight episode
series. And I feel it’s 50% they were like, “Well,
this is where we’ll bring the drama from the Real Housewives of Atlanta in.” But at the same time it’s this is also the
real drama every time someone gets married and has brides. Allison Davis: Obviously, it’s inflated on
a certain scale and they have different problems than the rest of us do because they have cameras
following them around all the time. But at the baseline, all of that is real. As stupid as it seems when you’re watching
it in your review from it, when you’re really in it, those are the kind of little petty
arguments that you tend to have. Jen: There’s particularly a strained dynamics
Marlo who is also from Real Housewives. Allison Davis: And no one likes her, that’s
also important to note. Marlo is just not likable. Jen: Diana is Nene’s oldest friend, knew Nene
before she was famous, before she had money, before anything and has kind of been with
her this whole time. And she’s very protective of Nene and she
definitely sees Marlo and some of the other bridesmaids as being opportunists and just
along for the ride because of fame and not necessarily because they love Nene and they
support Nene. And this ends up causing a lot of drama between
Marlo and Diana. Well, that drama is totally in line with reality,
that dynamic of your oldest friend and then your new friends coming together as part of
a bridal party or as part of a wedding party is so real. Allison Davis: It really i. And also, it’s definitely a thing that I hear
even remove from the bridesmaids relationships just about the wedding itself. It’s like, “Oh, my God, we’re going to mix
all these people from different parts of my life. And it’s so weird, they’re all going to be
in the same room. What if they don’t like each other? I’m scared.” And I’m like, “Well, ultimately even if they
don’t like each other, you just have to hope that because they like you and they’re there
to support you that they’re just going to suck it up and deal.” But I think because of the types of personalities
in this particular bridal party and just blew away out of portion. And they had very hazy memories of the tea
party, but I know the episode was called spill the tea party. Jen: Yes, spilling the tea, spilling the tea. Allison Davis: Which was what I really liked
about it. Jen: It was very aptly named. Instead of a bridal shower, they have tea
party bridal shower that turns into a [inaudible 00:35:00] party. Allison Davis: It was a mess. Jen: Where I think Marlo walks out and everybody
is fighting. That’s nice. Allison Davis: They all looked amazing, they
had great tea party theme outfit and their hair and makeup was on point. But once they started talking, the whole thing
just fell apart. I don’t even know what to say about it. It was just so bad. And it’s so clingy where you just want them
all to give up. But instead, they just keep going at each
other. Jen: There’s one moment when Diana even just
loudly says while everyone can hear her, “I don’t like these women.” Allison Davis: Yes, I don’t like them. And it’s like, “Diana, did you really have
to say that? What are you doing?” So many of us have that friends who they just
say something you just really don’t want them to say. And then you have to deal with it on a certain
level because I just want you guys to get along with one another. Diana was just … I know they tried to turn
her into a villain, but honestly there were so many times during my season where I like,
“Nene, why are you friends with her? She’s such a downer.” Jen: There were definitely some moments. I do feel she did a lot of things that were
really meaningful, I do. The whole blue party night was really sweet
at the bachelorette party. She had all the women come together, dress
the same so Nene would look the standout one. And, of course, Marlo didn’t fall in line. Allison Davis: Yeah. She tried to get everybody to dress the same. Jen: He got a book printed of all of their
photographs all together and had everyone read a letter. And it was very sweet, it was clear that she
really, really loves Nene but sometimes it’s too much maybe. Allison Davis: Yeah. It was almost the aggressive kind of friendship
that Cynthia Bailey had with Nene at one point when they first met each other in Real Housewives. And Cynthia tried to get her to sign a friendship
contract, remember that? Jen: No, I forgot. Allison Davis: Oh, my gosh, that’s iconic. At one point Cynthia Bailey was so excited
about having Nene as a friend and making it a perfect relationship that she wrote a friendship
contract and printed it on a piece of paper and tried to get Nene to sign it. Jen: Can I add that to my friend request process
on Facebook, you’ve gotta sign this friendship contract where if you ever talk shit about
me, we are done? Allison Davis: Seriously. According to the terms of our friendship contract,
you are in- Jen: You never talk shit, you never wear the
same blouse as me- Allison Davis: Exactly. Can’t wear the same clothes, can’t go after
the same- Jen: My ex. Allison Davis: Right. Those are all important pieces of a friendship
contract. You have to have brunch with me once a month. It was just all this weird stuff. And Nene was rightfully alarmed by this like,
