Vendor Spotlight : Katie O’ Wedding & Events
We would not be able to pull off Total Events Transformations without the amazing “friendors” we’ve gotten to know over the past 20 years. One of our “friendors,” is the sparkle queen herself Katie O’, who’s celebrating 10 years in business this year! Katie O’ Weddings and Events is a full-service event coordination firm serving the greater Upstate New York region. We recently spoke with Katie about how she got her start in the wedding and events industry, working with couples getting married, and more!
I Never Dreamed of Owning my Own Business
Essentially I fell into the wedding industry, I had experience in marketing, sales and events, but never dreamed of becoming a wedding planner. I also never dreamed of owning my own business, that’s for sure. I had experience in catering and sales and in 2006 accidentally connected with a wedding planner while seeking other opportunities.
My first actual wedding rehearsal was basically an “on-the-job interview.” I remember every detail of that day; watching the bride, groom and family run through the ceremony details and what was going to happen the next day. I left the rehearsal feeling energized and excited. I can still remember the church, the weather (it was a perfect early Summer day), and how I felt when I got in my car to go home. I thought… this is amazing I can’t believe you can get paid to do this! I loved everything about it.
I was lucky to work with her firm for a couple of years and learn so much about the industry. The business was going in a different direction and it was then I decided to take a chance and start my own firm. I figured that if I failed that I could always find a job. Thankfully I haven’t had to yet! ;-)
Circa 1999 (When Total Events got their start!)
I was introduced to Total Events very early in my professional career (and before my wedding planner days!) I think at that time it was just Rich and Melissa, or at least a much smaller team! My fondest memories of the duo come from my experience as a Sales and Marketing Director at a local catering company. I was able to observe their collaboration with the catering company and how they worked together to help make clients visions come to life through the food and décor! They were dedicated, creative and passionate about everything they did.
Everything has to be perfect!
Today, at Katie O’ Weddings and Events, we plan and coordinate all types of affairs. One of the biggest differences in planning a wedding versus a social event is the stress level. For weddings we tend to feel more stress and anxiety as we take it more personally. We truly want it to be awesome for our couples.
We feel a little bit less stress for our corporate and social events since we usually have more creative independence. Many times corporate clients don’t know what is out there since they aren’t creating Pinterest boards like our couples! Often times they are going to the same events year after year and we love to help them think outside the box to keep things fresh! Working with Total Events, they always push the envelope. They can help us add that special touch to an event by adding a custom swanky/unique lounge with drapery that people haven’t seen at a corporate event before and really transforming it.
Moments We Live For
I think it’s actually witnessing clients being able to “live in the moment” on their wedding day and having them not worry about anything. That’s what we strive for, building relationships with our clients where they trust us. We love to watch them dance, laugh, celebrate, and let go of everything in order to be present in the moment.
Total Events in 3 Words: Dedicated, Dependable, Creative
We enjoy bringing clients to Total Events and collaborating to bring their vision to life. We love the Total Events showroom, part of the excitement for clients is be able to use their senses to experience what their vision can actually be. The showroom allows us to see, touch and feel linens, lighting and furniture to help transform the vision into reality.
Everything has to be “instagrammable” now, right? As an event planner this can be a challenge if your client is on a strict budget. Sometimes clients think it might be “easier” or “cost effective” to DIY everything. It is our responsibility to help show them all their options and in some cases renting items will make more sense. We can go to the Total Events showroom to see exactly what they have to offer. It’s a one-stop shop for everything except the food and the venue!
Many times we find ourselves bringing in a florist to the showroom to help save time for everyone. This allows couples to visualize their wedding. They can see the lounge, the way the plate looks on the table with the floral arrangement, all of it. Total Events makes it easy because everything is there.