08 Mar Vendor spotlight | Destination wedding planner | Katie Rebecca Events
A little bit ago I had the chance to sit down with Katie from Katie Rebecca Events – a destination wedding planner based out of north San Francisco Bay. I’ve really enjoyed working with her (some images from our work together is below) and I was stoked to get to ask her a few questions about her business. I know it looks long guys, but stay with me, there’s good stuff in there!
JSP: Hi Katie! hanks for sitting down with me for a chat! I’ll get right into it. How long have you been in the business and how did you get started?
KRE: Great, crazy question. My business is in it’s 6th season, and it’s wild, in a good way, that it’s been so long. I got my start in the entertainment industry working at the top studios in LA and OC doing consumer products, licensing and eventually events. I traveled all over working on fun projects and then truthfully… I got totally burned out, as the entertainment industry will do. But more than that, it was thankless and catty– you’re always reminded that you’re replaceable which is just not what I’m about. So I was like peace out, I’m done and I started my own business.
I knew that the industry could be totally different, that it didn’t have to be so hard and cold. So in my first year of business I set up this program -so that no matter where I was traveling to, I would reach out on social media and I would invite anyone who had a passion to learn and had a desire to branch out in this industry to come out and work with me for the day. And in return, I would..well, pay you, for one, because I believe everyone deserves to be paid – but also you would get images from the day to use on your website and start your business. And then I also would sit down and work with you on any forms you were building or anything like that.
JSP: That’s awesome. I bet that won a lot of friendship and connection.
KRE: Yeah, it was refreshing! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met people who just say “no one will give me a chance”.
JSP: I bet. So tell me, what’s your favorite thing about what you do?
JSP: Haha, yeah, that’s gotta be up there.
KRE: I mean, really, it’s the clients. When you get to connect with someone so whole-heartedly. Since we mostly do destination weddings, we normally don’t meet our clients in person until the wedding day. But throughout the whole planning process we build this amazing relationship so it’s like we’re the same person – we trust each other, that trust is there from the beginning. There’s something about a person saying “here are my ideas, here’s my color palette, we’ll see you in a year and a half” and just having so much trust in you to just go, have fun with it, is so refreshing. And so I think having that relationship and building that trust is absolutely amazing. And then going to meet that person which is almost like a blind date, and then seeing them be so happy – there’s something really magical about that. ….And cake.
JSP: What’s an aspect of your job that people don’t know about?
KRE: Oh, that’s a good one. Not all planners will say this but…there’s really nothing I won’t do. If shit hits the fan, your wedding planner takes care of that. Some people says “oh, that’s not in my job description” but on the day of – yeah, it is. That’s why it’s so important to be prepared ahead of time. I’ll become whatever I need to become to make sure the day goes well.
JSP: I think that’s an amazing perspective to have if you’re taking on the responsibility of planning someone’s wedding. What’s your creative process like? Say, they hand you a color palette and then…what? Questionnaires? How do you get in their heads to know what it is they’re looking for?
KRE: We get them set up with a planning app, and follow it up with a crazy, in-depth, apologetic, twelve page questionnaire. And it does have questions like “say you were stranded on an island…” – there are personality questions, couple questions, everything. then I always ask them for a pinterest board to get a visual. Once that comes in, I’m pretty much armed with what I need. And then I just….go. I take what you love on pinterest, and figure out a way to make it something new and different and personal. We make so much decor in-house. I put my mom to work, and my husband always helps. Any installations, lighting we need or anything, he comes in. It’s hilarious, I actually needed a Unicorn horn made –
JSP: – as you do –
KRE: Yeah. So for one of my weddings, my client said “I’d absolutely love if we could make a horse walk down with the flower girl….but what would be really cool is if we could have a unicorn.” She was kind of kidding, but it would be very fitting. So…I found a horse. And I had the owner glitter that pony…and my husband crafted three different unicorn horns ….just so we could get it right. And it’s a part of my design process – my clients will know 60-70%, just so they know it’s going to be amazing – but that last bit I keep to myself to surprise them with. I am your wedding fairy godmother.
JSP: That’s amazing! I would have loved to see their reactions. Ok, real talk – if you could give one piece of advice to couples looking for their wedding planner, what would it be?
KRE: Honestly – you get what you pay for. It’s a bitter pill to swallow sometimes, but it’s reality. But on a more personal level, you have to stand back and say – you are entrusting this one person with a very expensive day. If you trust that person, you’re on the right path. So both compensate for the job that you want done, and you HAVE to trust that person. There has to be some sort of connection. And do have fun.
JSP: Last question. If you could spend a day any way – unlimited funds, 24 hours – what would you do?
KRE: I would rent a house in a really fun location. I’d take my family, and we’d turn off our phones and just spend the day together. Between running my business, and being a mom, and my husband traveling, I feel like there’s just not intentional time together. I have to schedule time to spend with them. It’s so important. I get to take my husband and son on the road with me, and it’s so fun, but I’m still working. So…yeah, that’s what I would do.
JSP: YES. It is absolutely important to take that time with the people you love most.
Thanks so much for sitting down and chatting with me!