“Who are you? And why are you trying to get me to sign a
contract to be your friends?” Jen: Which is so funny because now especially
in I Dream of NeNe, Cynthia is the totally reasonable friend. Allison Davis: Oh, yes. Cynthia is so chill, she’s so chill. Even at the wedding, she’s just unbothered. Jen: It’s cool, it’s fine, it’s all going
to be all right. Allison Davis: Perfectly relaxed, not a bead
of sweat on her forehead and everybody else [inaudible 00:38:30]. Funny how things change. Jen: Yes. One thing that Nee has all of her bridesmaids
do that I am not down with is she makes them all get Botox and other treatments so that
they look good for the wedding. Allison Davis: I’m pretty sure they got vajazzles. Jen: Oh, they did. Allison Davis: Remember when that was a thing
vajazzling, and you get little crystals put on your vulva. I’m pretty sure that’s what they did. Jen: I would be all for if I was in my friend’s
wedding and she wanted to pay for me to get spa treatments. Sure, go right ahead. Allison Davis: I am here for that. Jen: But I hope none of them we’re getting
vajazzled against their will. Allison Davis: Right. I hope that they weren’t forced to do anything
that they didn’t want to do. There are a lot of things that you could ask
your bridal party to do or you can ask your wedding party to do, and they will do it for
you because they love you. But vajazzling, most people- Jen: Is a bridge too far. Allison Davis: Yeah. That’s just not part of it, that’s not part
of the agreement. That’s not in the friendship contract. Jen: Okay. We also need to go into a little bit more
detail about the bachelorette party. The vajazzling, the Botox, the spilling the
tea party, all of that was at home in Atlanta. But a week before the wedding, they go on
this five-day trip to Cancun. Let me tell you, when they’re in Cancun and
a bunch of the women go on this surfboard wave simulator thing, watching that scene
that gives me so much reassurance. A bunch of the women are like, “Yeah, we’ll
try this boogie board, surfboard wave simulator,” saying what’s happening. And, of course, they fall down. Allison Davis: They all fall down. Jen: And half of them have their bathing suit
tops and bottoms ripped off by the force of the waves. I’m about to get a little personal here. I have been on a wave simulator and I have
had my bathing suit removed from my body. Allison Davis: Oh, Jen, no. Jen: This these was like, “At least, it’s
not just me.” This past March, I went with my friend, she
wanted to celebrate her birthday at the Great Wolf Lodge, which is this place outside of
Richmond, Virginia that is for kids. It’s a giant resort with an indoor waterpark. And she was just like, “Whatever, it’s my
40th birthday, it’s going to be great. We’re going to drink, we’re going to eat good
food. We’re going to swim, we’re going to ride rides,
it’s going to be great. And so, I get on this wave simulator even
though I’m like, “I can’t swim.” I don’t know why I thought I can’t swim, I
can’t hold my breath under water, I can’t hold my nose. Allison Davis: Oh, my God, you can’t swim,
you’re on a wave simulator? Jen: Yes. Let me just tell you about the clientele of
the Great Wolf Lodge, it’s 90% children. And there is a line of people ahead of me
to do this. And this 13-year-old girl hops on and she’s
rocking it and she’s switching between being on her knee and on her feet and she’s just
making this look like the easiest thing in the world. Allison Davis: She’s done it before. She’s 13, it [inaudible 00:42:20]. Jen: She is like a little surfer girl. Allison Davis: She’s a genius probably like
all 13-year-old girls tend to be. Jen: She flexible, I’m not flexible. My enter of gravity is probably a little different
as a plus size woman. But so, I decided, “Sure, I’ll do this.” Me and one of my other friends who was with
us decided to do it. And she went first and she totally wiped out,
but her swimsuit did not come off. And then I’m like, “Okay. It’s okay, it’ll be fine.” Allison Davis: I’ll be great. Jen: I do it and then I wipe out. And then I stand up, and Alison, I kid you
not, I had no idea my boob was out and there are 13-year-old boys. And my friend is like, “Oh, my God,” and I’m
like. That’s the story about [inaudible 00:43:22]. And how relieved I am to know that I am not
the only woman who has gone on a wave simulator and has of her junk fall out of the top of
her bathing suit. There weren’t 13-year-boys at their bachelorette
party. [inaudible 00:43:44] I didn’t hurt anyone,
I’m sorry. To any parents of children who may have witnessed
it, my public apology for having a boob pop out. Allison Davis: I’m sorry, I’m sorry I’ve lost
you. Jen: I’m sorry children, please forgive me. I never meant to put you in that situation. Allison Davis: Did your friends set you up
to do it purely for her own entertainment like NeNe Leakes did or was it just? Jen: Well, she was like, “You guys can do
it, but I’m not doing it.” Maybe [inaudible 00:44:20] of it, nobody ahead
of me have their swimsuit come off. None of us went into this with the expectation
that this is a thing that could have happened, but it did. Allison Davis: I just can’t, I can’t. I just queued up again to see the dolphin
