“What will it be like to work with you?”
This is a question I hear a lot.
Right up there with “What do you actually do?“
And even if I don’t literally hear people asking this question, I know potential clients are kicking it around in their heads. Because who wouldn’t be curious about such a thing?
When you’re getting ready to invest time and money into a wedding vendor, you want to make sure you’re investing wisely. And that means getting to know as much as you can about the person you’re hiring.
While I could use this time to tell you what it’s like from my point of view, I think it would be much more valuable for you to hear it from the source. That is, couples I’ve actually worked with. So I worked with two amazing former couples to share a little more about their experience planning a wedding with me as their planner.
Tammy & Hunter
Tammy and Hunter live in Chicago, they knew wanted an outdoor wedding in the fall. Somewhere near the water but not on a sandy beach. And Tammy imagined string lights and green and white flowers everywhere. Northern California was the clear answer. But during the planning the couple had two big concerns:
1) COVID affecting the timing, guest count, venue/vendor availability, food options…pretty much everything.
2) The stresses/worries of planning a destination wedding (and during the peak of COVID). Not being able to visit vendors or venues in person. Having things fall apart and being too far away to fix them. Having travel issues (i.e., flight cancellation or a high cost for guests to fly out). Finding local hotels to recommend.
The solution? A wedding planner!
Specifically, a wedding planner who was efficient, organized, and friendly. Someone who could help them have the best day of their lives, especially since COVID had put a damper on so many events for people. While we started working together pre-covid, the need for guidance and help with a destination wedding became that more important once everything went awry because of covid.
The couple’s main goal: have an amazing experience. “I wanted good food, good music, and beautiful views so that our friends and family could relax and enjoy themselves,” Tammy said. “We focused on doing everything outdoors so people could be comfortable and planned a more intimate event so my husband and I could be sure to connect with each person that attended.”
And when the flowers hit the fan (their original venue canceled two months before their wedding), I didn’t skip a beat to get everything back on track. The Pebble Beach Beach Club was no longer an option due to the fact that weddings were not allowed in Monterey county. But Tammy and Hunter knew that they didn’t want to postpone or cancel, they decided to pivot.
We moved the wedding further north to the Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay, where weddings were allow. The big issue became that Tammy and Hunter had never been to Half Moon Bay and were not going to be able to visit in the short time before the wedding. Tammy and I talked about their wedding vision, and I gave her as much information as I could about the areas she was interested in hosting the wedding. We talked details (Tammy’s favorite part of planning) like designing table scapes and picking out menus. We replanned the whole wedding and communicated new plans with all the guests in a matter of 60 days prior to the wedding. There were so many challenges during the planning process, but the couple handled them with grace, understanding, and the wedding ended up being absolutely gorgeous.
On the day of the couple’s wedding, I made sure I was everywhere, which was a huge relief to Tammy. I checked in with her during hair and makeup and then with her husband. At the ceremony site, I oversaw, several different rental installations, lighting installation, the flower delivery and table setup. I ruffled Tammy’s dress before she walked down the aisle and handed her the microphone when it was time for her thank you speech.
“Seeing her/having her around took all of the day-of anxiety and burdens off of my shoulders and allowed me to focus on the moment instead. I knew she had everything under control.”
And that’s what it’s all about, right? Being present and enjoying the moment. It’s hard to do when you’re stressed out and worried about all the moving parts. Having a wedding planner allows you to enjoy the planning process and relax when the big day arrives.
In Their Own Words
“[Our experience] was wonderful, easy, and the best decision we could have made. Kaitlin never made me feel ridiculous or overbearing or demanding (even though I’m sure I was at times!). She always had unique/good ideas and recommendations for how to improve certain things I asked for. Kaitlin listens well, communicates easily and clearly, and executes weddings like a champ.”
Kristina & Chris
Recent California transplants Kristina and Chris knew there would be many decisions associated with putting on a wedding, which is why it was important for them to find someone local who could help them navigate the process.
They also wanted someone who could connect them with trusted vendors. Specifically, someone who could help them find the ideal venue in their budget.
But Kristina was hesitant about hiring a wedding planner at first. “I am Type A and felt I didn’t need a planner in the beginning. My mom really pushed for it, so I appreciated that we could save some money by allowing me to manage some of the wedding details while still getting an expert planner to help with the big vendor decisions and day of planning.”
The couple talked with several planners who told her they couldn’t work with her budget, which is a shame but also great for me because I loved working with these two! We crunched the numbers, they received a custom planning package, and I got to work finding them their dream venue.
“We looked at what felt like 100 venues (Kaitlin was a patient angel), and the location ended up being the hardest decision for me overall in the wedding planning process,” Kristina said.
The couple had a few factors when it came to finding a venue:
1) They wanted an outdoor venue to take advantage of the beauty of Monterey County.
2) They wanted a sunny and warm location but no beaches.
3) They needed a place that was wheelchair accessible.
4) The venue needed to accommodate at least 80-100 people.
5) It needed to fit their aesthetic (casual but beautiful).
6) The venue needed to be available on the weekend they were interested in.
They ended up choosing Gardener Ranch – a beautiful event space in the mountains of Carmel Valley.
To help the couple get a sense of what was possible for their wedding, I sent them a design board and introduced them to vendors I knew could meet their needs. Like photographer Shannon Cronin who became close friends with Kristina!
When the big day came, I channeled my inner fairy godmother to help the newlyweds in any way I could. “Kaitlin flew around the huge property at Gardener, waving her wedding planning wand and making everything picture perfect and functional for the events. She found a couple of broken chairs, she arranged flowers, she pinned on boutonnieres, she pulled leaves out of my dress, she did EVERYTHING!”
And I love doing everything for my couples so that they can check out of wedding planning/management and check into celebrating. I don’t ever want anyone to feel like they’re working on their wedding day. So from the moment you wake up, I make sure you’re primped, pampered, and totally taken care of.
In Their Own Words
“Leading up to the wedding, Kaitlin was an asset to us in understanding the local vendors and knowing how to prioritize the long list of wedding to-dos. Without her, we wouldn’t have had the dream team of vendors we ended up with, and we would have had many breakdowns associated with decision overload. She cut through the B.S. and helped figure out what would be best for us as a couple. She got to know us and our likes/dislikes and our priorities, and it was wonderful having her as a sounding board and source of advice leading up to the wedding.” – Kristina
Whatever your wedding needs are, I’m here to help meet them.
Send me a message, and let’s get started!