|Beau Fodor Entertains at AIB College of Business|
Beau Fodor regaled students and staff at AIB College of Business with his caustic wit, self-deprecating humor, behind-the-scenes tales of his local wedding planner business, and exclusive footage from his upcoming cable reality TV show.
“I’m kind of humbled,” said Fodor, “especially speaking at a business school when I can’t really balance a checkbook. But I guess that’s what accountants and business people are for, so I’m thankful that you’re all into this.”
Fodor saw entrepreneurial opportunity when Iowa became one of the few states to allow same sex marriage. He opened Gay Weddings with Panache in 2009 and has since been part of 48 gay weddings.
Fodor zeroed in on several AIB students considering a future in wedding or event planning while majoring in the Sports and Event Management or Travel and Hospitality Management programs. He offered encouragement, but laced it with a reality-check.
“Bridezilla, that needs to be in the dictionary,” warned Fodor. “Actually, groomzilla needs to be in the dictionary because these gay men wear me out. They are very high maintenance.”
“The whole wedding industry is hooked on the word ‘wedding.’ You buy flowers, they’re $25,” said Fodor. “You buy wedding flowers, they’re $125.”
“Brides & Grooms” brings Fodor’s business to television. He is currently in final talks with a major cable network to begin airing the show this fall. “Brides & Grooms” centers on the universal drama inherent in all weddings but also the unique pathos and humor of gay weddings.
Fodor welcomes the chance to spotlight Iowa and change the views of those people who dismiss it as a flyover state. “I’m Iowan, and it’s on my birth certificate,” declared Fodor. “And so as I’ve literally had to defend our state and our mentality here, it’s been a huge reawakening to discrimination or intolerance or ignorance.”
“I just think that we deserve a chance to have a major network carry a show about life here in Iowa,” said Fodor, “whether it’s just about gay weddings or big gay wedding planners or the Salvation Army which I do volunteer work for or my dysfunctional family up in Fort Dodge.”
Fodor shared the challenges of making and selling the first handful of episodes, saying, “People have explained to me that that was sort of like my bachelor’s into reality television, and now I’m stepping into my second season which will be my master’s and, who knows, the third season will hopefully be a PhD and a six-figure salary.”