part and Nene’s excuse is that she has her period so she can’t go. Jen: Because the dolphin is going to attack
her because of the scent of blood. Dolphins aren’t sharks. I love you Nene but dolphins aren’t sharks. Allison Davis: No, she was just not trying
to be a part of it, she’s taking pictures on her phone. She is drinking her little cocktail, she is
purely entertained by these women putting themselves in situations that they absolutely
hate, and embarrassing themselves on television. Jen: Yeah. They were making them position themselves
so that two dolphins, these must be crazy trained dolphins. These two dolphins swim up in unison and essentially
lift them up into the air- Allison Davis: Like a friendly type of thing. Jen: Yes. They’re essentially riding the backs of dolphins. They make Marlo do it even though she can’t
swim. Marlo’s face would be like my face [inaudible
00:45:36]. Allison Davis: They were like, “Swing your
feet.” And she was like, “No, I can’t.” Jen: And she clearly doesn’t want to get her
hair wet, and she’s really unhappy with the whole situation, but she does it. The bachelor party is ridiculous and amazing
all in one. Allison Davis: I want to bring up the painting. Jen: Oh, my God, the paintings. Allison Davis: The painting. Jen: Who gave it to her? Allison Davis: Dian gave it to her. Remember, it was a painting of her and Diana. Jen: But then Diana said she didn’t give it
to her. Allison Davis: That’s not true, you know Diana
[inaudible 00:46:09]. I just feel so strongly that Diana commissioned
this painting and then had it sent to the hotel during the bachelorette party so she
could be like, “See, I’m the best friend that you have and everybody else back up because
I’m her best friend. Look, we’re in a painting together.” Jen: It was really poorly done painting, I
apologize to the painter. Allison Davis: Sorry painter. Jen: It’s probably not your fault, it was
probably the direction you were given. Really kind of painting of Diana and Nene
kind of looming over her from behind. And then when it arrives, Diana’s not in the
room and everyone including Nene is like, “That is creepy. What is that?” Allison Davis: Yeah. That is so weird, she’s trying to single black
female. Jen: Yeah. And so then when Diana comes in, they’re all
like, “Did you do this?” She’s like no. Allison Davis: No. And Nene is like, “I thought maybe it was
a prank that Marlo is playing.” And Marlo is like, “No.” But at the same time, it’s like as soon as
Diana walks in everybody is already talking about how terrible it is. And it’s like, of course, she’s not going
to own up to having this painting sent because she’s so embarrassed. It was just bizarre. Jen: It was a very bizarre thing. But at the same time, I can understand how
she would be like, “This is going to be a really great gift.” So, I feel for her. Allison Davis: I just think that the timing
was great especially given the relationship that she had with the other bridesmaids, which
was actually terrible. Even if it had been a beautiful and perfectly
thoughtful gift, they still would have found a way to drag her. I think she just blew it in terms of timing. Having a gift presented to somebody in front
of a group of people who did give that person a gift themselves is always a little awkward,
but it’s super awkward when the gift is a painting of you with that person especially
if you’re not in any sort of romantic relationship. Jen: And when you’re creeping over the side. Allison Davis: Right. When she’s looming over you like a spirit
watching over you, it’s never a good look. Jen: Yeah. Okay. But let’s talk about the wedding. Allison Davis: Yes. I’ve been waiting. Jen: We’re going to back it up a little bit
in the timeline because the bachelorette party was right before the wedding happened. Allison Davis: Please don’t do that. Sorry, as a wedding planner, I just feel compelled
to say. Even though I really don’t want my clients
to be doing any planning work the last month before the wedding, I also would not recommend
taking five people out of the country for almost a week right before your wedding happens. The stress of doing something like that is
unpredictable. Even when it is a vacation and the last thing
you need to do is get yourself all wound up before you even get to wedding week. That’s when you’re really going to be wound
up and excited, just please don’t. Jen: She did fly the seamstress to do a fitting
in Cancun for all of the bridesmaids dresses. It was a lot, I love that Lexis, one of her
bridesmaids was like, “I didn’t know this was happening and I’m drunk.” Allison Davis: Right. Seriously, she looks up and she’s like, “Oh,
we’re doing this.” Jen: Look, Nene gives her a bunch of shit
that she’s drunk. But I’m sorry, I thought this was a party. Allison Davis: On a vacation. Jen: I don’t blame Lexis for being drunk,
she thought this was a party. Allison Davis: Seriously, and you show up
to make me put the dress on, no. Jen: She almost throws up on the dress. Allison Davis: Oh, my God, so messy. Jen: Moving along, at the very start of the
series, granted this is all happening over a three-month period, planning her wedding
in a three month period, which is tough to do on the scale of the wedding she has in
mind. We kind of start out, she has this venue in
mind, it’s this gorgeous estate, lots of gardens. He has this wedding planner who’s she really
only booked because it was the only one available and gets to a point where it’s clear this
wedding planner is not working out, she is not meshing with her vision, she’s not responding
quickly enough to inquiries. Nene has no idea what’s going on, she’s super
stressed about it. It gets to the point where Gregg is Like,
“We should cancel this wedding.” Allison Davis: Which is not the right move,
Gregg. There are a lot of valid reasons to cancel
a wedding, you never get so far in that you can’t cancel it if you really feel it’s not
the right thing to do. But you should not cancel your wedding because
you feel your wedding planner isn’t doing a good job. Jen: Yes. I would love to hear your opinion about the
original wedding planner and how they went about the decision to fire her, then how fucking
awesome Tony is. Allison Davis: The thing about their original
wedding planner that I think was the most off-putting was that her personality in itself
was off-putting. He was just kind of cold and generally unimpressed
by Nene and her ideas, and just not very supportive. I think that as a wedding planner, while you
don’t want to let your clients just run wild and do everything that they can think of,
you also don’t want to make them feel like they have terrible ideas and nothing that
they want to do could ever possibly work. It’s really about finding that balance and
being able to convey your ideas and your recommendations in a way that makes them feel heard and understood. And this woman just could not seem to do that. She was just cold towards them. Jen: I know that for a lot of people, it feels
like they can’t switch wedding planners either because they paid a retainer or some sort
of initial investment. It’s definitely a privilege to be able to
say, “I’m done with you wedding vendor, we’re going to move on to somebody else.” Not everybody has the money to do that. But don’t keep going with something that’s
not right. Allison Davis: No, no. It’s just like the wedding itself, if you
feel uncomfortable, you don’t want to continue then you don’t have to, you totally don’t
have to. Jen: And I see this a lot especially with
LGBTQ+ couples if they hire a vendor and they think that they’re in tuned, but there are
things to be aware of. A member of the couple is gender non-conforming,
understanding how to ask about pronouns and how to publicly address the couple and what
they want to be called and how they want to be treated. Allison Davis: And actually following through
with those things too is- Jen: Following through with those things. I feel there’s a lot of times where couples
think that they’re getting one thing and then they start to kind of see the signs of like,
“Okay. You’re not as woke as you think you are.” And when it comes to your wedding, you want
people around you, you can trust. And so, I really appreciate that they show
her being like, “Okay. We’re done, we’re done.” And she was two months away, it was risky. I’m sure it was terrifying, but she moved
along right to Tony. Allison Davis: Tony Conway. Jen: Tony Conway, who on their very first
meeting, this is an education in my opinion for all wedding planers. That very first meeting that they have where
he has done everything up in his office that is catered specifically to her style and her
taste, that’s how you do it granted he is a huge high budget wedding planner, he is
quite- Allison Davis: Nene used millions of dollars
in revenue for him to be able to do these things. Jen: But the fact that you try to get to know
your client personally is really, really important. And I think it’s a good lesson to any wedding
vendors, this is how you do it. Allison Davis: Yeah. I think at its most basic level, it’s just
about doing the work and showing up with some level of information about the client and
doesn’t necessarily have to be in the first meeting either. I think as a planner, it’s important for me
to talk to people to find out about them and what they envision for their wedding, meet
them and see what they’re like a couple. And then write a proposal because then I know
what they’re looking for. And this is just a planning proposal, this
isn’t about design or anything that’s about personal taste, it’s just about understanding
what’s important to them and then being able to highlight those things in my proposal. You use what you have available to you not
even in terms of Facebook stalking or anything like that, you just ask the right questions
and you see where people are coming from and you listen to them, and then you take all
of that information that they’ve given to you and try to turn it around into something
that really appeals to them because they feel you’ve heard what they had to say. Jen: We saw him also kind of have to break
it to her about the venue. As soon as she books Tony, they go back to
that beautiful estate with beautiful gardens and he’s just like, “I’m sorry, it’s not going
to happen,” and she’s devastated. But he’s so right, “You’ve got two months,
I need you to trust me.” And that trust between a couple and their
wedding vendors is also so important. Allison Davis: So key. Jen: I also appreciate that they filmed and
aired when they were talking about the budget. Allison Davis: Oh, yes. Even if people have a whole lot of wealth
and what seems Like unlimited money to spend on a wedding, they still have a budget. Jen: And yes, the budget was between half
a million and a million. We see pictures and images of weddings that
look like that all the time and we don’t know how much they cost. And so, the fact that we know that her custom
dress costs 50 grand. I’m like, “If you want a dress like the one
that Nene Leakes, you better be prepared to spend that much money, but you don’t have
to spend that much money.” Allison Davis: No, you do not. It’s really useful that they televised that
information too because so many people are on Pinterest and Instagram and seeing all
these images of these ultra luxury weddings and not understanding that they fall in the
ultra-luxury category. And even though it was not the simplest wedding,
but if you take away a lot of the elements that you see hanging from the ceiling, it
looks like- Jen: The 60,000 crystals hanging from the
ceiling. Allison Davis: Right. If you cut the crystals, it genuinely has
a very clean vibe, it’s all white, it’s drapes. They are using Chiavari ballroom chairs, which
are the same chairs that most people have at their weddings. And they’re beautiful flowers, but I think
it’s hard to kind of fathom just how much those things cost if you don’t already have
a baseline understanding of how much they are for just the absolute most basic budget
wedding in your area or your market. Jen: He basically talks her out of this gorgeous
estate venue, and it’s like, “We’re going have to have a hotel wedding.” And she’s really- Allison Davis: Horrified. Jen: A, I love that it’s clear what you can
do in any venues space with enough money and with the right skills. Allison Davis: The right skills, yes. Jen: At one point he said it took 30 people
just to hang all those crystals. I was really glad we saw a lot of behind the
scenes of that room in transition from your standard hotel conference ballroom with it’s
folding sliding walls which are hideous, and everyone knows what those look like. They said it was like a production for a concert,
and it was- Allison Davis: It was. Jen: Which you feel scaffolding. They essentially have to build out a whole
new room and a whole stage and they draped all the wall and so much work went into it,
and they were working on that room for two days. And the cost is not just in all of the beautiful
décor, but in renting that space for two days. And most people cannot afford to rent a space
for two days to put the level of decoration into it that they want to do. It’s hard to find a place that’s available
period and you add that, “Oh, I’m just going to rent this out for multiple days.” Yeah, it was so nice to see it though the
process and show that it’s not just something that you can snap your fingers and you’re
going to have this fairytale wedding. These things take work, the take money and
they take having the right people, and they’re 100% unnecessary. Allison Davis: It is by no means required
for you to have a wedding with this level of detail and expense. It is not something that you have to do. Jen: A just of the piece works just fine. Allison Davis: Yes, I’ve definitely worked
on plenty of weddings that were over-the-top in this sense, and they were beautiful and
the families had just as good of a time as weddings I’ve worked on where they’ve spent
a quarter of the amount because ultimately that’s really not what it’s about. What you said about how important it is to
hire people with the right skills because when you don’t, when you don’t, it can go
so wrong so quickly. And that goes for anything that you do when
it comes to hiring people for a service. You end up spending more money when you hire
people who don’t know what they’re doing. Jen: There are definitely planners and designers
out there if you take on a lot, and this is not to say that they’re not skilled people,
but maybe just haven’t had the experience to know what it takes to pull off a wedding
of that scale. And so, finding a planner or designer that
fits your budget and fits your style and your personality, it’s important. But also, even if you really, really like
someone and you mesh really well with someone, if they don’t have experience in the type
of wedding that you want, it’s not personal in like they won’t take it personally and
you shouldn’t worry about them taking it personally if you choose to go in a different direction
because most vendors specialize in certain types of weddings. And that’s the type of wedding that they want
to work. And if that’s not you, that’s not you. Allison Davis: Yeah. Because I think it’s also a matter of making
sure that you hire not only the right people, but enough people. You can try something as simple as the amount
of servers that you have on the floor during dinner, you can corners on that. But if you cut the corners too closely, people
are going to feel the difference. I think it’s so important to have an adequate
number of people working on something like your wedding because when people are short-handed
and they’re rushing and they’re anxious and they’re stressed out because it doesn’t feel
like they can get all the work done, that vibe, that nervous energy tends to spread. And frantic is not a word you want to use
to describe anything about or related to your wedding. Jen: No. And I think going back to the venue decision,
I think that she went there to that venue with a realtor. This is not a venue that they rent out for
weddings. She was essentially going to rent this giant
home as if she was renting a home. And so, the amount of work that then comes
with, yes, it’s a beautiful space. But there’s not a venue manager, there’s not
all of the things that gets built into things like if you have a wedding at a hotel where
they have weddings there all the time, they have trained staff. They know how many servers they’re going to
need, they know how to run food in and out of the space. They know how to do break down, they know
how to do setup. Jen: Even though there was this beautiful
fairytale venue that she really, really wanted, it’s nice to be able to understand the trade
offs of that. It’s going to be more expensive, it’s going
to be more logistical difficult and it’s opening you up to a whole lot more chaos than if you
go with a venue and you go with vendors that do this all the time. Allison Davis: It’s like an off-premise versus
on-premise thing. Hotels and on-premise situations, they already
have it all there and roll it out for you. They make it happen, they have people who
are specifically trained to make it happen and it feels like you’re kind of running through
a well-oiled machine. And like with Nene’s wedding, it’s possible
to do something that’s totally unique that is not like anything anybody had ever done
before in that space, but you get the feeling that people are comfortable doing it, it doesn’t
feel like the first time they’ve ever had to handle something of this size and scope. And when you go off-premise, it can start
to get a little more complicated, and that’s when you really want to have vendors on your
team who not only have done it before, but are very comfortable with it. Allison Davis: And for a while, I did all
off-premise things and we had to build entire parties from scratch. You bring in a catering team and you bring
in a bunch of people on the surface staff, and they literally build your party for you. We used to walk around talking about how we
were going to build the party because we did. You rent all the chairs, all the tables, all
the linen and you just kind of put it together. And that’s the case in a space that’s already
built like a museum or a library or something like that. But then you can go even further off-prem
and have an event at a house, which is what Nene was thinking of doing. And even though at first it seems like having
a wedding at home it’s just going to be simple, even if your house is enormous and you feel
as though you definitely have space for all the people you want to invite like, “Oh, my
house is huge, I only want to invite 20 people.” To be able to support that many people in
your home, you really have to make a lot of changes. Allison Davis: You have to make sure that
you have enough restrooms for everybody to use. You have to make sure that there’s enough
space for the catering staff to prepare food. If you have a plated meal, they have to lay
out every single one of those plates individually. Do you have enough space for that many tables? Those are all things that you have to think
about. And then if you want to have your wedding
outside at home, that’s a whole another piece. You got to get a- Jen: Is it going to rain? You got to get tents. Allison Davis: Yeah. Are you going to put a floor in the tent? Are you going to bring in trailers for the
restrooms? Are you able to even do that? If your town requires you to have permits,
do you know how to get those permits? There are so many variables that you have
to consider. And I think that’s the reason why Nene’s plan
was like, as beautiful as this space is, it’s just not the right fit to what you’re trying
to do. She invited 400 people to her wedding. There are so many details that you have to
be able to take care of. Jen: And so many of our readers are opting
for backyard weddings. And while that as an idea is fantastic and
it can be done on the cheap, but you really have to understand especially if you don’t
have a wedding planner what you’re going to be taking on. And that’s from dealing the caterer on your
own, dealing with rentals on your own because I don’t think even if you’re having 20 people
over, do you have 20 chairs in your house? Do you have places for them to sit and eat? Do you have just even 20 places for them to
stand and watch you get married? The little things add up first like 20 wine
glasses for people to drink out of. Okay, maybe you go with paper cups. But then all of those decisions- Allison Davis: Do you have enough trash cans
to handle all of that. These are all things that you have to think
about. They’re not the most fun details to consider
but they are important to have a good grasp on. And I think a lot of times when people want
to have weddings that are at any level of formality above a backyard barbecue, having
it at home is going to be 9 out of 10 much more expensive than it would be it to have
it at a venue even if the venue is just a box where you walk in, you have to fill it
with everything that it takes because at least then you know that they have the plumbing
that’s necessary for the restrooms and space for you to set up all your tables. You don’t really have to turn it into something
different, whereas with your home, you really have to transform it a lot of the times into
a space. Jen: And if you are going to choose to do
it at home, I know a lot of people are going that route and they think, “Okay. If I do it at home, I don’t need a planner.” But I think that’s when you need a planner
the most just because you don’t have a venue manager or somebody helping you to connect
with right vendors even if it’s audio so that people can actually hear you say your vows. Allison Davis: Yes, major. It’s really about understanding just how much
of the wedding you have to build I guess. And any time that you bring in multiple vendors,
you’re going to want a planner, somebody who’s going to have to wrangle all those people
because at a certain point, it really does turn wrangling because everybody has their
own agenda. Jen: I love also that we get to see Nene getting
ready on the wedding day and she’s stressed. And she is right about to go down the aisle
and she pretty much has a panic attack. And it’s not about not wanting to get married,
it’s not about Gregg. It’s about, and I think so many people right
before they get married have that feeling of, “I have spent so much money. It’s such an intense situation, everyone is
going to be looking at me,” especially if you’re an introvert or you don’t like being
in public, it’s a really uncomfortable situation. And that’s something that people really talk
about with wedding, you’re just supposed to be happy all the time and be able to see her
essentially have a mini meltdown, and it not being a runaway bride situation. It wasn’t about drama, it’s just this is an
intense situation, weddings are intense. And this is normal, she powered through it. And she had her sons walk her down that aisle
and it was all fun and it was beautiful. And when she got past it, she was great and
I legit cried. Allison Davis: Me too, a couple of times. Jen: So emotional just because they’ve been
together so long and they’ve been through so much. There was not a dry eye in the house there,
everybody was crying. Allison Davis: Everybody. And I appreciated the fact that they showed
her having a meltdown even if they tried to use it as a drama cliffhanger before commercial,
it was very real. She was really feeling the weight of what
was happening to her and even though she already married this guy one time, that wasn’t even
part of it really. That doesn’t make it feel any less momentous
than it is for that to be shown as part of this whole moment and this experience was
just, I thought really special. Jen: Yeah, I think you and I could keep talking
about Nene forever. Allison Davis: I feel very few people can
say that they dedicated hours of a podcast to talking about Nene, feel strongly about
her, her and Gregg. Jen: And Player. Allison Davis: Oh, my God, Player. Jen: Their dog is named is Player. Allison Davis: Yes, the dog is named Player. And the dog was in the wedding ceremony. Jen: He had a little suit. Allison Davis: And it was just, it was a family
affair. Jen: Also, it kind of ends with them going
up to their honeymoon and suit. At first, they’re like, “We’re going to go
have sex.” And then they get up there and they’re like,
“I’m tired, where’s Player? I just want to pet the dog.” Allison Davis: Exactly. All so real. Jen: This is the one, this is what it’s like. It’s eight episodes of wonderful realness
and everyone should go watch it even if you’re like, “You just told me everything that happened
the plot is not important.” Allison Davis: Also, I just want to say some
of the aesthetic stuff because I was really into the aesthetic of this wedding. Jen: Yes, yell me about your favorite part
of the wedding? Allison Davis: I’m not so much a crystals
and sparkles type of planner. And for me to watch a wedding like this that
is so clearly crystals and sparkles and cascading orchids and really love it was, I was not
expecting that. I thought it was so beautiful. Jen: Yeah. She said that she wanted it to be a vintage
Hollywood vibe, and that came through in her look but it was never cheesy. It was just glamorous and beautiful. Allison Davis: It was not heavy handed. Jen: It was not heavy handed. Allison Davis: Which it could have easily
been. I just felt the stylistic elements of the
wedding were just really nice and really well done. And I think that before this point, you had
never really seen a wedding like this on television before, the idea of draping an entire ballroom
and turning it into a completely different space was not as ubiquitous as it is now. People think of that now as a certified option,
whereas in 2013 when this came out, it just wasn’t really something that everybody saw
as attainable. The giant floral arrangements were amazing,
and I usually am not excited by those. And Judge Mathias was the officiator and he
looked great. He had this robe on and everything. The fact that she had her bridesmaid, not
only wear all different styles of dress, but they- Jen: But they were all wearing white. Allison Davis: And I think that’s the first
time I had ever seen that. Jen: Yeah. I think she might have beaten Solange to that. Allison Davis: She did, you’re right. She did. I felt that it was really beautiful, I also
appreciated more gold. Jen: Nene had so much gold in the lace and
it was beautiful. But she basically gave a toast and was like,
“Part of the reason I wanted you all to wear white is because you helped get her. And this is just as much of your day as it
is mine.” And that was beautiful. Allison Davis: So thoughtful. Jen: And a really important message when there
is a Bridezilla reality TV show like, “Having that message, Gregg and I acknowledge all
the people that helped us get here.” Allison Davis: It was a team effort. Jen: It’s a team effort. Allison Davis: Yeah. And another thing that was really impactful
for me watching it was Tony and his behavior. There were definitely moments where you could
tell that they made Tony pull his people away from the situation so that it could escalate
and turn into a mess. But there were also points where you got to
see what being a luxury wedding planner is really like. It’s really like the J.Lo movie. A lot of it is about just popping up when
people need you the most and- Jen: Yeah. Like when she was having a breakdown and somebody’s
giving her water, but she has her makeup on. It’s not like she can just drink it, somebody
is holding a napkin under her so she doesn’t spill water on herself. It’s not the most glamorous thing, but that’s
what people do. Allison Davis: And he had this moment where
they were talking about the logistics of getting her into the room and Tony the planner told
her that she was going to have to go through the basement. And she was like, “I’m not taking this $50,000
dress through the basement.” Jen: Because she was going to have to walk
through the kitchen too. She knew that kitchens have food on the floor
and skid everywhere. Allison Davis: She was not happy about that
idea, but he knew that and he was there with her as she was walking through it and he was
telling her how amazing she looked and how great it was all going to be and she- Jen: How she made every hallway beautiful. Allison Davis: And he was just giving the
ultimate pep talk to her. Jen: Tony is the best. Allison Davis: He is just a total gem, I was
so excited to see him do his job. And when he gave Gregg the gift that Nene
had bough for him, he had this whole emotional moment. Jen: And Gregg cried a lot. Allison Davis: Gregg cried a ton. As annoying as Gregg is, he has a good heart,
he means well in the end. He’s just a good person. You could tell, it’s hard to think that. Jen: This is episode three and the first two
episodes, I had a lot more critical things to say about the movies that we were reviewing
and I definitely feel this is one where it’s, “I don’t really have a lot of negatives things
to say.” Vajazzling doesn’t sound like a good idea,
but otherwise, this is a really good depiction. Yes, not everybody can afford it, but it was
real. Allison Davis: Yeah. And in the end it was just about relationships
and love and how important these people are in her life not just Gregg but her friends,
her kids, her step-kids. It is a really special eight episodes of television. Jen: Yeah. Maybe just skip the part where she’s talking
to Trump. Nobody needs to see his face anymore and skip
the vajazzling. Allison Davis: That’s not necessary either. Jen: Yeah. The rest is all good. Allison Davis: Totally charming, just absolutely
delightful. Jen: All right. Well, thank you so much for being here with
me. And finally, can you tell everybody who’s
listening where they can find you and your wedding planning services. Allison Davis: Yes. If you need your own personal Tony, you can
find me at D-A-V-I-S-R-O-W. And then my person Instagram is Allison, A-L-L-I-S-O-N,
.davisrow. And I’m on Pinterest @davisrow. I’m all over the internet, and I would love
to internet with you. Jen: Thank you again and talk to you soon. Allison Davis: Yes. Thank you, bye. Jen: Bye. The Catalyst Wedding Review podcast is a production
of Catalyst Wedding Co. Show your support of catalyst and this podcast
by becoming a patron at You can find real wedding inspiration and
advice for feminists, the LGBTQ+ community and woke folk at And if you’re engaged and looking for wedding
vendors that share your values, then look no further than the Catalyst vendor directory. Also follow us at Catalyst Wed Co on Instagram,
Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Our theme song was composed by momentum, our
co-founders are Liz Susong and Carly Romeo. Our operations manager is Marle Hylton. Our editorial team consists of Amber Marlow,
Kayla Deeds, Jordan Maney and Cindy Savage. Our intern is Sydney Zwick. Our advertising and sponsorship team consists
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email sales at Jen: As always, I am Jen Siomacco, the CEO
of Catalyst Wedding Co. And I am always open to hearing your thoughts. Send your ideas and comments to [email protected] Thanks everyone and have a great week disrupting
the wedding industry.

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